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Hi, I’m a fitness instructor turned unofficial Garage Gym Planner and Architect (if that’s even a profession!) who would like to help the people get what they would like best out of their fitness routines and stop you from splurging a ton of cash on expensive gym membership.
A bit more about this expensive gym membership – you aren’t going to use it much. But, it’s not your fault. Why? Because when you go to a commercial gym, after they take your money for a period of time, 3,6,9 or 12, they want to out of there. Its pure business numbers when you think about it. A gym can only accommodate so many members and usually they have a lot more gym memberships taken and people on the floor than they can manage. So what’s the best way to combat this? Yes, that’s right, make them quit!
If you noticed that your personal trainer just doesn’t get his head out of his mobile phone and hardly pays any attention to your form or rep count, then you know that it’s this problem that I’m talking about. Their job is to get you walking through the door and then get you out the same way as fast as possible.
I’m not against commercial fitness, a few gyms do get it right. But most of the them are all in for the cash grab and I’m sick and tired of it. As should you be. So what is the solution?
A home garage gym, when properly decked out, is your own personal space and can motivate you into pushing yourself hard. Like most people who are new to this, you must be wondering how you would get this going? Before I started building my own home garage gym, I too was daunted by the number of choices and the amount of options that were available. “Do I need a power rack?”, “Do I go for adjustable dumbbells despite their cost?”, “What kind of shoes do I buy?” and several more questions raced through my head. Like most people, I too didn’t want to spend money that I didn’t want to.
I learnt how to build my own home garage gym from several resources, websites, friends, fellow trainers and other owners of home garage gyms. And this website contains all of this knowledge and wisdom, categorically sorted so that you, the reader, can find what you need at a glance and get out and pump iron!
I always put my priorities above getting fit in the gym. But in hindsight, getting a fit body was one of the most important things that you could ever hope to do. A home garage gym, when properly decked out, is your own personal space and can motivate you into pushing yourself hard. Most often it can be overwhelming and it will seem like you have no time for anything else. But believe me when I say that eventually once you get into the swing of things, you’ll find yourself making time for fitness.
Let’s face it, we all have our own budgetary constraints. A gym membership is a pretty expensive proposition especially when you consider that you are not getting the most out of it either. A garage gym can pay for itself in the long run. I did the math, trust me.
More than 3/4s of the people I spoke to admitted that the on days when their motivation was low the thought of the commute killed it completely. With a garage gym, you put on your favorite t-shirt and sneaker and just walk into it.
A gym is no place to parade fashion, but people like to sweat out in clothes that they prefer. Some commercial gyms frown on this and restrict people about what they can wear. When it comes to your own garage gym, you can wear what you want.
Unless you have 10 other friends in your home gym with you, you are never going to have to wait for your turn on the equipment. Waiting kills the “endorphin high” and wastes all the burn that you’ve build up.
You never, ever, ever have to deal with smug trainers telling you this again. Can you tell I really hate this? When you have your own garage gym, you get ready and pump. That’s about it.
Now that we have looked at home garage gyms with a comically large magnifying glass, it’s now time to put the hammer down. If you’re reading this, I know one thing for sure – you want to better yourself. That is awesome, and mad props to you!
Here’s where you can help me out though: I don’t know how experienced you are at it. Either you are just breaking into fitness and are disillusioned with your local gym (you got out of the commercial gym cycle that quickly, great!)or you just don’t feel that your fitness needs are being satisfied by the neighborhood gym. Either ways, I’ve got totally different things that you should be looking at.
These are the question that I hear from people who want to break into the home fitness regime:
Well, except the last question, we can definitely help you out here. There are reviews, articles and guides about what you should be doing with regards to these all throughout the website. About getting the six pack in a month, you can. But you needed to have started out with a 5 ½ a month before.
After you’ve spent some time making friends with equipment and burning muscles, your priorities will change. It’s a natural part of getting fitter. Now, you should concern yourself with different things like:
And so on and so forth. If I managed to miss something, please let me know. Also, I’ll even credit you with the question.
It can be a daunting task to get a home gym setup, but once you're done then it will take care of itself and you with only minor maintenance. But what I have to tell you is that it is actually pretty easy to get into a fitness lifestyle. You can count on advice from this website to act as a guide for when you have problems making the right decisions.
