home gym
Healthy Living

Home Gym Ideas for Small Spaces

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Instead of sacrificing half your paycheck for a gym membership, read about how we keep a secret gym in our tiny house and how it SAVES us MONEY and TIME! Great home gym ideas for small spaces!

Humble Beginnings

Here is how our home gym came about.

My husband, Will, leaves for work at 5:30 AM and doesn’t end work until around 6 PM. He really wanted to work out after his job, but going to the gym would make his coming home to be around 8:30 PM! Which is pretty much our bedtime. 😮 

I have a feeling a lot of you are in a similar boat. Well, let’s row our selves right out of this time-consuming trap and find a way to STAY FIT while working a full-time job or being a busy human being. 

I’m here to tell you that I have a SOLUTION to your problem!

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At first, we had only a few hand weights, 3lbs, 5lbs, and 8lbs. I also had resistance bands that you can find on Amazon for super cheap. This was great, but such a small amount of weight and resistance can only get you so far in your fitness journey. It was time to INVEST! Not only in our at-home gym but IN OURSELVES and our health.

How much does a Gym Membership Cost?

According to a study done by Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average cost of gym memberships in the U.S. is $58 PER MONTH, which totals to be…..

$696 PER YEAR!

That’s a lot of coin my friends.


What’s a Cheap Way to Stay Fit?

There is a less expensive way to stay in shape. It’s called a HOME GYM! Here is what we did to build ours…

Weights: We purchased 2 dumbbell handles and 200 lbs in interchangeable plates. We purchased them on Amazon which I will link here. This cost only $200 for brand new weights. Looking back, we could have SAVED MORE MONEY if we would have bought them used through an app like offer-up or let-go.

Weightlifting Bench: This item is not necessary, but we felt it would really improve our overall home-gym experience and allow us to be more effective in our workouts. (Like bench press, chest flys etc.) We got our bench on amazon brand new. This bench is not anything fancy, but it gets the job done. It’s actually not available on Amazon anymore but here is a similar one. AGAIN we could have SAVED MONEY buying one off of offer-up or let-go.

Dumbbell Handles: What we had was working great and we could have made do with what we had. However, since we only had one set of dumbbells, interchanging weights in between exercises kind of ruined the workout flow. So, we decided to get one more set of dumbbell handles. This allowed us to have smoother transitions from exercise to exercise because we could preload the weight before the workout and have both sets of dumbbells ready to go. These extra handles, only cost around $13 total.

Is it Cheaper to have a Gym Membership or build a Home Gym?

BRAND NEW gym items we purchased: 

  • $200 for 200lbs of weight and 2 dumbbell handles
  • $70 bench
  • $13 Extra set of dumbbell handles 

TOTAL: $283 

Average gym membership… $696 PER YEAR…

Our NEW gym equipment that we will have THE REST OF OUR LIVES,

only $283.

I’m not a math person but just for kicks and giggles let’s do some more math here…

We purchased the weights when we were 25 years old. Say we live until we’re 85 and we’re still pumping iron (hold us accountable peeps). That’s 60 years… (I know my math skills are pretty intimidating).

If we were to purchase 2 gym memberships for 60 years at the average cost we would be spending a TOTAL of


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So $283 vs. a whopping $83,520...

Uhhh, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty convinced that a secret home gym is the way to go when you want to save moola.

Now before you start hating…I already know that a home gym doesn’t have ALL the fancy machines and gizmos. But if you are looking to SAVE TIME, MONEY, and STILL BE IN AMAZING SHAPE, a secret home gym is probably the way to go. 

Where to Put a Home Gym if you have Small Space?

“SAVING MONEY! That’s great Claire. But where do you store 200lbs of weight AND a workout bench?!

This is probably the next question you might be asking. 

We live in a small 2 bedroom condo so we stored these weights in our extra bedroom for a while. Then I got pregnant… 

Our extra bedroom soon turned into a beautiful nursery for our baby boy. 

We didn’t want random dumbbells sitting in our living room for people to trip on when they came over. Plus, big, metal pieces of equipment aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing look for your home. 

Home Gym Ideas for Small Spaces

What we ended up doing is storing the weights UNDER OUR BED. Brings you back to your childhood right? Your mom tells you to clean up your room so you just shove everything under your bed! I guess it’s similar, but we’re adults now, so it’s acceptable.

Plus it’s such a great SECRET place that you wouldn’t even know we owned them! They are super easy to just roll right out when it’s time to workout. We store our bench upright against a wall in our bedroom right behind the dresser. Again, super secretive and looks a lot nicer than in the dining room. 

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Now I know these aren’t the ideal spots for everyone. But that’s what works for us in our little home!

The Purpose Behind the Home Gym

For our family, we are done buying expensive gym memberships and we are able to spend WAY MORE TIME TOGETHER as a family. If you are looking to save money and time, ditch the gym and get a PUMP ON in your very own home! 

(Disclaimer: I am not against gyms. I love going to a good gym every once in a while! I just want to help those of you who desire great workouts but are struggling to find the time or money. This is simply a helpful idea of what we do and how it works for us. It might not be for everyone, but it’s helpful for our family! Our secret home-gym keeps us healthy, fit, and most importantly, allows us to spend time together.)


Home Gym Ideas 9

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  • Lynn Grombacher (aka Aunt Lynn)

    I LOVE this idea Claire! Might I add it’s great for immune compromised individuals like myself. I was feeling like every time I set foot in a gym, I would get sick! I love my Ohio home gym….and in Vegas, I take my weights, bands and mat outside and do HIIT workouts. No excuses, right?!?

    • Claire

      That is such a great point! I didn’t even think about the germs you can avoid! Another bonus! Love it. And keep it up! You’re motivation to workout is so inspirational!

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