Below is my home gym in my basement. Yeah, it’s kinda big, but only in square footage. But let me point out why, and why you don't need all this space. In fact, you just need a garage or room about 10ft x 10ft.
Tl:dr: I have way more than what I need, and you can accomplish all goals with simply 1) a power rack, 2) an Olympic barbell and plates, 3) a bench, 4) a gym mat for deadlifts.
Firstly, all you need for either basic bodybuilding or powerlifting is a Power Rack (Note, I haven’t used this one, so don’t shoot me if it’s not good) I would ideally recommend strengthshop.co.uk (I have no affiliation with them, I just recommend them personally) for your rack if you have the cash. It’s high-quality stuff and it won’t break unless you're totalling 1800kg or something crazy (in which case you shouldn't be reading this blog because you're a better man than I). You need a power rack so you can set the pins for squat and bench press if you fail (miss a rep) and don't get crushed - safety without a spotter.
Secondly, you need an Olympic (7ft Olympic 20kg barbell), 6x 20kg plates (or 45lb in USA terms), 2x10kg plates, 2 x 5kg plates, 2 x 2.25kg plates. This will give you all weight configurations up to 195kg. Then just buy more 20kg plates to celebrate when you get stronger.
Thirdly, you need a bench to press from. Ideally adjustable to a full vertical incline. It needs to be the right height and stability so you bench properly. You don't want have to buy it twice so get a good one. Strengthshop.co.uk again gets my vote.
Fourthly, you need a gym mat so you don’t break the floor when you drop your deadlift reps (don’t set this up upstairs, seriously). So all in all, you need about 10ft x 10ft of space to work in. See, I worked for years in a small UK house garage. (super old) pic:
The only reasons my own complete gym is bigger and has more equipment is basically because of laziness and I had the benefit of a large basement:
1) I preferred two racks instead of one for pure convenience – 1 for squat, 1 for bench/seated overhead press – having done this over a decade I get tired of moving stuff around while gasping for air after a balls-to-the-wall set of squats.
2) I like a preloaded deadlift platform as I got tired of moving stuff around.
3) You may also spot a reverse hyper in the corner (which is cool for back prehab/rehab and spinal mobility). And a supported row machine – that was when my programming created a conflict between standing bent over rows and deadlifts causing overuse of the posterior chain. Oh yeah, I have a heavy bag too because I used to box - it's great for HIIT even if you can't box.
Dumbbells are totally optional. I rarely use them and have an old set from Argos from around the year 2000. Total cost to set up on a budget? <£1,000. It should fit in your garage (or garden, or lounge, or wherever) and last a lifetime. Plus you can no longer make excuses for yourself about why you can’t make it to the gym. The only time I’d recommend personally not have my own setup is if I happened to be lucky enough to live near a real spit and sawdust gym with the comradery and support of other lifters who are just like you – trying to be the best versions of themselves. PS, while you’re at it don’t forget to install a super modern sound system like mine (jk, this is a 90's Aiwa Hi-Fi) then throw on this playlist (if you're into your rap)
PPS Don’t forget to buy chalk
My personal list of links which I keep here publicly incase they help someone else one day.
Snippets of PHP code I have gathered over the years. I keep them here for my own repository but also to share with others. I always link back when I remember the source.
This site was originally intended as a test bed for code. It now includes my blog about business and powerlifting, as well as games for Spanish language learning