The Ultimate List of Home Gym Tips, Hacks, and Secrets

Wynie and Adrian - February 2023

We searched every corner of the internet and leveraged our YouTube community, Instagram, and even our Patreon to create this. The ultimate list of home gym of tips, hacks, secrets, and advice to help you build and evolve your home gym space. 

Building a home gym can be overwhelming. There's nearly and unlimited amount of options and ways to build one. Whether you're a powerlifter, strongman, cross fitter, still on the fence, or anything between this list holds all of the best home gym building advice we've (and our community) has come up with. 

So here it is, the largest home gym collection of tips, ideas, hacks, secrets, or whatever you want to call all this. 

How We Compiled This List

We read a ton of blogs and articles, listened to podcasts, watched YouTube video after YouTube video (and even made our own), and exhausted every resource we could find to create this. We also posted on our Instagram and YouTube channel as well as our Patreon (check it out!) to get input from our viewers because they're our greatest resource (and we appreciate you so much for it!).

This list took many hours to create and is actually larger than what you see here! If you want to check out the full list it's hosted on our Patreon. Thank you so much to those who have been able to support us over there. It's helped us to create more content without having to worry about affiliates or ad revenue.

We're still working on adding items to this list. This took a ton of time to research and write up. If you scroll allll the way to the bottom you can comment your own tips, hacks, advice (whatever you want to call it) and we'll do our best to update this with your thoughts and our own.

1. Flooring

Horse Stall Mat Gym Flooring

Use horse stall mats  for your gym floor, not foam exercise mats. They take a beating, will last forever, and are supportive (vs squishy like exercise mats). Even though these beasts weigh almost 100lbs they will move around over time so I've used a few different methods of keeping them in place.

One simple thing you can do is just put heavy equipment on them, your gym is filled with it. But for open spaces or where equipment isn't I've used mending plates (tip by Alan Thrall)  though I only use the plates around the edges or where I don't walk because you can feel them underneath the stall mats. I also like to use Gorilla tape (tip from Basement Brandon) to keep my mats in place and seal the seams. It makes the mats much easier to clean and gives your space a cleaner look.

There’s other good options for flooring but horse stall mats are the most popular for a lot of reasons. They're readily available, cheap (relatively speaking), stable, and easy to set up though relatively speaking.

2. Buy Used

 I love shiny things but the first version of my gym was more used than new and I still have a lot of pre-owned stuff (half my horse stall mats are second hand). We all love to dream big but a home gym isn’t for everyone (which benefits you!) so scour the used marketplace for deals. Machines, plates, racks, and other big heavy things are much cheaper when used and you’re not paying shipping. So check Craiglists, Facebook and even auctions!

When you're searching the used marketplace try using generic terms. Searching for things like "Olympic barbell" will return more results than "Stainless Steel Ohio Power Bar". It'll also give you results of people who may not know what they have which means you might get a better deal than the guy who knows he paid a lot for a bar and doesn't want to lose money on his purchase. You can also set notifications so that you're alerted when a certain item pops up for sale which is often much more efficient than spending hour each day seraching.

Here's my first rack, a Rogue Infinity R6. I bought it for $500 new and not only did it come with some extra but it was in like new shape. 

Rogue Infinity R6 Power Rack

3. Sell Things!

After using my first rack for a few years I sold it for $1,400 which netted me a $900 profit. I then took that money and invested in back into my space (to buy my Rep PR-5000). I did this same thing with some plates I had picked up for free. I restored them and sold them for enough money to buy my Rogue Urethane bumpers. My garage gym build is littered with stories like that and selling things is a big reason I've been able to build my gym at all. 

So sell things you don't use and get something else. If you planned out your purchases you can get a lot of money back. Actually with the way prices are going you may be able to get more than what you paid in the first place. Rogue resells better than Titan but even Titan will sell better than a no name brand.

