The $750 Home Powerlifting Gym

So you’ve decided that the strength athlete life is for you, and – for whatever reason – you choose to workout at home. This post will show you how to build a powerlifting ready home gym for less than $1,000, but before we get there, think long and hard about your decision. Consider that the Nephilim Barbell Program was designed to let you powerlift at a commercial gym. Consider that a solid commercial gym will probably cost you $30 per month, and if you have to choose between your bills or gym membership, you can always shower at the gym. Seriously, though, I doubt you will be able to get into serious weight lifting for less than $750 dollars. That could buy you two years of gym membership, and the gym has far, far more than you’ll get for your $750. on the other hand, if you are on a 10 year journey to get #strongAF, live in the middle of nowhere, or don’t have the time to go to a gym, then a home gym might be your best choice. Whatever your reason, this article will show you how to get into the iron game for less. Now I had to put some rules around this, so I decided to ignore local classified ads, since you will never be able to get the same deals that I might get. Having said that, check ’em out! You’d be amazed at how many people buy expensive equipment then sell it for less than half price a year later. Also – and don’t take this lightly – check out the junk yard. Of course, I don’t recommend any kind of safety equipment, like a power rack, from the junkyard, but you can often find junk that can be used for strongman training, such as old tires. For this article, however, I stuck to new equipment commonly available.

What You Need

You really only need four things to get started, and with these four things you can really have a full workout experience. Of course, there is always room to upgrade, and we’ll talk about that too. These four things are a power rack, 500 lb. weight set, shock mat, and resistance bands.

  1. Power Rack
    • Deluxe Power Rack from eBay – $135
    • This rack features a chinup bar, safety bars, pegs for bands, and plate holders. All delivered with free shipping for $135. Can’t beat that. Don’t fall for the trap that you need a gym-quality rack. I have a similar low-dollar rack and have easily unracked and reracked 500 lb. squats on it.
  2. 500 lb. Barbell Set
    • 500 lb. Olympic Weight Set with 7′ Barbell from Amazon – $470
    • This is definitely going to be your high-dollar expense, and you are less likely to find 500 lbs. of olympic plates floating around the neighborhood. Your best value to $ bet by a long shot is to purchase a set that includes a barbell. This one is only $470 with free shipping.
  3. Shock Mat
    • Apache Mills Utility Mat from Lowes – $60
    • Don’t mess around with exercise mats. You need something that will protect your floor and provide a solid base for pulling heavy shit off the ground. This 3/4″ thick stall mat is just what the doctor ordered. It’s probably large enough to just mount your rack on top of, but you can also cut it in half and place one end on either side of your power rack to cushion the weights at the bottom.
  4. Resistance Bands
    • Set of Three Exercise Bands (x2) from Amazon – $80
    • This brand lets you choose three resistance levels – buy two sets since you need two of each, and you will have enough accommodating resistance for any powerlifting routine. Of course, the Nephilim Barbell Program doesn’t use bands, but I’ve found that bands are a big help in pursuing a conjugate method, while also allowing killer warmups and activation prior to your actual workout.
  5. (Optional) Bench
    • You may have noticed that my master plan doesn’t include a bench. You might be surprised how optional a bench is – you can do floor presses and all kinds of pressing motions without a bench. Still, it’s pretty damn hard to be a powerlifter without a bench, so you’ll probably want one…and I should probably add that this is the easiest piece of equipment to find at yard sales, in the classifieds, or even at the dump. My recommendation is to forgo any bench that converts (incline or decline) or has a built-in leg extension. The former means the bench is less likely to be sturdy, while the latter will almost always end up banging you in the shin. This one is  sturdy enough and costs $40 with free shipping.

Wrap-Up

Well there you have it…with $800 and some patience, you can have a home gym capable of powerlifting. Good luck, and as always…lift strong.