Inside $20K Home Gym: How This Software Engineer Built His Dream

  • The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Home Gym
  • Maximizing Your Space: Expert Tips on How to Design a Home Gym that Fits Any Room Size
  • Save Money on Home Gym Equipment: Nathan Reveals His Secrets to Finding High-Quality Gear at a Fraction of the Cost
Home Gym Ideas $20,000
Home Gym Ideas $20,000

Nathan and his wife purchased their house in 2014. The property included a 600 sq ft detached mother-in-law unit that the previous owner had converted into a home gym.

Nathan struck a deal with his wife that she could have the house as long as he could use the space to create his dream home gym. Although the previous owner offered to sell his old gym equipment with the property, Nathan wanted to start from scratch and only kept the existing flooring.

When they moved to their new, more rural location, Nathan knew finding a gym would be a challenge.

He had been working out in commercial gyms for years and wanted to continue making progress with his fitness goals. So, he spent the next three months researching and planning, waiting for the Rogue Black Friday sale to score the best deals.

He knew the specific equipment he needed based on his favorite exercises and lifting style, so he invested in the RML-690 rack, weights and bumpers, a bike, a GHD, a couple of barbells, and a 5-100 dumbbell set with a storage rack.

rogue home gym monster lite RML-690 Rack
rogue home gym monster lite RML-690 Rack

Home Gym Evolution

Over the course of the next few years, Nathan continued to add more pieces to his gym. He scored a Body Masters circuit trainer from Craigslist for a few hundred dollars, which was previously used by a local high school that was upgrading their workout room. He also found a treadmill on Craigslist for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Nathan purchased the kettlebells, heavy dumbbells, and universal rack a couple of years later during another Black Friday sale. He tried to minimize shipping costs as much as possible because it could be quite expensive when it came to exercise equipment. He made most of his purchases from Rogue at the end of November.

After he suffered a major shoulder injury from playing soccer, Nathan had to undergo surgery and recover. His own home gym proved to be a great help during the recovery process, allowing him to do the necessary conditioning and lighter weight exercises at home.

Recently, he added a heavy bag to his home gym, which has been a fun and intense addition. He highly recommends it to anyone looking to add a challenging workout to their routine.

Home Gym Ideas Berbells
Home Gym Ideas Berbells

Challenges Building a Home Gym

The biggest challenge is always going to be space.

Nathan understands that there will always be another piece of equipment he wishes he could add to his gym. However, he realizes that he has limited space and has to make the most of it. Despite this, he is content with the gym he has created and feels that he is not sacrificing anything by not having a membership at a commercial gym.

For Nathan, having his own gym is not just about the convenience of working out at home. It’s about being able to personalize the space to fit his needs and preferences. He can choose the music, set the temperature, and adjust the lighting to create an atmosphere that is perfect for his workouts.

Home Gym Ideas $20K
Home Gym Ideas $20K

Best Part of Having a Home Gym

For those who have a home gym, the best part of it might not be the equipment, but the little details that make it their own.

Nathan shares that his favorite part of the gym is the way it reflects his personality.

Gym posters on the walls, chalk writing on the floor, and rack marks where they set up their lifts are just a few of the personal touches that make this space unique.

He even built some of the equipment himself, making it all the more special. For Nathan, his home gym is a reflection of his identity, and that’s what makes it so special.

home gym barbells
home gym barbells

Home Gym Owner Advice

Nathan is no stranger to making mistakes when it comes to building his own home gym. One of the biggest and most costly mistakes he made was purchasing a set of dumbbells that he could have gotten for a fraction of the cost if he had bought them used. Nathan has since learned that there are many opportunities to save money on equipment without sacrificing quality.

Another mistake Nathan made was buying equipment he didn’t end up using and later had to sell. He learned the hard way that it’s essential to know what you need before you make a purchase. Nathan encourages others to do their research and take advantage of the secondary market. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and local auctions are excellent sources for high-quality equipment at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new.

Nathan also recommends measuring the space and using a gym designer like the one available on Rogue’s website: Zeus Home Gym Designer. This tool allows you to see how different configurations will fit into your space without having to move around heavy equipment. It’s especially useful when trying to add new pieces to an already crowded gym.

In Nathan’s experience, patience is key when building a home gym. Waiting for sales or shipping deals can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Nathan encourages everyone to take their time, do their research, and make informed decisions when it comes to building their own gym.