4. Shop Sales

Home gym companies love to run sales. Many will run them quite often (like Titan Fitness) but during certain times of the year almost everyone goes at it like on Black Friday (the only time Rogue Fitness runs a big sale), Memorial day, Labor Day, New Years, the 4th of July... you get the idea. So if you're patient you can get a lot more bang for your buck. 

We run sales pages during those big events so check bookmark our site because we work tireless to bring you the biggest deals whether we're affiliated with the companies or not.

5. You've Got A Lot To Learn

Here's our current space before we ever started building it. Who knew years later it would become what it is, but it took a lot of time, research, and effort.

Home Gym Before

We all do, and that's OK. When I first decided to build my home gym I started looking at my commercial gym and asking what things were. I had no idea who all these companies were. 3"x3" 11 gauge? Different types of bushings? The best barbell finish? I was beyond lost and it’s one of the reasons we made Gluck’s Gym, to help others who are where we once were.

I spend hours each week trying to learn everything I can so that I can make the best possible content for our followers but if there's one thing I've learned after years of doing so, it's that I still have a ton to learn. 

6. Budgeting

When I built my space I set short and long term goals and and prioritized my purchases. My original space was supposed to consist of 3 levels (or stages). The first was my rack, bar, plates, and bench. Of course there were some odds and ends like collars thrown in there but it was pretty minimal set up. I wanted to see if this was really for me.

Once I was certain I loved having a home gym I leveled up my gym (sorry, I'm a gamer) and started building my dumbbell collection which took close to two years to complete (I bought the dumbbell racks used). Stage 3, my final stage (HA!) was my used Life Fitness functional trainer. 

By researching and planning out my purchases I was able capitalize on deals when they popped up. I would put a little money aside each paycheck and reward myself when the time came. It wasn't flashy and it took some self control but I didn't waste money or regret purchases either.

7. Mirrors

I workout to keep up with my kids and to feel good about myself. Some of that is mental and some of its physical but I have mirrors for a few reasons. It’s a nice way to check out your form (or your wife), it can make the space feel larger, and Wynie checks herself out all the time so they’re kind of a necessity. 

You can get mirrors used for pretty cheap which is how I got the mirror in front of my rack but all of my other mirrors are Glacial Bay 36"x60" frameless mirrors (no affiliation) and can be pick in any Home Depot.

8. Plan It Out

I can't overemphasize how much planning out your home gym will help you, we even did a full video on it.

By planning your home gym, and by that I mean the physical space and the budgeting, you’ll end up with a much better result. 

You don't have to necessarily draw everything out or make 3D renderings like I did (I taught engineering and architecture, don't judge me!) but at the very least take a tape measure and double check your physical space (and don't forget to check the height!). You can also use an online tool like Rogue's Zeus Gym Builder to do all the work for you!

9. Design Matters

A space with a nice atmosphere is easier to workout in, simple as that. It’s your space so if you want posters or banners, go for it. Like LEDs lights? Who’s stopping you? Paint walls, decorate, hang pictures, display your trophies, do whatever you want to make your space more inviting to you whether that’s something simple or over the top. Your space, your rules.

Rep Fitness Side of Home Gym

10. Music

Being able to control the music is one of the great benefits of a home gym. You don't need headphones, it can be as loud as you want, and nobody is there to criticize your song selections. So go ahead and pump Taylor Swift if you want. We use a Google Home to control our music. The audio quality is great, we can control it with our phones or voices, and it adds to the atmosphere of the gym. There are a lot of great options that work the same way so get whichever is going to get you “bumping” as Wynie puts it. Listen to whatever you want, your favorite podcast, a book, or creepy serial killer stuff like Wynie (I don’t feel safe).

11. Lighting

One of the things people tend to forget is lighting but we think it’s so important we made an entire video on it! Lights help with atmosphere and aesthetics which will create a much more polished and inviting space. Wynie and I lifted under a few poorly functioning overhead lights for years but our remodel made our space so much look and feel so much nicer (plus you’ll look better in your mirrors 😉).

