How To Create Your Own Dorm Room Gym

By Brienne Peers August 4, 2014

Let’s face it. Most of us cannot really fathom paying ridiculous amounts of money on gym memberships. For those of us (like me) who do not have an affordable gym nearby, it’s using the great outdoors and your own home to workout. I do pretty well, in my opinion, for not having a gym membership. We do have a treadmill at home, but I cannot stand running on a treadmill after running outdoors the last year. I know, I’m weird. So, I thought I would include some important items you could include to make your own gym in your dorm room. I have a spot set up in our basement to work out because I don’t have distractions from family when I go down to workout and because it is sooooo much cooler temperature wise than working out anywhere else in my house. Win-win.

When I am at school, I either run outside, workout in my room (when I know my roommate will be gone for a while), or we have a fitness center in our dorm that is actually free to use. Wait, what? Free? Yup, but it only has basic equipment. Two treadmills, three stationary bikes, four ellipticals, and two rowers. It is great for when the weather is yucky and I still haven’t worked out that day. It also gave me the chance to try out equipment I never used before… like a rower, which I came to find out is AWESOME!

So, start a shopping list (you can also check out my full dorm room checklist here) and pick up the following items, if you don’t have them already.

1) Yoga Mat
Toga mats aren’t just for yoga anymore! Any time I do a toning workout, I always do it on a yoga mat. Even if you have carpet in your workout space, a yoga mat is so much better.

2) Weights
Start off small, three or five pounds. Once you get comfortable, move up to eight or ten pounds. It is great to have a whole variety of different weights so depending on your workout you can choose which pound size works. I use both three pound and five pound weights.

3) Laptop or Cell Phone
I set my laptop on an ottoman at home and get right to the workout. If you aren’t following a video, it is also great to play music from. I use Slacker Radio or Spotify when I do workouts.

I would also recommend a kettle ball, stability ball, and resistance ball if you have the room for them. I don’t have any of these, because of space issues but once I am living in an apartment I figure I will have the storage for them.

Just three items is all you need! And of course, a water bottle! Get out to the store and purchase what you need and get started on your own gym. Set up some motivational posters and get going!


*This post was originally published on Brie’s blog, LeanCleanandBrie. For more from Brie, visit

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