Bitterwallet Guide to Cheaper Gyms (Part 2): Create a Home Gym For Under £99
In part 1 of our cheaper gym guide, we discussed ways to obtain a cheaper gym membership. In part 2, we will see if it's realistically possible to build one for under £99, and the benefits of doing so.
Why Home Gym?
The main reason is freedom. You get to workout when and how you want. Grunt and yell, naked and shirtless, and dance in between workouts to your favourite music like no one's watching (except for a very turned on significant other).
Having a home gym for most people also saves time and money. Forget queuing for the showers, or over-resting at the bench press/squat rack, as most people hit the gym usually around the same time after a 9-5. In addition, you save money in the long run over costs for driving/public transportation.
There are downsides: the initial one-off investment will be higher than a monthly membership, and you will also require time, space, and motivation. For those constantly relocating like myself, it may also be more hassle if you have to sell it off again. If you think building your own home gym sounds like a plan, the following are a few ideas on how to get started and get equipment you need on the cheap:
1. Go Local
Before you head to eBay, look at local classifieds. These include sites like Gumtree, Preloved, Ad Trader, and the Friday-Ad. On one of these sites alone today, we discovered a Pro Power 3 Station Multi Gym (RRP £279 from Argos) for £90 with free delivery. You may also want to look at newspapers sections like The Sun's Local Classifieds, and popping your head around your second hand shops. You may be surprised by what you find.
2. Go Free
Speaking of free stuff, make sure to drop in and search through The Freecycle Network. The neighbours moving out in a rush may rather have you pick it up for free, instead of having to move the bulky equipment into storage. I found a Gold Gym's exercise bike for FREE (but to collect) locally that way.
3. Gym Deathwatch
Another benefit of the economic recession is that your local gym(s) may be getting rid of surplus stock. An upset regional manager made redundant may even be able to help you with that. But beware of the standard suggested life span for public electrical gym equipment, which is around 5 years, due to the extended usage. Last thing you want is to be pedalling on the stair masters, and the pedal falls off.
4. Call Around
Model homes and apartments are sometimes fitted with gym equipment. With property sales moving slow, a skilled negotiator may be able to purchase equipment in exchange for a quick buck. There is obviously no guarantee with this method, but it won't hurt to call around and ask. Health clinics, insurance companies and even smoking cessation programmes also often have deals with companies to offer discounts. You may have to ask to find out. Also try eBay, but beware of shipping costs.
5. Start Your Own Gym 'Business'
If you know friends/family members that are also looking to work out, why not start your own 'co-op' home gym and split the money? A friend of mine has built a gigantic cross-fit home gym, with the latest equipment, chin-up bars, kettle balls and more in his backyard. The initial investment? Around £750 The return? He makes a nice annual income through personal training, and gets to work out with friends.
6. Go Retail
Last but not least, go retail. Try Gym Ratz, World Of Health and Leisure, or Shop Life Fitness for UK based companies that offer decent discounts. Items worth noting include curl benches for as low £29, a Body Gym for £50, and a Stepper Machine for £89. You can even bid on a treadmill for as low as £13. Delivery is usually free for purchases of around £100 and up (depending on location).
If you have any tips and tricks to get a home gym on the cheap, or have a success story to share, please write them in the comments below.