12 A Home Gym Isn't For Everyone

For every person that loves their home gym there’s another that realizes it isn’t for them. Working out alone can be great and can be awful (I’m looking at you leg day). Sure you’ve got unlimited access to your rack but if you haven’t completed your HVAC that barbell might be 30 degrees and burn your hands when you touch it (or rusting). There’s a lot that goes into making a great space, planning, budgeting, HVAC, and the list goes on. Even with a perfectly planned space we’re often more limited than a commercial gym so I say try before you buy. 

That being said, for some of us a home gym is the ultimate hobby and investment and the pros far out weigh the cons.

13. A Home Gym Is An Investment

In you, your family, and your time. A home gym might not be for everyone but for many of us it’s our mecca. I love hanging out with my friends there, showing my son things, playing the music I want, dreaming of passing things down. I’m happier and healthier now & you can’t put a price on that.

14. Start With The Essentials

I’ve seen a lot of people say buy it all at once because it saves you money. That may work if you’re absolutely certain a home gym is for you but unless you've already had one there's no way to be certain.

I think it's a good idea to purchase the essentials first. If you've saved up for awhile and done your research then you can go get a solid with a power rack, bench, barbell, plates and some accessories (like collars) to start. They don't necessarily have to be your dream items but as long as they're good (middle ground, or even really great used stuff pops up cheap) you'll have a solid foundation.

f that sounds like too much you can buy some basics to see how you feel about working out at home. A jump rope, pull-up bar, or gymnastics rings for example. You could even just make yourself a workout space and trying doing some body weight workouts. It's not nearly as exciting but at least you're not risking much. If you do decide a home gym is for you then check out all of our build videos

15. It's a Hobby

Most of us start a home gym for the convenience or to save money (yeah right) but home gyms often become a hobby. It’s your space, you’ll take pride in it and for many of us it’s a hangout, our man (or woman) cave, our happy place (and for some it’s even a status symbol). Your space will evolve, your wants and needs will change & in 5 years you may have upgraded and swapped yourself into a place you never thought you’d be. Some people collect cars, play video games (ok I do that too), or craft but some of us just enjoy building our home gyms.

16. Scratch and Dent

I bought a lot of my equipment new but with some blemishes. I’ve got deep dish plates and 3 barbells form Rogue’s Boneyard and my Titan Hex Trap Bar came from their Scratch & Dent section.

Lots of companies like American Barbell and Kabuki have sections where they sell perfectly functional items with cosmetic defects. It’s a great way to save money and with some companies I often can’t tell what the issue is.

Rogue Fitness Boneyard Bella Barbell

17. Versatility Is King

The two main issues with a home gym are budget and space so equipment that does more (and does it well) is often a better choice than a one trick pony. I think GHDs and Reverse Hypers can be great training tools but they take up a lot of space which is why I’ve got a combo unit. It takes up as much space as either of the one but does what both can.

Maybe a better example is a power rack, if you get the right one you’ll be able to add onto it to your heart's content which is why 3x3 racks are so over hyped, they do it all. My 11 post rack is a good example of this  It's got Rogue and Rep components and I've even got big plans to change it up again. Necessary, no, but the versatility of a modular 3x3 system is what we're after.

Rep Fitness 9 Post Rack

18. Storage, It’s Never Enough

We’ve already established you’ll never have enough space so you’ll need some killer storage. I’ve got a tons of Wall Control that holds an insane amount of gym items but I’ve also got plates and barbells hanging on my walls and 3 different barbell storage systems on my rack. Wall storage (and other areas) is not only essential but when done well it’ll look professional too. I’m currently working on a big video about this topic and will publish it once my French cleat wall is complete 👀

19. Organization

Not only do you want to be able to store things but having them organized is just as important. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted looking for things during a workout. Having an organized space makes workouts more efficient, makes things more enjoyable (I get unreasonably made when I can’t find things), helps with atmosphere because your space will be more polished, and can even help equipment last longer.

Bar Holder

20. Attachments On Other Racks

Unfortunately as modular as many racks are, companies don't always like to play nice together. Luckily there's a very creative and clever community out there that's figured out what attachments fit on other racks. To be completely honest I could and probably should make this into an entire video but here's a few tips.

