Top 10 Home Gyms and How You Can Build Yours

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
April 27, 2016

Athletes using a home gym

We all know that one of the greatest benefits of calisthenics is that you need little to no equipment to workout.

However, I can’t deny the benefits that come from having a homemade gym set up in your house completely dedicated to calisthenics training.

Wait Todd. What if I don’t want to buy anything new?

That’s totally ok.

This post is only for those who are interested in creating an awesome place to workout that inspires and motivates them big time.

In the beginning, I was a little hesitant about the idea of having a homemade gym.

Investing in equipment and tools wasn’t my thing. I always preferred to follow a minimalist approach to my training.

As the time passed and I was getting more advanced, the need to invest in equipment became more apparent and I started to purchase basic calisthenics tools, like rings, parallel bars, etc.

My perception about homemade gyms slowly started to change. I gradually got convinced of the idea of creating my own gym.

After creating my own pulling and dipping station a while ago (#9 in the list below), I can assure you that the benefits of having a home gym are phenomenal.

Later in this article I’m going to give you a list of my favorite calisthenics DIY gyms and offer you some basic guidelines to help you create your own.

What Is A Home Gym Anyway?

home gym pull-up bar

A home gym is a place dedicated to training in your house. This place has all the training equipment that are necessary for your training. The home gym can be inside your house, in the garage or in your backyard.

Based on the above definition a DIY home gym is a home gym where the majority of the equipment was created by you. Of course, not all of the tools have to be created personally by you, because sometimes buying a high-quality tool might be a better option.

Why Should You Consider Building A Home Gym?

home gym bar

 

If you are totally happy owning only a pull up bar and you are making the progress you want, there is no serious need to start investing in more equipment.

However, if you want to have more training options and the ability to challenge yourself in lots of different ways, creating a home gym is the way to go.

Here are some of the benefits that come with having a calisthenics DIY gym:

Benefit #1: It’s Cheap

Obviously, training with no equipment is the cheapest option.

Nonetheless, constructing a homemade gym is a cheaper option than going to the gym or buying commercial equipment.

Benefit #2: More Training Options

Having only a pull up bar is enough most of the times for becoming strong and advanced with calisthenics.

However, having more training options is always a good thing.

When you create your own gym, you have the opportunity to develop tools to target all the different muscles you want and master new calisthenics moves.

For example, building a pull up station, like in home gym #8, will allow you to train with human flag variations, while having a simple door pull up bar won’t.

Benefit #3: Immediate Access

The biggest benefit of having your own gym at your house is that you can have easy and immediate access to it any time of the day you want to.

You can train at the morning, evening and night, something that is hard to do at a commercial gym.

Benefit #4: Become More Involved With Your Training

Creating something and buying something are two different things.

Based on my experience, when you create something by yourself you are more emotionally attached to the product, which makes it more likely that you are going to use it in the long run.

Also, if you manage to build training equipment that is of great quality and works well, you are going to feel very self-sufficient, probably more than ever before.

Benefit #5: It’s Fun

Even if it seems to involve a lot of hard work (and sometimes it does), creating your own gym is a very recreational process.

After building your first training tools, you might even become addicted to constructing equipment.

Benefit #6: A Training Environment That You Truly Enjoy

When you create your own gym you have the opportunity to design it the way you want.

  • You can put on the music you like to listen while you are training.
  • You can put on motivating posters on the wall.
  • You can train in whatever outfit you want to.
  • You don’t have to wait around to use the equipment.
  • You can remove all distractions.
  • You can move your tools around the way you want too.
  • Etc.

All of the above give you the opportunity to train in an environment that is motivating, inspiring and enjoyable.

The Top 10 DIY Calisthenics Home Gyms

home gym training

In this section, you are going to find the top 10 homemade gyms dedicated to calisthenics training. These are the best gyms I have found that are available in a video format.

Of course, some other more awesome gyms might exist, so let me know if there’s a home gym out there you think should be on the list.

In addition, before moving on you should understand that some of the following gyms are very hard to construct and may require a serious investment of time, money and effort. The main reason I have included such examples is for inspirational purposes.

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #10: DIY Calisthenics Gym

       

      This is a very basic home gym that has everything that a calisthenics athlete would need.

      What I like the most about this gym are the pull up bars that were created by unused equipment and the addition of some rope. This is resourcefulness at it’s finest!

 

    • Calisthenic DIY Home Gym #9: PVC Bodyweight Gym

       

      The good thing about this gym is that you can perform almost every exercise you want and that it doesn’t take up too much space.

      You can find more information about this homemade calisthenics gym and how to build it in this guest article that I have written.

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #8: Backyard Pull-up Bar

      If you have a backyard available, this one of the best pull up bars you can build.

      It doesn’t take a lot of space, it’s very sturdy and you have lot’s of exercise options available.

      You can find more information about this pull up bar in this article.

      The Ultimate 30 Day Pull Up Challenge

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #7: Barstarz Park

       

      A truly great homemade gym. This is a more complex construction than the one from the Kavadlo brothers, but offers more training options.

      If you have enough space in your backyard and you can invest in the construction of this small calisthenics park, then this is one of the best options you have.

      My Interview With Eduard Checo, Founder of Barstarz

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #6: Complete Home Gym Equipment

       

       

      This calisthenics home gym is very similar to the previous one with the difference being that this one is even bigger and more complex.

      What I really like about this gym is that it allows you to practice your brachiation skills.

      Learn More About Brachiation in My Chaos Training Article

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #5: Homemade Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

       

      This is a little more creative than the previous ones and gives some new exercise options.

      What I enjoy the most about this setup is that it’s simple and no more difficult to construct than the previous ones. The only drawback that I see is that it’s not very stable.

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #4: Ninja Warrior Course

      This is a great all around training bootcamp in your backyard.

