Ultimate Guide to the Cost of Creating a Home-Based Gym in an HDB Flat Due to COVID-19

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Amidst the pandemic, gyms have slowly but surely lost their appeal.

Though it’s not so much of the facilities themselves, as it’s of the sheer circumstances at hand.

Lest you’re unaware, ActiveSG, the public gym that 95% of Singaporean gym rats frequent, had imposed stricter guidelines following the outbreak.

As a result, you would be lucky to get a prime slot.

As for private gyms, higher-than-average prices certainly do not help.

Plus, there’s always the running risk that you get a little some thing other than gains while you’re there.

So yeah, you can kind of get why gyms have lost their appeal.

But does that truly spell the end of your gains?

Well, not quite. Because you still have one last option:

Build your own gym.

In your HDB flat.

Cost of Creating a Home-Based Gym in an HDB Due to COVID-19

Now I know what you’re thinking.

“Build my own gym in my HDB? Isn’t that darn expensive?”

“Plus, won’t the floor crack if I pile too much weight on it?”

Well, not to worry. Firstly, your floor will not crack.

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I think. 

And secondly…

It’s not as expensive as you think.

For the sake of this article, I’ll be segregating it in two parts:

The casual gym rat, and the hardcore gym rat.

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Cost of Creating a Home-Based Gym in an HDB (Casual Gym Rat)

If you’re a casual gym rat, in the sense that you head to the gym, run on the treadmill, do a few lightweight exercises and maybe a few crunches, well this one’s for you.

Good news, yours is relatively cheap.


For most basic exercises, such as crunches, planks and mountain climbers, you would need a yoga mat to ease the process.

You can get one from as cheap at $10 on Decathlon, and a few dollars on Shopee.

Please take note, however, that if you’re purchasing on Shopee, it may be wise to ask about the quality of the mat beforehand.

Especially if it sounds too good to be true.

On the other hand, treadmills will set you back by a lot more, but you can still procure ‘cheaper’ options on Shopee.


This one, for instance, costs $217 for the adult version…

Image: Shopee

And $149 for the child’s version:

Image: Shopee

Alternatively, you can also drop all the hassle and just go out for a run. As long as you seek out a place with minimal human activity and a reasonable running track, you’ll do just fine.


Last but not least, you’ll need some dumbbells to round off your workout.

You can get a set of 2.0KG dumbbells from Decathlon for S$14, and a set of 5.0KG dumbbells from the same site for S$29.

Meanwhile, you can get dumbbells from as low as S$5.00 on Shopee, though again, you may wish to check through the ratings and reviews before making an informed decision.

With that said, a safe price evaluation of the casual gym rat’s plan would come up to around S$20 – S$30 (plus-minus a few dollars) if you forgo the treadmill.

Should you choose to purchase the treadmill, it will be around S$250++.


Cost of Creating a Home-Based Gym in an HDB (Hardcore Gym Rat)

If you’re a hardcore gym rat, in the sense that you utilise workout splits and know all about hypertrophy, fast-twitch muscle fibers, macronutrients, hyperventilation, Ben Affleck’s crazy training montage and all that stuff, well this one’s for you.

Though bad news; yours is gonna come up a little more expensive than the casual gym rat’s set up.

For starters, you’re gonna need an adjustable bench for all your chest and seated shoulder exercises.


You can get one from Decathlon for S$100, and a price range of S$75 and up (may vary) on Shopee.

Image: decathlon.sg

Assuming you’re all about compound exercises as well, a 2.2m, 20kg olympic bar would set you back around S$180S$190. If you’re worried about the confines of your home, you can opt for the 1.5m and 1.8m straight bars, which cost S$82 and S$92 on Shopee respectively.

A 1.2m Ez bar would cost around S$73.

Image: Shopee


At this point, you would need weights. Which undeniably form the pricey part of the equation.

A 15KG rubber weight plate costs S$50 on Decathlon, with a bumper version costing S$60.

Meanwhile, you can find 20KG plates on Shopee for around S$100.

For the full experience (and if you have enough space at home), you can also go for an entire multifunctional gym rack.

However, it costs an exorbitant sum: it currently retails at $600 on Decathlon.


You can find a tailored down version on Shopee for $353.

At the same time, if you just need a basic squat/bench rack, you can get one for S$80 and up on Shopee.

Image: Shopee (sgfitness)

To end things off, you’ll need dumbbells for all your isometric exercises. For the heavy lifters, you can get a pair of 15KG dumbbells from Shopee for S$125 and 20KG dumbbells for S$160.

A 30KG pair could cost around S$250.


Now, assuming that you only go for the essentials, such as the bench, olympic bar, ez-bar, moderate amount of weight plates and dumbbells and squat/bench rack, you could be looking at a combined cost of just over S$1,000.

But before you baulk, hear me out;

Disregarding ActiveSG gyms, most private gyms would normally charge at least S$60 – S$70 as a monthly membership fee.

That totals to around S$700 – S$800 on a yearly basis, and that’s the minimal rate.

So in essence, you can expect to get your value’s worth within a year and a half, plus minus a few months depending on the gym’s membership rates and your choice of equipment.


And though S$1,000 is no small sum, I think it may be a viable option in the long run.

And let’s face it; the pandemic is going to become a mainstay for, at least, the near future.

Plus, if you’ve seen how long gym equipment normally lasts, you would know that these assets do not depreciate that fast.

Resistance Bands

This one’s a little unorthodox in the sense that they aren’t exactly gym-centric, but it certainly offers versatility, a notion that is particularly useful during this time period.

I’m talking, of course, about this set of resistance bands, which you may have seen on numerous adverts during the Circuit Breaker period:


Image: Shopee (imporking.sg)

With each band offering a different degree of resistance, the set can be used for a variety of exercises including:

  • Chest flies
  • Tricep pulldowns
  • Bicep curls
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Shoulder presses

The product starts from as low as S$10++ on Shopee, though you may wish to check with the seller in regards to the earliest availability date.

This one’s certainly useful for those who simply work out to keep fit and healthy.


It’s also a cheap alternative to many other workout options on the market.


On a side note, some may argue that productivity at home is akin to a fish’s survivability on land, in the sense that…

It’s next to zero.

So really, there’s no point purchasing a workout set because you’re not gonna do it anyway.

But hey, that’s not a matter of ambience; it’s a matter of your own self-discipline.

Though of course, some things do help.

For instance, you can listen to some workout music to hype yourself up.

You can also close your door so that you won’t be interrupted. Family interactions can wait for a bit, unless it’s an emergency.

Motivational videos wouldn’t hurt once in a while either.

And if you’re all about pre-workout powder, well nobody’s stopping you.

In the end, it’s not the facility that makes you.

It’s your own mind and determination.

Editor: If that’s the case, why is your writing speed so slow when you work at home?