Garage Gym 101
Awesome! You have a little, or a lot, of free space, and you’re ready to start the process of building a badass home gym. If you just won the lottery, or got a new credit card with 0% interest for 18 months, deciding what to get and where to start is pretty easy. If you’re like most of us, time and budget, and probably space, are going to limit building your dream out of the gate.
I’ve spent the better part of 7 years building out a garage gym: it was not an overnight production. With a combination of time, ingenuity, and of course, money, I’ve just about maximized my space, saved a ton of money, but most importantly, was able to evolve into a space that had useful equipment to work out with, piece by piece. I built my strength and engine at the same pace I built out my gym.
Here are some tips on how to start, from my humble opinion.
- Think Big and Small
Sometimes, you have a big canvas to work with. Sometimes, you have a corner. Maximize the space you have. If there is space or monetary limitations, it’s a lot easier to focus on what you can fit and afford now, than what you can’t.
- Set Priorities on Equipment
Unless you are training for something particular, the best equipment to start with is going to be multifunctional, space sensitive, and therefore carry the most value-an incline bench or a yoke are great, but 4 sets of heavyish dumbbells will cost the same (or less) and do a hell of a lot more for you. I made a list HERE
- Hunt and Create
There’s plenty of great vendors where you can buy your equipment, but time and budget might limit what and when you can take advantage of them. Craigslist, garage sales, used sporting good stores and thrift shops are great places to snag deals. You will be exchanging time for money, however. Patience, tenacity, and more patience will be crucial. There’s also plenty of pieces of equipment that can be built, or objects that can be used in place of traditional ones. If you’ve ever done a full day of manual labor around the house and yard, you know what I mean.
- …Still use the space for its intended purpose!
Find a rack setup that can hold your kettlebells and all your yard tools. Wheels and moving dollies come in handy to maximize space and function. The more shelves, hooks and hangers, the better! It’s awesome to have space for working out, but it sucks having to change a car battery out in the rain.
Venice Beach, CA