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Trying to decide if you should build a home gym or not?
There's a lot involved. Having the space, buying the equipment, deciding how much muscle you want to gain and where you want to put it, etc, etc.
To help your decision, we took it to our community and polled over 100K people to figure out what are some of the most helpful ideas in building a home gym.
Some of the ideas we came up with are expected while some are completely off the wall. If you plan to squat, deadlift, bench press, clean and jerk, snatch, do CrossFit, Strongman, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, or just general training in your home gym, these are ideas that can benefit you.
Here are their best answers to the almighty question, "How do I make my home gym better?"
Home Gym Ideas, Tips, and Tricks
1. Make your workouts ultra-efficient.
It doesn't take a long time to convert someone to the understanding that having to change your clothes, pack your bag, drive to the gym, go through the whole rigmarole of working out at the gym, and then repeat is vastly more inefficient compared to just heading into your garage to workout.
Efficiency is constantly looked at to save both time and money in manufacturing. It should be applied to our lives as well.
Set up your home gym with voice-activated items, use clocks, put a fridge near by, make it as easy as possible to get in the gym, put your work in, and get out ready to take on the rest of the day.
2. Store equipment on the wall.
Here's how some things like barbells, maces, and other pieces of equipment are stored on my walls:
In a home gym, you're working with a finite space. In order to maximize the actual area that you can perform workouts, we suggest storing as much equipment on the wall as possible.
This means buying things like barbell gun racks, plate storage that is screwed into wooden studs, resistance bands, and chain holders, etc.
If you don't need a power rack, you could even get a foldable squat rack like the PRx Profile Rack that folds up to 4 inches off the wall making it possible to even park your car in the garage.
This is such a big topic among those that have home gyms, that some have gone to the point of putting their entire gyms on the wall, like this walkthrough we did on our Garage Gym Tour:
3. Music at gyms is annoying and loud. Use an Amazon Echo at home.
You know what I’m talking about. Go into any commercial gym and prepare to hear the (not) Hot 100 songs in the country right now.
Seriously, they’re almost all awful and there’s got to be some sort University study pointing to this, oh wait, there is.
The benefit of a home gym is you can play whatever music you want and one of the best ideas for making this happen is to use an Amazon Echo. In my garage gym, I have an Echo Dot hooked up to Bose Speakers. If I'm in the middle of a set, I can use my voice to change the music or even set a timer for rest or while doing AMRAPs.
Seriously, Echo Dot's are crazy cheap and I use it every single training session. Do yourself a favor, get one.
4. Public gyms are flooded with germs. Use Simple Green to Clean Yours.
According to the Washington Post, nearly every gym everywhere is contaminated with Staph, MRSA, Mold, and other things that negatively affect your health.
Think about it, you’re paying to use a facility to positively affect your health, yet it’s doing the opposite. That’s no good.
One of our readers put it quite nicely:
To clean your gym, we suggest using Simple Green. You can spray it on weight benches to clear the sweat or even use it with a deck brush to clean your rubber flooring. It works well (and smells pretty darn good.)
5. If you have a home gym, you can workout anytime. So Do it.
You’d be amazed just how great this fact is. There’s no keycard to check you in. No attendant that locks up. You literally show up when you want, leave when you want, and enjoy it all the same.
Hello, midnight training sessions.
6. Buy a squat rack with holes. Lots of them.
Why should you buy the best squat racks with a ton of holes, you ask? Because it essentially turns into an erector set. This means it's infinitely expandable and there's always accessories available for them.
It also means you can come up with all sorts of DIY movements.
For instance, you can use rollers at various positions to create your own back extension or even sissy squat, like this:
You could also use the holes to add on extra uprights to create a truly MONSTER Rack.
Or, you could create the CoopSquat, but only if you have holes.
If you're buying a beginner rack just to test the waters of home gym ownership, then feel free to get something cheap. But if you're buying something that should, in all reality, last the rest of your life, then holes are king. Bert Sorin created the 4-way hole design years ago, and it's since been implemented by nearly everyone, and for good reason.
If you're going to buy a rack, buy one with holes, the more the better.
