Living The Dream isn’t complete without a garage full of barbells. Whether a Weekend Warrior who just wants to do some basics every once in a while, or a devoted jock addicted to training, having a garage gym affords busy people opportunity to exercise any time. A number of pre-assembled packages already exist with this in mind, and the opportunity to purchase a garage gym kit of sorts is ever present. Depending on the size of the space you have and what you’re looking for, these kits can make a lot of sense. Thinking outside the box gym, metaphorically, any extra space will do for this set up, whether it’s a finished basement or spare utility room, perhaps a shed out back. Combining cardiovascular exercise with resistance training is typically the key goal here and no, you don’t necessarily need a fancy multi-station power rack with 2,000 pounds of Olympic plates to earn the burn.
For a serious lifter looking to build out their own garage gym, the first concern is a lack of spotters. Enter the Rogue Westside Bench 2.0. The heavy-duty monster bench sports a 1,000-pound weight capacity and is constructed of 2×3-inch 11-gauge steel with a double-reinforced 7-gauge steel spine running underneath. The unit comes with either the 12-inch wide standard pad or 14.5-inch Thompson Fat Pad, and easily bolted together on the site. The package comes with Infinity J-cup and a 24-inch removable pin/pipe safety set with 1-inch on-center hole spacing, meaning lifters of any height and level can work out safely even if no spotters are available, although for advanced users, an optional spotter deck can be purchased separately. The unit weighs 213-pounds and is 24 inches deep, 54.625 inches tall. For a dedicated lifter looking for seated overhead presses, bench presses in reverse or traditional, this unit will stand up to a real workout.
And, if simplicity is beauty, the SML-2 90″ Monster Lite Squat Stand is a gorgeous sight for the potential garage gym owner. The fact is, one really could get away with just buying the SML-2 90” Monster Lite Squat Stand and then adding in some weights. Designed to accommodate not just all variations of the squat, but bench press, overhead press, cleans, and floor presses, this unit also comes up equipped with a pull-up station. And with a foot print of just 49 x 48 inches it goes well in a garage. Built with 3×3-inch 11-gauge steel and 5/8-inch holes using the Westside pattern, the unit weighs 166 pounds, and has a lifetime warranty. The unit comes ready to attach Safety Spotter Arms and/or single bar holders as well.
Why a garage gym?
There are as many reasons for having a weight set at home as there homes in which weight sets sit. That said, if you’re going to invest in a quality set you’ll want to know that you’ll use it for more than a clothes rack. One of the benefits to a garage gym package is the difference in scope and scale offered. Whether simply looking for a squat rack, barbell and some plates, or going for the full Conan the Barbarian route, there’s a model for everyone. Parents of young children might consider the value of exercising along with their kids, and the bumper plates offered here are definitely good for that. High school and college athletes for sure can get the bang for their buck by having some extra workout equipment at home. And then there’s always the busy professional who simply doesn’t have time to hit the gym after work. One great feature about these packages is that several include a rower, which is undoubtedly one of the best cardio pieces around for the money and space required. Extra items like medicine balls and rings take a special approach, but also add value when you consider that many gyms don’t have them.
Look Out For…
When considering a garage gym, keep the old rule about buffets in mind – Don’t let your eyes eat more than your stomach can handle. Especially for fitness enthusiasts, it’s easy to go wild when shopping for home equipment. But the great thing about these kind of packages is you can start out relatively small and see if A) You’ll actually work out at home with intensity and B) What all more you could really use. If you’re new to working out at home, try to avoid buying the same kind of gear you’re used to seeing in a commercial gym. Remember, those high-dollar power racks are designed to handle hundreds of lifters every day, none of whom think twice about banging and clanging. You and your family on the other hand will undoubtedly be gentler on the equipment. A starter package is a great way to get a feel for the steel in your home and see where you want to take it from there.
