Sometimes, location, other commitments, and time constraints do not allow people to make it to the Box as often as they like. When that happens, a garage gym is the perfect answer.
Each garage gym is unique in its own way, but if you want to build one from scratch or improve the one you have, then use these tips and tricks to create something that will bring joy to you and anyone else you invite to train there, as well as improving your programming and workouts.
Working out and programming WODs is different when you do it yourself, rather than following the programming of a local Box or coach. But that shouldn’t hold you back from achieving your fitness goals!
GET THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT – LIFT BIG IN SMALL SPACES!
One of the biggest considerations you need to factor in when it comes to creating your perfect garage gym is space. You need to do the best you can with what you have. Check out this garage that serves a dual purpose as both a gym and a garage.
This garage-gym builder used PRx Performance gear for two excellent reasons.
1. First, everything can be folded away to maximize space
2. Second, everything is industrial-strength quality with a 100% guarantee
Their patented Profile® PRO Racks all have heavy-duty 3×3 construction, laser cut numbers, powder coating, and up to seven custom colors to choose from!
GARAGE GYM ESSENTIALS – SQUAT RACK
If you are serious about your fitness, health, and progress then a rack is central to everything you need. It will allow you to perform:
- Front squats, back squats, overhead squats, dead stop squats, pause squats
- Jerks, push presses, and overhead presses from the rack
- All pull-up variations, muscle ups
- Hanging and isometric core exercises
- Toes to bar
Without a rack you will not be able to add heavier squats, which will leave a huge hole in your strength and fitness programming. Perfecting your heavy squat will allow you to develop your body for Olympic weightlifting, full-body strength, and build muscle to the best of your potential.
Your max front squat and back squat should be much higher than your clean. So without a rack you will be unable to move the weight into the starting position for the squat.
Find the right rack for you (link)
GARAGE GYM EQUIPMENT ESSENTIALS – BENCH
A bench is not just for benching. When it comes to programming your own workouts, a bench allows you to perform a huge array of accessory exercises as well.
- Bench press
- Dumbbell rows
- All overhead tricep work (extensions, skull crushers etc)
- Shoulder work (seated pressing exercises)
For more bench moves, see 30 Flat Bench Exercises for your Home Gym
If you want to develop upper-body strength, then get a bench for your garage gym.
Additionally, in CrossFit® there are many movements involving a box such as step overs, and many other unilateral squat variations that require one raised leg (think Bulgarian split squats). Throw a towel over your new bench then use it to perform these exercises with ease. It’s a simple and effective way to avoid having to spend money on a plyobox as well.
The PRx Performance bench folds away against the wall, making it perfect for stowing away after each workout. You can drive your car back into the garage and store all your equipment in the same place.
FUN FACT: PRx Performance was also featured on Shark Tank in the US and got a deal with Kevin O’Leary!
PROGRAMMING WORKOUTS AT HOME
If you want to program CrossFit® workouts at home, then one of the best places to start is CrossFit.com. They post a daily WOD that you can complete and/or scale as necessary. Over time you will see the necessity of having certain pieces of equipment, so you may have to be creative while you save up for them and do the best you can with what you have.
There are many strength cycles that are easy to perform at home based on your lifting experience and goals. Starting strength, 5×5 program, or Wendler’s 5/3/1 program are all good starting points.
Hypertrophy programs, upper lower splits, German Volume training or again, the 5×5 program will help you pack on muscle and size.
IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS
Always keep your goals in mind when training at home by writing them down every day. This will help to keep you motivated and focused. Make sure every goal is:
You can then reverse engineer your programming based on your goals.
TIPS FOR PROGRAMMING WORKOUTS AT HOME
Tip one: Stay safe. If you are training at home by yourself then be conscious of your movements and exercises. About to go for a back squat PR? Make sure you have the safety bars on your rack or power cage. Benching between 90 – 100% of your max? Again, make sure you have a good exit strategy if you don’t have a spotter.
Tip two: Break down your workout into three segments.
- Warm up
- Strength work
Add in any accessory work and/or mobility work as well at the end if you want to. It’s a classic tried and tested strategy and most boxes follow this for a reason.
Tip three: Don’t program a heavy emphasis on your weaknesses and go light on your strengths. Program around your weakness but always keep quality in mind. For example, don’t program 50 strict pull ups if you have problems with 20 of them. Program your 20 but make sure they are all done with good form.
Tip four: Keep balance in mind when programming your own workouts. Push vs pull, heavy vs light, yin vs yang. Fran works because of the combination of a push movement (thrusters) and a pull movement (pullups). Many bodybuilding programs work in splits and even top strongmen often divide into pulling and pushing (pressing) days. Keep this in mind when programming for yourself.
Tip five: Shock your body. Consistency is key, however once in a while throw in something new and different to shock your body. Try a difficult Hero or girl WOD, or add a new barbell complex into your programming that you have never tried before. Shocking your workout will supercharge your gains and give you something to remember with pride!
Tip six: Video your movements and watch them back with friends or check them against reputable videos from the web or YouTube. Ask people you respect to critique them. Ben Smith taught himself to snatch like that.
Tip seven: Keep all your workouts logged so you can go back and repeat them later. This will show you how much you’ve improved and give you a true metric to gauge yourself against.
Tip eight: Keep things tidy. This is a mentality to apply to your form, workouts and the way that you store your equipment so that the space can also be used as a garage as well. Your significant other will also thank you for this!
Whether you need to add a new rack, bench, or storage solution for your barbells and equipment, PRx offers excellent quality equipment and packages that also folds away, allowing you to additionally use the space as a garage.
- Garage Gyms: Cody Andersen