Get A Great Home Workout on a Budget

So, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight, but you don’t know where or how to start. Don’t sweat it … yet.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to build your home gym. A short-term investment in a few basic pieces of exercise equipment will pay dividends in the long run.

The top 9 things you need are simple and relatively inexpensive, but they’ll get the job done right.


Dumbbell Set

If you are serious about burning fat and gaining muscle then you must have a quality dumbbell set. The more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn at rest. Dumbbell sets are extremely versatile and one of the best investments you can make. If needed, start with a couple and build your set over time.

Barbell Set

Along with your dumbbells, you’ll want to have a barbell set so you can lift heavier weights and give your body something different to work with. A good starting point: A bar and weights that, all together, equal 300 pounds.

Aerobic Step

A step can be used for cardio activities, such as step aerobics, and also do double-duty as a weight bench. Get enough risers with it and you can change your step to become an incline, decline or flat bench, adding new dimension to your weight training.

Stability Ball

Exercise balls improve your balance and core strength. Use yours for an abdominal workout, or use it as a weight bench to really challenge the old stabilizer muscles while you bench press. Use it for pushups, back extensions, or lower-body exercises.

Weight Lifting Gloves

One side effect of lifting weights is that your hands can get a little rough from calluses. To protect your hands, you’ll want a solid pair of weight lifting gloves. Look for gloves made of fabric that allows sweat to evaporate —or prepare to raise a stink.

Adjustable Weight Bench

Not into step aerobics? Get a weight bench instead of a step. You’ll need it for chest and back exercises, and you can even use it for a quick ab workout or some triceps dips. It’s best to get an adjustable bench so you can do incline and decline exercises.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are great because you can get a full body workout no matter where you go. They’re small enough to fit in your suitcase and versatile enough to use in any hotel room. Another bonus: they provide a different type of resistance than free weights.

Adjustable Ankle Weights

For working the stability muscles of the lower body (like the inner and outer thighs), invest in a quality pair of ankle weights for moves like standing leg lifts or leg extensions. Ankle weights can help add a little intensity to many exercises.

Exercise Mat

To round out your new home gym, you’ll need an exercise mat. You can use your mat for ab workouts, toning exercises, yoga, Pilates or whatever your heart desires. If you don’t have carpet, make sure you choose a no-slip mat.


Did you know that working out is a great way to boost your fat-burning metabolism, but the best weight loss plan is a healthy diet? Let us help you help yourself. Go to and set up a proven diet today.


John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.


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