A 1,356 person survey proves the average home gym cost is $3,141.
I was wondering how much people actually spend on average on a home gym. But there simply wasn’t any data out there about this. So I went about doing some research myself!
I’ve also taken a look at the pros and cons of a home gym vs gym membership. And this article includes some real-life examples of how much a home gym costs.
That way you can make an informed decision if a home gym is right for you and get an idea of how much most people spend on one.
Average Home Gym Cost
The average home gym cost is $3,141 based on a 1,356 person survey. But you can spend anything from $300 to over $50,000+ on building a home gym. It depends on your goals and how complex you want your setup to be. Some people buy a few weights and bands, whereas others build a full weight room with a range of machines.
Here are the three communities that were asked the question:
You can join any group with the links above. These links will take you directly to the survey if you would like to add more data to the study.
How the research was done
3 different communities of over 80,000 home gym owners were asked a simple question…
“How much money have you spent on your gym equipment?”
There were 10 options to choose from:
- Under $500
- Other (add your own price)
1,356 people responded to this survey.
The results were recorded using the middle price for each category i.e. $2.5k was used if the $2k-$3k option was ticked.
We then calculated the mean average and more importantly the median average price. Some people recorded spending upwards of $50k on their home gym. So when you remove some of these outliers it changes the mean average price quite a lot.
This is the reason why we use the median (the middle price) for the results of this survey.
Factors to consider
There are some things to consider about the results from this survey:
- Everyone was part of a home gym community group. Therefore they’re interested in their home gym and likely to spend more than the “average Joe” would.
- No proof of spending is needed (a rough ballpark figure was fine).
- Many people joked that if their wife was asking it would be a very different number (so some people may have provided a number to “keep up with the Jones”).
Despite this, when you get data from over 1,000 people you get a pretty good feel for the true costs of a home gym.
The median average price of a home gym is $3,141.
It’s safe to say this is higher than what most people would imagine. Especially considering that one of the main reasons people build a home gym is to save money.
But these costs are realistic for buying good equipment over time.
A home gym is usually built over a number of years so most people have spread these costs out and added to it over time. It doesn’t mean they all spend this amount on day one.
An interesting finding from the study is the average cost of a home gym in the USA vs the UK…
Respondents to the survey based in the USA spent significantly more than the UK on their home gym.
Home Gym vs Gym Membership Cost
The average gym membership costs $57 a month. That means it takes just under 5 years for the $3,141 average home gym to be more cost effective than a gym membership.
However, it’s possible to build a very good home gym for significantly less than the average. On the same note, it’s also possible to get a cheap $10 a month gym membership or pay $200 a month for a CrossFit membership.
The table below gives a quick overview of these differences…
|Time||1 Year||5 Years||10 Years|
|Mid-Range Home Gym||$1,030||$1,030||$1,030|
|Avg Home Gym||$3,141||$3,141||$3,141|
|Avg Gym Membership||$685||$3,425||$6,850|
|Planet Fitness membership||$159||$795||$1,590|
|Lifetime Fitness membership||$1,250||$6,250||$12,500|
As you can see a small change can make a huge difference to how quickly a home gym will start saving you money.
But a cheap gym membership often won’t provide a squat rack area. They often use Smith Machines, which aren’t always recommended for good progress and can be quite dangerous.
When you build your own home gym you can buy the exact equipment that you use.
But there are other factors to consider between a home gym and a gym membership.
Pros and Cons of a Home Gym
There are lots of benefits to owning your own home gym. But it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides too…
- Save money on a car and gas
- Save money on a gym membership
- Workout anytime
- No queuing
- Be a good role model for your children
- Choose the exact equipment you want to use
- Becomes a healthy hobby
- Less variety of equipment than a commercial gym
- Initial outlay higher than a membership
- Takes up space in your home
- The noise can annoy family or neighbors
- If something breaks you need to replace it
Like everything in life, there will be these pros and cons to consider.
But overall, a home gym can add a lot of value to your life.
Many people’s home gym becomes a hobby. And there are not many better hobbies than ones that help you to get fitter or look and feel better.
If you already pay for a gym membership it will likely set you back over $600 a year. And that’s before you account for gas to travel there, the extra classes you take, food and apparel you buy.
As I’m about to show you it’s possible to get a very good home gym set up for around $1,000. So after 15 months, you’ll be saving money month on month.
Either way, before you make this investment it’s wise to plan what equipment you really need…
What Do I Need in a Home Gym?
You can find a more thorough insight into how to build a home gym here.
But this is a quick overview to understand what equipment most people will need for their home gym. It’s also what most people that filled out the survey said they own…
Essential home gym gear
Everyone has different fitness goals and ability levels. So some people simply won’t want this gym equipment and would much rather buy an all in one home gym machine.
