You must be thinking I’m crazy. After all, who spends ten grand on a home gym, unless they’re rich and have money to burn (which is not my situation)?!?
Well, I do. I saved and borrowed to make this happen, and don’t regret it one bit; this was basically my single biggest purchase, ever (besides a house or car). I don’t have a $10,000 watch or anything like that. Not to say that I wouldn’t buy a really expensive watch if I were swimming in money, but what I’m saying is that I put more priority on the gym.
Why would I (or you) do something like this? Here are 20 good reasons:
Why I Spent Over $10,000 on a Home Gym
Because You Can Truly Do Your Workout Anytime
Sure, there are 24-hour gyms. But you still have to spend time and effort getting there, plus money on a membership or day pass. Worse yet, if you go during peak times, they can be absolute madhouses. So while you can, in theory, do your workout anytime if you live close to an always-open gym, in practice it’s much harder at some times than others.
With a home gym, you never have to wait for a machine or ask a stranger if you can “work in” and have to constantly change the resistance between sets (or change out weight plates). Rather, you can truly do your workout anytime, with zero hassles, distractions, or costs (beyond the initial equipment cost and any maintenance expenses).
Fitness and Bodybuilding are a Priority
If you don’t have your health, what’s the point of having all the money in the world? Not only that, but poor health costs loads of money in terms of medical expenses, especially if you have a chronic condition. And, you have to deal with an enormous amount of pain and suffering. Diabetes is not something I would wish on anyone.
So, to me, fitness is a huge priority. I like to look and feel nimble and fit, plus I also love to feel strong and “big” (hey, I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s and am still a fan of the Van Damme look, which I’ve yet to achieve). That means that aerobic exercise is not enough for me – I need weights.
It Ensures I Work Out Consistently
The way my mind works, having a home gym ensures I work out consistently. Over 15 years of bodybuilding, I’ve perfected a technique to ensure consistency that works for me:
- I work.
- About an hour before I finish working, I have a pre-workout meal.
- The moment I finish working, I automatically change into my gym clothes. I don’t even think about it, I just do it as a matter of routine.
- I exercise.
Working out at home is much better than a commercial gym in this regard. There’s no “friction” or delay – just exercise.
Because I Have a Ceiling-Mounted TV Where I Watch What I Want
One’s preferred entertainment during a workout is highly personal – some people just want music; others, like me, prefer TV (I like to stream action movies). Having your own gym means you have 100% control over your entertainment.
You Can Have the Worst Workout Clothes and It Doesn’t Matter
At commercial gyms, there can be pressure to wear nice workout clothes, resulting in an expenditure of money. At a home gym, you can wear anything you like. I always wear the same two shorts plus an old t-shirt, and so spend basically zero on workout clothes.
There’s No “Gym Pressure”
In your home gym, you won’t feel pressured by what the person next to you is lifting, or how fast they’re running on the treadmill. You also don’t feel like everyone there is more fit than you are, like this individual did:
I’ve had quite a few gym memberships, and gyms tend to have a certain dynamic where some trainers and customers are the “stars”. They’re always there, and they look great. If you’re not in that clique -and especially if you’re starting out and are by yourself- you can feel out of place and even unwelcome.
At a home gym there’s none of this, and also no pressure to sign up for personal or group training or classes.
You Don’t Have to Waste Time Talking to Anyone
This is highly personal. Some people love the social aspect of gyms, and that’s great. Others, like me, prefer to work out in silence and finish as quickly as possible. If you’re the silent type, you’ll probably prefer a home gym.
No One Checks You Out or Harasses You
Some people like feeling eyes on them; most probably don’t. If you don’t appreciate it, it’s definitely not a problem at your home gym.
No Dealing with Annoying People
You know the types – the showoffs, the loud talkers, the loud grunters, etc. Just look at this jackass:
Or this guy, who is literally stronger than steel:
(I’m kidding, this last guy’s not annoying, but I just couldn’t resist slipping the GIF in here).
No Gym Membership Fees
Gym membership costs vary widely, and can quickly add up if you sign up for lessons or personal training. Home gyms, on the other hand, don’t have many ongoing costs.
