The Ultimate Home Gym to Fit Your Budget: Part I ($100 Budget)

These days I lift at home 1-2 times each week since I work from home half the time and ideally I prefer training in the mornings anyways. And just like it is great to train in a well equipped facility, the same can be said for the convenience of not having to get in the car and drive to the gym.


Life Get’s in the Way

How many training sessions have you missed because you couldn’t find time to get to the gym in the last 6-months? 10%? Maybe 25%? Maybe you gave up all together? That is the other huge benefit of the home gym. It eliminates your ability to make excuses.

In this series I am going outline how to create the Ultimate Home Gym to Fit Your Budget. This means I am going to give you a few options in terms of pricing. Also for the final installment of the series I will provide you with a 30-day program that you can do in the comfort of your home while becoming more athletic and stronger than ever.

Budget: $100

These days $100 doesn’t buy you much. Hell, my cell phone bill is over $100 and that is about the going rate for a good pair of training shoes (your Vibrams, Frees, Adipures, Trainers, etc). With that being said, let’s make sure we spend it wisely.

(All Prices are from the time I wrote this up. March 20, 2013)

1. Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar – Extreme Edition ($33 Shipped from Amazon)


The Iron Gym Extreme Edition fucking rocks. You can literally do chin-ups WHENEVER YOU WANT! Unlimited chin-ups!!! Man…I love me some chin ups (as well as the neutral grip variety and pull ups). First thing you need to do when picking up an Iron Gym pull up bar is to make sure that you get the Extreme Edition. It provides you the ability to do neutral grip chin-ups and extra spots to add things like bands for anti-rotation presses, band resisted presses, etc (you will see why in the program).

I have had my Iron Gym Extreme for over 3-years now and it has held up great with regular use. You will need to make sure that you have a doorway where the bar will fit, but most traditional homes will be fine.

Besides using the bar for pull ups, it has been my TRX anchor as it is much more convenient than using a closed doorway or drilling an anchor point into your ceiling/wall.

Three years ago I even put together a video review of it up thanks to camera work from my mom.


2. Perform Better SuperBands ($24.99-29.99 Shiped)


Their versatility provides great value. You can use bands to make exercises harder by incorporating some variable resistance work (push ups, band resisted rows, band squats, etc) or as an assistance tool with things like chin ups and single legged squats. They are also valuable activation and mobility tools with drills like like x-band walks, leg lowers, band lat stretches and so on.

From the picture above you can see there are a few choices in the size/resistance, but for our purposes there are really only two options I would recommend considering. The 1/2″ and the 1″ bands. I will preface that statement by saying that if you struggle with chin-ups. a thicker band may be needed for assistance work.

3. Furniture Movers/Valslides ($13)


I love Valslides and Val does an awesome job with the included DVD of exercises, but if you are budget conscious, furniture slides are very similar. The sliders allow you to add a ton of variety into your exercises selection with slide lunge variations, bodysaws, push up reaches, leg curls, and so on. These little things can freshen things up while at the same time adding some good challenge into your program.

4. Ab Wheel ($11.50)



The Ab Wheel is a really cheap way to add in some challenging core work. Sure, it is only good for rollouts, but it is cheap and allows you to correctly perform a great exercises.

5. Foam Roller/PVC Pipe ($21.50 free shipping)


I really wanted to just put PVC Pipe here and write out how everyone should just stop being such pansies, but not everyone is a masochist when it comes to soft tissue work. Either way, you need to get in your recovery work. Take care of your muscles and they will return the favor by performing for you when you call on them. If you decide to go down to the hardware store and buy a $6 PVC pipe, congratulations, you are as cool as the rest of us in the PVC Club and you saved $15 that you can now be spent on a ticket for the upcoming summer blockbuster Fast & Furious 6 and a medium popcorn.

Fast And Furious 6

(Look who’s back!)

6. Tennis Ball/Lacrosse Ball (Free)

Everyone has these lying around. Or just go steal one from those asshole kids that live next door. Their sports crap should be ending up in your yard anyways. These are great for rolling your glutes, calves, upper traps, plantar facia, and a few other spots depending on your tolerance for discomfort.


Not bad for $100, huh? You can get in some pretty bad ass lifting session at home now where no one will judge you for listening to Katy Perry’s hot jams. Seriously, how does this SHIT not pump your ass up for a set of chin ups!? I totally feel like that plastic bag sometimes 🙂 (And I totally wish sparks flew out of my chest when I benched…)



In a few days were are going to look at the $350, $500, and $1000 Budgets. Make sure to keep a look out on my Facebook Page and Follow Me on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss them.

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