How I Built a Compact Home Gym

Friday, February 12, 2021

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Read my full disclaimer here.



Have you ever wondered what goes into building a home gym?

The answer is ambiguous of course, but if you were like I was a little less than a year ago.. I knew some of the key pieces of equipment I wanted to have initially, but had no idea how the space was going to look and what my initial budget would actually cover. If you're sitting there scratching your head on where to start, I'd love to show you what I did below if you want to pull any ideas or inspiration from my recent experience!

Why I Built a Small Home Gym

I have always wanted a home gym for as long as I can remember! There's just those days that you can't make it across town, you have a sick child or other reasons where it's just nice to jump into the garage and get some movement in. 

Now my dream gym is a full room with weightlifting and cardio equipment, motivational posters, big TV. My list could probably go on and on. However, that's not what I'm working with over here, so for now those dreams will live on Pinterest

Let me walk you through my small yet functional home gym, as it's complete (for now). 😉

Compact Home Gym

Assessing The Space

I'm going to be honest, I have a three car garage. We do have space. The left side of our garage is a DeWalt factory. Lol. We have a tool bench, other tables, tools, etc. We also have custom cabinets. That literally takes up a full car area. The middle of the garage is open, right now for the kids to run their bikes around, and where their bikes and wagons live. We also have a two person stroller that also takes up a ton of space. We put them all in the middle, and the kids make a track around them. Custom cabinets line the back of the garage. That leaves us with the right side! We used to have a standup bike rack, which was space saving but wasn't getting a lot of use. We also have ladders and storage on the right side. In such a huge space, this seemed like the best place to add my home gym. We put the bikes in the shed and started measuring.

Like I said, my dream setup against this wall would look something like a Bay Club or Equinox Gym in a smaller version, but I knew I didn't have space for that. So, I had to figure out two things: How to use the least amount of space but still have a fully functional home gym and figure out what equipment to purchase initially.

Compact Home Gym

How to use the least amount of space but still have a fully functional home gym

I initially was looking at something that mounted to the wall. This would allow it to be pushed against the wall at any given time and would allow for both cars to fit in the garage if need be. Makes sense, but it didn't really allow for any progression or growth. If my goal is to do a muscle up, I'm going to eventually hit the wall with my feet if it's that close. My tip for you when accessing your space: make sure to plan for future goals and usage so you don't outgrow your space. For us, it was purchasing something like the wall unit, but could be placed farther from the wall if need be (and ours already is). My husband just got his first muscle up last week, so already we purchased the right equipment for our lifestyle and fitness goals.

Once I chose the space saving half rack, it was time to check the rest of the space to see how it would all fit. We put two horse stall mats right in the center and measured where the half rack would sit, which ended up on the right side and mat. Since it's been less than a year since purchasing it all, that's where we're still at today.


What equipment to purchase initially

Now for the fun stuff! I had a few lists going at first. I started with everything I initially wanted (it's fun to dream, right?), and then reviewed the basic pieces I would need initially. For me, my initial list I ended up purchasing was this:


- Floor Mats

- Rogue Half Rack 

- Rogue Bella Barbell

- Rogue Clips

- Initial starting Rogue bumper plates

- Storage for weights

- Storage for bar

- Rogue Dumbbells 5lb, 10lb, 20lb

- Kettlebell

- Rogue Box

- Wall Ball

- Rogue Gymnastic Rings

- Dream Item: Rogue Fitness Echo GHD (Update: It's one of my most favorite gym purchases!)


I also knew I needed:

- Booty Bands

- Bands

- Gym Chalk

- Hand Grips (I have the orange/black two hole version in size small)

- Squat Pad 


What's nice about all of these items, is that most of them are compact and can be moved around easily. Since they all fit in the space well and can be moved/put away, I don't feel like it's too crowded at all. Of course, I have the middle of the garage to work with if need be, but generally I can do burpees under the rack, and box jumps on the side. I actually feel like the space works out really well. It feels good to have a small space that's still completely functional for fitness.

Is a home gym ever really complete?

If you've ever made a home gym because you're "trying to save money", you'll know that this doesn't work out. Eventually, you have to just stop. There's always something else you "need" for your home gym. In the future I would LOVE a rower, assault bike, additional weight, timer, whiteboard, etc. Like I said, there's always something. However, I'm really enjoying having a space along with the functionality we still have in the garage. So for now, all the cardio will have to be taken outside on the pavement (although I'm currently eyeing this option that would turn my bike into a machine: Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand).

Hopefully this helps if you're looking to build a similar small gym in an area of your own home. I can say that it was totally worth it, and I love that it's open 24/7- no excuses. Feel free to reach out or comment if I can help with any questions! 







*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Read my full disclaimer here.




11 comments

  1. This post is so helpful. I really miss going to the gym and I’m looking into equipment I can have at home too. Perfect.

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  2. You made great use of your space! I live in a small apartment and am having the hardest time figuring out how to incorporate my workout equipment into my small space.

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  3. This is such a great idea! Working out at home has become so common place these days and my living room isn't exactly cutting it. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love these ideas!! I wish I had space to make my own. It would cut down on my gym bill, that’s for sure!

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  5. These are great ideas, especially for those of us who can’t afford gym memberships or who aren’t comfortable being in a big gym right now. You made a great use of your space!

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  6. I currently live in a small apartment so a home gym is not possible but it's something I very much dream about. I say I would be just happy with a power rack set up but like you the benchmark would keep moving and I'd end wanting a premium gym with a sauna room, lol

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  7. This is great for people like me who are not comfortable going to gym right now. I loved the equipment you listed, I know I can find those things in a store near me. Loved your tips.

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  8. I love this! You really maximized the space that you have.

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  9. Love love this post because I've always wanted a home gym too. For me it was bomb we live in the country side and no gym stays open till 2a.m. here for people like me haha. But you answered a lot of valuable questions like is the dream ever really complete. The thing I always think about it what will happen once Ive grown out of the 50 lbs weights? So really appreciated your post bc you offered valuable insight

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  10. Love love this post because I've always wanted a home gym too. For me it was bomb we live in the country side and no gym stays open till 2a.m. here for people like me haha. But you answered a lot of valuable questions like is the dream ever really complete. The thing I always think about it what will happen once Ive grown out of the 50 lbs weights? So really appreciated your post bc you offered valuable insight

    ReplyDelete