No Dealing With Other People’s Sweat and Germs
I’m not a germophobe, but still find it disgusting to sit on a machine or bench that has someone else’s glistening sweat on it. With a home gym, it’s just your sweat.
No Gas, Tolls, or Parking Expenses
With a home gym, these are zero.
No Dealing with the Weather
There’s no driving or walking in the rain or snow when you’ve got your gym at home.
You Don’t Need Daycare
You can have your kids close by, and not spend on gym daycare.
No Temptation to Spend at the Gym Bar
Some gyms have bars or vending machines with all sorts of expensive drinks and meals. With a home gym, you’re not tempted to spend on anything like that.
No Showering with Strangers Close By
Some people mind this, some don’t.
No Gym Bag and Clothes Changes
A home gym simplifies your life in that you don’t need to prepare a gym bag.
In the Long Run, It’s Cheaper
At some point, a home gym will pay for itself in terms of commercial gym membership fees and other expenses that you don’t have to incur in. For me, my break-even point is probably in the decades, but for someone with a compact home gym with less equipment, it may be a matter of months.
You Save Time
No driving to a gym and back home, waiting for machines, or being forced into time-wasting conversations.
You Can Exercise Your Dogs at the Same Time
Ha! I don’t have dogs, but when I do, they’ll occasionally get this workout 🙂
What’s in my Home Gym?
So here’s what I got for $10,000 plus:
- Professionally-installed rubber flooring in the gym room (the second-biggest room in our house).
- Some big, wall-covering mirrors.
- A TV that hangs from the ceiling (we used an old TV, but had the mounting professionally done).
- One treadmill and one elliptical machine.
- An incline-decline bench (Body-Solid brand).
- A full set of Body-Solid dumbbells and a dumbbell rack.
- One curl bar (the barbells that have like a zig-zag in them).
- A Body-Solid multi-function Smith machine with its own incline-decline bench.
- One full set of plates for the Smith machine.
- Miscellaneous bits and pieces of attachments and other equipment.
Did I Get the Most Value for My Money?
Looking back, no. It was a mistake to buy everything new; I should have at least bought the dumbbells used. I could have also saved by buying used benches (and cleaning them up really well), and used weight plates. As well, I bought an unnecessarily complicated treadmill and elliptical.
Oh well, live and learn.
Can You Do It For Less?
You can do it for far less. One aerobics machine plus a Bowflex-type machine or some resistance bands or other basic weight-training equipment should be enough for those that don’t dream of looking like Van Damme.
I spent 10 large because it was a longtime dream of mine to have a commercial-quality home gym some day. So, when we bought and remodeled our home, I jumped at the chance.
I do use every component of the gym, but some are a bit overkill. For example, at my age (past 35) it would be enough to do chest presses with dumbbells, rather than with the Smith bench press. Still, I do enjoy the gym feeling, and it was worth the spend to me.
Summing It Up – Why I Spent Over $10,000 on a Home Gym
I’m a relatively-frugal dude, but I still think things that are super-important to you are worth the money. For me, my top two priorities in terms of material possessions were (and still are) an awesome house and a commercial-quality home gym. I value health and wellness very highly, and so the gym was worth it to me.
If you’re thinking about one (and know you’ll use it), I’d say absolutely go for it!
What do you think about home gyms? Would you dedicate an entire room and thousands of dollars to one, or would you prefer a compact home gym (or none at all)?
Last updated on March 24, 2019.
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
I agree. We have a little less elaborate gym in our basement. Treadmill, bench, free weights, various accessories for stretching. We also jog and walk a lot around our town. I have never had much motivation to go to a gym or health club. Some people are opposite and having to get out of the house is their motivation. Tom
The Rich Miser says
I’m with you. I’ve had all sorts of home gyms, from resistance bands to dumbbells. I’ve also worked out a public gyms. I much prefer the home gym, though I understand that some people love the public gyms.
Frieda | The Frugal Freeway says
Wow, I’m so jealous of your home gym setup. May I ask how big the room is? We’re considering building an ADU (accessory dwelling unit), and a small workout room is on my wish list.
