We took a quick look at Oregon Home's 16 Tips for Home Gyms and eHow's How To Build A Cheap Home Gym and were most impressed with the following suggestions:
- Create a co-op gym with friends where everyone splits the cost of equipment, but only one person stores the gear at his home or garage.
- Search for used gear on local online bulletin boards.
- Research the cost of various exercise options (including gym memberships and classes) before you spend money on setting up a home gym.
- Before you buy a big piece of equipment, measure and remeasure it and the room in which you'll use it.
- Protect hardwood, cement or tile floors from sweat, equipment grease and repetitive motions with a thick floor mat.
- Realize that the small things—bottles of water, a heartrate monitor, dumbbells—are as important as big, spendy exercise machines.