Month: April 2013

The 5 W’s of a Garage Gym

example of garage gym

The 5 w’s of a Garage Gym

Who: the garage gym is for someone who is determined to make a difference in their life and wants to have the convenience of fitness at their finger tips. Perhaps its for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time, or works for home. Maybe a small family? The garage gym gives you the convenience of walking out of your house and into your little private pain cave.

What: The garage gym doesn’t have to be anything special. The greatest asset in your little fitness center is not fancy machines or equipment, it is space. There are tons of bodyweight workouts  and if you are starting back into getting into shape then those can be a really great place to start. The picture above is from our old garage gym and I can tell you that I didn’t need much more space than that to do most workouts.

Where: One of the cool things about a garage gym versus a basement gym is that itgarage gym collingwood allows you to get fresh air by opening the doors and it also gives you the versatility of being able to run or get outside and then come back into cover. This is why I feel that a garage gym is superior. If you want more space, then move the cars out of the driveway and you’ve got an extra 30 x 10 for neighbours to come over and do a circuit!

Why: Gym memberships can be expensive and if you have a decent understanding of training then a garage gym can keep you sharp. We made our garage gym, even though we had access to a really nice CrossFit facility. The problem was that it was 15 minutes away, and in the 30 minutes of travelling, most of our workouts including warm up and cool down could be done. It was a matter of convenience. The only problem with the convenience is that there are always things to do around the house that are distractions, so be sure to set aside dedicated time for yourself to get fit.

When: Early in the morning, you can get out for a quick session of squats push ups and sit ups, or as we found, after the kids went to bed, we were able to get away and enjoy a little couple time in the gym. Dropping weights had to be while the kids were away because the baby’s room was right above the garage, d’oh!  Scheduling a workout date with neighbours ensures greater compliance and more fun, so find a workout buddy and set up a date.

Recommended starting equipment

If you are getting started, you don’t need much, I think the biggest bang for your buck comes from these items, in no particular order.

1. Pull up bar

2. Adjustable dumbells

3. Skipping rope

4. Plyo Box 

Once you get these than you can look at the other good stuff like an olympic bar , kettlebells, or a TRX or gymnastic rings.

Google, garage gym, and you will find some great examples of what other people have done with a little space.

Happy garage workouts!



Book: The Way to Live – George Hackenschmidt


Reading this pretty interesting book by Georg Hackenschmidt aka “The Russian Lion” . An old school strongman and wrestler. Check it out. I think it’s interesting, that the title is “The Way to Live” as opposed to “A Way to Live” because apparently according to ole Georg, he has figured it out and it is the answer. Written in 1941 it has some forward thinking and insightful ideas.


Don’t Underestimate Kids Play

I call it a muscle up progression, you call it "playing"

I left my kids unattended in the garage gym today, as I do most days. I don’t supervise my kids playtime, and as long as they pick up after themselves i’m good with them using the “gym”.  As I walked in today, my oldest daughter was kicking off the wall and swinging hard on the rings, as I watched her flail wildly through the air I noticed a glimmer of gracefulness as she figured out how to go higher. I thought to myself, “Wow that is some great external rotation on the rings at full extension, and what a great kip!” She reminded me of the image of Annie Thorisdottir doing a big kip on the promotional poster for the CrossFit Games. (Can’t find it anywhere on the web, you know what i’m talking about)

She did this a bunch of times until she was tired, not training for anything as she

was just “playing”.  Left to their own devices these little people like to discover their own inner athlete, and enjoy being creative and trying different things. “Play”   is the foundation for how kids will develop great neuromuscular patterns for later on in life.

Have my kids hurt themselves when they have fallen? Check out this vid from a few years earlier, playing on the rings is nothing new for them as it was a normal part of their upbringing. Of course, but i’m ok with that, because they know the risks and still continue to do it because it’s worth it to them. Let them climb things, jump and run off the pavement at recess, and they will shock you with what they can and will do.