By Ollie Cooper, Money team

Gym memberships can be steep. 

Industry giant PureGym told Sky News the average cost of its London gyms was around £32.32 per month. Outside of London it’s around £23.30. 

If you’re training in the capital, five years of membership will set you back nearly £2,000. 

So, in the long run, could you do it for less at home?

We enlisted Lee Mitchell, head personal trainer at, to see if he could create a home gym for under £1,939.20 – the price of five years’ membership at a London PureGym. 

We set him some criteria: we’d need a good range of equipment, including benches, dumbbells, cable machines and cardio machines – and at least some of it had to be brand new.

“A home gym setup can represent serious value over time, considering everything from commuting costs to the convenience of having your workout space readily available in the comfort of your own home,” said Lee. 

But could he deliver on the challenge set?

What he bought

At the top of Lee’s shopping list was a multi-purpose power rack that could double as a squat rack and smith machine.

“This equipment, although a larger investment, covers fundamental exercises for individuals at all fitness levels, making it integral to any home gym,” he said. 

After a quick search, he found exactly what he was looking for in good condition on Facebook Marketplace. 

This cost him £250 – a good start, as this usually retails for around £2,000.

Next, Lee found a cable machine (£359.10 with new customer discount at Gym Master), a Spin bike (£219 at Fitness Superstore), a weight bench (£41.99 at Amazon) and a vertical leg press (£429 at Fitness Superstore) all brand new and well within budget.

“Certain items genuinely benefit from being sourced brand new, such as the cable machine (to prevent fraying cables for safety) and the vertical leg press (to ensure it’s in proper working order, especially given the potential risks of a faulty machine),” Lee said. 

So far, we’ve got five items for £1,200.09. 

Lee picked up half of his total equipment brand new, but it was back to Facebook Marketplace for the rest. 

Having adjustable dumbbells maximises space (crucial for a home gym), and Lee was able to find a great set of two for just £200. They allow you to move from as little as 5kg all the way to 40kg. 

The current owner claimed to have spent around £300 when they bought them and insisted their condition was “like new”.  

Next came an Olympic barbell and 100kg worth of weighted plates to go with it. 

Lee found exactly what he was looking for at a cost of £240. 

We’re just a lifting platform away from completion now – which swiftly came in at £200. 

“In total, I spent just over an hour finalising my list of equipment, sourcing from various places including Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, Fitness Superstore and Gym Master,” Lee said. 

He opted for a 50/50 split between brand-new items and second-hand products, “partially to prove that this is not all about bargain hunting pre-loved items”.

What about space?

The obvious argument here is that it would take a significant amount of space to put all this (in some cases) shiny equipment. 

But Lee made his choices with that in mind. 

“I factored in that the average UK garage is typically 3x6m, a common size for gym conversions. 

“All the equipment I chose fit perfectly into a 3x3m space, allowing for ample “spreading out” room within a larger space,” he added. 

Final cost

Impressively, Lee managed to source eight key pieces of equipment for £1939.09 – which leaves us 11p to spare.

Use the form above to tell us your home gym hacks. 

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