A home garage gym has several fantastic advantages over a gym, we have seen that as well. But why don’t people make the switch? Well, simple – they don’t know and think that they wouldn’t just be able to. Through this website, I’m hoping to deconstruct the enigma of building an effective home garage gym.
I will breakdown exactly what you need to do and when. I also have insights because I also started out new. To get yourself to peak fitness with the help of your home gym, you are going to need three classes of equipment. These are the most commonly used and can give your home fitness studio a well-rounded appearance.
All through my fitness regime, I’ve never heard anyone go “Meh, power racks are so last year.” This baby is like the holy grail of building strength and fitness for anyone and everyone! Also, they are called squat racks in some circles. With a good quality power rack in place, you can pull of the best compound exercises that are known to man. Squats, benches, deadlifts and overhead presses. Throw in a bit more cash and you can get your own pull up bar that comes along with it.
You will find that you can bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press and barbell row all in the same place. Some of them even come up with a pull-up bar. A good guide to start off with would be the Strong Lifts 5 X 5 program which can undoubtedly make you a much stronger and fitter person. If you feel that you are more suited to the Crossfit regime of things then you can do that here as well. You need to make sure that your power rack can fit Olympic sized barbells.
With a good quality power rack in place, you can pull of the best compound exercises that are known to man. Squats, benches, deadlifts and overhead presses. Throw in a bit more cash and you can get your own pull up bar that comes along with it.
A power rack is the basic foundation of a lot of programs. You just cannot afford to ignore the advantages it offers. To get the most out of your squat rack, pair them up with Olympic sized barbells which can maximize your benefits.
Getting your dose of cardiovascular exercise is absolutely necessary as well. For some, it’s the difference between a mediocre and a particularly productive day at work. Science has proven that cardiovascular benefits include being able to focus on things longer and feeling less stressed out through the day. To take your cardiovascular functions to the limit, I would go for a rowing machine rather than the popular treadmill.
A rowing machine burns significantly more calories than other machines when it comes to cardio. It also has the advantage of being less impactful than a treadmill so people of all ages can get their fitness workout from it. It is also about the cardiovascular machine that properly enhances your core strength therefore building strength as part of your aerobic routine.
You can also work out with high speed jump rope but this requires some mastery and if you are looking to lose large amounts of weight, I would suggest you work on other machines first before you get into this. Similarly if you have knee issues, steer clear of this. It’s cheap and you can find it at any of your retailers.
Not many people are sold on the idea of huge and expensive power racks and rowing machine all over their home garage. I get that. You want to start small and yet not lose any of the effectiveness of the other discipline. I introduce to you, the free weights.
Most people are reluctant to take the plunge with a power rack or any other cardiovascular equipment for your home garage gym. So for those kinds of people a better option would be to start off with barbells and smaller dumbbells. They work out to being cheaper and better to wet your toes in before you take the dive into a full-fledged home gym.
Get the lowdown on the best adjustable dumbbells for you
When you opt for plates, try investing in bumper plates. They last for a lot longer than ordinary plates and are much easier on your floor. And the best part is weight training is not the only thing you can get with these, you can get Crossfit type workouts accomplished as well. You can check our recommendations as to what type of weights you should go ahead and get.
Some beginners opt for a squat rack, which is basically a baby power rack. It’s like a power rack but it comes with a safeties built in which can prevent a new guys from hurting themselves. I actually don’t recommend this if you have a long term fitness goal in mind as they are expansive and you’ll need to replace them with a power rack for ultimate benefits.
I would rather that you stick with free weights, Olympic barbells to be exact, than purchase something that will not add value to your home gym in the long run. Barbells are great learning tools and can teach you a lot about the right form. The key is not to be too aggressive with loading weights on them.
If you are just getting into home gym and fitness then you should opt for a smith machine. To put it simply, it’s a power rack but it has a safety system setup in place which can protect you. I wouldn’t recommend sticking with this for any extended periods of time as it provides very little benefits and a power rack is definitely the better alternative.
If a smith machine is out of your spending budget, you might do well to look at Olympic sized barbells that can give you the requisite training. As long as you keep weights within manageable limits, you shouldn’t face any problems with it. Also, it’s very important to maintain proper form and you need to check online or with other people to deter mine what is the best method to do so.
