Tips on Building a Basic Home Powerlifting Gym?

Well, every gym in my metro area (Indianapolis) is shut down, who knows for how long, so I’ve resolved to build a home gym in my garage. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just the basics that I need to squat, bench, and DL until we get through this situation. I’m definitely fine with used equipment. I’m seeing some packages on Ebay including Olympic bar, 500 lbs of plates, bench, and squat rack for $1,400. Is this a reasonable? Are there any particular brands that people really like? Any other tips for someone trying to create a basic, bare-bones powerlifting garage gym? Thanks!

I’d definitely be trawling Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for used equipment before buying those package type things on eBay.

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That package sounds expensive, you could get that in Canada for less, in Canadian dollars. Unless it’s top of the line equipment it’s probably not a great deal.

Rogue and EliteFTS make good stuff, but it’s expensive. If you can afford it then those are probably the best choices, otherwise look for cheaper options. I’m not in the US so I can’t really recommend specific companies.

You might be able to find mats sold as horse stall mats, same as the gym mats but lower price if you buy from a non-fitness source.

This vid just dropped

I would look up Jesup Gym. I have bought some nice stuff from them before and they are apparently planning on retiring so they are running some sales to clear stuff out. There’s a Facebook page.

I got mine off of Craigslist, newspaper ads (before Craigslist) & Pawn Shops, one piece at a time for cheap. Nothing fancy, but it is a rack, a bench a few bars & a bunch of weights.

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Essentially this is what I did. Takes a while but is very worth it.

I’ve poked around for a while at sites like Amazon, etc. and with all the public gyms worldwide closing I’ve notices a spike in prices. Simple squat stands that used to go for $100 are fetching $200-300-plus. Dick’s Sporting Goods has no inventory left…

In short, now’s a tough time to build a home gym.

Yep. Craigslist isn’t much better right now.

I would say if you can, just drop the money and get yourself some nice equipment. I just recently did this and I have to say it is the best money I have ever spent. I am thrilled every day I train at home— it is one of the coolest things. If you’re on a tight budget, just get yourself a rack, barbell and some weight. You could do this for less than $1200, buying NICE stuff. You can find a decent rack for $400, an Ohio bar for $300, and quality plates or bumpers for anywhere between $300-600– depending on how nice you want to go. Over time, add on to it. I got some stuff piece by piece over time and just made one big purchase awhile back. Here is my current set-up…


Very nice collection there man. I need to build a platform like that for deads. Mines a mess at the moment need to clean it up this weekend.

Thank you man! I did it with MDF for the first two layers, and a top layer of maple, with the horse stall mats on the side. It’s a tank, weighs about 500 lbs.

I got the basics - squat stands, bench (adjustable to be flat, decline, or incline), barbell with 300 lbs of plates, and rubber matting - for just north of $800. It’s not nearly as nice as your set-up, but it will keep me from losing strength (and my sanity) until I can get back into the gym. Dumbbells are the only things that I would use a lot at the gym that I won’t have. FWIW, I got all of this new off of Ebay. I looked at Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, and just wasn’t finding any deals.

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I just want a deadlift/noodle bar

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Nice, that sounds like you got a lot for your money. Other than dumbbells, what are you missing that would keep you from training like you do at the gym?

Not a lot, really. Especially for legs, I use pretty much just free weights - squats of course, as well as front squats and lunges. I’m not a fan of any kind of leg press, as I find that it just doesn’t carry over to the squat, at least for me.

Apparently, being a health care worker in my state I’m gonna get an incentive since I work in a high risk I may put it towards something like this in the future. I’ll count it when I got it but I would really
Like to have that set up.


I got Olympic dB handles for my home gym, slightly more hassle than decent gym dumbbells but cheap and easy and you can still do whatever you need on them.

Nice set up Evolv. I’d love to hear about that mounted parallel grip pull up bar. Looks like an attachment from a rack, if so what did you mount it with?

Thank you! That is a ceiling mounted multi-grip pull-up bar from Titan Fitness ($115). I ended up screwing a 2x12 across six joists, then bolting the pull-up bar mounts into that.