How to Build Your Home Gym – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our How to Build Your Home Gym, where we cover the accessories you will need to consider and more.

For Part 1 go HERE <==


Gym Accessories

These can be bought at any time and most pieces range under $70. Decide what you feel you NEED (not just want) and what you’re doing to use, from there they can be a great addition to any home gym or workout plan. 

Be sure to watch the accessories video for a complete description and breakdown

Suggested Gym Accessories:

  • Ab Mat HERE <==
  • Kettlebell HERE <==
  • Med-Ball HERE <==
  • Flooring (see links below)


If you’re going to use a room with carpet, you’ll be ok for just about everything since the carpet has a grip, but you can invest in some gym matting.

If you are going to invest in gym matting FOR A CARPETED ROOM, then you have two options to consider:

  1. Heavy-duty horse stall mats HERE <== You can pick these up at tractor supply
  2. Go to a sporting goods store and pick up some gym locking mats. Not all of the gym locking (think of the mats that have ends that look like puzzle pieces so they can fit and lock together) mats are created equal. I’m not versed with all brands of gym matting, but many are VERY slick, and you can see how this can create some problems for you. So step on it to be sure.


If you do the interlocking mats from a local sporting goods store in a carpeted room, I can tell you from experience that you may want to lay down some plywood to create an even surface for the mat to lay on top. With carpet being textured and uneven, you will feel that in the mat. Now, if you decide to use horse stall mats due to the heavy-duty nature, you will be able to get away with not having plywood.

The final piece to consider, don’t feel that you have to mat-out your entire gym area. Generally, just the area that you’re going to be lifting weights or dropping dumbbells is plenty. 


You don’t need much, but I’m sure you want to get some of your equipment off the ground if you like things organized.

DB Racks HERE <===

If you’re going with adjustable dumbbells, then pick up the stand from the company you used. They are custom-molded for your dumbbells.

If you’re going with multiple dumbbells, then this is the rack we recommend HERE. It’s from Rep Fitness, and it’s will hold plenty of weight (if you want to keep adding more DBs in the future), and there is plenty of room to get the dumbbells in and out. 

Many DB racks are small and compact, thus taking up a smaller footprint, BUT trying to rack or unrack a DB form the middle or bottom rack can be a tight fit, which can lead to pinched fingers. We’ve found that Rep Fitness racks have plenty of space for racking and unracking your dumbbells while keeping the footprint small. 


Plates Storage:
I’m going to recommend a simple plate tree HERE. This one also has a barbell storage built-in while we will address our following storage point.

The only point I’m going to bring up when it comes to storing your plates is thought of the vertical real estate of your home gym vs. taking up more floor space. I like plate trees the best because it’s a small footprint AND it will hold hundreds of pounds in weight. 

If you have over 300lbs in weight, be sure to check the weight capacity of the storage (some won’t hold all your plates) and check the width of the base. The wider, the better, 24” is the minimum I would recommend. 


Barbell Storage
If you have more than three barbells (hey, it could happen), then you have the option of a wall-mounted barbell rack HERE or a vertically mounted barbell stand HERE

BUT… if you’re like most gym-goers and will only have one, maybe two, then use the plate tree mentioned above or get a plate tree that has a barbell stand built-in. 


Cardio Equipment

What’s the best piece of cardio equipment to get? The one that you’re going to use the most 😛

There will come a time when you MAY need to get a cardio piece; this may be because of the weather not always allowing you to do some workouts outside, or many other reasons. 

While this is the last piece of equipment that I have on the list in order of importance, there are some exceptions for people.

If you’re ready to get a piece of cardio equipment, I have a short-list below, but I would urge you to watch the video below, where I cover in detail about the pros and cons of each.


  • Pros – virtually any price range, easy to find.
  • Cons – larger footprint and noise of the motor or the sound of your feet hitting the deck when you workout.
  • Price Range – From free to $5,000+
  • What to consider – Get one that can at least go to a 10-degree incline and reach a speed of 12 mph (you may not reach that speed NOW, but in the future, it’s possible). 

AirBike HERE <===

  • Pros – Small footprint, delivers a great total body workout. 
  • Cons – Not the best for beginners or those new to fitness, made for more intense HIIT workouts; it’s not a spin bike. 
  • Price range – New is around $600+, you can find used between $300 and $500
  • What to consider – This is great for short, intense workout sessions, which may not be best for those wanting longer workouts. Just understand that if you’re new to the gym world, it will take a few weeks to get used to this and the style of training that it promotes. 

Rower HERE <===

  • Pros – Great total body workout, very low impact, versatile for short workouts and longer workouts
  • Cons – Hard to find used, they sell quickly, larger footprint
  • Price Range – $900 new, about $700-800 used (rowers hold their value very well). There are many different varieties now, but I’m partial to Concept. 
  • What to consider – I think this is the best all-around cardio piece out there; low impact, total body work with a wide range of workout options. The prices that I recommend above are for the Concept 2 brand. I have tested others that are cheaper, and I can feel the difference in smoothness and function, so it’s the only brand I recommend.


  • Pros – low impact, virtually everywhere when you’re ready to buy
  • Cons – large footprint, limited workout variability 
  • Price Range – New $1200+ Used can start at $300 from the FB marketplace and craigslist. 
  • What to consider – You either love elliptical, or you never use it. Only get one if you do like elliptical, or your dr has it recommend to you for joint-specific reasons. These machines are best for longer workouts, not HIIT style training. The brands that I typically recommend are NordicTrack, Lifefitness, Precor

Spin Bike

  • Pros – low impact, virtually everywhere, easy to learn, small footprint
  • Cons – takes time getting used to the saddle/seat. Not for everyone. 
  • Price range – New can range from $200 – $2000 depending on the brand and features. You can find many used ones for free or just a few hundred bucks.
  • What to consider – Take a few spin classes FIRST before buying or investing in one, either you’ll love the spin bike, or you tolerate it, but if you do buy one check to see if you need spin shoes that clip into the bike. 


My Home Gym

The video below is my home gym set-up that may give you a few different ideas for your own. 🙂

Since I have a fully equipped studio, I just have the basics, nothing fancy. 


Have fun building your home gym, but be practical in what you’re realistically going to use. While the thought of buying some cool stuff is awesome, be sure you’re going to use it. 

In the end, the best piece of home gym equipment is the one you’re going to use the most. 



In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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