In the end, it’s all worth it when you can walk into your own personalized home gym and start your workout without any distractions.

home gym rack rogue monster lite
home gym rack rogue monster lite

Home Gym Future Plans

Nathan’s home gym has undergone several changes to become a true reflection of his workout preferences. However, there’s one equipment that he just can’t seem to get along with- the bike. He describes it as a torture device and gives it a wide berth.

Currently, Nathan is rearranging things and decluttering to create space for a leg extension/curl combination machine. He has his eyes on several brands but is waiting for the right deal before making a purchase.

In addition to adding new equipment, Nathan would also like to give his gym a fresh coat of paint and a new look. He’s inspired by the bold and vibrant colors he’s seen in other home gyms on social media and can’t wait to give his own space a makeover.

Keep Calm and Lift Something

home gym ideas cardio bike
home gym ideas cardio bike
home gym rack modifications
home gym rack modifications

$20K Home Gym Equipment List

Top Home Gym Equipment

Detailed Home Gym Equipment and Cost

Strength Home Gym Equipment

RML-690 RackRogue$1,685.00
Lat pulldownBodymasters (Craigslist)$750.00
Abram GHD 2.0Rogue$655.00
Ajustable benchRogue$625.00
Flat Utility Bench 2.0Rogue$155.00
DG-1 Upright benchValor$125.00
Seated rowBodymasters (Craigslist)
Cable crossoverBodymasters (Craigslist)
Seated calf raiseBodymasters (Craigslist)
Strength total$3,995.00


Dumbbells 5-110Rogue$3,108.00
OMEZS Iron platesIvanko$1,400.00
Training bumpersRogue$1,239.00
Kettlebells 13-80Rogue$1,030.00
Olympic iron platesRogue$87.00
Weight plates total$6,864.00


Matt Chan BarRogue$295.00
MG-3 Multi-grip barRogue$275.00
Ohio BarRogue$270.00
Rogue BarRogue$255.00
Junior BarRogue$175.00
Curl BarRogue$170.00
Barbells total$1,440.00

Conditioning Home Gym Equipment

SB900 BikeSole$700.00
slam balls 20-50 lbRogue, GiantLifting, TitanFitness$337.00
F63 TreadmillSole (Craigslist)$300.00
Safety Toners ProPerformBetter$225.00
medicine balls 4-15 lbTroy$200.00
80 lb heavy bag & anchorOutslayer$200.00
Plyo boxesHome made$100.00
Aerobic stepRDX$65.00
Exercise ball$25.00
Conditioning total$2,331.00

Misc Home Gym Accessories

Dumbell spotter armsCrandall Fitness$225.00
Echo gym timerRogue$205.00
Strap safetiesRogue$180.00
Shrimp trawlerRogue$155.00
Pulldown attachmentsVarious$150.00
Multigrip crossmemberRogue$145.00
Wraps, belts, glovesVarious$100.00
HG Barbell CollarsRogue$89.00
Matador dip stationRogue$86.75
Hanging ab strapsSpud$75.00
Gymnastics ringsRogue$72.00
Kid’s pull-up barRogue$70.00
Grip triangleRogue$60.00
Dip beltRogue$49.00
Ab strapSpud$34.00
Misc Accessories total$1,790.75

Home Gym Storage Equipment

3-tier dumbbell rackTroy$700.00
3-Tier storage systemRogue$595.00
2-barbell hangerDarko$100.00
9″ weight pins (8)Miuono$100.00
Hanging storageGladiator$100.00
6-barbell gun rackTitanFitness$90.00
Horiztontal plate storageSamson (Craigslist)$50.00
Swiss bracket pairRogue$50.00
2-tier shelvesHome made$25.00
Home Gym Storage total$1,810.00

Total home gym equipment cost: $19,924.39

About The Owner

Nathan is a 50-year-old software engineer living in the Pacific Northwest. He started lifting when he was 40 at commercial gyms like LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

He began the process of building his own home gym a couple of years afterwards. He initially relied on personal trainers to learn about workouts and equipment but has since gravitated to online resources for each.

Building out the home gym over the last 8 years has been a labour of love. He enjoys incorporating ideas and improving the space using the wisdom the online community provides. The thing he’s most satisfied with is that it’s a place where everyone in the family can workout in their own way to achieve their goals.

❓Questions? Need Help?

Got any questions for us or the home gym owner? Need a hand or some sick advice on setting up your home gym?

Hit us up at , we’re all about home gym ideas!

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