How to design a home gym that works out for you

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to set up your own home gym but the wrong place if you think your gym will do the work for you. Jokes aside, let’s focus on designing your own home gym. I’ve helped numerous clients set up their home gyms over the years and have even gone to the store with them to pick out their equipment. Thanks to the world of ecommerce, it has never been easier to obtain gym equipment. So let’s jump right in.

Factors to consider:

-What are you goals



-Who will be using the equipment

-How often will the equipment

-Your current fitness level

-Colour scheme (wait, what? Sometimes you just want your equipment to blend right in with the furniture)

-Will you be using your equipment as a clothing rack? (Sorry, I said I would put the jokes aside)

Let’s break down each factor and see what we can work with.


Depending on whether you train for a sport, are trying to improve your health overall, build muscle, lose body fat etc. you’ll need the appropriate equipment to help you with those things.

Simply put, you should opt for equipment that focuses on the following attributes: strength, cardio, skill.

If the resistance is something you can adjust for, then muscle will come too (assuming you’re eating right). You’ve got plenty of options for cardio (jump rope, elliptical, punching bag/ shadowboxing, HIIT, treadmill, bike, kettlebell, rowing machine) but it depends if it is right for you. Clearly not every piece of cardio equipment there is appropriate.


100+ Beautiful Budget Photos · Pexels · Free Stock Photos

If you’re going for the full gym, expect to spend at least $1000. At the time of writing this, fitness equipment has been difficult to obtain (unless you check out my friends at who sell at reasonable prices compared to the market) and prices have never been higher. Let’s break it down:

Adjustable dumbbell set ~ $500

Bench ~$200

Treadmill ~$500 (consumer version)

Stationary Bike ~$200

Knick-Knacks ~$100 (various equipment such as resistance bands, stability balls, sliders etc)

Full Cage squat rack ~$400

300lbs barbell set ~$500

Squat Stands ~$200

As Seen On TV Gimmick ~$Priceless

So just keep in mind, you don’t need all of it! Or maybe you do (if you’re like me and operate a boutique home gym or just enjoy using the latest fitness equipment)


This one is really important. Why? Because your standard treadmill does not fit in most people’s apartment (albeit all the noise the people downstairs will hear). A full squat rack cage (powerlifting cage) does not actually fit in people’s basements due to height, so alternatives like this squat stand are good. Sometimes you have to opt for adjustable dumbbells instead of every single dumbbell possibly known to mankind from 5lbs to 100lbs.

Who Will Be Using the Equipment

This one ties into safety, personalization and goal setting. Not everyone in the same household has the same goals. This would imply you may need a variety of equipment. Sometimes you can keep it simple by just going with adjustable dumbbells and a bench. Some resistance bands are nice to have too. Your grandmother may not be lifting the same weights as you (or is she?) and you’ll need some lighter dumbbells around. Your family member with knee issues may not be able to use the treadmill or bike, so you’ll have to know what works best for them.

How often will the equipment

The standard consumer level fitness equipment can only tolerate so much use. Dumbbells usually go a long way but some benches and treadmills were not designed to be used 24/7 let alone more than 3hrs a day. So keep in mind the level of quality and how often that piece of equipment will be broken down. Consider a GOOD warranty.

Your current fitness level

This one can sometimes be the most difficult element. It can also be the easiest. I always get asked the question, what is the best piece of equipment to buy or how many pounds of weight should I get? Well, first of all, my favourite piece of equipment may not be right for you, so we’ll definitely need to do a full assessment. Number two, the amount of weight is relative to your capability and how you will progress as you train (assuming you use your equipment). I’ve had clients easily work with the same weight for months and others progressing very, very quickly that they had to buy new weights in less than 2 months. Be ready for what could come next. Get a full set in the beginning and don’t worry about the hassle of looking for equipment later.

Colour Scheme

We can’t always choose the colour of the equipment but we can always paint things! I’ll leave this one up to you for creativity.

1000+ Engaging Gym Photos · Pexels · Free Stock Photos

Will you be using your equipment as a clothing rack?

Unfortunately, most of us tend to get very excited in the beginning and after 2-4 weeks, we lose that motivation. It takes about 6 weeks to build a habit and to actually see tangible results in the mirror. What happens to our equipment? Well, most people put them to the side or make them hard to access. Sometimes clothes pile up on them or they just sit in the garage collecting dust or even rust. So, what do you do? You need a plan.

That’s where we come in. Just contact us, set up a meeting and we’ll help you figure out a plan that considers ALL of the above factors and much, much more. I also recommend checking out our friends at for quality gym equipment at reasonable prices.

Published by Shaneh-Abbas @ Myofiber

Registered Kinesiologist Personal Trainer Over 10 years of training experience in a variety of settings. Online trainer since 2017

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