Bitterwallet Guide to Cheaper Gyms (Part 2): Create a Home Gym For Under £99 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.


  • -=Mike H.
    Yes Vince because, as you obviously do, we all live in large houses with lots of space for pools and a full range of gym equipment even including an incline press. *thumbsup*
  • Joff
    Might be one for (Part 3), but don't forget the Wii with Wii Fit (plus Quidco, etc etc).
  • JJ
    Just from a cost effective perspective, doing things like push ups, sit ups and star jumps (you heard me!) can be done with little space. Oh and throw in things like jogging and step ups, using household objects as weights, etc, and you have plenty of exercise right there. Oh, and it's FREE (assuming you own heavy household objects that aren't the size of Jupiter).
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Wii Fit gets another vote from me... I play football twice a week and think myself pretty fit.... a night on the Wii Fit the other day and my stomach muscles are still killing me two days later... Definitely recommended.
  • Kevan
    I get enough exercise raising my hand to my mouth to sup on my lovely home brew :) Oh, and rushing off to the loo to let some out ready for the next gallon or so... beer belly? Whadda ya mean, it's muscle just a bit loose that's all ;)
  • Bathroom G.
    Get a technogym installed in your bathroom if your lacking space. Would have to use it a lot for it to work out "cheap" though.
  • paul
    having the correct equipment helps to motivate, training with none is very hard on the mind !!!
  • kanok
    I find that exercise helps all body parts for those who can exert little The exercise highlighted the arms and legs.
  • Lauren Y.
    Hi, I found this website while searching for some bodybuilding supplements. I like your information and you seem to have a pretty good website.Looks like you have put in a great deal of effort in developing this site. I'll bookmark the site and revisit later.
  • Kermit V.
    Bumped this to Multiply :Florida-based social network Multiply, which reports nearly 3 million users and $6 million in funding,opened its social bookmarking site recently and has done well. Definite authority :)
  • Steve
    Sometimes buying cheap home gym equipment is not the way to go. Make sure you have equipment that you enjoy using and is not uncomfortable. Sometimes spending that little bit extra budget will make all the difference.

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