How to Start a Home Gym Under $500

What’s happening, Fringe Fam? Jason is here with us in our latest blog and video to dive into the top 5 items to start your fitness journey on a budget. If you’re on a budget, don’t worry - you can still create a killer garage gym where you can get huge gainz and have epic workouts. You don’t always need fancy-schmancy equipment or high end gear. All you need is a few things to change it up every now and then, challenge you, and get your sweat on.

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Strength Bands

strength bands


The first thing we see a lot of people go for are bands. Strength bands can give you a loooottt of versatility in the things you can do. If you’re into bodyweight training, bands can be added in to add more resistance and make things more difficult.

Bands can be added to doorways, hooked to pull-up bars, stood on to do curls, presses, squats, overhead squats, and so much more. Anything you can do with a barbell you can likely do with a strength band substitute. 

Bands are super inexpensive, don’t take up much space, and are extremely versatile. Strength bands will easily fit into your suitcase, backpack, trunk of your car, or gym back. They’re not huge, so you can travel with them and make sure you’re on top of your workouts. Strength bands provide a ton of value at their price point.

Sandbag Trainer

sandbag trainer


Sandbag trainers are awesome because you can travel with them super easily. Plus, you load them up with sand, and you get to choose the weight that you put into it. You can use a sandbag trainer for many, many things like carries, cleans, presses, and load them on your back to do things like push-ups and squats. 

There’s so much variation available with a sandbag that’s easily transportable, whether you’re walking with it, putting it in your car, or taking it to the beach. It’s easy to have fun (and do some hard work) in your training with a sandbag. A sandbag trainer is going to provide you with tons and tons of workout variations with just one implement.

Pull-Up Bar

pull-up bar for home gym


If you’re into bodyweight training, a pull-up bar is going to be a great option for you. Adding a pull-up bar is a great way to practice calisthenics. If you have a wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted pull-up bar, you’re going to open up an entirely new world of things you can do and add to your workouts.

Think all kinds of pull-up variations, and core work like hanging knee raises, hanging leg raises, windshield wipers, etc. Add these things into your arsenal of bodyweight movements you’re already doing and it’ll take your workout game to the next level.

Weighted Vest or Rucksack

weight vest


If you want to level up even more, the next pieces of equipment to consider would be a weighted vest or even a rucksack.

A weight vest is going to make your bodyweight movements a lot harder, and you can add progressive overload to your workout regime adding one into your everyday workouts where you’d normally work unweighted. You can also continue to progressively overload by adding more weight to your vest or more plates to your rucksack.

Throw on a weighted vest or rucksack and try some of your favorite typically bodyweight movements and you’ll unlock an entirely different level of workouts to reach. All of that added weight is going to help you gain muscle and strength as well as muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Plus, weighted vests and rucksacks are super easy to pack up, throw in your car, and take with you so your workouts and progressive overload efforts never have to skip a beat.

A Slam Ball

slam ball


Why did we choose a slam ball over a traditional medicine ball? Well, because you can do virtually everything you can do with a med ball with a slam ball, but with a slam ball, you can slam it. You can toss it against a wall, you can slam it to the ground, you can throw it up and down, and it won’t break or burst on you.

Slam balls also tend to be durable and more compact in their sizes compared to medicine balls of the same weight, which makes a slam ball a little bit easier to pack up and take on the road with you.

Whether you want to do wall balls, slams, rotational slams, Russian twists or sit-ups, even heavy carries, those are all things that can be done with a slam ball.

To Sum It Up

Together, all of these items are going to run you less than $500. You can get a complete, great, burner of a workout with all of these implements for under $500. Compared to outfitting an entire home gym with a barbell, a rack, a bench, plates, dumbbells, and likely more where you can rack up a $1,000+ total, you can put together this entire set of items for less than $500 and you’re always going to have killer workouts at home, or anywhere you go, because these smaller items are not limited to your home gym space like a lot of others would be.

We’re curious, Fringe Fam. Let us know in the comments below the items you use at home, on the road, and how you make sure you stay on top of your game and get your workouts in. Do you have any items in your arsenal that you travel with? Let us know! If there are any other items you think we could add to this list for an even better set-up under $500, let us know what you think below.

As always, lift heavy, lift happy :)

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