Stop paying monthly bills, bite the bullet and build a gym at your home. It makes financial sense and is a much more efficient way to train.
If you a) enjoy the social element of a health club, b) care to use cardiovascular machinery or c) don’t have free space for a simple rack and bench, feel free to stop reading. This post is not for you. If you desire more free time with your family or loved ones, hate shelling out ducats monthly for the right to get under someone else’s bar or simply want to spend less time in the car, read on.
As you know, my core workout is the 5 x 5 and requires four main lifts. Three times a week, I incorporate a combination of squats, dead lifts, bench presses, push presses and bent over rows. I can perform those movements in roughly 10 square feet, maybe less:
Yet every morning at 5:45am, I find myself yawning in the car with one or both of my young men, driving to a local gym. Granted, it’s my favorite weight pile of all time with the finest folks in Malibu, but seriously, I would much prefer to walk to my own personal rack, barefoot in a pair of shorts, blasting “Bring the Pain” than hop into my car.
Before I tell you that I’m constructing a gym, allow me to lay out the value proposition.
As of now, for my two boys and me, my membership dues are $144 a month, all in. Granted, I’m in Malibu, and I’m fully aware that what I’m paying may not be the norm. To be unbiased, I did some research, and the average health club membership is $58/mo. Even if I factor in a potential student discount, family memberships, etc., my number (for three) isn’t far off. To be fair, let’s call the all in family number $150/mo. and account for an additional family member. That’s $1,800/yr. before any hidden fees.
Stay with me.
The way I break my family’s needs down, we will require a rack, a bench, bumper plates and two Olympic bars to appropriately perform our training. The rack will run me $323.99, the bench $99.99, the bumper plate set $450, and two Olympic bars at $93.79 each. Add in roughly $200 for shipping, and we’ve come away with $1,261.56 in equipment expenses.
Finding space? Not so easy. Assuming you don’t have a room large enough and assuming the garage won’t allow for it, you’ll need to move outside and buy a durable tarp to protect your equipment at $34.72, upping your total to $1,296.28.
You’re screaming that you live in Boston and I’m a problem solver. You cold weather cats will need one of these at $185.00, bringing your bill to $1,481.28.
Fine, that might not be a palatable option for most (pssftt, you just haaave to be comfortable when you train?), so building a space may be absolutely necessary. Under these unique circumstances, you’ll need to consider an option like this at $2,399 and a portable heater at $91.95. You’ll need a long extension cord to get that warmth plugged in and humming. This bad boy should do and will run you $17.06.
Damn, at $3,897.34 we are way over, right? Not really.
You’ll be paying (increasing) membership fees for years to come. In 2020, you’ll have dropped no less than $9,000 on membership fees. That’s before the gas that you spend getting to and from the gym. I’ll spare you my new tire pitch.
Remember, the best gyms are outside. You truly need limited weight training equipment. You don’t need a fancy track to run sprints or a specialized pull-up bar. To be more optimized for fitness success, a pair of balls may help, but they aren’t necessary. Resourcefulness is the goal. You’ve got this.
Pull the trigger,