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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Building a garage gym

Getting situated in Florida has been a lot of fun. With the initial wave of TODOs wrapped up, I've started planning my own mini-gym in the garage.

I'm starting out simplistic and minimalistic with an eye on value. The goal is to be able to do a basic Greyskull/Start Strength program at home (back squats, deadlifts, presses). Oly lifts can come later. First priority:

  • An Olympic bar. Foregoing really cheap options, I'm eyeing something in the $200 range. I've thought about buying used before, but I haven't been able to make much sense of bar restoration guides on the web.
  • A minimalistic squat stand, again in the $100-200 range (example). I haven't found much on Craigslist but I'll look again. A power rack would be amazing, but the ~$1000 price tag will have to wait.
  • Bumper plates (example). I'm looking to be able to drop the bar without damaging the concrete floor (e.g. back squat failure). Bumper plates are pricier than iron plates (almost 2x) so I'm thinking of grabbing a pair of 25lb and 45lb plates and filling the rest with iron plates.
  • Iron plates can be had on the cheap at used gear stores and Craigslist. Surprisingly, fractional plates are ridiculously expensive.
I figure I can make this version 0 happen for $800-900, hopefully less. Adding stall mats would be a good idea thereafter. I haven't really thought through what to do about a pull-up bar (racks that include a crossbar are out of the price range); maybe rings would work.

Have you done something like this yourself? Can you share some words of wisdom?