Unbeknownst to me, I began building our home gym LONG before Covid was part of our vocabulary. I shared post after post about ways to get in shape that didn’t include a gym fee, like snagging some sliding discs and a jump rope, a post about getting in shape anywhere with the help of the best resistance bands, and around this time last year I shared a blog post all about equipment that could step up your gym game, such as loop bands, stability balls, and medicine balls. I was trying to get you to build your own home gym before I even knew it would be a necessity!! Then in February, I launched my Power Program, which is an at-home fitness program that can be performed with minimal equipment. At that point, I had already outfitted our home with loop bands, resistance bands, dumbbells, a few kettlebells, a medicine ball, stability balls, and a few other pieces here and there. But when we heard the whisper of a quarantine going into effect, we raced to get a room in our basement outfitted into a full gym.

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

When we moved into our new house in November, I knew right away that I wanted to change this small 16’x11′ “rec room” into a gym. Since I record workout videos on a daily basis and I wanted to be able to continue to create fitness program moving forward, I knew I would need my own space to make it actually happen. But Brian was a bit hesitant. He felt like we would never actually use it and it would be one of those gyms people have in their house, but never actually go in. Boy, was he wrong. Luckily I didn’t have to talk him into it once Covid took over the US. We knew we wouldn’t be able to leave our house for maybe up to 3 months, so we placed an order at Rep Fitness immediately to get our hands on any equipment we could. A good amount of their equipment was gone by that point because I think most Denver people pounced as soon as they heard the news, just like us (Rep Fitness is local to Denver), but we were still able to get our hands on a rack, barbell, and some bumper plates. Plus we grabbed some zip tile flooring to put over the carpet since Brian wasn’t quite ready to take out the carpeting. That changed rather quickly.

After purchasing our zip tile flooring to put down on top of the carpet, we quickly figured out it would be a constant nightmare. That flooring really isn’t good if you’re planning to put it over carpeting – it constantly moves and it will end up gliding across the carpet and up the wall. So I highly recommend thinking about your flooring options before you move equipment in. We moved all our equipment in, the flooring drove us crazy, and then we ended up moving all the equipment out and hiring the same company that put down the carpet in our house, to install gym floor matting. I was told by MANY people that you could purchase horse stall mats for dirt cheap and use that as flooring, but I also heard it was insanely heavy and stunk forever, so I decided using the carpet company was a better option. They came in, measured the space, and shared two different mat thickness options. It comes in rolls and is glued to the ground, plus they guarantee their work, in case anything weird happens to it in the future. Botta bing botta boom.

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

Another thing to consider before putting in all your gym equipment is mirror options. Mirrors are stupid expensive, but it truly made all the difference in our gym because it opened up the space SO much more. It made it look bigger and brighter, so it was worth every penny. We hired a glass company to come in, measure the space, and create a full wall of mirrors. I personally don’t think mirrors are really needed for a gym space – I worked out in a CrossFit gym for 7+ years without the help of any type of mirror – but I do feel like it has made all the difference in the look of our space. Obviously you could simply purchase a full size mirror instead OR I’ve heard of people finding large mirrors at hotel furniture sale locations or auctions!

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

Now let’s get into equipment!! We wanted a space that included enough weight that we could continue gaining strength throughout quarantine and after. We aren’t people who need to lift massive amounts of weight, but I wanted enough weight that I could continue to improve my hip thrust as time went on. As I mentioned before, we were able to grab some equipment from Rep Fitness before quarantine began. Actually, we picked up our equipment at 4pm the night that the stay-at-home order went into effect.

Our first order from Rep Fitness included pretty much anything we could get our hands on:

  • a barbell rack
  • 2 sets of 25lb bumper plates
  • 2 sets of 15lb bumper plates
  • 1 set of 10lb bumper plates
  • a dumbbell rack
  • a bench

A few months later, we were able to place a second order through Rep Fitness for:

  • 1 set of 45lb bumper plates
  • 1 set of 5lb bumper place

This means we have 325lbs of plates to work with these days! That gives me plenty of enough weight to work on my hip thrust over time!!