7. The equipment at most commercial gyms is average at best. Make Your Home Gym a Strength Mecca.
Why is equipment at most commercial gyms bad? Because the owners don’t use it and they’re just trying to find stuff that gets people in the door and doesn’t break. The ordinary gym goer has no care if the knurling on his bar looks like this:
In your home gym, you can buy whatever equipment you want and buy as nice of equipment as you'd like. This means spending great money on things like barbells and not worrying as much about some of the specialty bars that rarely get used.
8. You can crank the music to 11 at home. Throw Speakers Everywhere.
In the words of Spinal Tap, “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?”
“These go to eleven”
We don’t need a reason for why we like loud music. We just do. And the only person to tell you otherwise will be your HOA.
I put the speakers in my gym in every corner so that no matter where I am, I hear great sound.
9. Put your membership fees towards new equipment that you get to keep.
Instead of essentially renting equipment that you’ll never own and don’t even like using, you can now use that money to buy equipment.
Eventually, your gym can look like this:
10. You no longer have to drive to the gym. Use that time wisely
You don’t like driving. It’s a waste of time and therefore money. Spend that time that’s usually in the car, in the gym instead and everyone will be better for it.
Besides, your car is a much greater expense than you think it is.
Since you have more time, use it for training more, or, on other things you're neglecting because you're having to spend so much time in the car.
11. Find a program and stick to it. There's a lot available now.
Due to the rise in home gym owners, there has been enough online programming companies crop up to meet the demand. Some are good, some are awful, but you decide who you use.
If you want general strength type programming, we suggest Barbell Logic.
12. Make a space in your gym for your kids.
If I asked you to list out your priorities, your kids would most certainly be near the top.
If that’s the case, then why not spend more time with them? It’s important for their developmentand it’s also a joy for all involved. Stop making excuses and get to it. We’re responsible for the next generation.
We've seen many home gym ideas for having kids in the gym with them. We suggest if they're small, having some foldable gates that can be stored when not in use.
If they're older, teach them how to lift, run, jump, and enjoy using their bodies.
13. Workout with your spouse.
I’m not going to lie. My Wife and I don’t train together very often. Training is often a personal time for me and I’m not the nicest person when I’m preparing for a heavy set.
However, the option is available and I know a ton of couples that love spending that time together.
14. Make a workbench top and place it in your squat rack. It also doubles as a standing desk.
I use my power rack for all sorts of things besides lifting. It’s held my bicycle up for maintenance purposes, I built a work bench that fit onto the spotter arms and actually made my first pegboard with said work bench, and I use my reverse hyper as a standing desk all the time.
15. Invite your friends over to workout.
We often have Saturday morning group workouts where we invite over a bunch of friends to workout and then we all go out to eat.
It’s a lot of fun and helps deepen our relationships with one another. Those who struggle together, stay together.
16. Build a DIY Climbing Pegboard for fun and fitness.
Making homemade equipment that you build and then builds you is one of the joys of having your own home gym. If your CrossFit Box or commercial gym doesn't have something, you're pretty much out of luck.
One of the pieces of equipment I most enjoyed making was a DIY Climbing Pegboard.
17. It’s easy to make friends with neighbors by allowing them to train with you.
I’ve had a garage gym in a few different houses and regardless of the location, neighbors will stop to ask about what I’m doing. I haven’t let any of them workout with me for fear that they’ll break their backs (I live by old people) but I’ve heard of people who do.
18. Get some Garage Door Lights
Ever notice that the lights above your garage door get blocked out by your garage door when it's up? Super annoying right? There's a fix. Install some strip lighting on the garage door that you can turn on when the garage door is up. It works extremely well and adds some awesome light to your gym.
19. Equipment can be bought for surprisingly cheap. Check second-hand marketplaces.
Seriously, building a home gym when you’re short on cash isn’t nearly as hard as you’d think. Here’s a guide we’ve written on building seriously bad-to-the bonebest budget home gym equipment.
20. The home gym is never closed on holidays so workout on holidays too.
Want to workout on Christmas morning? Done. And you can do it in your Christmas jammies. Or you could just train in Christmas Themed lifting shoes, like these:
21. Curl in your squat rack without judgement
You know who I’m talking about. You may even be that guy. But, in a garage gym, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t want him there, he’s not. If you want to curl in your squat rack, go for it. I do it all the time.
22. You can save a lot of money over the life of your gym versus a membership.
A gym membership can be expensive.
