How To Build a Weightlifters Home Gym for Under 3K

showing the quality equipment that was purchased to make a home gym under 3k. dumbbells, cable machine, rubber tiles, and bench
November 21, 2022  
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

Since the beginning of COVID, folks have been wanting to stay at home a lot more. Driving is a hassle. Going to the office is a hassle. Hell, putting on pants is a hassle now. Even more so, sweaty nasty people are a hassle. More now than ever, people are finding ways to work out at home. It means less driving, less time wasted, and zero membership fees. If you have your own home gym, it’s just you and the weights.

Here is how I built my home gym in a carpeted office for under $3,000.

Floor Mats

The floor mats may have been the most important purchase for a home gym. Research about putting weights on carpeted flooring indicated that the thicker the better. Due to that and some research on pricing, I landed on American Floor Mats, Fit-Lock Rubber Standard Size: 10% Grey Tile: 3/8″ Thick – 2′ x 2′ mats for $10.25 each.

American Floor Mats has reasonable pricing and a really easy-to-use website. The gym was going to be in a rectangle-shaped space. This means that I would need both corner and edge pieces as the mats connect like puzzle pieces.  The website gives a super easy-to-use tool that does the math for you and tells you how many Center Tiles, Border Tiles, and Corner tiles you will need for your LxW-measured room.

The shipping price was the only bad thing about this process. That is to be expected though with heavy rubber tiles like this. If somehow you land on a free shipping deal for floor mats, jump on it.

American Floor Mats, Fit-Lock Rubber Standard Size 3/8″ thick
Center Tile: 3ea
Border Tile: 8ea
Corner Tile: 4ea
Shipping Price: $67.83
PRICE TOTAL: $232.10

home gym Fit-Lock rubber tiles product ordering page

The American Floor Mats Fitlock Tiles are thick enough to withstand weight while being set on top of carpet. The online ordering process is made easy because the website does the math for you of which pieces you will need. Click START NOW

The Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells for the home gym can tend to get expensive. Months ago I bought some cheap ones off amazon and hated them. The small plates would slip off the bar, the tension clip wouldn’t hold. They just weren’t great. Then I finally decided to buy once, cry once and looked at the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells.

These dumbbells are AMAZING. How they work is simple, both dumbbells sit on a platform. Simply click each side of each dumbbell to the weight that you want. When you remove the dumbbell from the platform, the weight that isn’t needed will stay on the platform, and the weight that the dumbbell was set to will go with it. You don’t have to place the other plates somewhere else. You don’t have to put plates on the bar. It is all done for you. Each dumbbell goes up to 52.5 lbs.

Price: $219.00

showing the bowflex dumbbells and their adjustments

The Bowflex Selecttech 552 dumbbells allow for adjustment of the weight with one turn of the knob. Each dumbbell goes from 5-52 lbs.

The Bench

An adjustable bench can be used with both the dumbbells and the cable machine. When looking for a bench, ensure that it has both back and seat adjustments. You will also want a bench with a wheel and handle to move it around. As for the material on the bench, try to find one without that shiny slick material. If it looks matte it probably is the type of material that won’t stick to your sweaty skin as much.

These can get expensive. However, I found a quality low price one on the same website as the cable machine, thus saving on shipping. It comes in 4 colors as well with one color being less expensive. Spray paint party?

Price:  269.99

showing the rep fitness adjustable weight bench

The RepFitness adjustable bench allows for both back and seat adjustments. The material doesn’t stick to your sweaty body and the bench has a wheel for easy movement.

Cable Machine

Ah, what we are all here for, the home cable machine. The main reason for wanting a cable machine vs other things is that the cable machine gives you a lot more adjustability. Some machines out there on the market right now mount to the wall and have arms that come out with cables that can be adjusted for tension. This can seem like the way to go due to how small of a space it takes up. However, that kind of machine doesn’t allow the difference in height that a full cable machine gives you. Imagine doing abs on the ground with the cable machine, then standing up and doing lat pulldowns. Those workouts need the machine to be adjustable.

The Rep Fitness FT-3000 Functional Trainer hit everything I needed in a cable machine.

  • 112 lbs on each side
  • Can be assembled with two people
  • Places for attachments/accessories
  • Pullup bars
  • Clean adjustments from the floor to the ceiling
  • Impressive hardware, heady duty, no wobble
  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Free delivery
    Showing the handles for the home gym cable machine, cables run smooth and adjustments are easy.

    The hardware is great on this machine. It is strong and the cables run smoothly.

    home gym cable machine weight plates that allow for 112 lbs

    The weights were the most timely thing about putting the machine together. Each side goes up to 112 lbs and smaller weights can be added to the top.

It took about 4 hours in all to assemble the cable machine. Two people are needed due to having to hold the bars up that the weight plates sit on before bolting them in.

The only snag in the process was the delivery. It takes several steps. After the Rep Fitness warehouse processes the order, the trucking company picks it up. The actual delivery must be done by appointment because somebody has to be at the house when it is delivered.

Overall this process took about a month. The longest part of the wait was at the warehouse because so many orders were coming in. Once the trucking company received the machine, scheduling took two days. The cable machine was on an 18-wheeler, which needed room. If you live at the end of a cul-de-sac it could be difficult. My driver was very competent, though, and delivered it to the end of a gravel road where my house is. Then, it had to be removed by a pallet jack. Yes, it is heavy when put all on one pallet. After we got it off with the pallet jack we took individual pieces into the house one by one. Don’t forget though, delivery was free!!

Overall, everything was worth it for this machine. REP Fitness was communicative during the whole process and nothing was broken or missing on the machine.

FT-3000 Functional Trainer | REP Fitness | Home Gym Equipment
Price: $2149.99

The total price for floor mats, dumbbells, an adjustable bench, and a cable machine, all able to fit into a small home office?
under $3,000.

home gym workout bench, cable machine, dumbbells, and mats

The total price for this home gym was under 3k. Everything fits nicely inside a small guest bedroom-sized room.

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Saami Spec

Saami Spec

About the Author

Saami is a veteran of a full-time Army National Guard unit where she served as a Small Arms Repairer and worked to bolster their marksmanship team. Now a gunsmith and technical writer in the Federal LE world, she writes with a background of many armorer classes and numerous competitions under her belt: the former include KAC, Glock, every FN weapon in the book, and several others – including Small Arms Weapons Expert (SAWE). She makes no apologies for boring you with the knowledge of how guns actually work. An avid reloader who builds the bullets she competes with, she is currently heavily involved in the long-range world and competes in the National Rifle League Hunter, various Gas Gun Precision Series, PSCL, and assorted other kinds of competitive shooting. She’s a Minnesota Vikings fan who understands good whiskey. Well, stouts, ciders, and mulled wines, too, but especially whiskey…including Elijah Craig Toasted. Saami has a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and is one of those aggravating studious types who graduate with some of the highest grades in her class. From Minnesota to Virginia, from serving in the military to working for the U.S. Dept. of State and other entities beyond, Saami has been in the service of her country since the age of 17. We’re pretty chuffed that she writes for Breach-Bang-Clear. “Saami Spec” is a nom-de-plume as required by her current employer.


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