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

Long before Covid happened, I had already purchased a handful of dumbbells – I had 10lbs, 15lbs, 20lbs, 30lbs, and 40lbs – all I had found at Target. But since that was definitely not an option, I looked elsewhere and noticed there was a Fitness Gallery not far from us. I doubted there would be anything in there, but wandered in anyways, and was greeted by a crap ton of dumbbells they had just got in! So I finished out our dumbbell rack with sets of 25lbs, 35lbs, 45lbs, 50lbs, and 55lbs. This location didn’t have any bumper plate options, but they did have a pair of 2.5lb plates, so I grabbed those, as well! Now we have 330lbs to work with on the barbell!!

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

I already had a couple kettlebells at the house that I had purchased through Target months and months back, but we definitely hope to add a 35lb and 55lb kettlebell, as well. I also had a slam ball from a previous blog post I had shared along with a 10lb medicine ball, and 2 different stability ball sizes. I found all these items at Target and Walmart. My new goal is to purchase a rack for the stability balls because SURPRISE – the plastic will stick to the wall and peel off the paint. You were warned.

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

Since the walls are pretty bare in this light grey basement room, I added a little color to the walls with this hanging workout mat and I hung it up with some simple command hooks. Then on the other side of the gym, I hung up some of our resistance bands using this rack. Not only did this get a ton of shit off the floor, but it brought a little color to the walls to the create a more fun environment to work out in. And one other thing that made a huge difference in the room were these wifi smart bulbs. These bulbs are AWESOME!! They link up to your phone through wifi and you can choose if you want them more warm or cool, plus you can turn one off at a time through your phone instead of a light switch. I ordered these bulbs because I needed a certain light color for my fitness program videos and they are fantastic! I love them so much!

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

Then last but definitely not least, we purchased a reverse hyper from Titan Fitness. This was definitely a splurge purchase. And I say splurge because it’s not 100% needed to outfit a great home gym by any means, but it was something both of us wanted. Brian has dealt with back issues in the past and I’m always looking to round out my glutes more, so we said fuck it and bought this fun machine! This machine is great for your posterior chain, it’s helpful for hip mobility, and it’s awesome for your glutes! And for such a huge and sturdy piece of equipment, we were both super surprised that it wasn’t more expensive!

PaleOMG Building Our Own Home Gym

If you’re looking to create your own home gym, it really doesn’t need to be this elaborate to get a great workout in! I went all out because it’s part of my business and I wanted the space to look as good as possible for my fitness program videos. But if you simply want to get a great workout in from home, you can build a pretty affordable home gym with a bench, some dumbbells, an array of loop bands, and a stability ball! I have lots of friends and clients who are all working out from home these days and staying in shape with very minimal equipment! And remember, if you do want to build a more elaborate home gym, you can do so over time. You don’t have to purchase everything at once!

Below I’m sharing the breakdown of costs for this home gym. It may look overwhelming to you if you’re just trying to get a gage on what a building a home gym might look like, but remember there are so many ways to build a home gym in a much more cost effective way. You don’t need full mirrors or this exact type of flooring. And you may not need quite as much weight as we have purchased. Again, we went all out since it’s part of my business, but building a home gym is all about building it to your own needs. You might prefer a Rep Fitness Functional Trainer so you can get in A TON of different movements at a ton of different weights. Or you might just want a couple pairs of dumbbells to help you lift weights on a daily basis. Building a home gym is all about finding a set up that works for you and your goals!

Breakdown of gym costs:

CNC Glass & Mirrors – $3,280

Coventry Carpets Rubber Mat Flooring – $1942

Rep Fitness Barbell Rack – $259

Rep Fitness Barbell – $150

Rep Fitness Bumper Plates – $450

Fitness Gallery Dumbbells – $1067 (this cost is higher since I had dumbbells prior to my latest purchase)

Rep Fitness Dumbbell Rack – $139

Rep Fitness Bench – $189

Titan Fitness Reverse Hyper – $399

Fitness Storage Rack – $30

Hanging Workout Mat – $25

10lb Medicine Ball – $40

Stability Balls – $40/each

Since writing this post, we have also added a Tonal! If you want to read about that fantastic piece of equipment that doesn’t take up much room, click here to read my full post about it!

