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How to Build a Home Gym Worthy of The Rock for Cheaper Than a Peloton

For a few hundred bucks less than the price of the Peloton Bike+ Essentials Package, you can basically have your own personal Equinox

You’re sitting at home watching Russell Westbrook drop dimes all over the Oklahoma City Thunder when a Peloton commercial interrupts the evening’s entertainment. You know the commercial I’m talking about: The one where they’re trying to convince you that your stay-at-home treadmill workout will be more efficient if you have the encouragement of an attractive virtual trainer, and that the single pair of fixed-weight dumbbells they offer you will somehow be the only pair of dumbbells you’ll ever need.

That’s when it hits you: You don’t even own the Peloton bike yet! Granted, you don’t exercise at all, but what better way to kick off your new workout regime than by throwing down nearly $2,700 for the Peloton Bike+ Essentials Package? They kindly tossed in a workout mat, two three-pound dumbbells and a 12-month warranty for that price, while casually sliding in the clause — in words that are just barely large enough to escape the accusation that it’s technically fine print — that you’ll be required to spend an additional $39 per month to actually get training material to appear on the bike’s video screen. 

In other words, in your first year as the proud owner of a Peloton Bike package in the midrange of Peloton price packages, you’re going to run up a bill of 3,163 pre-tax dollars. 

That sounds like a lot of money, but I don’t really know how much I should reasonably expect to spend to get in shape.

That’s precisely what I’m here to offer: Perspective. I’m going to compare the price tag of this particular Peloton Bike package against the collective prices of several other fitness items you could purchase with the money you’re proposing to waste — err, I mean, invest — in a Peloton Bike.

The YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike ($315.99). Let’s face it: You don’t even know if you legitimately like cycling yet. Why not test the waters with a bike that’s fundamentally the same as a Peloton Bike, minus the fancy screen, and that will cost you roughly 10 percent of what the entire Peloton package did? And lest you consider accusing me of being a cheapskate (which I am), or you want to accuse me of dumpster diving for discounts (which I do), there are plenty of acceptable stationary spin bike options available for under $600.

A pair of Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells ($399.99). Oh Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways — from five pounds all the way up to 52.5 pounds. Peloton wants to make you feel like they did you a favor by including a pair of three-pound weights into the Plus package. But a pair of the Bowflex dumbbells contributes all of the dumbbell weight that the majority of human beings will ever need in order to achieve an in-home free-weight workout that lacks absolutely nothing and can be used to train every major muscle in the upper and lower body.

A DERACY Incline-Decline Weight Bench ($245). This one is a little on the heavy-duty side for an in-home version of a bench that has both incline and decline features to it, but we have plenty of money to spend, and this bench will enable you to hit most of your key muscle groups from all the essential angles. 

The Marcy Home Gym Cage System ($499). If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right! Now you’ll have access to a full cable pulley system for lat pulldowns and any other exercises requiring a single cable attachment. Plus, we just acquired a chin-up/pull-up bar and a dip stand, along with a solid squat rack and a place for you to stash your weight plates. 

What’s that you say? You don’t have any weight plates or an Olympic-style bar yet? Why didn’t you say so?!

A Standard Olympic 300 LB Olympic Weight Plate Set ($639.99). This includes a seven-foot Olympic barbell with clamps, and frankly, I’m starting to run out of rational items to shop for without going completely overboard. Unless you’re training to be a pro powerlifter, there’s very little chance you’re ever going to need to fully load this bar, at least not until you’ve worked your way up to it over many years of training. 

A RUNOW Water Rowing Machine ($559). Given that we have plenty of budget left, let’s squeeze in another cardiovascular training option to add some variety to the mix. Yes, the Concept2 Rowing Machine is the gold standard, but to echo the argument I made about the Peloton Bike, we don’t even know if you enjoy rowing yet, so why waste money if we don’t need to?

Overall, if my tally is correct, we’ve acquired you two quality cardiovascular training options, the world’s greatest pair of adjustable dumbbells, an incline-decline weight bench, a training cage with all of the trimmings and a full 300-pound Olympic barbell set. Better yet, you’ve still got roughly $500 left in your budget, which is just enough money to buy tickets.

Tickets? Tickets to what?

THE GUN SHOW!!! But honestly, you’ve now legitimately acquired an entire gym’s worth of training equipment — to such an extent that you would truly never have to set foot inside a gym again. And all for cheaper than what’s ostensibly a stationary bike.