Creating Your Home Gym

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Most people want to improve their personal fitness, and this should include you. It is a struggle for me, but I found buying the equipment to set up my own garage home gym helped tremendously. I will be updating this document based on my personal experience.

What do you want to accomplish?

You need to decide what you want to accomplish. And don’t go confusing goals and expections. Rather than focusing on a number on a scale, what do you want your body to be able to do? That will determine the focus of your exercise regimen, as well as the equipment you will need.

I wants to set up my garage home gym to do Crossfit-like workouts.

GPP – General Physical Preparedness

I want to increase my strength and general physical preparedness, with a highly varied exercise program to prevent boredom. I want to have a strong, resilient body with good endurance so I can mountain bike and snowboard all day; then I want to go home, sleep well and be able to do it again the next day.

Since my goal isn’t to lift the largest weight possible, I do not mind that there will be times I will be working on increasing my endurance the same week I’m squatting heavy. Unfortunately, this means I  I don’t have limitations on the type of equipment I need to achieve my goals. The list will never end, but my garage gym doesn’t need to have all of it.

The Easy Button

If you want to set up your own Crossfit garage gym, you can purchase a pre-assembled package with just about everything you need. Just add some bumper plates, a couple more barbells, and a rower; you’ll be able to perform just about every WOD the mainsite can generate.

I didn’t have the cash to drop all at once, so I chose to . . .

Step Into It

Below is a prioritized list of equipment based on my interest in building my body to be strong, yet have good endurance and be ready to take part in strenuous activities. I broke it down into stages so that you don’t have to lay out your money all at once.

Low Budget / Getting Started

At this stage, you can build a great home gym with a small investment. Bodyweight exercises are a good staple, and you can progress the challenge to build your strength by varying body position and technique.

  1. Good shoes. You are going to be moving a lot, so make sure your shoes are comfortable and don’t rub you the wrong way. I like the feel of more barefoot-oriented shoes. My favorite for squats and deadlifts are my Vibram Fivefingers, but for any workout that includes running I prefer my Merrells.
  2. A good jump rope is an essential conditioning tool. Jumping rope delivers a challenge for both coordination and endurance. The SR-1 is my favorite rope so far, especially with the ability to purchase a longer cable and customize the length to fit my height.
  3. An Abmat, while not essential, I have found it to be a good way to pad my tailbone while supporting my low back.
  4. Pull Up Bar and bands(RF Pull-up Package 2). The pull up is one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises to me. I have long arms and did not build much upper body strength when I was younger.A solid pull up bar, which allows some kipping without causing problems is essential. The bands will allow you to start with assisted pull ups and scale to unassisted.Again, the P-3 is a funciton of my height. I can mount the bar close to the ceilieng so my feet don’t drag on the ground.

Putting on Weight

It’s healthy for most of us to put on some lean mass or “build muscle”. In my opinion, increased strength opens up many opportunities by making challenging activities just a little bit easier. Below are some healthy ways your garage gym can put on some weight and help you get stronger, too.

  1. A barbell and weight set is not essential, but if you want to really increase your maximum strength, you need to lift heavy barbells. I like the Rogue Economy package as a good starting place. You can read my review of the set I have used for years. I still love it.
  2. Kettlebells are a great conditioning tool, challenging your grip strength and endurance all in one little package. If you want to save a few dollars, you can make one yourself if you have some weights laying around.
  3. Metal plates can be added as you need them. If you start with a base package of bumpers, adding metal weights is less expensive than the rubber versions. Keep an eye on Craigslist and you’ll be able to pick these up cheaper than buying new.

A Few Tips

  1. If you aren’t in a rush, keep an eye on Craigslist in your area and you may be able to pick up some gear on the cheap. It’s a great place to pick up weight sets that never get used. You can add to your gym for less than having it shipped to you.
  2. Watch RogueFitness’s Closeout page. They have new and used equipment they are trying to clear out of the wharehouse. The specials change regularly, but really pay attention around the time of the Reebok/Crossfit Games and preliminary competitions. Many times, the equipment used in the events is sold at a discounted price.

Bells & Whistles

These items are not essential and I may never own them, but they would be great to have on-hand. Challenging full-body workouts are the norm with these machines, designed to induce misery and improved fitness.

  1. Concept 2 rowers are a great full-body workout. You are forced to use every part of your body to create an efficient pull to eat up the distance quickly. Even when tired, I’ve found it possible to keep going, even though my pace degrades.

Product Reviews

I will post reviews of products I have found valuable. I will only post reviews of products I have used and found valuable. When possible, I will provide links to places where you can purchase these items. The links may be affiliate links, where a portion of the sale will be paid back to me. …

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