Did you know you can put ⅝” attachments onto a Rogue Monster rack? The keyholes are ⅝” and it’s how I use my Bells Hydra Seal Row Pad with my Rogue rack.

If you have a non Rogue rack (or want to orient your attachment in any direction) and still want to get 5/8" attachments onto your rack you can use 5/8" to 1" adapters pin adapters. There's a few place that produce them and I have no affiliation with any but lately I've been using these from F & F Steel.

What about attachments that fit but are a bit tight like going from a Metric rack to American? I’ve sanded the backside of the  UHMW on attachments to make them fit better. Keep in mind when going between measurement systems that attachments that utilize one hole tend to work well but if your attachment needs more than one to line up when on the rack the second probably won't align. It's generic advice, and there are exceptions to the rule but it's at least a starting point. 

21. Cleaning

We use a leaf blower to clean out our garage gym. We have a gas powered one but an electric will keep your space from smelling like gas. If a leaf blower won’t work for you because you’re in a dark dungeon (basement gym) you can use a shop vac, though a broom may be quicker and is cheaper. It's actually our most common way of cleaning with the blower coming out when we want to do a larger scale clean.

 We also mop the floors or wipe things down (rarely) with Simple Green because it's cheap and works.

22. Maintenance

I never realized how much work it can be to clean a gym and keep it organized. Barbells have to be maintained (and sometimes other equipment) so they don't rust. You have to lubricate things… clean the floors, mirrors, cobwebs, and sometimes putting your own things away is harder since you can just deal with it tomorrow. It’s really not that bad but it’s something nobody talks about.

23. Specialty Bars

Maybe this should go near the don’t fall for the hype section but specialty bars are a great training tool (and probably a bit over purchased as well). I love my deadlift bar and curl bar and I use them weekly. I’ve got safety squat bars, multi grip barbells, prototypes of weird things I’ve been sent, and I have no plans on slowing down my collection. They’re fun to use and variety keeps a home gym interesting.

Specialty barbells

24. It Can Be Hard To Workout At Home

Many of us workout alone at home which means having a good program, schedule, and goals is essential. It’s much easier to get distracted by your family and things that need to get done around the house when your gym is part of it. So figure out what works for your situation and stick to it which is much easier said than done. For myself I still find a good workout partner is the best way to stay on track so friends, kids, wives, and neighbors have all been regularly harassed to visit my space.

25. Family

The BIGGEST benefit of a home gym for me has been time with my family. The other day I was showing my oldest son how to squat using his Rogue 5lb bar. I’d never have that chance in a commercial gym and it was worth the world to me. He gets to swing on the rings (all kids love doing it) and play with other things and we get to share our passion. It’s honestly one of the best things in my life.

26. Your Spouse!

The most popular person on my channel is my Wynie. I wish that were a joke… But I married her for a reason (or a few hundred reasons). She’s my biggest motivator, my best friend, tthe best training partner I've ever had, my biggest supporter, and a huge reason this channel exists. I love training with my wife and it’s a great way for us to spend time together but for some training is their time and that’s fine too but the option is there & it may be an incredible opportunity

27. A Home Gym Doesn’t Always Save Money

I get it, it’s a nice thing for influencers to say because we all want to believe we’ll save money. But as many of us know, we spend a lot more on our home gyms. With equipment prices rising it's become harder to save money on your space. Maybe yours will but just don’t start one purely for that reason. And you know what, it’s ok, it's yours, get what you need but it’s ok to reward yourself and enjoy the space as well.

28. Convenience

Your gym might not save you money but you will save time… Ok maybe no. I spend more time in my home gym but it CAN save you time 😂No commute, lift whenever you want, do cardio in the morning and lift weights in the afternoon, lift with your family or friends, it's up to you! It’s good to be king (or queen).

