• Rob Olson

How To Build a Home Gym

Pandemics. Stay At Home Orders. Hectic Schedules. Kids Home-schooled.

If there is ever a time to build a home gym, this is it.

I've owned a gym for seven years; I've had a home gym for about the last two. Seven years ago, if you asked me about home gyms, I may have said they were part of our "competition". Now, I think they are a perfect companion to a class based membership. Plus, they also allow us to offer a more robust "remote coaching" program for those staying more socially distanced but still desiring coaching guidance. So if you are interested in learning how to put together a home gym, here is my guide!

First, like any investment, you need to know your WHY.

Why are you wanting to build a home gym? It's no secret that the used fitness gear market is typically [pandemics aside] FULL of old, unused equipment just sitting in basements collecting dust. Many of these people had noble intentions of working out at home as well, but it failed them. What is your WHY? Many skip this step. I urge you to really think about it before investing a lot of money into home gym equipment. Will you be motivated to use it?

Second, what are you training goals?

Are you looking to start a new training routine? Add in more to a current routine? Is it strength based? Cardio based? Functional fitness? These questions and answers will help guide you through questions #3 and #4 below.

Third, what are your space requirements?

Are you going to put the gear in your basement? The garage? A spare room? What is the ceiling height? Will you be able to do lifts overhead (push press) for example, or will you be limited to ground based lifts? Will you be able to drop the barbell, or will you be on a 2nd floor? What kind of noise constraints do you have? Is there a sleeping baby in the room next door, or are they upstairs and you're in the basement? How thick of rubber flooring will you need?

Forth, what is your budget?

Many that look to build a home gym are shocked to find out what gym equipment really costs. Nothing is cheap, especially if you get quality gear. Dumbbells and kettlebells for example, you can look to spend $2 per pound. So if I want a pair of 50lb dumbbells, thats $200 right there, not including shipping. Cardio equipment (rower, bike, etc) are in the neighborhood of $1,000. Barbells are typically $300. Will you get the gear all at once, or will you acquire it over months and years?

Fifth, what program will you do?

Will you make up your own workouts? Will you enroll in Remote Coaching? Will you buy monthly programming from a CrossFit games athlete? If so, which one? Be sure to include these costs into your budget, and make sure it fits your training goals.

Now, go backwards. What program will you do, with what you can afford, that will fit in your space, that will support your training goals, and fulfill your "why". That's your home gym.

If you have questions on what gear is good or where to shop, feel free to shoot me an email - rob@cfsimsbury.com

What we have personally accumulated over the last two years for our home gym:

Rogue Squat rack

Rogue Barbell

Rogue Bumper plates

Rogue Bench

Used Assault Bike


Small assortment of used dumbbells

Two sandbags (40lb and 90lb)


Foam Roller

White Board


I use the home gym probably twice a week on average, in conjunction with two group classes at Resolute and some running days. Denise uses the home gym more, probably four times a week, as it allows her to get Dumbbells & Diapers workouts in quickly and efficiently during the kids naps.

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