Building a home gym can be a daunting task. Workout equipment is expensive and reaching goals without certain things isn’t always possible. One benefit of putting your own set of equipment together is you can be creative with your space and maximize your dollars by selecting specific equipment that cover multiple workouts. In my case, the Valor Athletics Power Rack and York 300lb Olympic weight set w/barbell were just the ticket. While I opted not to build my power cage out of wood (for safety reasons), I did get my DIY on quite a bit during this build…

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Mats are a nice thing to have in a home gym. The problem is that they can be VERY expensive and durability of certain budget friendly mats can be called into question. Enter rubber horse stall mats. They’re huge, they’re heavy. I mean of coarse they are, they’re made for horses! Oh…and they’re CHEAP. I went to my local Tractor Supply Store and grabbed two of these for my home gym. BAM! Mats acquired. Now I need to figure out a way to get them downstairs…

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The only two problems with these mats are the weight and the smell. They reek of rubber. What I ended up doing was scrubbing them outside with dish soap and rinsing THOROUGHLY with water. I let them air out for a day before hauling them into my basement. In order to transport them down a flight of stairs by myself, I rolled them up on the ground, tied this yellow rope around them, and put them on a hand-truck. This made maneuvering them infinitely easier. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

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Here they are in position!

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I had scrap MDF laying around, so I brought my circular saw downstairs and cut two pieces to size.

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Like so! Why bother with the MDF? Well, I want to install a mirror and concrete walls/insulation aren’t very accommodating in that regard.

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On a whim I decided I should paint the MDF white. I make a lot of last minute decisions like this…

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Mirror. I grabbed two of these at lowes for under 80 bucks.

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Mirror hanging hardware. I bought 3 packs of these. 6 per pack.

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I setup the mirror hangers evenly(one on each side and so on), then threw the extras in in select locations where I thought more weight may be distributed.

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With the mats and mirror good to go, I laid out my power cage parts.

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Lots of bolting to be done…

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These were pretty much all I used.

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There we go. Baby bouncer for cardio.

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It’s very sturdy for a mid range budget.

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So here’s the current Swole City setup! Over time I plan on acquiring a couple other pieces of training equipment. Slow and steady!

UPDATE
I’ve put this equipment to use over the last few months, so here’s my feedback:

York 300lb Olympic Weight Set
This weight set is absolutely awesome. It was super important for my Olympic bar to be 45lbs, as the workout regiment I do is centered around starting at 45lbs and adding 5lbs of weight per workout. A lot of sets in this price range have cheaper, lighter bars. York is a reputable company from my home state and the weights are durable and functional!

Valor Athletics Power Rack
This power rack is GREAT! Doesn’t wobble, doesn’t creak. High quality construction. The spotter, weight pins and chin up bars are all chrome. I do squats, overhead press, bench press, deadlifts, rows, chin-ups and pull up combos.

Valor Fitness DA-7 Flat Bench
Simple, solid bench. Doesn’t move under heavy load. I considered getting an adjustable bench for incline presses, but my budget at the time wouldn’t cover a quality adj. bench.

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