29. Do What You Want

There’s no one to judge you here. Experiment, try out lifts, gadgets, and builds you’d never dreamed of in a commercial gym. It’s your space, enjoy it.

30. Nobody to Ogle You

Nobody ever talked to me in commercial gym (seriously) but holy hell did people bother Wynie. If I wasn’t there she got chatted up, given advice, and bothered every single workout. At home you’re free to wear what you want and do what you want whenever you want and it’s incredibly liberating.

31. DIY

I love fancy shiny new things but truth be told I built a lot of equipment over the years. The first piece of equipment we ever had was a pull up bar mounted to our deck. It was just some threaded pipe and flanges but more importantly it was our beginning. We built our entire space (excluding the framing) from insulating, wiring, and everything between. Those savings helped create the space we have now and one of the first things I made in that space was our lifting platform which I promised to make a video on 2 years ago... we're still waiting.

DIY Weight Lifting Platform

32. Add a Fridge

 It’s not a long walk to my house (it’s a few feet) but I like having a mini fridge in my gym. It’s convenient and keeps me from running inside when I forget my drink. Any distraction I can remove is a good thing and believe me there’s plenty of distractions at a home gym. Plus it seems to make it seems to give my space a more finished feeling.

33. Make Your Gym Work For You

One of my earliest followers was a blind man. I marveled at how he could do the things he could. He built his home gym because he couldn't make commuting and working out in public space work for him. I wish I could say that’s my only follower with a disability but the unfortunate reality he’s not alone but with a home gym they’ve been able to make their spaces work for them.

34. Don’t Get Caught Up In The Hype

Companies, reviewers, and people online love to tout the things that can be done with equipment but reality is often far removed from YouTube and Instagram videos and especially advertisements. Before you make a purchase, stop and think about what you’ll actually use it for. We’ve all made purchases that don’t pan out, so swallow the pride and move on (sell it!)

35. Use Your Space For Other Things

 I’ll be honest, sometimes I park my car in the gym to do the brakes or other things. I know that’s offensive but technically your space can be used for other things. Every party at the house people end up wanting the see the gym so it’s often a hangout or a workshop. Just don’t let the laundry take over, it’s a gym first and foremost!

36. Don’t Get Caught Up On Others

Make your gym for you and make it fit your lifting style, wants, and needs. The world is filled with internet experts who seek out validation by posting their setups, advice, and opinions without having a clue about you. You know you and your situation better than anyone so do what you think is best. If you want 12 barbells, who cares, it’s your money! Or stick to 1, whatever works for you and makes you happy.

37. Build Your Rack Your Way

I once bought a 6 post PR-5000 and then I had the idea to add onto it and it turned into an 11 post behemoth. I’m still working on it and probably won’t ever stop. Why? Well why not? I like tinkering, experimenting, and improving. Build whatever you want, as big or as small as you want, get creative, go crazy! Because the only one standing in your way is you (and maybe your wife).

38. Film Yourself

Since there’s nobody around to judge you you can film your lifts without worrying. This is my primary way to check my and my friends' form. I can re-watch things, pause, play in slo-mo and really pinpoint what I’m doing right and wrong. They're also a great way to keep track of and remember accomplishments. Here's Wynie's (old) bench PR of 135lbs.

39. Heating and Cooling

Grab a barbell when it’s 30 degrees and tell me how much you enjoyed your workout. I’ve lifted when it's over 100 degrees with 100% humidity. I’ve had snow in my gym. Water leaks, rats (yep), you name it, we've dealt with it. But now I like to say my gym is nicer than my house and… it’s kind of true. We have a split unit and perfect temps all year long and WOW does that make it easier to go in there. Check out our HVAC vid below!

40. You Control the Quality

You can’t control quality at a commercial gym. At one of the gyms I used to go to I had to tighten the pro series dumbbell handles before I used them because the plates were always loose. I really enjoyed my time there with the cracked vinyl benches, sweaty equipment, and disgusting and damaged bars. At home I can have as nice or basic stuff as I want and it’s always clean and in good shape.