But for the majority of people, there are four items that are an absolute must…
- Barbell (and barbell collars)
- Squat rack
These four pieces of equipment will allow you to perform 80% or more of the exercises most people do at the gym.
- Bench press
- Overhead press
- And much more
If you focus your money on these four items, you can have a very good home gym that can last for years or even decades!
After these essential items, there are a few other things that most people will want…
- Pull up bar (we recommend buying a squat rack with one)
- Jump rope, rower, air bike or some conditioning machine (see below)
Many people will consider dumbbells as essential. But the truth is you can replace most exercises you do with dumbbells with a barbell.
Dumbbells are great for targeting specific muscles and doing variations.
But they can be very expensive to get a decent set.
Kettlebells seem to attract die-hard fans too. You can do so many variations and full-body workouts with them alone. But they do come with a limit to the progress you can make. You simply get a lot more control over your routine with a barbell.
Most power racks will come with a pull-up bar. It’s our recommendation to find one that has this as it will save space and money.
Some form of cardio equipment is usually on the radar. But you and I both know that simply going for a run, brisk walk or cycle is more beneficial for numerous reasons. Such as fresh air [study], getting vitamin D [study], feeling happier [study] and the social aspects of these activities.
However, a jump rope or rowing machine can be great additions for those times when you can’t get outside for whatever reason.
No matter what, there will always be people that will benefit more from machines. A barbell and weight plates can be daunting for someone new to lifting weights.
So some peoples home gyms will consist of these types of machines:
- All in one home gym
- Cardio machines
There are 6 main types of all in one home gym machines:
- Weight stack machines
- Lever gym (add your own weight plates)
- Free weight/ smith machine
- Functional trainer (or cable machines)
- Power rods (mainly Bowflex)
- Incline bodyweight (think Total Gyms)
It’s actually been proven that using machines or free weights doesn’t affect how much muscle you can build [study].
You can learn more about these types of machines and what to look for when buying an all in one home gym here.
And there are a ton of different cardio machines, such as:
- Rowing machine
- Exercise bike
Can you see why we recommend just the 4 essential items to start with? It’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of buying more and more gym equipment that isn’t always needed or used… which many people do (myself included!)
Setup your home gym space
Once you have an idea of the equipment you want it’s time to make sure your space is set up. There are 4 main things to consider here…
- Ventilation or heating
Again you can find out about this in more detail here.
But the main consideration is nearly always your flooring (even if you plan to have your gym in your garage).
Dropping weight can damage concrete flooring, your equipment and yourself! Using some sort of rubber flooring is important to reduce noise and keep things safe.
If you plan on doing heavy deadlifts then you will likely need a platform. Some people build this themselves on the cheap but this can set you back a few hundred dollars if you buy a ready made platform.
Speaking of costs… how much does all of this cost? Sounds like a lot, right? Well you may be surprised…
Gym Equipment Cost
There really is a huge variation in how much gym equipment costs. It will depend on your own spending habits, different brands and the materials used.
But it’s important to at least have a ballpark figure here to know what you’re dealing with…
How much does a barbell cost?
It’s possible to buy an Olympic barbell that will last a lifetime for $250. You can get a decent bar for around $150 if you know you won’t lift over 400lbs. But you can also spend over $1,000 on a competition standard bar. The risk of buying a cheaper bar with weaker tensile strength and a poor finish is that it could bend and rust over time.
Out of 101 barbells that we have researched the average price is $340.
Check out our barbell buying guide for more details about what to look for when buying an Olympic barbell.
How much do weight plates cost?
You can pay between $1 and $4 per pound for Olympic weight plates. For a set of 250lbs you will likely spend between $250 and $1,000. Typically, you’re looking at spending about $1.50 per pound for traditional iron plates or upwards of $2 per pound for bumper plates. The shipping fees can be additional to this so often buying in bulk can save some money.
The average cost was $2.60 per pound from researching 58 bumper plates. The average cost out of 42 traditional iron plates is $1.84 per pound or $2.48 per pound if it had a rubber coating.
You can learn more in our extensive bumper plates buying guide here.
How much does a squat rack cost?
Squat racks vary from $100-$3,000+. You can buy a 2×3” 11 gauge steel squat stand for $350. It’s possible to buy a very good 2×3” 11 gauge steel power rack or folding rack for $600.
Out of the 127 squat racks we researched, the average cost was $853.
Find the best available racks in our squat rack buyers guide here.
How much does a weight bench cost?
Weight benches range from $50 to $1,000 or more. You can buy a very good quality flat bench for $150 or an adjustable weight bench for $250. We found the average cost of a flat bench is $170 or $385 for a flat, incline, decline (FID) bench.
After comparing 51 different models the average cost of a weight bench is $295.
Find more information about the best weight benches on the market and what to look for when buying one.
How much does an all in one home gym machine cost?
