For many people, the cost of a home multi-gym can be prohibitive… not to mention the space needed to set one up. This article shows you several ways in which you can enjoy the huge benefits of weight and strength training without breaking the bank.
Whether you are looking at opportunities to fit in extra exercise between gym sessions, or focused on gaining muscle, strength and fitness at home – there are opportunities for you. Below you will find information on body weight exercises, free weights, abs machines, Smith machines and finally how to get a full gym setup for under £250.
There are many exercises which do not need any investment at all – or maybe just a mat for some comfort! You will find accessories which help with body weight exercise in several forms. The best known is probably the door-frame mounted Pull Up Bars, which can be bought online for £10 to £20.
I would also include great value Push-Up Bars (also called stands) in this category. These help you with good technique, and can be yours for just £10.
There are more choices than ever when it comes to free weights.
The basic setup is a dumbbell set. You can choose from adjustable ones (where you add / remove weights), or buy a set of different weights, for example in steps of 5kg, 10kg, 20kg and so on. I like the hexagonal / octagonal designed ones, which do not have the habit of rolling away!
Kettlebells are also a great value option (please make sure you are trained to use them), these can be bought individually or in sets – with some having vinyl covers and easy-grip handles.
Buying a barbell set will usually involve getting yourself a bench and a rack to go with it. This need not be too expensive and option though, depending on the quality and the number of weights you want to use with it. You can get this basic setup for around £120 and up.
See this detailed section on Free Weights for more.
Not many people like the idea of toned arms and legs with that spare tyre still around the midriff! Abs machines are a great way of toning up, and can be yours for a very reasonable price.
Floor-standing abs machines and sit up benches are popular, though the one I feel fits best with the weight training category is the Abs Roller.
This is a wheel with handles, the idea is that you roll out and pull back, using your own body weight as the main factor providing resistance. These can give your abs a serious workout, so please do not overdo it first time around!
This is not the cheapest, though still represents great value for those looking to do squats or presses without the safety of a spotter. Smith machines enclose the weights in a frame, and use pegs to stop them falling below a certain level.
You can get some complex Smith machines, which are more similar to the full multi-gym setups. If you are on a budget and want to add some squats to your home routine, then you can also get more basic setups for £150 and up.
Check out my review of the Marcy SM1000 Smith Machine – a great example!
Home gyms can easily set you back £1000 or more. While those are often fantastic value for what you are getting, the topic of this page is the budget end.
For £150 you can get a setup which offers a lot of different exercises, using pull-downs for the shoulders, pec-deck and a bench that allows leg exercise – as well as the usual range of upper body workouts.
Sure, this is not going to be the flashiest looking gym in the catalogue, though if a basic home full body workout is what you are after, you’ll find some serious value.
Here is an example of a budget home multi-gym with excellent customer feedback from the excellent Physionics.
There are even more options for weight training on a budget which could be categories of their own. Examples include bullworkers, elasticated resistance ropes and TRX equipment that you can attach to your door.
There are many excuses that people use to not starting to get fit at home – hopefully this page has let you know that money should not be one of them!