Happy Thursday to you! I hope you’re having a good one so far. Today I’m going to be sharing all of the details on our garage gym. For a couple of years now, I didn’t think that I really had enough to say or share to warrant a post but I’ve been asked about it so much recently I was proven wrong so here we go! I hope this helps.
We started brainstorming a home gym of sorts even before we moved into our South Carolina home in March 2018. I was still debating on finding a CrossFit gym to workout at (spoiler alert: I did after about a year and I love it there!) but Stephen’s work schedule is so unpredictable that it made sense for him to have equipment at home to use when it fit into his schedule. I really love the community and atmosphere a CrossFit gym provides so that’s why we pay for me to have a membership there. Even with that though, I still get a ton of use out of our equipment so it was well worth the investment for us. It also has come in super handy with COVID restrictions, of course.
Equipment like this tends to be on the more expensive side so we did a lot of research ahead of time to figure out what we needed/where we could find the best deals. We knew that we’d be using all of this stuff to do more CrossFit type of workouts aka we needed bumper plates vs. metal plates, a barbell, mats for the ground to protect it and the weights, etc.
This is the most popular question I get! We use rubber horse stall mats that we purchased from Tractor Supply. They are super sturdy and also a beast to move (I think they weigh about 75# each?) so they do a great job at protecting our floors and weights. We purchased 4 total – two for my side and two for Stephen’s. It works well for us! We park our cars right on top of them and they do just fine.
We clean them using a good ol’ bucket of hot water and Thieves Household Cleaner about once a month unless they’re filthy or we get sick and need to disinfect everything (we’re the only ones that we use them).
I’ve been asked about using these indoors and I guess you could but I don’t think I would. They’d definitely need to be on a hard surface and I wouldn’t suggest putting them on something like hardwood – if you’re going to be using bumper plates you shouldn’t be using them on hardwood anyway but the mats are also pretty rough… After all, they are horse stall mats! So they would most likely tear up the floors.
Stephen did a lot of research to determine where we’d purchase our weights. I wish that I could provide an online source to order them from but unfortunately that’s not the case. We ended up getting ours at Carolina Fitness Equipment. They carry the seconds from a large CrossFit company you’ve probably heard of that they weren’t able to sell because of something like the rubber color getting messed up or a letter printed wrong, etc. We don’t care about that stuff whatsoever so we had no problem buying those for way less than we would’ve spent somewhere else.
My biggest suggestion would be to look up used fitness equipment shops in your area. That’s how Stephen came across Carolina Fitness Equipment. Best case scenario, if you’re (somewhat) local, you’ll be able to go into the store. The experts there are super helpful with planning out gyms depending on your needs/wants! It looks like you can order some things from them online but on some items it says you’ll need to contact them. I’d call if you can’t visit and see what they can do for you! One more suggestion – save up your hard earned dollars ahead of time! You guys know that I’m not going to tell you to put this on credit with existing debt. None of this is necessary. Is it great to have? Yes! But we could also do killer workouts with just a pair of dumbbells or heck, our own body weight (which we did for quite a long time!). Please do not add this to existing debt because you feel like you must have it to be in shape or whatever it might be. The stuff won’t mean diddly squat if you don’t have the drive to do the work. Focus on that first (again you can put in some quality work by just lacing up your shoes and running out the door!), save up your money, and then invest in something like this if you wish. Okay, moving on!
Total we spent about $1200.
Stephen made the rack himself for $30. You can find the plans and info for that HERE!
What we purchased (two years ago now) has worked out really well for us! We know that we could’ve gotten less (for example, only getting one set of 25# plates instead of two) and made it work but the convenience for both of us to do our thing and not have to scramble weights between each other while working out has been nice. The one thing we still do not have that we’ve been talking about quite often (especially since being pregnant) is a rower. I’ve kept my eye on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist but haven’t had any luck so far (I think it’s pretty rare to find them on there but there’s no hurt in trying).
9 rounds for time:
** Use whatever weight you can find! You can use a gallon of water, a dumbbell, whatever you have! Get creative. Doing something (in a smart way) is better than nothing!
CrossFit Valor WOD (click the link to watch the video and explanation!)
3 rounds for time:
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions. Stay well, friends.