An all in one home gym machine costs between $350 and $9,000. You can buy a very good machine for $1,500 with 150-200lbs weight stack. There are other good quality power rod machines that cost around $1,000 too.
Out of 111 models that we have researched the average cost was $2,215.
You can learn what to look for in our ultimate all in one home gym machines buying guide here.
But you’re probably wondering how much all of this gear comes to. So here are some examples of what you could spend on a home gym…
Example of Home Gym Costs
Yes, the average cost of a home gym is $3,141. But it doesn’t mean that’s how much you need to spend on a home gym.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone has different fitness goals.
Some people want to lose a few pounds. Some people want to get stronger or have more power. And those people at the gym that like to sneakily check out their biceps in the mirrors want to get bigger muscles (hypertrophy).
There are so many different styles of home gyms that it’s impossible to say what you will spend on your home gym.
But here are a few examples to get an idea of the costs…
|Equipment||Small home gym||Budget barbell gym||Mid-range barbell gym||High-end barbell gym||Machine gym||Money no object gym|
|Pull up bar||$50|
|Home gym machine||$1,800||$5,000|
*Flat benches- you can get a very high-quality flat bench for $150 or a cheap one on Amazon for $50.
**Adjustable bench- if you’re not lifting much weight then one on Amazon would be fine. But you can get a great quality FID bench for $250.
***For this price you could get a very cheap rack or a good quality squat stand.
**** For this price you would be looking at traditional iron plates, not bumper plates
It’s also possible to spend far more than any of these options, especially if you are converting a room or building a gym in the garden.
But as you can see it’s very possible to get a great gym set up for around $1,000. It then leaves you in a position to buy extra items over time when you feel like you need them. A big mistake is to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on something that you never use.
Start small and expand over time.
(But don’t buy cheap stuff that breaks!)
Which Brand is Best for a Home Gym? Where to Buy Home Gym Equipment
I actually know people that have made money from their home gym.
They buy something then sell it on a later date.
It genuinely is possible to sell gym equipment second hand for more than you originally paid for it (*cough* COVID exploiters *cough*). No but seriously, even without a global pandemic that confines people to their homes it’s possible to do this.
If you think you may want to sell your gear at a later date, then where you buy is crucial. The important thing is to buy brands that people recognise.
They typically last longer, are better quality, and simply hold their value over time.
Here are some of the best places to buy gym equipment:
Rogue is widely known as the “creme de la creme”.
Whilst their prices tend to be quite high they are by no means the most expensive brand.
Most of their equipment is manufactured in the USA. So you can be sure you’ll be getting quality gear if you buy from Rogue.
They also provide amazing customer service with great delivery and even set up.
REP used to be known as one of the cheaper brands. However they are now producing a lot of top quality home gym equipment.
They listen to what customers want and continue to improve their selection. One of the best bang for your buck out there.
If you’re budget minded Titan is a great place to shop.
Titan produces a lot of gear that has similar specs to Rogue and REP. But they nearly always have a lower cost.
Here’s the trade off… much of the equipment is manufactured in China or outside of the USA. And typically they offer a shorter warranty on a lot of the gear.
Fringe puts a unique twist on a lot of equipment such as their stripy Savage bumper plates.
They produce a lot of high quality products and are well known in the home gym space.
If you want a good barbell and bumper plates, you’re guaranteed to find them here.
American Barbell seems to put a lot of attention to detail to their equipment which is manufactured in the USA.
One of the more premium brands out there. If money is no object to you then you’ll love the quality of Eleiko.
If you want to sell equipment on at a later date, Eleiko typically holds its value very well.
The biggest and most well known e-commerce store offers a ton of home gym gear.
You may be able to find some of the brands above on there and it’s possible to pick up a bargain.
But beware there’s also a lot of low quality items on there.
Craigslist (or Gumtree in the UK)
If you want to really keep your home gym costs down, this is your best bet.
It can take some time to find the hidden gems with this method. Plus you may need to be prepared to drive a few hours to collect the equipment in person.
Another great option to lower your home gym cost.
This is a method I tend to prefer as people can help you to source something. Especially if you are active inside any home gym groups. (See the top of this page for our recommendations)
Another e-commerce store but with a little twist. As other consumers can also offer their products you’re more likely to find a bargain here than Amazon. If you have any equipment to sell I’d recommend listing it here.
Letgo and OfferUp (apps)
These free apps are becoming more and more popular. Another option if you’re a savvy home gym builder.
Home Gym FAQ’s
Average Home Gym Cost: The Bottom Line
The 1,356 person survey shows that the average home gym costs $3,141.
The average gym membership costs $50 a month. So it will take less than 5 years of owning a home gym for the average person to save money.
But it can actually cost a lot less to build a home gym that you love. As long as you are clear on your goals and what you want to achieve you can put your gym together for around $1,000 with some research.
Check out our ultimate guide to building a home gym here if you want to learn how to do this.