41. Humidity

Before we had our HVAC installed I ran a dehumidifier in my gym. I had thousands of dollars in equipment but it didn't take long to start seeing rust on my dumbbells when I didn’t keep the moisture in check. Even basements (or sometimes especially) get humid so don’t neglect moisture control because it can cost you a lot more than a dehumidifier and some electricity.

42. Train Your Kids

We've never pushed our son into lifting. He’s been in our home gym since he was young and always saw it as a fun place to be. He’s safe and knows the rules but we always tried to set an example so if or when he showed an interest we’d be ready. Recently he’s asked about working out with us so we've started showing him an exercise or two every week. It’s beyond rewarding and hopefully we’re setting him up for a healthy future.

43. Shoes (or not)

My favorite lifting shoes are Nike Metcons (we own half a dozen pairs) but I’ve lifted in my slippers, bare feet, and whatever I happened to be wearing at the time. Obviously for squat and deadlift or other exercises where it matters we wear our lifting shoes but at home you don’t have to worry about weird looks or how dirty those globo gym floors may be

44. You’re In Control

I can’t tell you how many times I had to change my workouts at a commercial gym because I couldn’t get an open rack or bench. Waiting for plates and bars was bad but wiping up other people’s sweat was worse. At home you control the workout (you wanna be a powerlifter one day and a bodybuilder the next?), the pace, and the equipment. 

45. Brands Matter (and sometimes don't)

On many videos we get a comment that says something like, check out this cheaper version, they're the same. Sometimes those people are right. Bumper plates for example are often rebranded for different companies. But often times a brand's name means something. A companies service, warranty, and history can mean a lot if you have issues with your order. We get a ton of  requests from people asking us to review cheap, or cloned, and questionable items and while some are good, I could make a very long list of companies that disappeared as quickly as they came. 

46. It’s Safer At Home

Wynie and I used to work out at her college. It was a great place filled with bumpers with broken hubs, missing collars, and safeties that were literally stuck in place. So I really learned to fail squats like a professional because I had no other option. You’ll take better care of your equipment than people who don’t care about it and you know what needs to be replaced, tightened, or tweaked.

47. More Is Better

Reality is a commercial gym has more equipment and options. Lifting in a barebones space can be difficult because it’s hard to keep things interesting. But, once you’re certain a home gym is your thing you’ll have an awesome job upgrading and expanding your space. I built my gym in waves, first my essentials, eventually a functional trainer, I saved up and got a multi grip bar. My various additions gave me more freedom in my workouts and help me keep things interesting. You don’t need everything but it’s nice to have some options.

48. Patience & Timing: 

My gym build has taken years and I know it’ll never be complete but being patient will help you succeed. Whether that’s scouring the used market for great deals on equipment, waiting for sales, or just being patient with your budgeting. I put away a little money from every paycheck until I could afford my next purchase and I always had a plan of what I wanted next so that I wouldn’t end up with random impulse purchases that slowed me from my goal purchase.

49. Buy Once Cry Once… eh… 

I’m more of the research and evaluate and buy what fits your lifting, needs, and budget. Sure I’d love a fully stainless steel Ohio Power bar but maybe a Barenaked Powerlifting bar would be a better investment at first. Still a good bar, just not the best. So I go by, buy the best thing that makes sense. If you make good choices (and maybe that’s the middle ground) you’ll still be able to build something great and can play the upgrade game later but you probably won’t need to.

50. Pass It On

Not to contradict my last point but I’ll gladly spend a lot more on something if I know I can pass it on to my kids. So as I said, buy the best possible thing that makes sense for you and your situation but if you’re fully invested in your gym then I’d buy the best and never look back. I have a lot of equipment that my kids are either getting or going to have to sell because it’s of such a high quality that it’ll last way past my lifetime.

51. Buy An Adjustable Bench: 

Some people like to jokingly call me the bench king. It’s a nickname that’s as silly as my bench collection but it’s probably rightfully earned. With all of my benches I could easily pick the one I’d keep and not a whole lot would change in my workouts. So if you have to get one bench, make it a good adjustable that fits you and your situation.

