Monday, December 9, 2013

Building the Quiet Garage Gym

Any stay at home early morning athletes out there??  For me, hitting the gym before dawn is the only way I'll get it done.  Once in a while if I've got the energy, I will run down to the basement in the evening to work on a few skills.  That's one of the major conveniences of having a gym at home.

But, I've got a house full of kiddos and a great wife that probably would not take too kindly to me throwing around a Barbell at 5AM in a workout like Grace [135# Ground to Overhead x 30 reps].  Nope.  If I'm up early dropping weights in the basement then everybody's up.  So, what to do?

Am I destined to pay a gym membership and forget the convenience of working out at home?  And maybe the bigger question is - Can I get incredibly fit without lifting heavy?

If you've got a detached Garage that is far enough away from the house no one can hear you and that you can heat during the winter - then you are among the few.  That just might be the dream gym.  For those that have only the basement or garage to retreat to, read on.

In my days, I've flip flopped back and forth between the full fledged gym membership and staying at home to get things done.  There are distinct advantages to both - convenience and budget friendly, the Garage or Basement Gym is hard to pass on, while the Gym Membership is a lasting investment that brings proper coaching and more motivation.
One of the best pieces of cardio equipment that has its place in the commercial or home gym.
The Rower - Silent but deadly...

But, in the case of me and those like me that want to stay home either seasonally or full time, how do we add intensity without adding excessive noise?  Can I really enhance my fitness level without pushing heavy weight to failure?  I think so.  Maybe goals need to be adjusted, but can I still push way past comfortable without waking the neighbors?

What are the pieces to a quiet gym?  If we've got to keep the bar and bumpers out of the picture, what equipment can get it done?

  • The Rower - Yep, without a doubt, the rower will absolutely punish, leave you gasping on the floor for air and leave everyone else in the house still snoozing soundly.  +Concept2 makes one of the best in the industry.  It's US Made [scores high marks with us] and boasts a great computerized monitor so you can keep track of your progress.
  • Gymnastics Rings - Pull Ups, Push Ups, Dips, Muscle Ups, Front and Back Levers, and more.  Absolutely a winner in our book.  Rings are one of those few equipment items with which you can adjust the amount of leverage your body has to take an exercise from novice to expert in no time flat.  Try holding a full tuck back lever [easiest], to a flat tuck [back flat], then lower your knees to the ground to form an ell, then continue to move your feet behind your hips to full extension.  Hard, isn't it? :D  And a set of rings and straps weigh around 2.5lbs by the way.  Super lightweight, super strong, super
  • Resistance Bands - try grabbing one of our Green Resistance bands, step into one of the ends and hold it to the ground.  Now press the opposite end overhead.  Still think resistance bands are for sissies :D.  And no annoying loud noises when you drop the band from overhead??  Yet, try a 21-15-9 Shoulder Press with the Band and Pullups and see how you do.  And the only thing that might wake up the wife is the sound of you calling out for help getting up the stairs when you're done.  They also make pushups super challenging.  Put one hand in each end and stretch them behind your shoulders.
    A full set of resistance bands just might challenge you more than you think.  Read what we have to say here.
  • Pull Up Bar - Score...  Moving bodyweight is super quiet and super effective.  Toes to Bar, Pull Ups, Ring Dip mounting station, Front and Back Levers.  And try this one, too.  Get in a Front Lever tuck position and then crank out a few bar rows.  Easy, I know...
  • Jump Rope - love this piece....  Lightweight, inexpensive, super quiet and a serious lung burner.
  • The Abmat - this is a great piece, too.  Keeps your back in the proper position not just to prevent injury but also to accentuate the movement.  
And here's a few super challenging movements that you don't even need equipment for:
  • The Pistol [One-Legged Squat]
  • Handstand Pushups
  • L-Sits
  • Wall Sits
Are you a stay-at-home athlete?  Tell us what you do to push the limits without making a ton of noise?