Membership at the globogym?
No way – too crowded, and too many gym-idiots.
Membership at the local CrossFit box?
No thanks. It costs too much, the hours are odd, and they really don’t let you do your own thing.
Face it – your gym sucks.
So make your own garage gym.
Let me convince you.
There’s a myriad of reasons to DIY – Do It Yourself.
Let’s dive right in.
The garage gym has no sign-up fees, no late fees, no early cancellation fees, and no contracts.
No punch cards, no drop-in fees, no parking fees.
And where is that money going anyways?
Probably to finance a whole bunch of crap you’ll never use – treadmills, a variety of arcane cable machines, and that weird thigh-master thing.
We all know barbell, dumbbell/kettlebells, and body weight are all you really need for EFFECTIVE exercise that gets results.
So let’s skip all that garbage – and save that money.
What shall we do with this new found windfall of extra cash? Well, you’ll have to buy your own equipment of course.
But the fact is that you can find gym equipment used for dirt cheap.
A few hundred dollars is really all you need to get started.
When I was a regular at a commercial gym I had to time my workout around a number of things.
I avoided peak hours – too much waiting for equipment.
But I tried to time it around traffic too, and of course before the gym closed.
Having to drive to the gym is not how I choose to spend my limited time left on this planet.
20 minutes to drive, 10 minutes to park, 10 minutes to go in and get all setup – why waste all this time?
With the garage gym – I walk into the garage and the workout begins.
And closing up shop is just as easy.
Not so with the commercial gym – when you are done you have to drive back home (or to work.)
Chalk The Hell Out Of Your Hands
Chalk helps – it keeps your palms dry which means the ultimate in grip, and it helps prevent callouses from forming.
But many commercial gyms don’t want you to use chalk – because it’s messy.
No such limits in the garage gym.
There’s a dust cloud like a Siberian snowstorm when I lift.
Why? Because it helps me lift more. It just makes sense.
So chalk the hell out of everything – if that’s what you want to do.
No wiping sweat off the equipment
The last time I was a regular member at a commercial gym the sweat wiping hysteria was not yet in force.
You used the equipment and you moved on. It was indoors and air-conditioned – how much sweat can be left on the equipment? If there was a puddle on the seat or bench – you sopped it up with your towel – no big deal.
That’s a thing of the past now – apparently.
Recently I set foot in a globogym (on a guest pass, I assure you) and everyone had to thoroughly disinfect anything they touched.
It was a waste of time.
Shirts Optional / Workout Wardrobe
Shirt on or off?
It’s up to you in the garage gym.
Maybe it’s hot – or maybe you are just a show off.
But rest assured in the garage gym you get to workout clothed the way you want.
This also means you can save some $$$$ by foregoing the fancy workout wardrobe – what’s the point of all those fancy clothes nobody is going to see?
So save some coin by training at home – and you won’t be judged for working out in those tattered rags you call a shirt and shorts.
(This also means you don’t have to feel intimidated by all those obnoxious gym show-offs – and that’s a big plus as well.)
Music or no music – you make the call.
I like music while I workout – my music.
Not terrestrial radio, not satellite radio, not a streaming service.
But that’s the beauty of the garage gym – the sky is the limit.
Play whatever crappy music you wish – at any volume. Or use headphones – nobody is gonna disrupt you with dumb questions so you don’t have to take them off.
Or don’t play anything – it’s all up to you.
No lines, no wait
Ever had to wait in line for the squat rack while someone does a set of HEAVY curls?
Ever had to re-sequence your exercises waiting for equipment?
Yeah, that’s lame.
Some gyms only have 1 or 2 squat racks. And in some cases they aren’t used.
But the point stands.
Having to deviate from your pace and sequence is not optimal – and it’s annoying.
And good luck trying to do any sort of super-set.
You’re the a**hole who is hogging up 3 pieces of equipment.
And you certainly can’t do that on peak hours.
Hours of Operation? Yes!
And by the way – the garage gym is open 24×7 – including holidays, hurricanes, snow storms, and riots.
Lift weights at midnight on Christmas in a blizzard if you want.
it’s all good.
Drop weights – if that’s your thing
Commercial gyms don’t like dropped weights.
It’s noisy, it can damage the floor, it can damage the equipment, and it can be a huge liability.
So, it makes sense they don’t want you slamming weights around.
But in the garage gym you can do all that – but hopefully you do it in a smart way.
Make a cool lifting platform and use it with a quality barbell and bumper plates.
Take a few common sense steps so that the risk of damage and injury are minimal – and you’ll be good.
It is still gonna make noise.
The neighbors will feel (and maybe hear) a heavy barbell (like in a deadlift) even when dropped from only 2-3 inches above the floor.
So don’t be a jerk – but lift the way you want too.
And guess what? Once you have bumper plates an amazing thing happens – you can actually learn the Olympic lifts properly.
Do your own thing – with no unsolicited advice from the local lunk heads
Some people want instruction at the gym.
That’s what CrossFit coaches and personal trainers are for.
For the rest of us – we do our own programming.
I don’t need a WOD.
I don’t want or need a form critique from some rando.
I don’t need advice on supplements or rest periods.
I’ve done all the internet research and I know my goals – and how to achieve them.
Maybe you like the camaraderie and chit-chat with the local muscle heads.
That’s OK, but it’s not for everyone.
The garage gym can be your fortress of solitude – where you really get into the workout.
A No Social Media Zone
And here’s another benefit of a garage gym.
You aren’t subjected to everyone else’s dumb gym activities.
I can’t stand the sight of people texting on benches and posing for selfies in the gym.
Use the equipment and get the hell out of the way once your set is done.
And even worse – overhearing someone’s idiotic phone call – which is sure to be had at maximum auditory volume.
No romantic suitors
A gym can be a meat market.
And maybe that’s what some people are there for.
But if you don’t want any of that – I can guarantee you’ll fly under the radar in your own garage gym.
But, it can’t all be rosy – there are some downsides too.
The Few Downsides To Your Own Garage Gym
Limited selection of equipment – but that’s OK – because there are only a few pieces of gear you really need (barbell, bumpers, pull-up bar, etc.)
Limited floor-space – so don’t waste room on obscure gear like big heavy cable machines.
No spotters (get a squat rack and use safety pins, arms, or straps.)
You might have to move the car – or keep it in the driveway.
It’s probably gonna be hot – and humid with no A/C. Your gear might get rustier than normal.
It will be cold in the winter.
There’s no audience – for those that need a crowd to stay motivated.
And there won’t be any delightful visual distractions.
But, the ultimate appeal of the garage gym is FREEDOM.
The Garage Gym is FREEDOM
And the Garage Gym delivers on FREEDOM like no other training space can.
Do what you want, when you want, the way you want it – without being subjected to anyone else’s whims or desires.
That’s the real reason.
No matter what you decide to do, we hope we given you food for thought.
All these amusing stock photos from from BigStock. I’d use pictures from my own garage gym, but it’s very unsightly.