From a Veteran Turned Personal Trainer: How to Build Your Own Home Gym

Home gyms offer great convenience and can even give you an extra source of income as a personal trainer. Many veterans venture into the world of fitness but only a few find success in the business. People usually fail in the business because they don't understand the common mistakes made by new personal trainers. Being proficient in fitness training is not enough for you to start your fitness business.

This article will cover the things you need to consider before building your own home gym.

The Costs

Like all other businesses, personal training has its costs. Here are some of the expenses you need to account for:

  • Gym insurance and liability
  • Training equipment
  • Rent
  • Utilities such as electricity, water, garbage collection, internet and gas
  • Gym insurance and liability
  • Office supplies

Operating costs can be huge for personal training. It is important to employ professionals only. Don't be tempted to hire your friends and family just to reduce your overall expenditure. That will reduce the productivity of your training business. If you are only running a small sole proprietorship, you might be able to handle some of the jobs comfortably. For example, accounting or bookkeeping work might be easy to handle without the need for experts.

Also, don't go for cheap equipment in an effort to save some extra money. These will be used professionally. If you get poor quality products, they are likely to break down in a short period of use, and your costs will not be reduced as much as you expected. In fact, you may end up spending more in repairs and replacements.

It is a good idea to have enough money to run the business for at least the first three months. Also, whatever your total budget is, you should add in a few hundred dollars since unexpected costs arise frequently, especially in fitness businesses.


The Gym Equipment

Your home gym needs a variety of equipment. Some of the equipment pieces are necessary to complete your facility while others are just good to have around. The important equipment to have
in your home gym include the following:

  • Combo power rack: This equipment ranges from about $900. Gyms are usually centered on the combo power rack, so you need to have it in your home facility. Combo power racks can be used to perform many different workouts.

  • Pull up bars: If your trainees will not be able to do pull ups at first, you may also have to buy resistance bands. These help to ease the workouts for amateurs.

  • Dumbbells: Ideally, you should shop around for hex-shaped dumbbells. They should also have rubber coatings. These are always more durable and will reduce your overall cost in the long run. Rubber coatings also make the exercises more comfortable. You should also make sure you get 3 to 5 sets, all of different weights since your clients will be at different levels of training.

  • Rubber mats: These are not always essential but are always a great addition to your facility. To save some more money, you shouldn't get these mats from equipment manufacturers since they will be more expensive.

  • Reverse hyper: Many people who visit your gym will be interested in increasing their back strength. This is not an essential part of a home gym but it is an advantage if you have it in the facility.

  • Resistance bands: These are important for beginners but are also commonly used by experienced trainees. Be sure to purchase the different resistance levels to suit people at different levels of training. Also, different moves will require specific resistance levels. The levels are marked by different colors.

  • Treadmills: Many of your trainees will want to incorporate the treadmill in their daily routine

  • Elliptical machine

  • AB wheels: You should get wider AB wheels since these are usually more stable and can allow people to work out with better form.

  • Adjustable benches: You may also find it nice to have jump ropes, medicine balls, and kettlebells in your home gym. The presence of a sound system for workout music can also make the training sessions more entertaining.

  • Smart scales: A good smart scale is a great tool for keeping up with your results. Tracking is often overlooked when it comes to fitness but we give it immense praise in business. The best results come from keeping track and adjusting.

Talk to other Gym Owners

Personal trainers are often willing to help you get off the ground. They will offer you great insight into the business, and this will help you avoid some of the common errors made when starting home gyms. Before making a call to a gym owner, be sure to have your questions ready. It is important to remember that the gym owners are offering you their time and you shouldn't waste it.

In many cases, you can expect one or more of these to occur:

  • Your clients will be fewer than you had planned for

  • They will expect the facilities that are available at more established gyms

  • Friends who promised to sign up or support you will be unavailable. Instead, you can expect them to offer you baseless advice on how to run your own business.

  • Your total costs will be a lot more than you originally planned

  • Some items will be missing or arrive very late because of poorly organized suppliers

  • Friends and family who you will employ will do a poor job

  • Trainers will be very expensive to hire, especially if there is little flow of business. Without a good accountant, you will get a false sense of how well the business is running and may not pay yourself fairly for all the time you spend working on the business.

Other gym owners are likely to have gone through these challenges and can probably give you some tips on how to overcome them.


Financing your Home Gym

You may have saved enough money to finance your own home gym. If not, you can choose to get a job and raise the money. Alternatively, you can get a loan from your bank or other providers of credit. If you go for the latter option, you will need to write up a business plan and have a good reason why you think your business will succeed.

Banks and other financial institutions are only interested in the value you will give them and have completely no interest in your business. They only want to know if it is likely to succeed because that will help them make more money.

For this reason, you will need to make them see the reasons why you believe your business will succeed. Also, they will ask you many critical questions just to be sure you have done enough research and have thought the business through. Make sure you learn all about the business, including the unplanned costs that may arise later on.


Starting a home gym for personal training is not a simple task. It takes a lot of planning and money. As a veteran, personal training can be a good field to venture into, but you shouldn't expect it to be a smooth ride. You can talk to other home gym personal trainers to get an idea of what the business involves.


Muscle & Fitness