1

votes

What equipment would you buy for an ideal garage gym?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 23, 2010 at 4:47 AM

Specifications: 400 square feet, 10 foot ceilings, $10k budget.
Goal: Improve strength/power with Olympic and power lifts. Accommodate you and 1 or 2 lifting buddings. Include just enough conditioning to keep body fat low.

This example is WAY over budget, but I would want something like this: http://www.elitefts.com/documents/lee_gerney.htm

Please put real-world prices in with each item!

Fd627132a760e414f2afbf378c8afd9b

(260)

on December 14, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I've been using the TRX as well. Its gotten me more sore than any workout in recent memory. Great for tough bodyweight workouts.

Fe9564da32d84d7213ef2a203f97de48

(279)

on December 23, 2010
at 09:06 PM

Concept 2 rowing machines are great!

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:25 PM

Get an interval timer at the get-go. Tabata sprints/squats/anything is an awesome way to get high intensity workout into four minutes. The roughest tabata I've ever done is bottom-to-bottom squats. OUCH.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:23 PM

The closest CF gym is 45 miles away, so I usually work out on my own. I have a Level-1 cert, so if you're looking for a trainer and live in the Shenandoah Valley, I'm here. :D

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:21 PM

It's just my rec room - it doesn't look like much. The pull-up bar is in the laundry room because the unfinished ceiling is higher than the rec room. And yes, I have the plans downloaded and all the supplies purchased. Our driveway is an icy mess right now, and we can't move the rear wheel drive sports car in and out of the garage. It will melt soon enough. :)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on December 23, 2010
at 03:04 PM

i absolutely LOVE out TRX. in summer we use it outside on the kids jungle gym, and we just got the anchor point installed in our living room for use inside this winter. we live in a 200 year old house with NO room for any exercise equipment, and thats why i initially got it, but it kicks my but, and my husbands butt, and everyone butt who comes over because we are always dragging out for people to try. its amazing that its so small and simple, but the most versatile piece of equipment ive ever used.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on December 23, 2010
at 02:02 PM

this is awesome. my only wish would be for a power rack over the stands, just feels safer when i am working out alone in a garage.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 01:00 PM

I want to see pictures! That sounds so cool. Do you need a workout partner? ;)

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 23, 2010
at 12:50 PM

Good call! Have you seen the diy plyo boxes on the CF Journal?

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 23, 2010
at 12:48 PM

Good idea to buy the package-- I was going to pick things up as I needed them but it's a much better deal to buy it all in one whack.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 12:35 PM

The TRX is really great for traveling workouts too. It would be excellent for working on balance and flexibility.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 12:34 PM

Craigslist is FANTASTIC for this type of stuff. People always think they are going to use it and then they don't. You can get some amazing deals!

9a3307dc00af6a76af1aa31cedf9156e

(418)

on December 23, 2010
at 06:20 AM

dang, that's a heck of a deal for that package delivered!

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6 Answers

best answer

3
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on December 23, 2010
at 05:25 PM

I like alec's suggestion, but don't feel tied to one of the pre-determined packages from Again Faster or Rogue. As long as you buy a bunch of stuff worth several thousand dollars, they will probably offer you a discounted rate on everything (at least, that was my experience when I bought a bunch from Rogue).

Keeping with your goals, and depending on where you are in your lifts, all you really need is

Strength/Oly lifts:

  • a power rack and/or stands ($150-$1000) (look for used power cages)
  • bars ($200-$1000) (sky's the limit on how expensive of a bar you want)
  • plates ($400-2000) (iron plates are relatively easy to find on CL -- again, competition plates are expensive, but the AF or Rogue plates are probably just fine unless you are a competitive O-lifter)
  • fractional plates ($50)
  • clamps ($15-50)
  • chalk ($10-20)
  • a platform (DIY) / horse stall mats ($300)
  • belt ($35-70)
  • bench ($100)

I have everything on the list above, except for the power rack, and I really wish I had one. I'm not advanced enough to need them assistance work yet, but I will be in the next year, and I really wish I had one. =( Safer for training alone occasionally, and way more versatile.

With your budget, I'd definitely spring for one.

Assistance work:

  • pull-up bars (maybe not necessary if you get a power rack, but ~ $150)
  • rings ($80)
  • bands ($60)
  • chains (dunno)
  • GHD ($100-400) (look for used)

I don't have a GHD. With just 400' of space, I'm not sure I'd get one. It's big and not very versatile.

Conditioning/assistance (going roughly from least to most expensive):

  • jump rope ($10)
  • stopwatch ($10)
  • kettlebells ($50) (get two or three)
  • climbing rope (not sure -- hunt around at hardware stores or online)
  • med ball ($100)
  • plyo boxes ($150)
  • dumbbells ($600) (get used)
  • Prowler/sled ($500)
  • rower ($950) (get used)

I don't have the Prowler, plyo boxes, or med balls and I think I do just fine, although it would be awesome to have a Prowler. Be careful of annoying your neighbors, though. I'm pretty sure the thing is very loud. A climbing rope may be silly for a 10' ceiling, but I'd get one anyway. You can hang it in the back yard if you have a good tree.

IMO conditioning is mostly a matter of creativity and boredom, not equipment. You can spend as much or as little as you'd like. Sprinting is free, a jump rope is $10, and beyond that, you don't need much. Dumbbells are nice for some assistance work, and easy to find used.


The big variables are the bars and plates. You could get one bar like the Rogue bar ($262) for both Oly and slow lifts. Or you could get an Eleiko bar ($800) for the Oly lifts and another bar for the power lifts. Bumper plates are also wildly variable in price, depending on quality.