      This is a very complex set up, but it offers a lot of different training variations most of which are based on the ninja warrior challenge.

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #3: Backyard American Ninja Warrior Course

       

      This is another ninja warrior inspired backyard gym. This is a very big construction and it will probably be hard to construct.

      The greatest benefit of this setup is the it allows you to perform a lot of different pull up variations focusing on grip development and explosiveness.

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym#2: Homemade American Ninja Warrior Course

      This homemade gym contains almost all of the challenges of the American ninja warrior.

      While most calisthenics athletes aren’t going to need such a big construction, it’s always motivating to see what dedicated people can build to accomplish their goals.

 

    • Calisthenics DIY Home Gym #1: Ninja warrior training room

       

      This is by far the best home gym that I have even seen.

      Unlike most of the previous ones, this gym is built inside the house.

      This home gym is actually built inside the bedroom! I have never seen a bedroom this awesome! If I was a kid this would be the bedroom of my dream!

      Other than that, I really enjoy how the athlete started small and gradually created possibly the greatest home gym.

Bonus: The Ultimate Back Yard Gym

I decided to let this one outside the top 10 because it’s a very extreme example, yet I couldn’t let it go unmentioned.

This backyard course is HUGE and it’s not even completed yet…

I find this construction to be very inspiring and I am starting to thing of creating some new equipment for myself. 🙂

How To Build Your Own Home Gym – General Guidelines

making a home gym

Some of the above home gyms might seem that are beyond what you can currently do by yourself.

But don’t be discouraged.

You can create a gym like one of the above, or even better if you follow sound guidelines and be ready to put in the necessary time and effort.

In this section, I am going to offer you some basic guidelines that can help you get started.

Guideline #1: Start Small

The first time I saw a complete home gym, I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of creating such a thing by myself.

It looked like too much work, especially since I could workout with calisthenics without needing to put all this effort into creating equipment.

The key to getting over this feeling is to start small.

The way I got over it was by creating simple equipment that was needed for the accomplishment of my goals (such as parallel bars).

After, I created my first two or three tools, I was more confident in my abilities and I felt ready to create something bigger, like the PVC station.

Guideline #2: Know Your Priorities

A very important rule in building your own equipment is to build something that you are going to need in your training.

This might seem obvious, but most people seem to miss it.

You wouldn’t want to put time, money and effort into something that you aren’t going to be using for a long time.

The reason behind this is that if you build something that you never use, it’s very unlikely to build something new.

The only way to avoid this situation is to identify your priorities. Take a good look into your goals, and see what calisthenics tool could be of use for the achievement of your goals. Find a tool that contributes to the accomplishment of your most important goal. The more important the goal the more likely you are going to use the tool you created.

Guideline #3: Have A Plan

Before attempting to create something by yourself, it’s always a good idea to search for tutorials and see examples of what others have done before you.

Searching can help you get inspired and find new blueprints that you can combine when creating your own gym equipment.

If you don’t have experience in manually creating big structures, you can get the help of a professional. You want to build something that will be of high quality and that will last long, so having someone to help you isn’t a bad idea.

After you have figured the above stuff out, make a list of what you are going to need, how much it will cost, etc. Knowing what you need beforehand is going to help you avoid unnecessary delays during the construction process.

Guideline #4: Take Action

After you have figured everything out, it’s time to take action and start buying and building your own home gym step by step.

It’s important to take action, even if it is small. Otherwise, it’s going to be something that you are going to procrastinate about a lot.

To help you out, I have made a quick list of DIY tutorials of different tools and equipment that you can include at your own home gym:

For more DIY blueprints and tutorials, you can check this great list.

Conclusion

old rusty home gym

Building your own gym might seem a lot of work, but I can assure you that it can be a very enjoyable process. Especially, when you are going to train with a tool that you created yourself.

Furthermore, even if you are still a beginner with no immediate need for a home gym, I believe it’s a good idea to have a certain vision of how your ideal home gym would look like. This can help become more resourceful later on when you are creating your own calisthenics park.

Have you created any tool for your training so far? What tool would be more useful for your training goal?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

– Bodyweight Todd

Show/Hide Comments (11 comments)
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11 Comments
  1. Wade Race

    The weights, pullup bar, etc. I had to buy, but I actually have been using an old walker for dips, and an old heavy rope for battling ropes I got for free from a guy I did an odd job for. Some tires, cinderblocks, I’m pretty set!

    Reply
  2. Alex Wheeler

    Great ideas you have here! Will definitely follow these once I set up my home gym.

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Alex,

      Let me know how it goes.

      – Todd

      Reply
  3. Alex Wheeler

    I guess the best thing about having a home gym is it’s hygienic. Great article!

    Reply
  4. Brittney

    This was a great amount of information to build a great gym! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  5. Wolfgang

    Not only that the construction work, creativity and passion for the project is worth mentioning, but especially with the development some of the bigger ones like the training room, you can also see their owners rising to their own challenge every time a new obstacle comes in. Watching them perform those moves is just jaw dropping How they went from average to awesome and having loads of fun on the way is really inspiring.

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi there,

      Exactly. That’s some inspiring stuff right there.

      – Todd

      Reply
  6. rob

    Now this brings some ideas to the table, always interested in something new. I like things like pulls, and chins. Added different angles and patterns for effectiveness. Love pushups, having done the same for them. Doing single bodyweight squats, deads etc. Now I really am looking into making a homemade heavy bag, I’m an old black belt wanting to get back into shape.

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Rob,

      Good luck, man. Send me a picture once it’s done.

      – Todd

      Reply
  7. Dave

    Very nice job Todd. Thanks for all your work in putting this together.

    dave

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you. I really appreciate it.

      – Todd

      Reply
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