It occurs to me from your photos that another advantage is the ability to exercise in natural light instead of dim gym light. Also, two of my colleagues have endured major hassles from locker room theft (one at the priciest gym in town) so that’s a consideration for me as well.
The Rich Miser says
Thanks! The room is quite big; it used to be the master bedroom until the previous owner of the house built a master bedroom addition with an even bigger room. Still, I used to have a home gym when I lived in an apartment, and a Bowflex machine and some mats and whatnot were pretty much enough, unless you’re into more serious bodybuilding.
Good points about the other advantages!
I did the same thing and I have well over 20k tied up into my home gym. (Not done all at once)
It’s come down to classic opportunity cost, working out is important to me physically and mentally. I live in the country and to hit the local gym would take an hour out of my day.
Having the gym at home I can work out on my schedule. Plus, I don’t gotta deal with bro’s, that sweet but weaird old naked guy in the locker room that always wants to talk my ear off, people who don’t clean the equipment “eww”.
The Rich Miser says
Nice, I’m a huge fan of home gyms! They’re huge time (and annoyance) savers.
I can relate to your post. About 15 years ago I spent about $3000 on high quality home gym equipment. I opted for the Body Solid brand. Over the years, I have added more equipment. Working out at home fits my lifestyle much better than going to the gym.
The Rich Miser says
Indeed, Body-Solid has a good reputation. Like you, I prefer working out at home.
Nice blog, I think it’s a great idea.
I’d love to have a gym which has weights and a boxing ring / bags. No clue how much it would cost, plus we would need a bigger place to do so. Oh well, one can dream.
The Rich Miser says
Thanks! Depending on what you need, you can get a basic setup with a few resistance bands and a yoga mat (for abs). It would cost probably less that $100, and take up little space.
I am preparing to buy a home gym equipment/machine, currently I am moving stuff out of the room to create some space. I do not have so much space inside that’s why I was searching for something “all in one”.
What do you think about tytax? I’m thinking about this model https://www.tytax.com/shop/tytax-t1-x-gym/
It should fit inside my room. The weight is quite big and I am afraid of assembly process, but beside that it seems to be reliable. They offer 200+ exercises and some options to purchase, even rowing machine for cardio.
So, what do you think, cause I really feel confused about what to choose.
The Rich Miser says
Speaking only from experience, I think it depends on what you need. The TYTAX looks overly expensive and complicated to me, unless you’re a serious bodybuilder who really needs something like that.
I had a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE (~$1,600) for a few years and it suited most of my needs. Really, unless you’re super hard core, it’s probably enough to do basic exercises for the major muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, abs), which a Bowflex machine or even resistance bands (to start) will allow.
So my answer would be that unless you’re a really advanced bodybuilder, I’d go for something much simpler and less expensive. For cardio, I think a treadmill or elliptical should do.
Hope this helps,
The Rich Miser
Thanks for the answer!
I agree, the machine looks huge and solid, rather dangerous too, but I spent some time scrolling their facebook and what I found is that ”normal” people use this machine too, younger and older… Moreover, I found a review on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKXclgTwpD0 and the guy looks just like me! They have more models, but T1X has ”that” looks, but I’m still confused! 🙂
You know, I had a treadmill
this one (sorry for long links): https://www.amazon.com/Bowflex-100507-BXT216-Treadmill/dp/B071FY9KMM/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1530253122&sr=1-4&keywords=bowflex+treadmill
and I found it really bad, it was unstable in inclined position, amortization was lacking too
BUT if I want a decent treadmill there it comes:
It look great, but also the price is great, it’s almost as tytax price. What more, it probably would not fit in the room with any machine.
Anyways, thanks your your time and effort!
The Rich Miser says
You’re welcome! I’d suggest taking a look at treadmill reviews here (at The Wirecutter) or Consumer Reports. The one I have cost much less than $2,000 and it’s still good and solid 🙂
For the resistance machine, have you considered Body-Solid? They have a good reputation and are reasonably priced. I have mostly Body-Solid stuff in my home gym, and no complaints thus far.
Your home gym looks amazing! Better than a lot of the gyms I’ve seen while traveling, in hotels!
