Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DIY: garage gym

I just realized the other day that I have never shown you the "gym" the garage girls work out of.  And I think one of the reasons I haven't is that my "gym" is in my garage- hence the name "Garage Girls", and my garage is used for everything that a typical garage is.  We have a wall full of paint, a wall full of tools and of course storage.  And in the middle of all of this, Jason and I have built a space big enough for six people to work out in.

And this is what we did-


The floor is covered with these puzzle floor mats- each are 3' square similar to these

On this flooring, we do most of our exercises.  It creates a surface that is comfortable to do sit-ups, burpees, yoga poses, etc.


Jason made this pull-up bar for me.  We needed it to be hung from the ceiling instead of the wall, so we would not lose any storage space.  It is made of piping materials you can find at Home Depot for less than $15- 2 small threaded pipes, 1 large threaded pipe, two elbows and 2 flanges.  Jason added extra support by attaching the pull-up bar to a 2"x6" board and then screwing the board into the beams in the the ceiling.

We use the pull-up bar for jumping pull-ups (of course) and knees to elbows and to hang the rings for ring rows.  One of the things I love about this bar is that it is long enough for two people to be working out on it at the same time- one doing pull-ups and another doing ring rows.


One of the garage girls I work out with bought these rings through Ebay for around $25.  They are adjustable and have very comfortable rubber handles. They are similar to the ones found here.

The rings are used for ring rows, muscle-ups, hanging dips, etc.


I bought this irrigation box from Lowe's and  we use it as our beginning box jump.  It is approximately 12" high and cost $18. 

The boxes are used for box jumps, step-ups, tricep dips etc.


This is our bigger box jump and also serves as the step for the pull-up bar.  If you jump on it this way, you will be doing an 18" jump, and if you flip it 1/4 turn, you will have a 24" box jump.

Jason and his friend Paul made this transitional box jump out of 2"x4" and plywood costing less than $20.  I love it because it is very sturdy and it can be used for several different strength levels. 


This is the kettlebell I use- 18kg (39.68lbs).  Pick one kettlebell- a weight that is challenging and that you will be able to grow into.

We use kettlebells for kettlebell swings, kettlebell deadlifts, weighted calf raises, etc.


Dumbbells can be used for a variety of exercises.  I use a set of 20lb dumbbells for almost everything.

We use the dumbbells for weighted sit-ups, bicep curls, weighted squats, dumbbell floor press, etc.


A small whiteboard and a stop watch is all you need to write out your workout and keep track of your times. 


...and your "treadmill" is found down your driveway either to the right or the left : )

Seriously, I use mapmyrun.com to map out routes from my house that are 200m, 400m, 800m and 1 mile.  I love running on the road instead of a treadmill- it never gets boring...with new things to see every day.



This is all you need.  It is not quite the bare minimum, but it is a perfect amount to get started and keep you challenged for months to come...and it only cost $200.  You can always add slamballs, wallballs, weight bars, jump ropes, etc. as you want or need.  Just remember to rotate your exercises and never do the same workout two times in a row.

Good luck if you decide to set up your own garage gym- it is well worth it
...and if you do, you can do the Garage Girl work outs with us : )

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