Tim Ferriss is known for many different things, most notably his podcast and books that delve into the lives of top performers. Nearly all top performers have one thing in common – a home gym; Tim Ferriss is no different.
The home gym is essential to keeping a prime physical and mental state for those who live busy lives. It seems obvious by the amount of content that Tim Ferriss produces that compared to many, his life is likely quite busy.
In following the recommendation of many of the guests on his podcast, Tim has built a very respectable garage gym featuring equipment we often recommend through the site. We've detailed other ‘The Time Ferris Show' guests home gyms in the past (check out Jocko Willink's Garage Gym here) but have yet to show off Tim's…until now.
Table of Contents
- Power Rack
- Conditioning Equipment
- Stall Bars
- Tim Ferriss Training
As expected, Tim Ferriss has a wide range of equipment. Evidenced in his various books, most notably The Four Hour Body, Tim's interests are eclectic and therefore this extends naturally to the way he trains.
Although Tim has a power rack as the centerpiece of his gym, I would guess based upon his conversations with Christopher Sommer (GymnasticBodies founder) that Tim follows a gymnastic training routine mixed with occasional weight training and kettlebell swings. I say kettlebell swings because they make up a majority of the weight in Tim's gym.
In a somewhat older video, Tim does a walk-through of his garage gym when it was in its infancy and said his kettlebells went up to 120 lbs. This makes sense as he's had Pavel Tsatsuouline, Chairman of Strongfirst and highly regarded kettlebell expert on his podcast multiple times.
Although there's no brand name given, I would assume by their appearance that they are made by DragonDoor who practically brought kettlebell training to the forefront in the early 2,000's. DragonDoor Russian Kettlebells feature a classic cast iron design with a rust-resistant e-coat. They're not the highest quality bells in the world, but they get the job done at rather accurate weights.
Tim has often written on his use of kettlebells, and I agree with much of what he says, especially in relation to kettlebells being one of the most versatile pieces of equipment. This also extends to them being great for home gym owners due to the little space they take up in addition to their varied use.
If you'd like to learn more about kettlebell training, listen to this podcast between Tim and Pavel.
The centerpiece of anyone's gym who uses strength training as a part of their training routine is the power rack (except for Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson, surprisingly.)
Tim Ferriss has gone to the company we most often suggest to people outfitting their gym, and that is Rogue Fitness. Rogue is the most popular equipment manufacturer in the world and for good reason – they produce quality equipment with excellent customer service at pretty good prices.
The power rack Tim has is the Rogue RM-390F Flat Foot Monster Rack. This is one of Rogue's most stout power rack's and allows the user to use the rack without bolting it to the ground. Featuring 11 gauge 3×3 tubing, oversized 1″ hardware and pin holes, as well as many available attachments, this is one of the best racks a home gym can have.
The barbell Tim Ferriss uses is the Rogue Bar 2.0.
The Rogue Bar 2.0 is actually our top pick in our ongoing Best Olympic Barbell series due to its outstanding combination of specs and price. Less than a decade ago, a barbell like this would have cost well over $500. Thankfully due to the growth of home gyms, there are now many excellent barbells at lower prices than ever before.
The Rogue Bar 2.0 features a 28.5 mm, 190K PSI Tensile Strength, Black Zinc coated shaft with a bushing rotation system and a price tag of only $255. A barbell is an area we suggest spending extra on due to the amount of use it receives and we're big fans of the Rogue Bar 2.0
Tim spared no expense when it came to weight plates. Rather than choosing cheapy Standard Barbell plates, Tim went with Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates (the same ones I have in my garage.)
The Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates are the best value calibrated plates currently available. Not only are they color coded, but more importantly they're within 10 grams of the stated weight. Traditionally used for powerlifting competitions, these plates are just as effective on the platform as they are in a garage gym.