In fact, according to a Statistic Brain Research Institue Study, the average gym membership cost is $58/month. If you saved that $58/month which would amount to $6,960 over the course of a decade and instead put it towards a home gym, you could either build an extremely EPIC setup or invest it into the market and retire earlier.
See our extremely helpful infographic here to better explain this:
23. Workout naked (trust me, it’s liberating.)
I’d show a picture, but that would be a bit weird. You just have to trust me on this one.
However, please, please, please do not perform any Olympic lifts with center knurl while naked. Don’t @ me.
24. Buy a Battery-Powered Leaf Blower and Use it Often.
Outside of the equipment, I use a leaf blower more than anything else in my garage gym. This home gym idea is very much a hack for reducing the amount of time you spend cleaning your gym.
At least once a week, I'll open the garage doors and air sweep all of the nooks and crannies of the gym. This helps clear out all of the chalk and dust that accumulate over time and makes your gym more inviting for you to use.
25. Bring your barbell inside in the winter.
Using an ice-cold barbell is no fun. What many do is bring their barbell inside overnight so that it stays warm.
You could also invest in a heat gun to warm up the steel before use.
26. Keeping friends is insanely easy with a garage gym. Invite them over.
We’re all strapped for time and trying to get together with friends for coffee is often not possible.
However, getting together with friends to do something productive like lift some heavyweight is possible. And, it’s a great thing that can increase your intensity and enjoyment.
If you’ve got a garage gym and aren’t inviting people over to train with you, please give it a shot. It’s awesome.
27. Buy and sell equipment to build your gym essentially for free.
Many people have built their gyms by scouring Facebook Marketplace and Craiglist for discounted or damaged equipment, refurbishing it, and reselling it for more and then using the money to buy better gear.
People do this in every industry, in fact, there are people who earn their entire living doing this.
28. By working out at home, you’re setting a good example for your kids to follow.
I’ve made it a life goal of mine to never tell my kids to do something that I’m either not currently doing or willing to do.
I want my kids to grow up enjoying exercise and not viewing it as a chore. That starts with me.
My friend, Pete Keller who also owns FringeSport had this to say on the topic, “working out at home helps patterns the right behaviors for my daughters and that’s really important to me.”
29. Your commute goes from 30 minutes to 30 seconds.
This was one sent in by one of the members of our Garage Gym Community FB Group:
It’s true. In big cities, people will sit in traffic for hours to spend half that time working out. Don’t be like them, just train at home.
30. Put simply, working out at home is extremely, inordinately fun. This will make you workout more.
No longer are you limited to doing standard exercises. Because you have no fear of judgment, you can do all sorts of wacky things, in whatever you want to wear, with whatever music you want playing, however loud you want it to.
If you increase the enjoyment of your workouts, they will be more effective. Trust me.
31. Having to workout by yourself increases your resilience.
I hear it all the time, “working out by myself is just too hard.” I hope you read that in a whiny voice.
Listen, stop viewing life through that lens. Instead, take Jocko Willink’s approach (who by the way is a proud garage gym owner) say, “GOOD” and recognize that working out by yourself is going to increase your resilience.
32. You create the atmosphere of your gym. You want a Backstreet Boys poster on the wall, go for it.
Although I’d suggest a better band than Backstreet Boys, you decide what your gym looks like.
We’ve seen some crazy amount of customization in gyms. Here’s one of the better ones:
33. Forcing yourself to workout when it’s 100 degrees in the garage increases self-discipline.
Garage gyms can be HOT. I’ve seen it get well above 100 degrees in my garage gym and it is brutal. But, it’s also great for sweating and testing my discipline.
34. Forcing yourself to workout with it’s below 0 degrees in the garage increases your mental toughness
Just as a garage gym can get hot, it can also get frigid. Obviously you can buy heaters and fans to mitigate this, but I welcome it.
Making my workouts more difficult makes my mind stronger and able to push through other things in life. Don’t let the cold stop you, let it motivate you. You’re working out to become stronger anyways, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
35. Install fans to increase airflow in the summer.
Although the summer is great for breaking a sweat and not having to warmup, when the temps reach the upper 90's, or for some of our southern friends, over 100 degrees, it becomes pretty miserable.
In order to increase airflow in the gym and to provide a place to fall in front of after doing a metcon with burpees, muscle-ups, and cleans, we suggest getting some fans.
