Saturday, April 25, 2015

Garage Gym Ideas for the Budget Minded Athlete

Planning a Garage Gym and shopping around for garage gym packages can be an exciting time. Making the choice to invest in your own health pays dividends in spades.  And it's not all about having the most expensive pieces.  It's all about staying motivated and being consistent with the equipment you have.  With a little pre-planning, you can make some great choices in equipment and design a layout that will keep you working towards your goals for years to come.

Before we dive into some great garage gym ideas, here's some pointers to help you make the best decisions when it comes to outfitting your gym.

Plan Your Space - Spending some time up front to plan out your space is not only fun, it also helps you make the best decisions on equipment.  So before you hunt around for deals on garage gym equipment packages, grab a pencil, paper and tape measure first and draw a scaled down version of your space.

Graph paper makes easy work of getting the shape of your space down on paper accurately.  Pick it up at any department store then measure out your floor area [length x width] and assign one square to every foot or every half-foot.  Don't forget to add in door and window locations, too as that will be important later on.  And if you've got any overhead clearance issues, mark them out as well.

The great thing about planning out your space on pencil and paper is that you can make changes easily and can move equipment pieces around.  You'll thank yourself many times over for planning out your space before you invest.

What Are Your Goals? - While thinking about Garage Gym ideas, write down a few of your short term and long term goals.  You might find that you favor a particular line of equipment - whether it's all endurance related, strength biased or maybe it's mostly bodyweight movements you want to master.  With your goals down in writing you'll be more apt to pursue them as well so spend a little time on this one and be honest with yourself on what you think you will stay with over the long term.

What Is The Ideal Height for My Garage Gym? - Here's one aspect of a space that can really take the wind out of some people's sails when it really doesn't need to.  Having an overhead clearance of about 1.8-1.9 times your height is ideal as it opens up the widest variety of exercises.  But, if the height of your space measures in at less than that, don't let it stop you.  Even in a space with minimal overhead height you can still get a lot done.  If you can't get a barbell overhead because of a short ceiling, kettlebells are a great solution.  Ingenuity and creativity in your plan will keep your options open.  The Concept 2 Rower is the perfect example of an astoundingly effective machine that fits in the smallest of spaces.

What is the Best Exercise Equipment for Home? - The short answer here is that the best equipment is what you will use consistently.  There are plenty of fads and trends out in the fitness market and it's usually best to avoid implies purchases from infomercials.  Don't let your emotion get the best of you but rather review all those goals you wrote from above and decide what is it that you'd really like to pursue.  And here's something to think about:  Equipment pieces like kettlebells, dumbbells and gymnastics rings are incredibly versatile.  Outfitting your garage gym with those, you can change up your workouts easily.

Buy in Sets or Kits - Building a Garage Gym a piece at a time can certainly be done, but not every community has a fitness store around the corner with all the pieces you are after.  That means you'll most likely be purchasing from an online company.  Buying one piece at a time can add substantially to overall shipping costs as you build your gym from the ground up.  Instead, consider purchasing equipment packages or sets with free shipping.  You'll have to dream just a bit bigger but you'll save those added shipping costs in the long run.

Portability Wins - Not only is choosing versatile equipment a great idea because of all the exercises it will keep open, choosing equipment that is portable is just plain smart.  If you live in an area with four seasons, late fall, winter and early spring can bring temperatures that will force you out of your garage in no time.  Having equipment that is portable means you can easily pick it up and move it to a heated room inside the house and still put it to use.  Heavy Racks and Multi-Station equipment are great but most normally need to stay planted where you land them the first time.  And here's another option if you're feeling a little adventurous - bring your equipment outside on your next training session.  If you're programming is feeling a little stale, even a change of scenery can bring it back to life and the new venue might spark some new ideas for future.

If building a Garage Gym is in your future, we'd love to be part.  Our new lineup of Garage Gym Equipment Packages ship free to the continental US and even if you live outside our borders, get in touch with us here since we ship internationally too.