As far back as 340 BC, exercise was known to be important when Plato said, “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), regular physical activity can help:
- Control your weight
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes
- Reduce risk of some cancers
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Improve mental health and mood
- Increase your chances of living longer
Why would you not want to exercise if these were just some of the benefits?
When I talked to some of the readers at Stuff Parents Like the top reasons parents don’t exercise include:
- Not enough time
- No idea what to do/where to start?
- Don’t want to go to the gym because it’s too far away or don’t want to be embarrassed
- Too expensive to purchase equipment
The good news is I am going to squash all of those excuses by explaining how you can build a badass home gym for $250.
When you have a gym in your home, then you can eliminate almost all of your excuses and get in shape. You wake up, work out, and get in shape!
Home Gym DIY: How to Build A Badass Home Gym for $250
1) Treadmill – $100-$150
Personally, I believe a treadmill is a staple of any home gym.
The purpose of the treadmill isn’t to start training for a marathon. It is to ensure you get between 10,000 and 15,000 steps per day. Our society is too stationary.
Many of us sit at our desks for five to six hours a day and add to that when we come home to watch television. I highly recommend reading this article; Sitting is Killing us. But it Doesn’t Have to, by www.42Yogis.com.
Walking is one of the best exercises. It is low-impact, helps get the blood flowing, and promotes health. Additionally, you can build a treadmill desk relatively cheap to walk and get your work done. Check out this article by Halle from WholeLifeStyleNutrition.com about making one for $20.
If you want to kick up your exercise routine, then you may also want to run a little too. This information from Meredith at TheCookieChrunicles.com details some of the benefits of treadmill running.
So where do you get a treadmill to fit into this budget?
Luckily, there are numerous people selling treadmills for various reasons on Craig’s List. Finding a treadmill may take some time, but it is worth it.
My recommendation is to try to find a treadmill selling for between $200-$250 and negotiate down.
Here are a few things to ensure before you buy:
- Low mileage (under 500 miles)
- Tight running platform (make sure the part you run on is free from defects or bubbles)
- Test it out before you purchase
- Ask if there were any problems
After you get your treadmill, then check some of these great treadmill workouts for beginners:
2) Kettlebell(s) – $30
The kettlebell is one of the most diverse pieces of exercise equipment you can own. It doesn’t take up much space, you don’t need a million different weights, and it can get you into great shape.
The secret wasn’t marathon aerobics sessions, nor was it severe caloric restriction. It was the Russian kettlebell swing, twice a week for an average of 15–20 minutes. Her peak session length was 35 minutes.”
Here are a few of my favorite kettlebell exercises:
- Kettlebell swings
- Goblet squat
- Single-arm kettlebell swing
- Kettlebell lunges
- Single-arm rows
- Kettlebell twist
- Kettlebell deadlift
- Kettlebell snatch
So where do you buy one and what weight do you need?
Again, I defer to Craig’s List. After a quick search, I found a 40lb kettlebell for $30 (remember that is the starting price) and a three bell set (5, 10, and 15lb) for $20.
If you are a male, look to find a kettlebell that is between 30 and 35lbs. Start on the lower side because you can always sell it back on Craig’s List and then buy another one!
If you are a female, then I would start out with a kettlebell between 15-25lbs. Again, start with a lower weight.
To get started with kettlebell workouts visit some of these great sites:
3) Baseball Pull Ups – $15
One of my favorite things in my home gym are my hanging baseballs. These baseballs are an easy piece of equipment to make and helps you get a great workout.
Here is a picture of me on my ones at home:
If you want to know exactly how I made them, then check out my video on YouTube here and fast forward to 2:50.
Here is what you need to make your own:
- Two baseballs – $6.00
- Two Screw Eyes 5/16X4.25.”Two Spring Link (to hold your appropriate weight)
- Two Eyebolt 3/8X6.”
- Two Nuts to fit the 3/8 eyebolt
- Drill Bit 5/16″
First, drill a hole through the center of the baseballs with the 5/16” bit. Next, use 3/8” eye bolt and screw it in the baseball until it protrudes. Then tighten the nut on the bottom of the eyebolt.
You then will screw the screw eyes (about shoulder width apart) into the beams of your ceiling. Make sure you turn those through the center of the beams because it will have to hold your weight.
After you have completed these steps, attach the baseballs to screw eyes with the spring link.
Now you can do pull ups, chin ups, dead hangs, and knee ups from those hanging baseballs.
4) Exercise Bench – $40
Personally, I love having an exercise bench. This bench is a piece of equipment I neglected for years, but now I don’t know how I lived without one for so long.
Again, I would check on Craig’s List. You can find several for well under $50. Try to find one that will go flat, decline, and incline.
Here are some of the exercises I use my bench for:
- Bench jumps
- Bench press
- Shoulder presses (with kettle bell)
- Skull crushers (with kettle bell)
- Numerous ab workouts
- Box Jumps
- Push ups
To get most out of your exercise bench, then check out Slim in the Gym:8 Ways to Use a Weight Bench from Self.com
5) Mini-Trampoline – $15
Another favorite piece of exercise equipment I use is a mini-trampoline.
The benefits of a mini-trampoline include:
- Improves lymphatic system
- Back problems
- Reduces injuries
I added a mini-trampoline to my gym after finding one at Walmart, brand-new, for $15. If you can’t find one inexpensive there, then check out Craig’s List.
To get started exercising with a mini-trampoline, visit some of these awesome articles:
Getting in shape isn’t easy. Luckily, you don’t need a climbing wall, stationary bike, or a yoga studio in your house.
You can get in great shape by implementing the five pieces of equipment we discussed in this article. The number of workouts is endless.
Hopefully, creating a similar home gym in your home will help you eliminate excuses, take action, and focus on your health.
If you feel this article may help someone else, please share!