The fan I use and most often recommend is known as an air mover. They're compact, but as their name suggests can move A. LOT. OF. AIR. The best value one I've found is the Lasko Pro-Performance High Velocity Utility Fan (it better be good with a name that long.)
36. Workout more to reach your goals faster.
Here's a home gym idea, because you can workout whenever you want, you can workout more. With greater training frequency, greater muscle growth can happen (to a certain extent obviously.)
You also need to think outside the box when it comes to training frequency. I’ll often train in some manner in the morning that is brief, and then follow it up in the evening when I have more time. The reason most people workout for an hour a day is because they have to go somewhere to use the equipment. For home gym owners, however, that’s no longer an issue.
37. Greasing the Groove training is extremely easy to follow with a home gym.
The great Pavel Tsatsouline is said to have been the first person to introduce what is known as Grease the Groove type training.
Greasing the Groove is essentially consistently practicing a specific strength skill–such as pull-ups.
A real-world example would be that you run out in your garage every 30 minutes and hit two pull-ups. Or a couple of squats. Or, something I’ve been doing is running out into the garage and doing max effort sprints for ~10 seconds every hour.
It works and is easy to do with a gym at home.
38. You don’t have to wear pants when you squat, so you can literally get A2G.
I honestly never considered this, but someone in our Garage Gym Community mentioned it and I think it’s a fine idea.
39. The only person that will get mad about broken equipment is you.
Pretty much all equipment is built to take the abuse of people who lift much more and much more often than you will. It will be unlikely equipment will break, but if it does, the only person you’ll have to answer to is yourself… or maybe your spouse.
40. When the gym is 10 feet from you at all times, it’s hard to come up with excuses to not workout.
You should limit the barriers to complete something if said thing is important to you.
If I’m on a diet, I don’t buy a ton of ice cream to tempt me. I just stay away from it. The opposite goes for working out. If I want to workout more, I try to make it as easy for me to do so.
41. You can train however you want without weird looks from people around you.
Do you want to balance on Bosu balls while performing kettlebell snatches using some of the best kettlebells? I wouldn’t recommend it for nearly any reason, but you can do it without fear of judgment.
Please be careful, however.
42. Because you own the equipment, you can clean however much or little as you’d like.
We’ve already established that gyms are germ-filled, nasty places. Not only is it because they’re not often cleaned; its also because they’re filled with a ton of people that are coming from all over your city.
In your home gym, it’s basically just you, your family, and whoever you allow admittance. Grant access wisely.
43. Put a fridge in your gym so cold protein shakes are always available.
“How do I get bigger, faster, leaner, stronger, etc?”
Pretty much the universal answer for any physical body goal is to eat better. Whether that’s more, less, or different. If that’s the case, being near the fridge more is going to certainly pay dividends. Heck, you can put a fridge in your home gym if it’s that important to you.
44. Match your equipment to the rest of your space.
Do your shoes match your shirt that matches your hat? If that’s you, then picking out the color scheme for your garage gym is going to be right down your alley.
My gym is themed on black, red, and raw steel. They’re great colors and make me want to rip tear plates in two. Find something that makes you want to do something similar, you’ll lift more.
45. Try out different equipment and sell the stuff you don’t like.
Now that so many people are starting home gyms, companies are innovating like never before.
If you want to try a belt squat, order one, and if you don’t like it, sell it. Same goes for adjustable jammer arms, specialty bars, adjustable dumbbells, or any number of other pieces of equipment. You’ve got the space, now fill it.
46. If you don’t like people, you don’t have to be around them in your gym.
Personally, I love being around other people. I’m an extrovert and as such, fill my garage gym with others often (not always.)
However, as I’ve come to realize, most people like being alone. No problem. In a home gym, you can be alone all you want, however, that is not the case in a commercial gym.
47. Superset laundry with lifting.
I’ve never done it, but I’ve heard from many who have, including the CrossFit Games Champ, Mat Fraser.
48. If you have some sort of disability, your gym can easily accommodate it.
Disabilities come in all forms. Some people are in wheelchairs and not all gyms accommodate wheelchair access. Others have diseases that you’ve never even heard of. Here’s what one of our readers sent in:
“Coop! I have a home gym due to various reasons. The main factor for me is due to an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. It is a gradual vision loss from year to year. Needless to say I can no longer drive and commuting to and from the gym is not an option for me anymore. I love working out not only for my physical being, but more so for my mental being. I think that is one of the most underrated aspects of exercise. To be able to walk into my garage and workout is not only a luxury for me, but a blessing.”
