10 Reasons You Should Build Your Own Garage Gym

Published by Jason Narog on

Get Back Into Fitness

Given all the nonsense that’s been in the news lately about why commercial gyms are bad for one reason or another, I said to myself, self why don’t you write a list article about all the reasons why building your own garage gym is great. So here we go!

1. You’ll always find parking for your garage gym

Whether you have a garage gym where you park your car on one side of the garage and work out on the other, or pull your car out of the garage to fold down your squat rack that’s attached to the wall, no matter what circling around the gym looking for parking (or having to pay for metered parking) is never a concern when your gym is in your garage. There’s no fear of parking tickets, you don’t have to spend a penny on gas to get to the gym, you don’t need to put your gym bag in your car and then drive to the gym. All you gotta do is walk out of your house and into your garage. Commute over.

2. You can leave your weights racked

My brother owns and operates his own gym. I took him to the racquet club I was a member at one time and remember him taking over several machines / pieces of equipment to do his workout. He left his weights on all the equipment and started doing his circuit. He’s a big guy whose trained with people who won the Ultimate Fighter TV show so no one in this racquet club was going to come up and yell at him about using multiple pieces of equipment at the same time. But, had a person who looked less intimidating done such a thing, they may have at least gotten a scolding. When you own your own gym or garage gym, guess what, no one can say anything to you! Leave as many items racked with your weight, walk away for half an hour to take a personal call, come back, and your weights will still be there!

3. No one is going to stand behind you while you’re doing kettlebell snatches

This is a tale from my prep work for the SFG1 cert. I would go to the racquet club in the morning before work. They had one room dedicated to kettlebells and battle ropes specifically. The room was previously a racquet court so it was really long and kinda narrow. For whatever reason, a trainer would bring her two clients into the room and position them within 5 feet of me when I was doing my kettlebell stuff. It’s really awkward doing 24KG kettlebell snatches when someone is directly behind you moving around. And I had put myself up close to the wall as a way to try and move myself out of the way so they could do their thing. Yet they kept getting closer and closer to me. I never saw her photo on the wall as a club trainer so I always assumed she was bringing people in and training them “without the clubs knowledge.” I did that a few times myself, so whatever, but hey, keep your clients away from me! Anyways, with your own garage gym you can stock up on as many kettlebells as you want and you can snatch away in peace without anyone (except maybe your dog) walking up behind you while you’re snatching. Safety first!

4. You get to choose the equipment in your garage gym

Ignoring budgetary concerns, you are the ultimate decision maker in what goes into and what doesn’t go into your garage gym. Maybe you go with a cheaper brand vs a more expensive brand in squat racks, or you opt for a motorized treadmill vs one of those free belt moving ones that costs $3,000, but you get to build it yourself, position it where you want, get rid of stuff, etc, etc. The garage gym you build is a direct reflection of how you want to work out. If you’re a power lifter then your gym looks more like a power lifters gym. If you like combat sports then you (probably) have things to punch and kick and strangle. If you like Ninja Warrior and your ceilings are high enough you have a bunch of crazy attachments coming off the top and sides of your squat rack so you can play around with vertical ladder climbing. It’s your playground, so you get to stock it the way you want to stock it (whether that takes a few days, months, or years is determined by your budget.)

5. You get to pick the music you want to play

I’m cheap, so all the music played in my garage gym are from free Spotify playlists. When I was actively training clients in Portland, same thing. They had to listen to my Spotify playlists. Unless they complained, then I’d change up the music. But for the most part System of a Down was in some sort of rotation on my playlists. And who doesn’t like System of a Down when they’re working out?!?

6. No monthly subscriptions… kinda

You’re at least not paying a “gym” for a membership. Treadmill and bike companies, magic fitness mirrors, and virtual personal trainers may be charging you a monthly subscription, but you’re not paying a physical location gym to have the option to use their facilities. My treadmill works fine without a monthly subscription and my exercise bike is so damn old that all it requires is batteries for the display thing. Those monthly savings translate into you buying more gear for your gym to make it the best damn garage gym ever.

7. The government can’t close down your garage gym

Unless you stop making property tax payments and they seize your house at auction.

8. You get to pick and choose who you work out with / around

“Fitness influencers”, the New Years resolution crowd, that guy who used to play football in high school but hasn’t touched a weight in the last 30 years but now wants to relive his glory days so he’s going to max out on day one and hurt himself, and whatever other weird collection of people you see at the commercial gym are not welcome in your garage gym – unless you invite them in. The only people who will be in your gym are the people you want in your gym. Have a friend who wants to get back into fitness after a long hiatus and you want to show him a few things? Invite him over. Have an annoying coworker who wants to get back into fitness but you don’t want to see them outside of work? Don’t invite them over. You hold the power in your garage gym.

9. It’s a good excuse to buy more tools

Why do I own a masonry drill? Because I had to drill the concrete to put in screws to hold down my heavy bag stand and rack. Have I used the masonry drill for anything else? Kinda. The first one I did use until it broke, the second one I’ve only used for my latest garage gym build. But who doesn’t like going to The Home Depot to pick up new tools?

10. Your gym is truly judgement free

You get to determine what you wear, what you film, who can come, who can’t come, who can shower, who can’t shower, etc, etc. There is no one making the rules outside of yourself in your gym. It’s your space and you can do whatever you want in your space without judgement. Unless you live in an HOA, or are making a ton of racket when the neighbors are trying to sleep. Then the cops might get involved.

That’s my top ten list of why it’s awesome to own a garage gym. If you have any others, sound off in the comments below!




Categories: Garage Gym

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