Adjustable Benches

52. Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

I’ve made a lot of good and a lot of bad home gym purchases and that’s ok. You can sell things and try something new but don’t be afraid to make logical purchases if it’s something you think may add something to your training. I never had any interest in a sled. Then I got one and have found a ton of uses for it. Same with my GHD Reverse Hyper Combo, my back has never felt better and it’s one of my top 5 pieces of equipment in my space.

53. Weight Plate Storage Is Underrated

I have a 6 post rack (or two) which I love because I can put my plates on the back of it which keeps them off the floor and out of the way. But I also use a weight tree (that also stores bars) and weight posts bolted to my walls. All of these systems (and more) make your space easier to navigate and use which makes things more enjoyable.

54. Anyone Can Have a Home Gym

It doesn’t matter if you’re a powerlifter, strongman, bodybuilder, cycler, or dirty basement dweller (I’m kidding!) home gyms work can work for a ton of different people. I never intended my gym to get larger than a rack, plates, a bench, barbell, and some dumbbells (ok maybe I wanted a functional trainer). I actually always wanted to keep my commercial gym membership but as I realized how much I loved having a home gym I expanded it to work for all of my needs. So young or old, shy, extravert, or whatever, you can build a space that works for you.

53. Be Flexible

As an engineering and architecture teacher I tend to overthink and overplan things. It works to my benefit most of the time but things change, stuff doesn’t work, or you get new ideas. My first home gym had wooden floors (that were rotting), very low ceilings, and rats (yeah…) but I made it work. It wasn’t ideal and it wasn’t a forever space but I bought what I could use to test the waters and knew what I wanted when I got the chance. Take it one step at a time and roll with the punches and someday you’ll have your dream space.

56. Think In All Dimensions

Ideally you want a width of 10' around your rack to fit a barbell and to load plates. Then you add enough space to workout if front of your rack and you're in a good place. But what about height? I’ve seen a lot of spaces where someone has bought a piece of equipment and the ceiling is in the way. Large pieces of equipment often take up space in front or on the sides so measure it out and try to visualize how you’ll use things before buying. Here's a rendering I made when I was planning my original space.

57. Make Your Own Schedule

There’s no commute with a home gym so you can break your workouts up or do two a days. It’s up to you! I tend to like to really focus and do everything in one session but with filming B rolls I often actually workout twice in a day. If you want to do cardio in the morning and workout at night or have 3 hours session (ughhh) you can and with the time saved from not commuting and the freedom of everything always being there it’ll be much easier to pull off. Having your own gym really makes things easier.

58. Lifting Alone Is Tough (And Makes You Tough)

I’ll be honest I find it really hard to workout alone, at least on back and leg day. Those heavy compound lifts are grueling and take some serious mental effort to get through. When Wynie or my other friends are there I have no excuses but when they’re not… Lifting alone really takes some mental toughness and it’s another pro (and con) of a home gym, you’ll get stronger in many different ways.

59. You Only Need 1 Barbell

But… if you want a wall of them then go for it. You could be doing much worse things with your money! I have a collection for review purposes but before that I actually enjoyed having two barbells (then 3, then 4…). Every situation is different but we had our Olympic bar and our Power bar. They served different purposes but also allowed us to have one loaded for Wynie and one for me. 

60. Bumpers or Iron?

There’s a lot of debate on the internet (big surprise) over which is better, Olympic iron or bumper plates. In reality, it depends on your lifting style and needs. Bumpers are quieter and softer on your floors but often more expensive and thicker. With Iron you can fit more on the bar and since they use less space they create less whip and you can revel in the nostalgia of the iron clanking together. Personally, I don’t care what you lift with as long as you use your gym. Though I will say, this is an area you can save a lot by getting used.