49. Use a different bar for every lift.
I’ve been known to do this just because I can. Again, you don’t have to have more than one bar, but some of us have addictions and the only cure is more barbell.
I’ve gotta say, being able to do the CrossFit Workout Linda with six different bars for two people feels pretty darn good in a garage gym.
50. Make all of the DIY Equipment you'd like.
This one is near and dear to me. I’ve been making my own equipment for years. In fact, it’s how I started this website and my gym and there's so many ideas, tips, tricks, and hacks on how to build your own home gym equipment.
A common complaint I hear from people starting garage gyms is, “Coop, I see all this awesome equipment, but I can’t afford any of it.”
We have quite a few guides on our YouTube Channel, but here's a DIY Weight Vest that was extremely easy and cheap to make:
51. If you want a squat rack that reminds you of Optimus Prime, you can build it.
One great thing about a home gym is you can make your rack as big or small as you like. Some people go the route of a fold-away PRx Performance Rack. Others go with an absolutely monstrous Sorinex BaseCamp. Others (me) have both and many others just because we can.
52. Hang up as many American Flags as you’d like (or any other national flag.)
The American Flag stands for a lot of things and those with garage gyms tend to have at least one and sometimes 6+ hanging up in the gyms. It’s a good reminder of the pain and difficulty our service members go through on a daily basis so we can freely work out in our garage.
Whether you’re an American or not, you can choose to show off your patriotism for all to see in your gym.
53. Park in the garage (if you want to.)
Although most garage gym owners forgo parking in the garage, you don’t have to. Companies like PRx Performance make fold-away racks that literally stick out no more than 4” off the wall.
Not only do they fold-away, but they perform extremely well, as well.
54. Build a shed to store your yard tools.
If you're putting your gym in your garage, there's likely tools in there as well. We suggest placing your mower and yard tools in a separate shed so you can maximize the space of your gym.
55. Put your flooring down before your equipment.
This is a mistake that we've seen with those who are just starting out in building their home gym mecca.
Equipment is heavy, don't make it worse on yourself by assembling your equipment and only then realizing you haven't bought flooring yet. There's a lot of different flooring options available, but for most, we suggest horse stall mats from your local farm supply store.
Horse Stall Mats are 3/4", 4'x6', and weigh close to 100 LB all for about $40. They're what I have in my garage gym and what the majority of others do as well.
56. Play motivational training videos on the TV (if you decide you want TV’s.)
I’m pretty unusual in this manner (and most manners,) but I have the TV playing a sermon from one of the pastors I often listen to nearly every time I train. When I go to hit a heavy set, I’ll tell my Amazon Echo to crank the tunes and go to work.
Another benefit of having a TV is if I have the kids outside with me while I’m training and they’re begging to go inside, I’ll throw some Spongebob or something on the tube to keep them occupied.
57. If you want to curl in the squat rack, there’s no one to tell you that you can’t.
I curl in the squat rack all the time. At a globo-gym, I definitely wouldn’t because they typically only have a couple of squat racks and I wouldn’t want to prevent someone from doing a much more productive exercise like squatting.
However, in my home gym, there’s nobody waiting on me. So I take my shirt off and go to town on my arms in my massive rack. It’s awesome.
58. Put up mirrors wherever you'd like.
Have no fear. No one cares what you do in your home gym, because they don’t know you’re in there.
So, if you feel like you’ve got a good pump, impress yourself.
59. Train shirtless year-round.
CrossFit Affiliate Gyms are notorious for allowing people to workout shirtless, but even they are starting to limit the ability to do that.
Most standard gyms don’t allow you to workout shirtless at all. However, in your gym, you make the rules.
60. Put a sauna in your gym and don't deal with old sweaty dudes.
Ever walked in a sauna at the gym and seen a bunch of sweaty old dudes completely naked except for the towels around their neck (why even have a towel?) packed in like sardines?
Well, I have and I don’t recommend it. It’s why I put a barrel sauna in my backyard. Now I’m the sweaty old guy and that’s fine by me.
