How This Strength and Conditioning Freak Built His Dream Home Gym for $15,000
- Steve, a strength and conditioning specialist and former Marine, built his dream home gym for around $15k through buying and selling equipment and upgrading slowly.
- Learn the home gym strength training secrets from Steve’s pro tips
Steve is a true gym nut and strength and conditioning specialist (he just finished the CSCS Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist exam)
He is a former Marine who used to load bombs on the F-18 hornet, and after leaving the military, he found his passion in fitness.
When the pandemic hit and gyms were closed, Steve struggled to maintain his routine until his dad gave him his old gym equipment – a set of plates, an old unmarked bar, and a Marcy squat rack. From there, he started stalking Facebook Marketplace to find the equipment he wanted and slowly upgraded his gym.
Steve firmly believes in the principle of “buy once, cry once” so he always tried to get the best equipment he could afford the first time.
Despite being a college student with a tight budget, Steve built a full gym and amassed a literal ton of weight (2000 lbs). He bought and sold a lot of equipment, and a few times, he got lucky and had people give him their entire gyms for a steal.
Steve estimates that he spent around $15k on his home gym. The only things he bought new were his Rogue barbells and the old rack that he sold.
Follow Steve’s home gym progress and training advice on his Instagram profile @stevesgymformuscles 👇
Steve’s Why: A Mission to Help Others and Improve Military Training
Steve’s goal is to try to go back into the military as a contractor to reduce the high incidence of back injuries in the military. He knows firsthand that many Marines suffer from back pain due to the lack of proper exercise education during boot camp, which emphasizes quantity over quality.
He now trains as many people as he can for free because he believes that everyone deserves access to fitness regardless of their financial situation.
Steve’s Training Method
Steve has two gym ideologies: leave no muscle behind and make the movement fit your anatomy.
He puts a lot of focus on accessory exercises when programming his workouts because he wants to be lifting the same weight when he’s 50.
Steve believes that people who work out often neglect warm-ups, which are crucial to a workout.
He recommends spending no more than 15 minutes on movement that works on a weakness, increases range of motion, and primes the movement.
Finding the weakness can be challenging if you don’t have a keen eye for lifting, but by lifting your anatomy, it can be somewhat easier. Steve always annoys his friends with tests that can help find the form for them.
Steve’s Thoughts on Fitness and Wellness
Steve believes that fitness and wellness are in a precarious position right now with social media and all the online “Gurus.”
As much as he can be sick of their BS advice, he still respects their effort to popularize fitness. Now that everyone is motivated, Steve thinks everyone should be striving to give the best advice. He believes that the best advice on fitness/wellness stems from discussion.
Moving Apartment Challenges
Building a home gym can be a rewarding experience, but it does come with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges that Steve faced was moving his gym equipment from one apartment to another. In fact, Steve had to move apartments three times with all of his gym equipment in tow.
Despite the challenges, Steve has never regretted building his home gym and it’s definitely one of the best investments he has made.
Advice for Building a Home Gym
Steve has some advice for anyone interested in building their own home gym. He recommends that you don’t have to start crazy expensive. He started out with a wooden bar and plates that used hold-down metal.
Steve’s favourite piece of equipment is the gymnastic rings that he uses every day.
He suggests that if you can make a small space in your room, put up a few posters or go outside on your porch, and get some adjustable dumbbells, you can do a lot.
Home Gym Equipment
- Rack: This is a peculiar Frankenstein rack made from a combination of a stand with a rack conversion kit:
- Rack Accessories:
- Weight Plates: Rogue Various Weight Plates 650lbs $Ks (+ Rogue vertical weight tree $230)
- Rogue scout hyper (lower body strength) $475
- Kettlebells: Rogue Kettlebells (9 to 62lbs) $710
- Sorinex CMB (Center Mass Bell) (35, 50 and 70lbs) $422
- ONNIT Steel Clubs (5, 10 and 25lbs) $121
- Misc: Rings, resistance bands, pulley attachments, Yes4All Drop Pads, Yes4All Red Sandbag, Flooring Mats,
Total Home Gym Cost = $15,000
Home Gym Photos