61 A Home Gym Can Go Anywhere (almost)

If you don’t have a garage, your basement won’t work, and there’s no spare rooms (I’ve seen some pretty sick apartment gyms) then it may be time to look outside. Some of my followers have built incredible gyms in their sheds or even outdoors. Personally I’m not tough enough to manage out there but where there’s a will there’s a way!

62. There’s a Million Ways to Do Everything

I’ve always wanted a cool deadlift jack but I never got one because I 3D printed my own deadlift wedges and they’ve worked well for years (wanna see how far we’ve come, watch the video below). Don’t want to buy a wedge? Use a change plate to roll the plates onto and you’ll have clearance between the floor. Home gym owners are some of the most resourceful & clever people out there and this list is proof of it. There’s tons of solutions to a lot of things we face in our gyms.

63. Repurpose and Modify Things

I once spent hours trying to find a gun rack barbell holder that held 5 bars because it would've been perfect for amount of space I had. Turns out everyone just copies Rogue so they’re all 3 or 6. So I bought one from Titan, cut one section off, and drilled a new hole to mount it. It worked so well I bought a 3 bar holder and cut it into 3 singles (you can see them above my dumbbell rack). There’s a ton of great used equipment out there that can be tweaked, reupholstered, or painted to make them work for your purposes.

64. Paint Pens

If you don’t have a power rack with uprights that have height markings you can use a paint pen to create your own. Of course you can use stencils, stickers, and magnets as well. I’ve also used my paint pen to make the numbers on my plates stand out. It’s your gym, go crazy. If drawing on your rack is a bit too permanent you could always use magnets. Check out our old marking for Wynie’s squat height below.

65. Chalk It Up

Many commercial gyms don’t allow the use of chalk. I guess I can see their point, it does make a mess but at home you can use as much or as little chalk as you’d like. Your wife will love your hand prints on her as well, just ask Wynie! Just remember you do need to clean it off those barbells as chalk attracts moisture (from your hands and the environment) and leaving it on consistently will accelerate corrosion. I've found this chalk from to be a great value. I bought a pound of it over 3 years ago and still have more than half left!

66. If You Don’t Like It, You Won’t Use It

I have a friend who loves to workout and he build himself a home gym for the convenience of it. The issue is, as he tells me, it's boring working out at home. His setup was very minimal which is fine for some but not for others. After months of trying to make it work he decided it didn't and went back to a commercial gym. You have to build your space into something you like. Whether that's LEDs and posters, the right equipment to match your lifting style and to keep workouts interesting, getting that next missing piece,  or whatever, take the time to decide what you like about working out and work to recreate that at home.

67. Bands and Chains and  Pin Press Oh My!

I haven't been to every commercial gym in the world but I've been in enough to know it's rare to see things chains. Wynie hates them, I think they're fun and something different and sometimes that's all that matters. At home you can spend time setting up for pin presses, put bands on your landmine, or use your chains for anything you want! No weird looks (except maybe your wife) and no complaints about noise. So make your elaborate setups and try weird looking exercises and enjoy the things you probably never tried at a commercial gym.

More Coming...

We're still working on adding to this list. It's much longer than this but it takes awhile to create a webpage (because we suck at it) so thank you for your patience. Feel free to leave a comment below and we'll do our best to add your advice here!


  • LenApr 20, 2024

    I love your channel and thanks for this article of tips. I definitely need the wall control storage. How do you store bulky rack attachments? (Seal row pad, lat pulldown seat, dip attachment, leg extension attachment, etc.)

  • David Nov 30, 2023

    Allot of detail and good advice for someone making it count and doing their research before pulling the trigger. Used is the biggest key; but one recommendation-set up notification alerts for your Facebook marketplace searches. For example, rogue, fitness equipment, I’ll get an alert when something is posted in the last day or so. A lot of the steals or great deal will come from Individuals moving and clearing out their gyms in the Bay Area or LA area. Within 24 hours of posting these people typically will have the major parts sold for 50-55% off retail prices. these people aren’t selling because they want to but must. Facebook marketplace, notification alerts.

  • AustinSep 08, 2023

    This is some great information! Thanks for sharing!!

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