61. Train with bands and chains and add them to all sorts of lifts.
If you feel like following Westside Barbell’s Conjugate Method training, you’re going to have a hard time at most gyms. However, in your garage gym, you can use as much accommodating resistance like bands and chains as you want.
Guys like Jujimufu (who by the way is a strong proponent of garage gyms) use bands for all sorts of wacky things that may or may not make you stronger and bigger (but then again, who’s going to argue with him.)
62. The amount of specialty bars available to train with is only limited by your budget. Use them for variety.
There are so many benefits that can be had from specialty bars not just for variety of training, but also to keep you engaged while training. Although they’re a purchase we’d suggest a bit after you’ve filled your gym, if you can afford them, we definitely suggest them.
63. If you work from home, try intermittently working out.
I’m one of the people that does pretty much everything from home…including work. It’s awesome and being able to run out at any time during the day and hit a quick workout has certainly increased my fitness.
If you work at home, I think it’s pretty much essential you come up with some sort of way to workout from home.
64. Make smoothies instead of protein shakes immediately after you workout.
Forget having to settle for watered-down protein shakes. Run into your house, throw some fruit, milk, protein, and ice into your blender and brew up nectar from the gods.
Smoothies > Protein Shakes.
65. Your kids suddenly have a new jungle gym where they can run, jump, and hang.
You certainly don’t have to let your kids hang on your rack like it’s a jungle gym, but my kids get pretty much free-reign over the gym in between work sets.
They love swinging from the rings, jumping off the boxes, pretending to workout with the ultra-light dumbbells, and (unfortunately) using the chalk.
66. Get two set of j-cups so your squat and bench levels are always the same.
You probably never even considered this one. But, in a home gym, there’s no one to change out the j-cups so they’re right where you left them, EVERY TIME.
It’s glorious. And, if you’re weird like me, you could have multiple sets of j-cups and leave them in the bench and squat area full-time (I call it efficiency, not laziness.)
67. Add calibrated plates and barbells to train for Powerlifting.
Very few gyms have the level of equipment that you would use in a Powerlifting Meet. However, if you have the desire and the cake, you can get whatever equipment you need to feel like you’re in a meet.
Here’s a gym we toured that had pretty much every piece of equipment used in top-level Powerlifting Meets.
68. It’s easier to eat better food following training.
Think about it, you’re within walking distance of your fridge. It’s just so convenient to run inside after a workout and eat quality whole food.
Stan “The Rhino” Efferding is constantly touting the benefits of whole foods over supplements and he’s a guy I’d listen to when it comes to nutrition.
69. If you want a mirror in front of the squat rack, platform, dumbbell rack, or anywhere else, you can have it.
The options are limitless for where you put mirrors.
I’ve seen garage gyms that were essentially one big mirror, including the ceiling (why you’d need that, I have no idea.) Heck, you could even put up a huge Disco Ball (I’ve seen it.)
70. You’re not going to be tempted to spend money on things you don’t need (like bottled pre-workout.)
I’m a bit of a finance nerd, so I’m constantly looking at how I spend my money and working to reduce it. One thing you notice very quickly is how much money people waste on things that could easily be replaced for something much cheaper.
Pre-made pre-workout is a great example. Go to the gym, grab a pre-workout beverage and you’re going to spend nearly $5. Make that same pre-workout at home and it’ll cost you pennies on the dollar.
There are so many ways that a garage gym saves you money that you don’t ordinarily even realize.
71. Try new movements without worry of looking weird.
Did you see something on Instagram that looked cool but you’d be too afraid to try in a gym with many onlookers?
No worries in a garage gym.
72. Go in your gym anytime you'd like for a few minutes to work on mobility.
Throw RomWod on the TVfor a few minutes and start to get supple. Getting yourself to drive to the gym just for some flexibility work would never happen. But, heading into your gym where you have access to bands and other tools is suddenly a reality.
73. No longer will you have to be looked at like a piece of meat at the gym.
My Wife always hated walking by the weight room. She felt like she was being looked at in a way that she did not want and I’ve heard this from many girls (personally I wouldn’t mind being looked at like a piece of meat, but…”)
74. Use the space for other things besides working out.
We do all kinds of things in our garage gym. I’ve even slept in my hammock out there with some friends just because we could. No lie.
I've seen others do it as well, see:
75. Run outside, easily.
Throwing in some running with your workouts suddenly becomes really easy at home. No need to have to wander through the gym to get outside and you can mark off the distances from your house without much effort.
