Due to recently events back at my parents house, I decided to help with some of the expenses, this lead me to sacrificing my membership to the gym. I know there are at-home workouts, but I am unsure of which one to follow since I am so used to lifting weights. I kinda regret cancelling that payment, but family comes first. I really don't know for how long I am going to keep my account cancelled. Buying weights it's an option, but again I'm pretty tight budget wise and it would take time for me to get everything I would want to have.

Any recommendations for an at-home workouts that can tire me as much as lifting?

  • if you're fairly handy: buy a barbell, then you can make your own weights, squat rack, bench etc. for hardly anything
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 21:21
  • Could you elaborate? I don't own any welding tools
    – Just Do It
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 21:27
  • I got a set of resistance bands for I think around $80. I haven't had them long enough to really say they are a prefect substitute, but they seem to be doing the trick so far. The big downside I find is the non-linear resistance and arranging the force directions to be the same as with lifting, but they still leave my muscles sore.
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 15:00
  • Here is a blog created with your situation in mind, from a guy who's been there, and created a gym at home for low cost. www.endofthreefitness.com
    – sMaN
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 5:44

6 Answers 6


Do not regret this break from your weightlifting and take the opportunity to become an even better weightlifter.

The trainers I have had, most often has used about half of the workout for yoga exercises to improve flexibility, range, mobility and core strength. Exercises like over-the-head-squats demands extremely high flexibility.

You can highly improve quality of your squats by doing air squats in front of a mirror.

You can improve your core strength and stability far beyond what you think is possible just by doing functional training and calisthenics - without any equipment.

If you can afford a little for a smaller device, I will definitely recommend you a cheap suspension-trainer aka TRX (cheap ones are as good as the expensive ones), which you easily can attach to a door, and sliding exercises like this: http://www.6-directions.com/ You can just use floor-cloths for sliding exercises. I use to do so.

If you dare to try advanced exercises, Switch ball can take your weightlifting to the next level, but I recommends proper instructions.

If you have room for more than that, then get inspiration from crossfit and use sandbags (or water bags), tires, logs, etc. as weights.

  • I actually have an empty 4x3 mts room. might give some use to it
    – Just Do It
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 1:53
  • I would definitely go for a suspension training type equipment (TRX). I just ordered myself a set for 30 dollars from Ebay. If you still have a little money left then the next thing i would buy (or build) is a chin-up bar. First, you can do chin-ups (naturally), leg lifts, etc, but also i found out that using TRX secured on an overhead bar works a lot better then securing it against closed door. And you can really, i mean REALLY, stress muscles (and not only core) with some of the TRX exercises.
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 19:59
  • Or if you have a tree branch at the right hight, then you can workout outside having secured TRX on that branch. Well, for that matter here is how to build TRX yourself: instructables.com/id/Homemade-Suspension-Device-for-1256
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:03

If you consider yourself handy then you could consider building some weightlifting equipment yourself. It is cheap and surprisingly simple.

Although I do recommend that you do buy the barbell since making one out of wood or other common materials would be considerably weaker or larger if you try to maintain the same strength.

Buff Dudes have a Youtube channel where sometimes Buff Dad has tutorials on how to make Gym Equipment. This is an example for a power rack. I've found that the procedure is quite simple and doesn't require any advanced tools. The material is mostly wood so it is very cheap.

As for weight plates, there are again many tutorials on Youtube (this one for example) where people show you how to make weight plates from concrete. It's about $5 for a 25kg bag of concrete, so you could make ~30kg (some water is retained from curing, I'm not sure how much) of weight plates for only the cost of a bag and a mould which would be less than $5.

Although it would take a considerable amount of time you could build yourself a home gym for a couple of hundred dollars.

  • Excellent. I have no indoor room for equipment and I think standard equipment quickly becomes rusty outdoor. Concrete solves this problem for almost no money.
    – Gyrfalcon
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 19:04

Get a pullup/chinup bar. You can get one for about $20.

Buy a couple of parallel bars where you can do dips. If you have a couple of sturdy chairs, they will do.

Pullups, chinups, dips, pushups, planks, bodyweight squats are all great exercises that could make up for a very decent routine.


Training is in essence applying force to a resistance. How that resistance looks like is just limited to your imagination.

  • The World is your gym (phrase stolen from Ross Enamait) go out and train outside in fresh air, you can do pull-ups, chin-ups, dips on trees or monkey bars on playgrounds, using heavy stones, barrels or kegs for overhead lifting or deadlifts or big logs. Running up hills for conditioning is an challenging task... too.

  • You are your own Gym (phrase stolen from a title of a bodyweight training program od a farmer navy seal - Mark Lauren) you can do bodyweight exercises in addition or just alone, there are some outstanding programs outhere. I recommend: Never Gymless-Ross Enamait, YAYOG - Mark Lauren or Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade.

  • Make your own gym: Depending on your Budget and available space for training you could build some of the tools on your own, here is some Information on custom created tools like bulgarian bags, sandbags, gymnastic rings, trx bands and kettle-dumbells. http://rosstraining.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=157&sid=03871eb27b3ff4b3f2230da5c9b07e97

now go do something...


Gymnastic Strength Training is a perfect option for you in my opinion. It is very well designed program with tons of progressions and requires almost negligible equipment.



but really, you might be able to find a place to do chinups in a park or on a tree or something, it's one of the best exercises to do. Maybe you can buy a metal bar from a hardware store and make a chinup station yourself. Dips are also great. Other than that you can start a running routine.

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