To begin with, it’s worthwhile to clarify right away – in this article we will not be likened to the self-proclaimed “Mr. Universe” and other pseudo-experts who say that a mop, iron, and bottles with water at home can successfully replace the classic weights in the form of barbells, a dumbbell, and blocks. We are just discussing how to build garage gym, whether it is realistic to build a gym in our apartment in the classical sense of the word or not. Such that it contains all the necessary weights with which you can fully load all muscle groups without exception.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Garage Gym?
However, to begin with, let’s find out – does it worth it to deal with the equipment of the home gym? What advantages await you if you train in your own garage, and not in the nearest sports club?
The advantages, of course, exist, and are quite obvious:
- you save money that you would have to spend on a gym membership;
- you adjust to your own schedule, and not the mode of the gym;
- you can do it in any weather, even when it would be problematic to get to the gym;
- there are no queues near every barbell at home (which is especially important in the spring, when every second gym-goer wants to get in shape before summer);
- you can do it wearing everything you want. For example, in Norway, gym visitors are prohibited from wearing clothes that expose parts of the body. Thus having a garage gym, you can do it without the T-shirt at all – complete freedom!
However, there are disadvantages in home training. And everyone who wants to make a choice regarding a place to pump iron should first consider the pros and cons, and only then decide on the decision. So at home:
- you can’t ask for help from an instructor, a person who is really capable of giving practical advice about the correctness of your technique and help you lift the chosen weight;
- you will have to significantly spend money initially, selecting the necessary equipment, while the fitness center already has everything you need;
- you can go to the gym with the company of friends, helping each other while doing exercises, and also creating an incentive to achieve new results. This is understandable – each of us, seeing that his friend is lifting more, will make 10 times more effort in order to catch up and overtake his “competitor”.
In addition to all of the above, there is such a factor as a mood for training. Arriving in the gym, you understand that you will have to plow, even if the mood suddenly disappeared. In the other case, your efforts and time would be wasted in vain.
At home, there will always be a lot of things that will cause you to postpone training. Of course, if you can boast of the presence of iron willpower, this problem is irrelevant, but there are not so many such people among us. It is worth considering purely practical factors; for example, not everyone has enough space to conveniently place all the necessary dumbells and benches in the apartment or in the garage.
How to Build Garage Gym
But if the listed minuses still do not cross out those advantages that were mentioned above, then the idea of creating a home gym is just for you. So, let’s get started.
Where to start
First, you need to decide on the set of equipment that you need. If you are a beginner in sports, at first, you can do a couple of collapsible dumbbells, weighing up to 20-25 kg. Because most exercises you will do with less weight and some with your own.
However, further, over time and as progress goes on, you can’t do without a bar anyway (don’t forget progressive overload), so try to immediately calculate the budget based on its purchase.
The barbell can be taken new, but not necessarily Olympic, but better – “folk”, which is much cheaper and at the same time can withstand quite a sufficient weight of plates – up to 150 kg. Another great option is to take a trap bar.
By the way, about the plates themselves – they are best ordered from a friend turner or purchased in the nearest old school gym, which is going to close. As an option, walking around scrap metal collection points, such things often appear there, as, in fact, kettlebells that are another useful attribute in the athlete’s arsenal.
Of course, you can buy new products, but the price for them in most sports stores is really inadequate, and even if it fits into your budget, spending so much money will be at least irrational.
Prepare as many square meters as you can
The next stage in our guide about how to build garage gym is planning the basic exercises.
The main strength exercises, in particular, all kinds of bench presses, are problematic and traumatic to perform without a bench and racks. Therefore, along with the projectiles themselves, you will need a bench with the ability to change the angle of inclination, as well as clamps for the bar. They can be, as mentioned above, racks with adjustable height or a power frame. The second option is more preferable if you set yourself quite serious tasks, in particular, regarding working weights.
In the first case, for this equipment, it will be necessary to raise the racks as high as possible, putting the bar on them and fixing it, the bar will fulfill the function of the crossbar. When buying a frame for a horizontal bar, you will need a regular pipe with a diameter of 3 cm and above, which is installed at the top of this frame and fixed by soldering.
There is another option – the Swedish wall and the purchase of a universal rack, which by raising and lowering, can be transformed into a horizontal bar and bars. But this, again, depends on the amount of money you have on equipment.
Keep in mind that for convenient placement of all the above equipment, you will need at least 4×4 m2 of free space, ideally – the more, the better, since home gyms often include all kinds of treadmills and orbitracks – quite massive structures. And the bar itself takes up a lot of space.
Some people think that it would be better to purchase multifunctional complexes, the so-called power stations. But, according to the majority of practicing athletes, these machines are almost useless in terms of weight gain. So it’s better to give preference to classics.
Of course, if we are talking about girls, they may have less space, and the costs as a whole will be much less noticeable because most women are trivially engaged in lower weights than men.
For some, an expander, a yoga mat, a jump rope, a pair of light dumbbells, and some kind of cardio simulator are quite enough. However, the presence of all this in the home gym will not hurt even the guys, since nobody canceled such things as a warm-up and a hitch. Moreover, they are always important, even if the main emphasis is on heavy strength training.
A quality preface always embodies the content of the entire book, and therefore, warming up in preparation for heavy workout plays a very significant role in the overall success of the classes.
Moreover, the warm-up, in fact, as well as the main training, can be carried out simultaneously with watching thematic videos somewhere on Youtube, following your own technique, and listening to the recommendations of the athletes on the video. This, incidentally, is a very good replacement for the advice of a fitness instructor, which means that one of the minuses of home training, announced at the beginning of the article, can be safely removed.
The Bottom Line of The Guide “How to Build Garage Gym”
What of the foregoing can be concluded? Do not listen to those who say that pumping iron at home or in the garage is unrealistic. It is quite real, but only if you have all the necessary set of training equipment.
Well, of course, subject to the basic principles of bodybuilding, which are: a well-designed training program, proper nutrition, and compliance with the regime.
Strict adherence to these canons, as well as a good psychological attitude – I want to! I can! – is the main thing that will lead you to your cherished goal, and the place of employment in this case, by and large, does not play any role.
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