You could also get a treadmill, but they’re often too expensive and bulky for most people to afford. If you happen to buy a treadmill, check out my list of the best treadmills.
76. Film your workouts for form correction or any other reason.
If you’re doing online programming, your coach will likely want some videos of you performing the lifts to help correct your form.
In a garage gym not only is it easy to get angles of your lifts, but you’re also not going to get any weird looks.
Also, it’s easy to run a YouTube channel or just get content for your Instagram page of you lifting.
In fact, I asked Jujimufu why he had a garage gym and one reason was that it became a business necessity for his YouTube Channel because, “I can’t set fire to a public gym.”
Gotta love it.
77. It’s easier to train for competitions at home because you can train whenever.
No matter what you’re training to compete in, whether that’s triathlons, CrossFit, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, Ironman, Ninja Warrior, or anything else, the garage gym can help you succeed.
Train more, train whenever, and train harder.
78. You no longer have to worry about using bent barbells that are unsafe or cracked bumper plates that don’t sit evenly.
Broken equipment is a pain to use and members could care less what happens to the equipment at gyms because it’s not theirs.
At your gym though, your equipment can be well taken care of and in pristine condition for as long as you want to use it because you’re the one that owns it and takes care of it. See the best bumper plates guide here.
79. A home gym can be MUCH cheaper than a gym membership.
People don’t factor all of the costs that go into having a gym membership. It’s not just the monthly membership you pay. Here are a few other things that often accompany working out at someone else’s gym:
- Initiation fee
- Car maintenance
- Whatever your hourly wage is that could be spent doing something else
- Buying clothes to look good at the gym
- Supplements you buy at the gym
- Days off from work because you got sick at the gym
- All of the things you end up accidentally leaving and losing at the gym
- The food you buy on the way home from the gym
And, there are many other things that could be added to the list. None of these apply to a home gym. Seriously, if you’re still reading this, you need to just get rid of your membership and build a home gym.
80. A home gym can decrease the time it takes you to become financially independent.
I’m on a path to retire in my 40’s. The movement is called FIRE, you can read all about it here, and I suggest you join.
A home gym is about as good of a decision for retiring early as I can imagine.
81. Workout barefoot without fear of catching diseases.
You train every muscle in your body, why not your feet? Many people neglect their feetand stuff them in oversized shoes that restrict movement and prevent your feet from doing the work they should.
I workout barefoot nearly every time I’m in the gym and I have no fear of catching something nasty or being looked at like I’m Fred Flinstone.
Seriously stop wearing shoes so much and your feet will go from the foot on the right to the foot on the left:
82. You can have both a home gym and a gym membership if you’d like.
Many people who didn’t start a home gym to save money keep their gym membership to use when it’s really cold or just so they can use the swimming pool and other amenities that are hard to have at home.
If you want both, you can although I recommend ditching the gym membership altogether.
83. Listen to audiobooks while you workout.
I do this all the time. Not only am I building my body, but I’m training my mind as well.
Need a book suggestion? Check out this one from one of my favorite authors who also happens to have a home gym.
84. Show your children what living a healthy, active lifestyle looks like.
Don’t just tell your kids they should workout, show them that you mean it for yourself as well.
Kids are often naturally visual learners, so be that visual and everyone will be better for it.
85. Turn your home gym into a money-making machine by using it to be a personal trainer.
I started my garage gym and eventually turned all of the equipment into a personal training gym.
Many of our readers train people out of their gyms and some even do it full time. It’s not as hard as you think and people will be much more accepting of the environment than you would think.
86. Never deal with the New Year’s Resolution Rush that happens at gyms worldwide and makes you want to claw your eyeballs out.
Do you hate the New Year’s Resolution Rush as much as I do?
I love that people are making a change, I just wish they’d stick with it.
Thankfully, I’ve never had a rush in my home gym. It’s consistently the same ugly people and I’m okay with that.
87. Follow your own programming without the CrossFit Coach getting upset (been there, never want to go back.)
When I trained for CrossFit competitions, I started following online programming. To keep it short, the owner of the gym wasn’t fully on board with me training on my own and eventually made it so uncomfortable to be there that I just ended up leaving.
I hated that it had to happen like that, but I just wanted to follow my own workouts.
