Question About Home Gym for Oly. Lifts

First things first:
Yes, I’m new to the forum. Yes, I’m new to olympic lifting. Yes, I tried using the search tool before asking.

Now for the real post:
Now that I’m starting to transcend into real lifts instead of cute little iso exercises, I’m starting to hate my ‘gym’ more and more. I’ve been essentially banned from doing these lifts. Switching gyms isn’t much of an option for me right now… just going to quit and make my own in my garage.
What would you guys suggest for basic equipment?
Would a sub-$400 budget be reasonable?

You can get a cheap set for around that price not including shipping, but if you’re planning on using this set more than temporarily I’d suggest you spend that on just the bar. You’d also probably wanna supplement the cheap set with metal plates for squatting.

What about finding a gym already set up?? There are 9 listed clubs in Mass on the USAW website. I don’t know where you are, but why not check that out??

On the garage gym, you could do it, but you would be buying a cheap bar and even cheaper bumpers. And you would be limited in your workouts due to the equipment limitations. Although this would be good for the short term, you would need to invest more money down the road for better quality equipment that will last.

For reference, a GOOD quality bar will run about $350 to well over $600. Bumper sets will run another $200 minimum for anything decent. Add to that about $150 to $250 for a platform (if you build it yourself), depending on how much wood runs in your area. You’re talking about around $800 minimum. Just something to think about!!

Why is switching gyms not really an option?

If you do decide to build a home oly gym, all I’d say you really need is a bar, bumpers, platform, and some squat stands (or a rack). I wouldn’t recommend cheaping out on the bar or the bumpers, spend the extra money to get a bar that will last a lifetime, and bumpers that won’t break after repeated drops. If you’re handy at all you should be able to build a platform yourself (you can probably use google to find some blueprints for a DIY platform). Maybe if you know someone who welds you could get them to put some squat stands together for you for a case of beer or something.

Or just check out one of the clubs on the USAW site linked above. Probably better to lift somewhere you can get coaching anyways, especially if you’re just starting out.

Thank you every one for the replies.

Switching gyms would be difficult mostly because of my schedule. Most of my lifting ends up happening around 2-3am.
The link from olylifter106 was helpful. The closest place to me is about 30-45min away. I will pursue that, because coaching would be a huge help for me… but it isn’t practical for me to train regularly at.

I scoured Craigslist for a few days. I got:
A Troy Texas Power Bar, $120
4 45lb Bumper Plates, $180
500lbs misc. metal plates, $80
Two 4’x8’ Horse Stall mats, $40

Hey where in Mass. are you located?

I’m in Foxborough, about 10 min. from Gillette Stadium

Ok…I’m on the cape, a little too far away to get together and train. You may have already seen it on the USAW website, but there is a club not too far from you in Norwood.

Hey, I think a $400 budget is pushing it to get anything, maybe a half decent bar. Ideally you could do with a rack or half rack, a platform and a decent bar and some bumpers. Take a look at for some ideas and build it up gradually.