Taking into account, that you have a garage already

Garage gym equipment can be quite expensive, especially if you initially choose the wrong equipment. In this guide, we want to show you how to build a budget gym in your garage or yard.

Equipping your home gym is often viewed as extremely expensive. Nevertheless, if you sort it out and take responsibility to choose all the equipment, you can meet the strictest budget.

There is no doubt that some equipment can be expensive, and there are many different gadgets and things on the market that at first glance seem necessary. If you stick to the basics and functional fitness - you can save a lot of money and time.

If you want to build a budget home gym - this guide is perfect for you.

Table of contents

  1. What equipment is needed first?
  2. Rig or rack selection
  3. Bench selection
  4. Barbell
  5. Weight plates
  6. Jump rope
  7. Optional equipment


Before diving into various recommendations, let's first see what equipment you will need first.

In this guide, we will try to give an example of a gym for functional fitness, which is perfect for all family members - both adults and children. Some want to be stronger, others want to get rid of a few extra pounds, others just want to improve their overall health and fitness. To achieve all of these goals, we believe that free weights are the most effective.

Once you have the “essential equipment” to begin with, you will be able to complement your gym with new ones to diversify your workouts and try something new. At the moment there are a lot of companies on the fitness equipment market and the choice is really huge - so no matter how big your budget is, you can always master it. :)

Equipment that we consider as “essential” for a home gym:

  • Power or squat rack
  • Utility bench
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbell
  • Weight plates
  • Jump rope

All these items can be purchased from different manufacturers, but we suggest avoiding the cheapest options. Not only should the equipment has to be durable to ensure maximum safety, but it also has to serve for a long period of time.

At Element Fitness we believe in the idea of the creation of high-quality equipment that can withstand the heaviest loads and which you can pass on to your grandchildren. Therefore, one of the main points that we recommend to pay attention to when choosing equipment is the manufacturer’s warranty and the country of manufacture.


If you do not take into account the barbell and dumbbells, the power rack for squats - this is the equipment that you will use most often.

If we are talking about functional training and CrossFit, in fact, you will spend most of your training time working in the rig, or with attachments for the rig. Either way, it is important that the rig is sufficiently universal for all the various exercises that are embedded in your training plan, and allow you to safely perform them.

Training alone, in your own gym, is undoubtedly very enjoyable, but can also be potentially dangerous. When working with maximum and sub-maximum weights in the squat and bench press, we always strongly recommend using safety bars - even in the case when you feel pretty comfortable with the weight.

Rigs and racks, which we most often recommend:


It is one of the best solutions in terms of price/quality ratio. This frame is equipped with a safety pin that guarantees increased safety. A wide range of attachments is available for all frames, which in the future will help diversify the training process.


If you do not have a separate system for plate storage, then this frame will already be equipped with storage on the back of it. A horizontal bar for pull-ups is provided on the frame and a lot of additional equipment is available - bars for push-ups, dip bars, safety pins, horizontal bars, etc.


If your goal is to make everything within a tight budget and the frame is needed exclusively for bench press and squats - this solution will not only save you money but also space in the garage. Rack Squat Rack Pro - the most popular type of rack for garages and rooms. The rack is designed in such a way that it can withstand not only loads of more than 350kg, but also one of the most economical options from Element Fitness. Attention to detail, warranty service, powder coating in any color - and all this within budget.


Although there are many exercises that can be performed without a bench, there is no doubt that the bench press is one of the most popular exercises and is the basics of any training.

Although adjustable inclined benches are good because of their versatility, many prefer the usual flat bench. Flat benches allow the user to perform a barbell or dumbbell bench press, hyperextension, abdominal muscle workout, dumbbell swings, as well as various other exercises, up to the gluteal muscle training.


This bench, which received the most positive feedback from our customers. We still believe that this is one of the best options for most athletes. The bench pad is made of moisture-resistant medical polyurethane, and the design itself is made as strong and light as possible. Thanks to a fully welded frame, the bench is one of the most durable available on the market at the moment and will be a great addition to your room.


If you need the versatility of a bench, we would like to draw your attention to the Element Fitness adjustable bench.

Thanks to different angles from flat to full vertical position, the bench will provide reliable support for your back with an incline barbell or dumbbell bench press, army bench press, and biceps training. For the convenience of the user, the angles of inclination are cut on the bench, and the handles for reclining the back are on both sides of the bench and now you do not need to walk in circles around the bench.

For the pads, we use the same moisture-resistant medical polyurethane, as for the horizontal bench pads. If you are in search of an adjustable bench at a great price, this is what we recommend.


A barbell is perhaps the most important piece of equipment in any gym. You end up using it at almost every training session, and a good barbell can be passed down from generation to generation.

On the other hand, a bad bar can be an absolute nightmare already during the first training session. Overly sharp knurling, poor-quality bearings and a small margin of safety of the neck can not only lead to short service life, but also to possible injury. Perhaps, if we had to choose the priority number 1 in the list of spending - this is it.

Fortunately, due to the growing popularity of fitness and the demand for them, there are now a large number of manufacturers offering high-quality bars at unbelievable prices. In general, you want to find a standard Olympic 20 kilogram barbell, with pleasant knurling just for your arm. If you plan to use the bar in the Crossfit and regularly throw the barbell on the floor - pay special attention to the number of bearings in the neck of the bar. The bigger, the better. And do not forget about the locks.


When you already have a squat rack and a barbell in your garage, that’s cool, of course, but it’s hard to use any of them without any weight.

At the moment, an infinite number of options for plates is available: starting from rubber bumpers to fully iron plates, with calibration weights and an accuracy of 0.1 grams.

When it comes to plates, we often suggest first checking the secondary market before buying new ones. Very often, you can find a complete set of plates on the local ad board or Facebook for more than an attractive price, and they will serve exactly the same as the new ones. Plus, you will be relieved of the smell of new rubber.


We are admittedly big fans of functional training and CrossFit - jump rope is there for it! Jump rope is an extremely effective tool for improving overall physical condition, balance, and coordination.

There are many different options of skipping ropes - from the ordinary rope to electronic, with adjustable weights. We advise the use of conventional high-speed jump rope for double-unders, which is perfect for both fitness enthusiasts and CrossFit fans.


Despite the fact that the list of equipment for fitness and workouts is endless and in this list we even have not touched such things as gymnastics and OCR - this list is a good starting point if you decide to make a room in the garage.

With this brief guide, we would also like to protect you from buying a mass of things that seem attractive and necessary - you end up risking buying more than you use in training.

In this list - the basis of functional fitness. Building a home workout room is a process and should be respected and enjoyed, otherwise, you risk getting a full gym with “boooriiing” equipment collecting dust.

If you have any questions (we hope you do) - you can always contact us in the chat or by mail and our experts will tell you more about our experience in arranging the garage and backyard gyms.

Element Lab SIA, Eugene Kokor September 22, 2021
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