There’s no better time to take advantage of a garage or home gym than now, when commercial gyms around the world are closed. Having a garage gym setup means that you have no excuses: you have the means to make gains every day. So whether you already have a garage gym or are thinking about setting one up, here are our tips and ideas to make the most of your DIY gym.
Essential Garage Gym Equipment
The equipment you need will depend on your goals, funds, and space. These are the types of equipment that you’ll get the most out of, day in and day out.
- A multi gym If you have the space, a multi gym gives you versatile exercise options to work out just about every muscle group.
- A bar bell with a set of bumper plates is the universal standard piece of workout equipment. If you have space, pairing it with a smith machine or squat rack will help you push your max weight while staying safe.
- A pull-up bar You can get either an overhead or wall-mounted bar for a great upper body workout
- A kettle bell is essential for adding in moves that use your stabilizer muscles. You don’t need a massive set – one or two weights will allow you to do plenty, and you can always add more as you go.
Garage Gym Setup Tips
The goal in setting up your at-home gym is to make things as safe and comfortable as possible. Depending on how much equipment you have, typically a 10-by-10-foot space is enough to make sure you don’t hit anything. You’ll want to lay down some rubber or foam flooring to reduce the impact on your joints and protect your equipment (and the floor!) if you drop a weight. Having a whiteboard or chalkboard is a great way to post your daily workout and track your progress. And of course, make sure you have a setup for music! A speaker system is fantastic, but a simple Bluetooth speaker works fine too.
Create a Balanced Home Workout Plan
Once you have your garage gym set up, you’ll be psyched to start working out – and you should be! A weekly workout plan will help you stick to a structure and make sure that your workouts are balanced. You’ll want to make sure you’re hitting all of the major muscle groups but also making time for cardio, flexibility, and recovery. It’s natural to focus on making gains, but neglecting balance and recovery will put you on the fast track to injury, sidelining your progress. Make sure to regularly incorporate cardio into your workouts. That could mean adding cardio intervals such as sprints or jumping rope into your strength workouts, or setting aside days for cardio workouts such as running, biking, or cardio fitness classes. Always set aside time for stretching after a workout. And make sure that you leave yourself one to two recovery days a week. These can feature active recovery activities such as walking, yoga, or tai chi. Or you can simply relax!