How to Build a Home Gym

With what seems to be ever-increasing gym prices, more and more couples are opting to build a home gym together. Did you know millennials spend more money on their health and fitness than on their college education?

You need to cover several essentials, and let’s be honest – both you and your partner will need some different equipment. It’s also essential to have the equipment and access to streamed workouts so you can bring your gym with you anywhere.

Our article includes our tools on how to build a home gym and our home gym equipment recommendations. 

how to build a home gym

Why Build a Home Gym

For us, freedom to work out at home (or anywhere) is critical. There are too many excuses that can arise when you are relying on gym access, class times, and equipment availability. Also, we prefer to stretch our hard-earned money as far as we can. See how we’ve saved $5,000 in the last several years by investing in a home gym.

Before you and your partner invest in a home gym, you need to think about what needs your gym will fulfill. Will your gym be mainly for cardio? Weight lifting? Yoga? All of the above? 

For us, “all of the above” is what our gym needed to fulfill. We knew that we wanted to incorporate a full array of home workouts available on Beachbody On Demand.

Read more: Is Beachbody On Demand worth it?

Each program contains a plan (along with a calendar, nutrition guide, and tracker sheets) and specific equipment needs. We discuss more how to succeed in working out as a couple in the following articles.

Our Home Gym Equipment Recommendations

Free Weights

We have a range from 5 lbs. to 50 lbs. For Alex, she would lift 8 lbs. to 20 lbs. for arm exercises and up to 40 lbs. for legs. Ryan’s weights were typically double that. When he got to higher weights, he would put on a weighted vest or do more reps with the 50 lb. weights.

Working out at home is environmentally friendly and so is buying used. A good place is on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, especially if you want to build a complete home gym for cheap. Around $0.50/pound is a fair price.

If you don’t want to invest in equipment before finding your groove, start with our free Resistance Bands Workout Routine. Resistance bands are much more cost effective than weights and they take up almost no space. 

Jump Mats

We had two of these mats in our living room to avoid slipping during a workout. They also protect the floors from our free weights. The company might have made them too durable. We used ours for six years, and they still looked new. The mats double as a yoga or core mat as well. 

If you want yoga mats that are great for travel, we have used these mats for 2 years. We use them everyday for all of our workouts, including yoga, HIIT, and strength training. Again, the company made them too durable as they look brand new after 2 year of daily use.  

Pull-up Bar

We recommend this pull-up bar by Ultimate Body Press because it can fit in nearly every door type. Also, it expands to fit wider doors. The design is perfect for people who are 6 feet tall and up. That way, you don’t have to worry about your feet touching the ground.

Pull-up Assist Band

Along with the above pull-up bar, this assist band was crucial for Alex’s transformation. This adjustable band allows you to reduce the weight you’re lifting during a pull-up to get more out of your workouts.

If you’re wondering if you need to do pull-ups, our tutorial on the benefits of doing pull-ups at home will help. 

Adjustable Bench

This Powerblock Adjustable Workout Bench is the best bench we’ve had. It’s sturdy enough for both of us to be jumping on it at the same time. We placed this on the above jump mats to complete our home gym. While the workout bench isn’t necessary for all of our fitness programs, it was key for our weightlifting programs.

Weight Vest

This 20-pound Golds Gym weighted vest is a cheapie, but it has served its purpose – pull-ups, squats, lunges. If you want one that you can go hiking and running in, the more expensive ones are probably more comfortable.

Resistance Bands

If you need a more budget alternative to free weights, or you want to take your home gym anywhere, resistance bands are an excellent solution. Here is our full article on the Benefits of Resistance Bands


If you are ready to start your home gym, sign up for a free trial of Beachbody On Demand. Let us know if you have any questions or home gym recommendations. Share in the comments section below.

We have put the below 2- week training programs together that you can start in your home gym for free, and with almost no equipment. Download the calendars below to get started!

Resistance Band Workout Routine

Download and instantly access the full workout calendar, complete with written and video guidance for each exercise.


  • Videos of 35 leg, core, back, arm, shoulder, and chest exercises with resistance bands.
  • Professional written instruction to ensure proper form.
  • A weekly Resistance Band Workout Routine calendar so you know what exercises to do and when.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.
  • Support. We're always here to help.
Or, download for free.

Backpacking 2-Week Fitness Plan

This Backpacking 2-Week Fitness Plan is designed for the intermediate athlete to get in the best possible shape for a multi-day trek, and fast. All major muscle groups needed for backpacking are targeted in a calendar optimized to build strength, flexibility, and stability. The plan comes with a calendar, free access to the workouts, and support from the Ryan and Alex Duo Life team. As avid backpackers ourselves, this is a proven plan to train hard for a trekking adventure. 

Or, download for free.

14-Day Couples Yoga Challenge

This 14-day challenge aims to reconnect you to your health and help you appreciate your body. Practicing yoga as a couple is an opportunity to connect and be present in a way apart from your normal, busy lives.

The customized calendar was curated and created by us with the purpose to expose couples to a variety of yoga styles and instructors as well as practicing yoga from home.

Or, download for free.

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “happiness engineers.” After eight years working as corporates engineers internationally, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — leading couples to engineer their best lives. The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.

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