I hear several people asking me if they should buy both dumbbells and barbells for their garage gym. My answer to that would be: if you can, definitely. Barbells and dumbbells work perform different functions when it comes to how they build muscle. A barbell is something I would use for more total-strength related movements squats, deadlifts and bench presses. If you want to sharpen up your bicep peak or work out the inner chest, then dumbbells are indispensable.
Another option when you are just starting off is to hire a personal trainer. It might be expensive to start off with, but then once you get your form right, you could go on your own. There are too many reasons to list why a personal trainer can help you be the best that you can be. They have years of experience and know exactly what get your body built like you want.
Like me and a hundred other people will tell you, form is everything. It determines how good of a workout you’re getting and how to avoid injuries. Proper form with lower weight will always pay you more dividends than just piling on weights.
If you aren’t able to afford a personal trainer about now, you might look to online methods which can help you with your problems. One channel I recommend is The Buff Dudes channel on YouTube. These guys are fun and give you the right methods to build your physique. You can also make use of How to get the best form on reddit. Another underutilized resource which give you opinions and advice from more than a million people at your fingertips.
There are hundreds of channels online that you can refer to for getting the most out of your fitness regime as well as executing the correct movement. YouTube immediately comes to mind and several channels on there offer great tips to get started. Popsugar fitness, turbulence training, and fitness blender are some of the top channels that can give you what you want when it comes to your fitness needs.
It’s very important to get a feel for your own body when you work out and this is best accomplished by being in a well-lit environment complete with large mirrors. Plus, functionally mirrors can help you with correcting your form as well. Large mirrors are indispensable for the home gym. I would go so far as to say it’s on par with getting the right kind of floor on your gym.
A complete home gym system is a great way you can save money and space. By this I mean that you can get all you want in one machine, for example Joe Weider home gym systems. They aren’t your exact alternatives to power lifting equipment, but they serve beginners well. It’s definitely not something that you will base your home gym around. It’s just something that acts as a stopgap before you graduate to better equipment.
Flooring is an oft overlooked aspect when it comes to gyms. If you do not want to mess up your home floors, you’d do well to get gym specific flooring that can resist the wear and tear of heavy weights on them all the time.
There are several vendors that you need to check out for great deals on gym equipment. Sometimes they even offer free shipping which comes across as a great deal. Anyone who buys gym equipment online knows that shipping can be killer. A few that immediately come to mind are
This is most likely my very favorite e-tailer and for good reason. Everything is available there and for great deals, especially towards the start of holidays. Most brands and equipment that have been released in the past few years are available here and without exceptions.
There are still many more options that you can explore, but these are the big guns as far as gym equipment is concerned. There will be more detailed/specific guides about this elsewhere on the website.
Anyone who is building a home gym would have definitely heard about Rogue Fitness and for good reason. They are the top home weight room manufacturers out there right now. They have basically most of the stuff you need to get your own home gym started. And their prices are pretty good as well, along with deals that you can net every once awhile. They offer great quality and I’m pretty sure that you’ll never feel let down by them.
They make premium equipment that has been the benchmark for a really long, long time. The quality when it comes to barbells and dumbbells have to be seen to believed. The only caveat it that since they’re based in the UK, you might have to get it imported into the US. Still, look for bargains especially if they have discounts on shipping on their website.
Another option if you want strength training equipment is to get in touch with Vulcan Strength for squat racks and barbell. There is very little difference between Vulcan and Rogue, except for the fact that Vulcan is probably a bit more affordable.
Hopefully this article has given you some idea of how to go about setting up your first home gym. As you’ve probably read through, it’s not very complicated and anyone can get into it and find exactly what they are looking for.
Well, this is just the beginning of the fitness path that you have chosen. You will grow fitter and stronger every day when you keep working out and be honest to yourself. If you’ve read this far, then I hope I added some value and insights for you to take over when you choose to get your own home garage gym set up.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that you never should skimp on gym equipment. From experience, I can tell you that the cheaper ones amount to you just throwing money away rather than saving. I will never carry a brand on my website owing to it being just cheap and not worth the money in the long run.
To finish up, remember to follow a healthy diet. Nutritious food intake is half the battle won. Consult your doctor about your current fitness system and find out the ideal amount of calories that you need to intake or burn.
Do write to me or in the comments section if you need to leave questions, criticism or anything else that might help me or our community. Feedback is always helpful!