Although these plates are a good value, they can get pretty costly. This said, you shouldn't ever have to buy weights again (unless you want bumper plates.) To be honest, I'm actually a bit surprised Tim chose calibrated steel plates over bumper plates. Bumper plate's have more versatility, but it's likely because he spends a majority of his training time focusing on the slow lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press) than the classic lifts (clean and jerk, and snatch.)
Dumbbells are an important part of any training program. The problem with dumbbells in a home gym is they often are both costly and bulky. Thankfully there are a lot of different options today for compact, selectorized dumbbells and the ones Tim Ferriss has is the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells.
With a 4.5 star rating and over 3,800 reviews on Amazon, these are a fantastic value for dumbbells. This set, in particular, combines 15 sets of weights into one with adjustments all the way from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds.
Thanks to the versatility of dumbbells, these can be used for everything from strength training to rehab and prehab.
Tim Ferriss has a few different pieces of conditioning equipment in his home gym, which for most is all that you need (you would probably be fine with none actually.)
The first piece of equipment is the Concept 2 Rower. We're huge fans of the Concept 2 Rower for not only its effectiveness but also it's durability. We have yet to find a piece of conditioning equipment that can take the beating Concept 2 equipment can and still operate like it did on day one.
The Concept 2 Rower has been around for quite a while but started to gain mass acceptance thanks to the growth of the CrossFit Games. Often times when asked what our suggestion for someone wanting a single piece of conditioning equipment is, we suggest the Concept 2 Model D Rower.
The other piece of conditioning equipment Tim has is the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike. This spin bike certainly isn't the best available, but based on the price and reviews, it's a pretty great value. For something that's going to be solely used for personal use, this seems like a great option.
The last piece is the Armored Fitness XPO Sled which we reviewed this in the past and gave it high praise. It's an excellent sled that produces virtually no noise, yet tons of pain.
A piece of equipment that used to be found in every school gymnasium in America, but has since been relegated to niche gymnastic training centers are the stall bars.
We created a DIY Stall Bars article years ago after being introduced to them, and I use them as a daily part of my training. Since Tim follows GymnasticBodies, it makes sense that he would have a set of Stall Bars in his home gym.
The Stall Bars Tim has are the Rogue Stall Bar 3.0.
The Rogue Stall Bar 3.0 utilizes Monster Lite uprights along with your choice of wooden dowels or steel bars. Tim chose steel bars which are the same bars used on Rogue Pullup Bars.
If you're into gymnastic training, then stall bars are essential. Although we enjoy the process of building and designing our own, the Rogue Stall Bar 3.0 is a great choice.
There are a few miscellaneous pieces of equipment spread out in Tim Ferriss' gym that we'd like to point out.
The first and most notable is the Rogue AB-2 Adjustable Bench. This is Rogue's premier adjustable bench and is both stout and expensive. The Rogue AB-2 can adjust to 9 back positions and 6 seat positions. The pad is thick, firm, and the entire bench is able to hold just about any weight you'd ever be able to lift.
In addition to Tim's assortment of gymnastic equipment we've already detailed, he also has a set of basic wooden parallettes.
Parallettes are great for handstands, handstand pushups, pushups, as well as L-Sits and planches. Although we'd suggest starting with gymnastic rings, parallettes are a cheap and versatile piece of gymnastic equipment.
Finally, Tim has a Bosu Ball that can be used for stability training as well as various core exercises.
Tim Ferriss' Training
As we all should be, Tim's training seems to continually be evolving. Although most of Tim's previous thoughts on training can be found in his book the Four Hour Body, his newest types of training are best found in his podcast.
I've followed him vicariously for close to a decade now and remember his Geek to Freak training program which was all weight training based.
Now, it seems most of Tim's training is centered around Gymnastics and Acro-Yoga. These are both bodyweight training programs that rely on coordination, flexibility, and strength over one's own body.
If you're interested in training similar to Tim Ferriss, then I would suggest checking out Christopher Sommer's GymnasticBodies. There are many programs and a wealth of information to be had on his site.