Step 5 – Home Gym Completion

This is my final post of the home gym project!  I’m excited to share the last few items I bought and then….go workout!

A full set of weights was a must-have for me…but I didn’t realize how expensive weights are!  One thing I learned quickly though, was to not purchase weights online.  I had added a weight set to my virtual shopping cart.  At checkout, I was informed that shipping 300 lbs of weights and a barbell would cost as much as the weights themselves.  So off to Dick’s we went!

At the store, Phil kept asking if the weights there were the “weights of my dreams.”  I said they were not, but that the rubber plated weights I really like are over $600 for 300 lbs.  He quickly agreed that the Fitness Gear 300 lb set I had found for ~$200 was a great deal (around $0.70 per pound of weight).  Used weights or free weights from Craigslist might be even better, but this was something I was willing to pay for (but not $600!).  This set comes with: one 45 pound barbell, two 45 lb, two 35 lb, two 25 lb, two 10 lb, four 5 lb, two 2.5 lb plates, and safety clips.

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I would like to be able to bench and squat (the basics) but our basement is not big enough for a full rack.  I settled on the Valor Fitness BD-9 Squat Rack Stands from Amazon.  They required minor assembly, but I was able to set them up during 1.5 episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight (a fun reboot, highly recommend).  As mentioned before, the bench came from a friend for free and works well for now.

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I haven’t yet used the stands for squat, but they have worked great for bench.  Early on, I felt that the stands rocked a bit as I set the bar back down after a set.  I realized, however, that the “plate storage bars” at the base of each stand (see below) are not only convenient for storing weights but help stabilize the stands.  Given that I won’t be benching with the 45s on each side, I’ve now found a good use for them!

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The final item I purchased was a new mat for the floor.  This was an impulse purchase while buying the weights, but has actually made my workouts much more enjoyable.  My yoga mat was starting to tear (as evidenced by little pieces of blue foam everywhere after a workout) and it was thin like a true yoga mat.  The Fitness Gear mat is brand new, squishy, and thicker than my old one.  I don’t think you would actually take this thicker mat to yoga…but I love it.

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Home Gym Progress

I’m very pleased that I was able to put everything together for less than $1,000. I’m aware that the gym as a whole is worth more than $697 since I already had some key items (CycleOps, TV, TV stand).  The goal, however, was to not spend more than an additional $1,000 and I am happy with the items I’ve chosen.  Of course, it will always be evolving, but purchasing some new resistance bands probably does not warrant a full blog post.  Let me know what key items you’ve included in your home gym!

Read the rest of the story below:

Post 1 – Painting the walls

Post 2 – Flooring

Post 3 – CycleOps and Entertainment

Post 4 – Equipment Part 1


  1. […] Sanity check. My friend and I started working out virtually together in April and it truly kept me sane. I looked forward to 4:00 PM every Monday through Friday, when we would call each other and workout. We are still on a group text with friends where we text daily workouts and challenges. Thank the Lord for fit friends and my home gym. […]

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