Building a Garage Gym.

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by Mike, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    I'm in the process of closing on my new home and one of the first projects I have on my list is to start building a gym out in the garage. It's a 1200 sq. ft. garage, about 1/3rd of which I would like to fill with equipment.

    First question though, and it may be a stupid one. Is it safe to regularly workout in a garage? The garage is where my cars will be parked as well as other fume-emitting equipment/products. So is it safe to regularly workout in the same place? I figure it should be as long as its well ventilated and I'm not in there while a car is running, but I could be wrong.

    Second, what suggestions do you guys have for equipment? I have some ideas in mind, but would like more ideas on what's out there, the best bang for my buck, and the most workout for the machine (so to speak). Space-wise, it'll probably be about 500 sq. ft. dedicated to whatever I can get in there. My fitness goals primarily center around strength training, but cardio and endurance are a close 2nd. For the starting budget, I'm going to say about $1800, so hit me with ideas.
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I should think you're safe indeed.
    Specific brands and such I'm not too knowledgeable about - but most workout for the machine? A power rack. A flexible power rack with a removeable bench and an olympic barbell and up to 200kg in plates and you're sorted imo! Chuck in a treadmill if you want
     
  3. MikeH

    MikeH Bring the gain

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    This. A power rack is really the only thing you need to get strong.

    As far as working out where you park your cars, just make sure you don't pull your warm car in the garage, close the doors, and immediately go right to working out while your car is still warm and putting off fumes. Give it 30 minutes to an hour, and crack a window. Should be totally fine. I want a garage gym soon...
     
  4. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    Holy crap, 1200sq ft garage!! Is that a pole barn or something? How many car garage would that be?
     
  5. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    Well it sound like a power rack will probably be my first purchase then. That's what I was pretty much thinking since they're so versatile and can be used for such major lifts/exercises

    lol well it's a 3 car garage, but even with 3 cars in it, there's a lot of extra space between the cars and outside of them.
     
  6. Church2224

    Church2224 Guitar Whore

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    I will say when I worked out in my garage, I did enjoy taking breaks to work on my power tools and lawn equipment. Hell taking a break and cut 2x6s with a Dewalt miter saw was always fun.
     
  7. Defi

    Defi SS.org Regular

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    I work out in my garage... I definitely would not worry about fumes unless you close all the doors and leave the car running (although apparently this isn't actually lethal since catalytic converters...). I almost always need the door open anyway for fresh air due to temperature. Even now. It's about 0 degress here (that's 32 for you fahrenheiters), and it feels nice. But seriously, you'll be fine. Probably more unhealthy eating microwaved food.

    I don't have a power rack, just a bench with posts to raise the bar to shoulder level at the back. I wish I had a power rack with a small bench though. I welded a chinup bar, dip station, and farmer walk handles with scrap metal from work.

    For $1800 I would get a power rack, bench, a hybrid power/olympic lifting bar, more weight than you think you'll need, a kettlebell or two (50 pound and either a 30 or 70 maybe), and try to figure out a method to do farmer walks, or do some variation of loaded carries (if you feel comfortable walking around outside looking silly to most people). And then if you feel quirky a few resistance bands and a medicine ball.

    If you're new to lifting weights just bench/rack/bar and weights would be enough.

    I think treadmills are the most expensive and ugly pieces of decor I've ever seen and entirely unnecessary unless you live somewhere frigid... then just go skating or cross country skiing. But someone gave me a cool idea to leave the treadmill off and run on it "pushing" the railing, voila, sledwork (although probably more expensive than a sled). Haven't tried it, but that sounds like a brutal workout.

    I would check craigslist like mad.
     
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  8. Decon87

    Decon87 SS.org Regular

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    +1 for a Power Rack. Also maybe some varying weighted dumbells so you're not stuck just doing barbell stuff. It's nice to switch it up once in a while.