With the number of people working from home expected to rise, the benefits to garage gyms is obvious. The ability to workout at your own pace and schedule is priceless. And given the number of financing options available, it’s very possible to assemble a high-quality exercise site at your own home for the same monthly price as a gym membership. If you do have family and friends who like to work out, then the group effect is very achievable here. The family that plays together stays together, and workout chalk might just be the glue your team needs to make it to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Warrior CrossFit Package
Whether you’re actually into CrossFit or not, the gear in this package can is upscale enough to help a commercial gym, or just help you achieve maximal fitness. The kit includes a Rogue Concept 2 Rower with a PM5 Performance Monitor, for real-time feedback about one of the best cardio workouts out there – rowing. A full 320 pounds worth of Rogue HG Bumper plates are also included: Two 10-pound, two 25-pound, two 35-pound, and four 45-pound plates. Old school steel Olympic plates are also included: Two 2.5-pounders and two 5-pounders.A Rogue Ohio Bar with 190,000 PSI rating also comes with in a number of color options. And what’s a garage gym without kettlebells? This set includes two 35-pounders, two 53-pounders, and one 70-pounder. With the bar comes one set of Rogue HG 2.0 collars, and the package also features a set of wood rings, American-made gymnastic rings with a firm gripping for pull-ups, push-ups, or if you’re brave enough, the Iron Cross. One set of 14-gauge steel formed parallettes are also included, as is one Rogue Medicine Ball of your choice of weights between four- and 20 pounds. Same with the included D-Ball, or slam ball, approved for hard slams and comes in the buyer’s choice of weights, 8-30 pounds. Another unique offering here is the 20’ x 1.5” climbing rope with eyelet, which is easy enough to attach to a tree, roof fixture, or any pole near your home. And finally, a Rogue SR-3 Speed Rope for double-unders or regular skipping, as well as one ab-mat for floor exercises.
2. Fireteam Package
You’re a professional trainer looking to invest in a home gym for clients to visit regularly and you’re ready to upgrade your garage into that kind of place. The Rogue Fireteam Package puts together a mix appropriate for three- or four-person workouts, and that doesn’t have to be clients. Friends, your spouse and kids, pretty much anyone who wants to hang out in your garage. The real money here is in the four sets of 230-pound HG Bumper plates: Eight 10-pounders, eight 25-pounders, eight 35-pounders, and eight 45-pounders. Four Rogue Ohio Bars with four sets of HG 2.0 collars come with. The package also includes four sets of Rogue Wood Rings for group gymnastics training, four Rogue SR-3 speed ropes, and four 53-pound kettlebells. The package also includes a Concept 2 Model D Rower with PM5 Performance Monitor, making for a solid bulk rate purchase when comparing to others.
3. War Chest Pick-5
The War Chest package series allows you to pick among five categories in a mix-and-match offering. Like a great choose-your-own-adventure book, this package affords you dozens of selections including the Rogue Flat Bench 2.0, Ab-mats, the ES-1 Econ Squat Stand and both men’s and women’s versions of the Rogue Ohio Bar. Climbing ropes of varying lengths, pull-up rigs, medicine balls, slam balls, and 24-inch Rogue Plyo Boxes, are also among the options for the mix-and-match. As with most packages of this sort, the money is in the weights. Options include varying combinations of steel Olympic plates as well as Rogue Bumpers, both individually as well as a 230-pound set. Kettlebell options include the 53-pounder as well as 35’s. If you’re just starting out with the idea of a garage gym and nothing else, this is a great option because it does include bench and squat stand options as well as bars and plates.
4. Socal Complete CrossFitter Package
Whether you’re into CrossFit or not, this value package is more than enough to get one started on their path to fitness. A 160-pound set of Rogue HG Bumpers includes two 10-pound, two 25-pound, and two 45-pound plates. Also included is either one Rogue Echo Bar 2.0, the Bella Bar, or the Rogue Ohio Bar, along with a pair of spring collars. One set of American-made wooden gymnastic rings are designed to be used in any number of home locations for stretching or pulling exercises. The package also contains a 14-inch diameter Rogue Medicine Ball, in customer’s choice of weights between four and 20 pounds, as well as one 53-pound kettlebell. This is a great package for just about anyone, but perfect for those who want to get in functional training on their spare time.
5. Warrior Bar & Bumper Set
For the basics of bar and plates, the Warrior Bar & Bumper Set seeks to bring a big bang for the buck. In addition to one Rogue Ohio Bar, the lifter gets a 320-pound Rogue HG Bumper Set comprised of two 10-pound, two 25-pound, two and 35-pound, and four 45-pound plates. In addition to the bumpers, a 195-pound Rogue Steel Plate set includes two 2.5-pound, two 5-pound, and four 45-pound steel plates. The kit also features one set of Rogue HG 2.0 bar collars. Excluding the barbell, that’s a package of 515 pounds of plates, including bumpers, at an average of $2.33 per pound across the board, which is a good deal. This Warrior Bar & Bumper Set would be a terrific addition to an existing garage gym or might work for someone just looking to get some more reps in at home.