I think you could get a KILLER gym for under $7,000, including shipping and taxes. If you want competition-quality bars and plates, you could easily spend $10K, though. If you're willing to hunt around on CL for good deals on rowers and dumbbells, you can save a few hundred dollars.

I tried to over-estimate on some of the equipment. Given the volume discount + shipping costs, it should roughly even out -- but do your own research.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:25 PM

Get an interval timer at the get-go. Tabata sprints/squats/anything is an awesome way to get high intensity workout into four minutes. The roughest tabata I've ever done is bottom-to-bottom squats. OUCH.

5
6c7024083f52ce56f28f72235fc3af5e

(50)

on December 23, 2010
at 04:51 AM

http://www.againfaster.com/home-platinum/ if you want a more crossfit style thing. Essentials I would say pullup bar, squat rack, horse stall mats, bumper plates, a good bar, chalk,

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on December 23, 2010
at 02:02 PM

this is awesome. my only wish would be for a power rack over the stands, just feels safer when i am working out alone in a garage.

9a3307dc00af6a76af1aa31cedf9156e

(418)

on December 23, 2010
at 06:20 AM

dang, that's a heck of a deal for that package delivered!

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 23, 2010
at 12:48 PM

Good idea to buy the package-- I was going to pick things up as I needed them but it's a much better deal to buy it all in one whack.

4
Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on December 23, 2010
at 05:09 AM

Check out the TRX...

http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/

small, compact, portable, efficient...

$189.00

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 12:35 PM

The TRX is really great for traveling workouts too. It would be excellent for working on balance and flexibility.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on December 23, 2010
at 03:04 PM

i absolutely LOVE out TRX. in summer we use it outside on the kids jungle gym, and we just got the anchor point installed in our living room for use inside this winter. we live in a 200 year old house with NO room for any exercise equipment, and thats why i initially got it, but it kicks my but, and my husbands butt, and everyone butt who comes over because we are always dragging out for people to try. its amazing that its so small and simple, but the most versatile piece of equipment ive ever used.

Fd627132a760e414f2afbf378c8afd9b

(260)

on December 14, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I've been using the TRX as well. Its gotten me more sore than any workout in recent memory. Great for tough bodyweight workouts.

3
9a3307dc00af6a76af1aa31cedf9156e

(418)

on December 23, 2010
at 06:03 AM

go to a local welding shop and give them pics of a squat rack/pullup bar frame and have them make you one (or weld yourself if you can, I can do it but I doubt you are anywhere near southern Oregon). Other than that get three olympic barbells, a good set of dumbells ranging from around 10-70# (maybe get the shop to make a rack for dumbells too), and then get some kettlebells.

Almost any good crossfit program (crossfit-football is gearned toward strength, which sounds like what you want) can be done with a couple barbells with assorted plates, pullup/squat rack, dumbells and kettlebells. If you have the cash, a rowing machine (look at the Concept 2 rowing machine, light, portable and can stand up against the wall to be out of the way) would be great, and an ghd abb bench. Other than that, all a couple matts, a bench, some boxes for box jumps, and a rope to climp if you got the height in your garage and you would be set. Don't get caught up in the hype of buying machines, machines are, for the most part, worthless. Focus on functional body movements and olympic lifts and you will be set. I don't have the time to calc it all out now and source vendors, but with a little enginuity, and the fact that I can weld, if I had the space, I could make a sweet home gym for around $5,000 I bet, minus the rower.

Fe9564da32d84d7213ef2a203f97de48

(279)

on December 23, 2010
at 09:06 PM

Concept 2 rowing machines are great!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 12:34 PM

Craigslist is FANTASTIC for this type of stuff. People always think they are going to use it and then they don't. You can get some amazing deals!

2
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 12:46 PM

Check out these free articles at journal.crossfit.com

CrossFitters are really big on the garage gym thing.

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue1_Sep02.pdf

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/35_05_Garage_Gym_II-The_Revolution.pdf

In my home gym, I have:

  • pull-up bar (home made from gas pipe)
  • rings (PVC pipe, home made, but not by me)
  • assistance bands (75#, 50#)
  • 260 lb. bumper plate set + iron fractional plates
  • ladies olympic bar
  • mens olympic bar
  • 15# weighted bar
  • 22# weighted bar
  • broomstick (important for warm-ups and technique training!)
  • 3 kettlebells (light, med, heavy for me at present)
  • squat stands
  • GHD (from Christian's Fitness Factory)
  • 12 lb. medicine ball
  • Ab-Mat

The next item added will be a 20" box jump.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 23, 2010
at 01:00 PM

I want to see pictures! That sounds so cool. Do you need a workout partner? ;)

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:21 PM

It's just my rec room - it doesn't look like much. The pull-up bar is in the laundry room because the unfinished ceiling is higher than the rec room. And yes, I have the plans downloaded and all the supplies purchased. Our driveway is an icy mess right now, and we can't move the rear wheel drive sports car in and out of the garage. It will melt soon enough. :)

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 23, 2010
at 12:50 PM

Good call! Have you seen the diy plyo boxes on the CF Journal?

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on December 23, 2010
at 08:23 PM

The closest CF gym is 45 miles away, so I usually work out on my own. I have a Level-1 cert, so if you're looking for a trainer and live in the Shenandoah Valley, I'm here. :D

1
9a19846adfae25b2e17c32d9af386f02

(151)

on December 23, 2010
at 03:45 PM

Seriously jealous of your space and budget... I've long dreamed of designing my own home garage gym!

Here is a good guide with links (no prices sorry): http://crossfitweekendwarriors.typepad.com/homegym.htm

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