    Best bang for you buck would obviously be used on Craigslist. If you want to buy new, my gym uses machines by a brand called Life Fitness (look at the Hammer Strength line for power racks). Out of all the gyms I've been in (quite a few) they have the best made equipment I've ever used. They've got a power rack with a built in cable machine as well. That'd really give you pretty much everything you need.
     
  9. TRENCHLORD

    TRENCHLORD Banned

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    These are my favorite adjustable dumbells, although mine have the rubber washers on the inside and outside of each side so that they won't come loose. Just remember to loosen them up after the workout and they'll last soooo much longer. Mine are over 10yrs old and none of the washers are worn bad yet, and that's even subjected to extreme cold every winter. With the washers on both sides you don't need to tighten them hard to stay tight, even on things like pullovers or overhead tricep press.
    Go with the standard hammer-stone plates like is on standard pro-style dumbells. They're the thinnest profiles, allowing for 4 10's on each side of the bell if you temporarily remove either the inner or outer washers. The empty dumbell w/ locks weighs in at 5.5LBs, so you can go from 5-85LBS each very quickly.

    [​IMG]


    I'd really suggest going with any of the wider racks. The narrower models just get on my nerves. I sure like having some extra space on the outside of my hands when benching or squating. Try to find a rack with a good pullup bar on top as well.
     
  10. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    All great suggestions so far, thanks guys. I'll definitely be looking into most, if not all of the equipment suggestions. More than likely I'll be doing a mix of new/used equipment.

    Where would you guys suggest I look for the best price on dumbbells? Every big name sporting goods store I look at seems to charge $1 or more per pound with no price breaks. Is that really just the going rate now?
     
  11. Defi

    Defi SS.org Regular

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    Definitely don't buy individual dumbbells. That will drain your funds very quickly and dumbbells should not be the focus of any training. They are nice to supplement with. Definitely buy mini bars as mentioned above (cept those look like 1")... or whatever you call them, dumbbell bars, to put olympic plates that you will already own on. Voila, cheap as borscht and highly configurable. You'll just want to get at least four 2.5lb, and 5lb plates, and probably eight 10lbers and four 25lbers too (8 25s if you think you'll use 100lb dumbbells lots)

    [​IMG]

    Kettlebells on the other hand are hard to replace for what they do. I tried doing swings with a dumbbell, it's horrible. I think KB swinging is pretty damn awesome and worth the purchase of a KB or two.

    Just to complain: I have been working out for the past 8 years (although... maybe like, 2.5 years continuous) with standard 1" weights and a shitty non rotating collar bar, and my biggest plates were 25 lbs. All my deadlifts were from 2.5-3 inches lower than everyone else. I put it on blocks to start at standard 45lb olympic plate height and gained over 50lbs on my 3RM haha.

    The point is: you can make shitty stuff work if you need to... But I can't count the number of times I wish I had a real weight set, and now I've finally run out of weight for deadlifting. An olympic bar and 500lbs of weight in Canada is gonna be like $1k and it is frustrating.
     
  12. Triple-J

    Triple-J the Experimetalist

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    +1 on the power rack cause it's the gym equivalent of a swiss army knife.

    One place I'd recommend you look for weights/dumbells is ebay because most of the time it's too heavy to ship and tends to be pickup only and as a result very few people make a bid so you can find some real bargains on there if you're prepared to wait and watch.

    As for cardio have you considered battle ropes? I was sceptical about them at first but I've been using them for the past two months now and they're great for intervals/hiit training and one of the few forms of cardio I can never get bored of.
    Battle ropes are incredibly cheap as all you're paying for is a length of rope from a home depot type store and once you have that all you have to do is loop it around something to anchor it and you're ready to go.

    Oh and if you need some more inspiration read this...http://www.t-nation.com/training/build-the-perfect-home-gym
     
  13. musicaldeath

    musicaldeath Herald of Djod

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  14. squid-boy

    squid-boy SS.org Regular

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