Back in April of 2015, I was enamored with a gentleman's garage gym which I thought was the Creme De La Creme. At that point I thought $2000 was an outrageous budget and 1000# of weight was asinine.
Innocently enough, I started out with a barbell and plates, a bench, and some plate loaded dumbbells.
Flash forward 7 years later and I have nearly $8000 invested in a one car garage functional fitness gym with an overflow powerlifting gym in the basement. I also have $1000 invested in vintage weight plates.
I have 1 rack, 2 benches, 1750 pounds of plates, 6 barbells and 4 pairs of collars.
I have secured a plethora of functional fitness equipment including 2 kettlebells, 4 med balls and 2 sets of plyometric boxes.
The gym has morphed as my needs have morphed.
In 2015, it was simply to have a few items at home to practice with.
In 2016, it was a functional fitness gym to complement a globo gym
In 2020, it became a primary gym
In 2022, it is in transition
What do I want to do in this space?
(2) Functional Fitness
I cannot accomplish both well in the space I have.
I currently have a Crossfit Gym membership that feels permanent. I use the Reverse Hyper and Glute Ham Developer; but do not have these at home. I swim at Carmody Rec Center and cannot recreate this training at home.
Starting from scratch I would go with:
Half Rack with weight storage (I like the mobility of the Yoke for use at home)
Bumper Plates (3) 45, (2) 25, (2) 15, (2) 10
Change Plates 10-5-2.5-1.25
I could get there by selling the Yoke, buying a half rack with storage and upgrading the Beater Bar to a Texas Power Bar
14# Med Ball
Dumbbells - 15-25-35-50
Romwod stretching mat
To get here, I would need to buy a strongman sandbag and a RomWod mat and get rid of my cheap foam mat
I like having a Concept2 Rower, but it is overkill for a home gym ($990)
That being said, I have some items that I like and am not parting with regardless of use including
Atlas Stones (paid $60)
Parallettes (paid $20)
Brute Force Sandbag (paid $125)
Battle Rope (paid $30)
Bulgarian Bag (paid $100)
Plate Carrier (net $55, sold heavier plates)
Steel Mace (paid $40)
Chains (paid $23)
York Roundheads (ongoing 7-7-20-20-25-50 = $225)
Vintage Iron Plates (ongoing = $930)
York EZ Curl Bar, Curl Bar and Ironman Plates ($40 + $8 + $60)
I am attached to these as they are hard to find unique items that are not found in commercial gyms or micro gyms
I do have some oddball stuff that served me well, but now is not necessary
Technique Bar and Plates (paid $140, sell $100?)
15kg Barbell (paid $210, sell $150)
Standard Barbell Handles and Plates (paid $12, sell 50 cents/pound)
Really should sell ($870)
Axle Bar - $20
Back Extension - $200
Ab Bench - $200
Titan Silencer Pad - $100
Mutt Bar - $50
Hi Temp Bumper Plates - $300
I got a little carried away buying dumbbells and somehow have 15-20-25-27.5-30-35-40-45-50-60#
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
10 Dumbbell Renegade Rows (50/35 lbs) (L Row, PU, R Row, PU =1)
20 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
Run 200 Meters
I was not sure how this was going to go as I did not feel really energetic during the warm up. I grabbed 15# dumbbells and an 18" box, but had to scale further. I ended up with knee renegade rows only performing 1 of the 2 pull-ups. I finished the 3rd set of box jumps with 38 seconds to go and took off on a Hail Mary run.
Four sets of:
Weighted Strict Pull-Ups (3-4 reps @ 21X0)
Rest 20 seconds
Strict Pull-Up (Unweighted Max reps @ 21X0)
Rest 20 seconds
Hollow Body Hold (Max effort)
Rest 3 minutes
Somehow I misread this and only did three sets. I kept great tempo on the first set of pull-ups which were unweighted strict and I got 4 each round. I did banded pull-ups for the second effort and got 6-6-5. Finally I kept great from on hollow body holds, but only lasted 20 second.
I love data and the garage gym competition certainly had no shortage of data, capturing and distributing participants by:
1024 people submitted scores
Of 829 men
33 were under 12
11 were 12 to 17
48 were 18 to 24
394 were 25 to 34
239 were 35 to 44
39 were 45 to 54
8 were 55 to 64
54 did not make this information public
Of 844 men
59kg - 52
66kg - 14
74kg - 41
83kg - 156
93kg - 238
105kg - 181
120kg - 100
120kg+ - 62
Less than 5% of the men would be in my age range, however the largest constituency (238 or 28% would fall into the 93 kg weight class).
93 kg Weight Class
Of the 240 athletes in the male 93 kg weight class.
Average Squat was 332#, median was 335# (my 235# puts me at 20th percentile)
Average Bench was 242#, median was 255# (my 190# puts me at 20th percentile)
Average Deadlift was 386#, median was 405# (my 325# puts me at 28th percentile)
Pretty Impressive Numbers for the 93 kg men.
I feel like the median numbers are outside my grasp. However, I do have some room for improvement, especially on squat and bench. I am targeting a 275# squat; 225# bench and 345# deadlift (845# total or 95# improvement).
28th percentile squat
30th percentile bench
32nd percentile deadlift
Ideally I would be competing at 83kg as well. I am only 4kg away from that number as I am currently sitting at 87kg.
Historic Participation and Improvement
Year over year of 1050 scores, only 8 posted scores in 2018, 29 posted scores in 2019, 165 posted scores in 2020 and 235 posted scores in 2021. The garage gym competition is growing.
Excluding the 38 folks who had improvements greater than 20%, the average change year over year was 7% over 192 athletes. 97 athletes lost 0-10% and 59 lost more than 10%.
Given that 7% I could reasonably expect a 250# squat; 205# bench; 345# deadlift. However, I consider myself an experienced lifter with less room for improvement than novices. 7% represents a 50# improvement to an 800# total.
632 used equipment in some form
407 did not
Specialty Squat Bar - 83
Specialty Bench Bar - 22
Specialty Deadlift Bar - 116
Knee Sleeves for Squat - 431
Knee Sleeves for Bench - 32
Knee Sleeves for Deadlift - 88
Knee Wraps for SBD - 46/2/3
Squat Suit/Briefs for SD - 5/5
Wrist Wraps for SBD - 162/352/30
Wrist Straps for SBD - 6/8/162
Elbow Sleeves for SBD - 19/97/9
Slingshot for Bench - 3
Deadlift Suit - 2
Other SBD - 60/18/63
I personally used knee sleeves (431) for squat. I also used wrist wraps (352) and elbow sleeves (97) for Bench.
The most popular items were squat knee sleeves (431), bench wrist wraps (352) and deadlift wrist straps (162). I was surprised that 116 (over 10%) of the community had a deadlift bar. 83 participants with a specialty squat bar did not surprise me as the Safety Squat Bar, Duffalo Bar and Transformer Bars are quite popular. In retrospect, I could have used wrist straps, but I really only prefer those for higher volume sets (as opposed to 1RM efforts).