How to build a home gym in any size space

March 20, 2020 Kellen Merrill

Whether you live in a house with a backyard, a studio apartment, or something in between, you can outfit your space with a gym that’s ready for a well-rounded EXOS workout. This guide will show you how to set yourself up for success.

When it comes to assembling the pieces to your home gym, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options out there. But take it from us, you only need enough space for total-body movements and a few, select pieces of equipment.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of our gym design principles, shared by Phil Cole, EXOS’ senior director of design and development, to better understand what we’re going for. Ideally, your home gym should be:

  • Personalized. Providing only what will help you progress toward your goals — nothing extra for extra’s sake (e.g., an Olympic squat rack isn’t for everyone).
  • Comprehensive / complete. Allowing for a full workout, from warmup and weight training to cardio and recovery.
  • Simple and versatile. Including only quality, reliable equipment that you’ll actually use in your workouts, allowing you to get as much out of each piece of equipment as possible.
  • Comfortable. Designed with your preferences top of mind so you actually want to use the space.

Now let’s apply these gym design principles in the home, adjusting for space size. The following equipment packages, recommended by Omi Iwasaki, EXOS’ senior vice president of performance, grow with each size up and include a splurge item or two.

No space: Temporary area in a room / stowable equipment

Essentials

Splurge

  • Mat like these from TRX or SKLZ
  • Suspension trainer like this one from TRX

Related: Try this 15-minute routine with a foam roll

Small space: Area of a room

Essentials

  • Foam roller
  • Massage ball
  • Mini bands
  • Resistance bands
  • Mat
  • Suspension trainer

Splurge

Not sure where to start? Check out this simple resistance band workout for ideas.

Medium space: Spare room / patio

Essentials

  • Foam roller
  • Massage ball
  • Mini bands
  • Resistance bands
  • Mat
  • Suspension trainer
  • Selectorized dumbbells
  • Kettlebells (male beginner: 12-16 kilograms, female beginner: 4-8 kilograms)

Splurge

Large space: Garage / backyard

Essentials

  • Foam roller
  • Massage ball
  • Mini bands
  • Resistance bands
  • Mat
  • Suspension trainer
  • Selectorized dumbbells
  • Kettlebells (male beginner: 12-16 kilograms, female beginner: 4-8 kilograms)
  • 5-pound club
  • 10-pound mace
  • Air-resistance bike
  • Pullup bar

Splurge

Interested in any of the products above? Here are some discounts from our partners.

  • Perform Better: Save 15% with code PB15, plus get free shipping.
  • Keiser: Save 10% on strength equipment and 20% on cardio equipment with code KEISER2020. Doesn’t include shipping.
  • Hyperice: Get preferred pricing by reaching out to Evanne Banales at evanne.banales@teamexos.com.
  • Woodway: Receive elite athlete pricing by emailing info@woodway.com and mentioning code EXOS20.
  • Onnit: Save 10% with code EXOS10.
  • TRX: Save 20% with code TRX-EXOS.
  • Precor: Save 20% on any fitness equipment and/or accessories with code EXOS20. Please note that the discount doesn’t apply to shipping, installation, and tax.
  • Technogym. Get preferred pricing by reaching out to Todd Monrad at tmonrad@technogym.com.
  • PowerBlock: Save 10% with code EXOS2020. Good through April 19.

About the Author

Kellen Merrill

Kellen is an Arizona-based writer and associate editor at EXOS.

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