I like the mirror and the flooring. Did you build it from scratch? What is the flooring material called?
The Rich Miser says
Thanks! Both the mirrors and flooring were sourced and installed by our renovation contractor. I’m not sure what the flooring material is called, but it’s a commercial product that comes in huge rolls. It’s so thick and heavy that it’s not even glued to the floor.
Finsavvy Panda says
LMAO! I loveeeeeeeeee the giphys you used here, Miguel! They made my day and made me laugh out loud — literally!
I loved that annoying guy on the treadmill showing off hahaha!
Everything you wrote on this post I completely agree! I never liked gym outside and that’s why I cancelled my memebership. My dream is to have a real home gym one day but for now all I have is a treadmill, set of weights, yoga mat and other misc. stuff due to small space. But it’s still enough for me to have a great workout.
Idk why my fiancé likes the gym so much. Like you said, you don’t have ppl staring at you, you don’t feel pressured, and you don’t have to talk to people. Lol… I hope I can afford my dream gym one day (if I could ever afford more space here) 🙂
Great points here and again, loved your giphys. They pretty much explain your entire blog post!
The Rich Miser says
I’ve always been a home gym fan, especially since I moved from college into the workforce. A commercial gym just doesn’t work well for me.
I survived for a long time with a few dumbbells, some resistance bands, and a yoga mat. I’ve also worked out in building gyms (which are kind of a halfway point between commercial and home gyms). I think the most important thing is that you can exercise consistently, though I always prefer a home gym if possible.
Here’s to being in shape! 🙂
We had a home gym as well and loved it. We had a treadmill, multi station weight bench, incline bench and a stationary bike but we bought it all used and instead of the mirrors ( quite awesome in your photo) I painted a huge mural on the wall. It was definitely worth it for us. I really don’t like going to a gym and working out in front of others
I agree with everything except the purchase of a Smith machine over a power rack plus barbell. Whatever you paid, you should’ve spent it at Rogue, or Titan if you want to save a few bucks.
Loonie Doctor says
I love it Miguel. You won’t regret this purchase.
We did pretty much the same thing with my first “attending physician paycheck” 14 years ago. We have almost identical equipment except I also threw a leg press/hack squat machine into the mix. My family and I still use it all.
The only times I have come close to regretting it was when we moved houses a couple of times. I am now quite adept at disassembly/reassembly.
I started building my gym 25 years ago. I bought a $5000 club quality treadmill which now has over 14,000 miles and a $5000 Vectra weight machine which simulates free weights. This way I can bench etc. without fear of dropping the bar on my wind pipe. Later I added several sets of Powerblock adjustable dumb bells, a bike on a stand, and a concept rowing machine and some kettle bells. I also use weight vests, super effective, and step bench and suspension trainer for plyeometrics and core. I bought my wife a weight vest for her birthday and also a Bosu ball. She loves that thing I also put up a pull up bar. I also have a sand bag trainer which is something like a duffel bag filled with sand bags of different weights and sizes. This one is a ball buster on core ex and dirt cheap (literally) to buy or build.
My gym has a rubber floor a TV and is glasses on on 3 sides so I can watch the wild life as I exercise. I can do anything from cardio to HIIT to circuits to moderately heavy or light lifting, and I can do it safely and alone. My gym is 13 x 33 and I have maybe 15K invested over 25 years. Not much when you consider 25 years of gym membership. All of the above listed advantages apply.
For starters I would go with sand bag trainer, suspension trainer, weight vest, a few kettle bells, a step bench and maybe a set of power blocks. You can get a rubber floor that is made from snap together squares. I strongly recommend a rubber floor. You can probably do this for $1000 or less off craigs list and add more as time goes on. My wife uses her tablet for entertainment instead of the TV and she beams various “train along” training vids from various sources. I often turn every thing off and just get into the meditation of working out and how my body feels maxing out 4 sets of 10. I try to concentrate on each muscle as I go through the range of motion. Sometimes I just work and pray.
My wife works out in the morning and I usually workout in the afternoon or at night but both of us are still at home, just a door way away. Great post!