If you’re looking for a great business to purchase your equipment from, Rep Fitness has been awesome and the quality is really amazing! Demand has been high for their products, but they have been working hard to increase inventory as quickly as possible. They are getting new shipments in daily and updating their website daily with new in-stock items! Plus they are Denver based so I love them even more (but they ship all over!). Hopefully this post gives you a little insight on what it’s like to build a home gym and how you can make it work for your own life and budget! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I’m happy to answer them the best I can! Also, if you built your own home gym and have any tips and tricks, please share those in the comments section!!


This post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!

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  1. LIsa says:

    This was so helpful! Thank you for sharing! I was overwhelmed with all of the equipment I “thought” I would need for a home gym and your post simplified everything for me! Thank you! I’m currently working through your Power Program and I love it! As a former weight lifter, I’d gotten away from weight lifting due to repetitive injuries and had switched to Megaformer workouts. I’m in Cali and our gyms are still closed so I had to transition back to weights and purchased your Power Program to guide me back. I’m loving the workouts! Thank you for all that you do and for all that you share. I’ve been a follower for many years and I’m so grateful for your immense knowledge and guidance!

    1. juli says:

      glad i could help!! and WOOOHOOO to trying out my Power Program!!

  2. Jess says:

    Thanks for sharing Julie!
    I’m wondering what the height of your ceiling is? Curious if I could also fit a rack in mine with clearance for strict pullups.

    1. Jess says:

      sorry autocorrect 😐

    2. juli says:

      9′ ceilings!

  3. Laura says:

    Hi Juli, as a runner with strong legs and pretty much a Jello upper body, I’ve wanted to improve non-leg strength but never found the right thing. Well, apparently the Power 30 Program was what I needed! For the first time ever, I’m consistently working out my upper body…and I love it. It’s just the right amount of time, the exercises are understandable and doable, and I love how you tell us to push the weights we lift. Thank you so much for putting together these programs.

    1. juli says:

      wooooohooooooo that’s so awesome to hear Laura!!

  4. T R says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Just got a barbell and I’m hoping to add to a home gym! Also wanted to let you know, I listened to your podcast last night while driving (Jan 9) … I almost cried! As a person who’s always felt like an outsider myself, never really been a drinker, never been a partier, etc. … Just to feel like I was not alone, like I had somebody else who understood, was so comforting….Especially now! I have followed your posts on and off for about the last 10 years, I really appreciate your genuine honesty! I don’t think I’ve ever commented on any of your posts, but I was really moved by the podcast…. I also want you to know that I was totally unprepared for children, I’m not sure I would’ve ever been ready but had some surprise packages (if you get my drift) …If you ever do you have a little human at your house, I think you will be such a fantastic mom, you are so genuine and thoughtful! Thank you for all you do!

  5. Kelley W says:

    Wondering if you also use your tonal?! Do you have reviews on that little guy as well?

  6. Becca says:

    What is the piece of equipment that you use for hip thrusts? I saw it in your stories, it was most likely purchased after this post. I think you used bands (in addition to weights) with it. Thank you!

    1. juli says:

      it’s called a boot sprout!

  7. Siobhan says:

    THANK YOU Juli !!!
    I live in NH and have followed you for easily over 9 years. The inspiration and safe space you have provided that I can visit when I need a pick me up, a recipe, or real life honesty has been an inspiration. Thanks for being genuine, honest, and true about everything in your life, You may not know how relatable most of it is. Spiritualty quests, friends such as Jess, and trusted brands, and having a different type of relationship with our Moms- have all been heard and appreciated.

    In this post specifically, you broke down what was an overwhelming process of setting up my own home gym into bite size pieces for me. You provided a base line of tools, prices, & products that I could then do my own research from. Thanks for empowering me and many others. I have legit come back to this post as a reference point at least 6 times in the last year. I am excited to have made my first purchase from Rep Fitness today- so thank you for also supporting local companies A.L.L T.H.E T.I.M.E.
    I love the messages of positivity and living our best lives that you put out into the universe 🙂
    Much love and gratitude to you, Brian, Jackson, and baby