In a home gym, you can follow whoever’s programming whenever you’d like.
88. You no longer have to wear headphones when you workout.
Now you can, but you don’t have to. I personally put up Bose speakers throughout my gym, added an Amazon Echo Dot, and crank it loud and proud. It’s so much better than headphones.
89. Since you’re not driving to the gym, you won’t be tempted to eat fast food.
This is not only a money saver, but a lifesaver as well. Why go expend all of those calories to end up grabbing a fat burger and fries on your way home?
With a gym at home, you won’t even be tempted.
90. Use as much or as little chalk as you’d like.
Feel like doing a Lebron James pre-game ritual? Go for it.
Chalk is extremely helpful for increasing grip and most gyms don’t allow it. However, you can use as much as you’d like (and we’d assume you’ll use it more than you ever thought.)
91. You decide how clean the gym is.
If you want to clean it, you can.
If you don’t want to clean it, you don’t have to.
92. You can do, quite literally, whatever you want in your garage gym (even set things on fire.)
Start a business, workout, shoot YouTube videos, make it double as an office, hold bible studies (guilty.) It’s your gym and you can do whatever you desire, within the limits of the law, with it.
93. Train CrossFit, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Bodybuilding, and Strongman all in one workout in one place.
Choose to workout however you want.
Train CrossFit one day and powerlifting the next.
Or do it all in one workout. It doesn’t matter so long as you have the equipment.
94. Have your kids workout with you.
This is a fun one. As your children get older, you can start bringing them into the gym to workout with you. Even though my son is only two. He’ll pretend to do pull-ups and presses with the small equipment I have laying around.
95. Your neighbors might bring you food to help support your habit (trust me, it happens.)
When your neighbors start to see you taking your workouts seriously, they’ll want to help you reach your goals by bringing over grilled meats and IT IS DELIGHTFUL.
Or they’ll try and sabotage your goals by bringing over sugary desserts.
Either are fine with me to be honest.
96. Try out all of the new equipment that comes to market.
“Woah, did you see that new piece of equipment Coop posted?”
Instead of having to wish your gym owner would buy it, you can buy it.
97. Instead of having to bring your own barbell to the gym, they’re always there waiting for you.
Have you ever brought your own barbell to the gym? May sound weird to some, but I’ve known many people that brought their own bar every time they trained.
Many gyms really have that bad of equipment. It’s unfortunate considering their business is the equipment, but it’s a reality.
98. Your high-powered wheelchair known as your car will require less fuel and maintenance and offer you more money to utilize elsewhere.
Also, it’s pretty silly to drive a car to a place to exercise. Ride your bike or something.
Actually, just use your gym at home.
99. You’ll gain a closer relationship with your garage gym dog if you let him workout with you.
Every garage needs a dog. Here’s mine, his name is ‘Famous’ Amos and he's as tough as they come:
100. The weights are always racked when you go to use the equipment (if you choose for them to be.)
Well, they’re racked if you decided to rack them after you last set.
If not, you can only be mad at yourself.
101. The intensity of your workouts can increase because you control the environment.
You literally control everything around you. The music, lighting, equipment, and art on the wall.
If you can’t get motivated in your home gym, you can’t get motivated anywhere.
102. You can get a picture of your home gym reposted by us on Instagram.
Alright, this one’s kind of a joke, but still. We just might. Tag us.
103. If you buy your equipment right, you’ll be able to pass it down to your kids and grandkids.
Gym equipment is made of steel. Thick, hard steel used to hold up buildings. If treated even somewhat okay, it will last you many lifetimes.
Build a legacy. Build a home gym.
104. The sweat that gets soaked into the mats is your sweat, not the random guy that doesn’t wear deodorant.
But, your nasty is much better than other people’s nasty.
At least to you.
105. Sell your equipment if you’re in need of money.
I’ve sold so many pieces of gym equipment.
In fact, I’ve made more money building my gym than I’ve lost because of how much I’ve bought and sold.
If you buy right, the resale value for good equipment is high.
106. You can train safer because you’re the only one using the spotter equipment.
The spotter equipment won’t get worn out because it’s only being used by you. You also know the condition it’s in because you’re the only one using it.
However, please listen to my advice on this:
Never lift without a spotter or spotter equipment. I’ve known of people that have died doing so. Please don’t become a similar story.
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