Rep Fitness Blog
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1.) Winners vs Losers
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Click here -> Shane's Garage Gym <- for part 1
Shane is co-owner of Rep Fitness, and today we dig into what other tools he is using to outfit his home gym.
Q. Last time, you discussed a lot of nuts and bolts of what you need to start with an awesome home gym. What are some often overlooked pieces to putting together a garage style gym?
Shane - A few of the often overlooked pieces to a home gym would be flooring, massage tools, warm up equipment, grip training, stretching and auxiliary exercise bands, sandbag, and a timer - to keep you accountable while training at home.
Q. Sounds like a good list! Can you give a breakdown of why each of these is important so someone who is outfitting their gym can get a better understanding of why you chose them?
Shane - Sure, I get a ton of questions from customers via e-mail and over the phone, so I'll be happy to put some more information out there.
1. Flooring - You want some heavy duty flooring, not just some cheap thin carpet. The flooring will protect your bumper plates, have them last longer, protect against scraping up your kettlebells, and some concrete is weak and you can protect the concrete slab as well. If you plan on doing any Olympic weightlifting, you want some durable rubber flooring! We use 4x6' 3/4" rubber flooring here for our showroom and it is what we use for CrossFit boxes too.
2. Foam Rollers - Hard training takes a toll on your body, and as important as it is to train hard, you've got to rest hard too. This not only means taking some off-days, but also having some active recovery days where you are working into those tight spots, massaging the sore muscles, and working on some mobility.
3. Pull up Bands - Stretch Bands - It's been a long time since I needed any assistance with pull ups, now I'm hanging 24kg kettlebells off a dip belt for reps! But, they are perfect for auxiliary exercises for my rotator cuffs and hip flexors. I also use them for a range of stretches and warm ups. A popular shoulder warm up in CrossFit and Olympic lifting - Youtube Shoulder Warm Up - I replace using a band for a couple reasons. One - I can take a narrow grip and the band will pull on my shoulders as I go overhead, which eliminates any of the readjusting I have to do with a broomstick. Also, I don't have to buy a PVC or broomstick... I can use something that already has multiple uses.
4. Sandbag - For days when I don't want to hit the barbell or kettlebells, I go for my sandbag. Great as a grip trainer, adds a variable of instability that my whole body has to deal with, and I use a lot of coordination as it shifts around in my hands or on my shoulders. I consider these my GPP days or general physical preparedness days. While there is a ton of debate about GPP vs your dumbbell/barbell lifting, you can debate that lifting stuff in real life is rarely all stuck on a barbell, so you've got to train a bit for these odd grips and shifting weights. Either way, it is smart to mix it up to relieve some of the wear in tear in the same patterns of movement.
5. Interval Timer - The Rep 6 Digit Programmable Interval Timer to be specific. I used to use a stop watch that I would squint down at, but now that I've got this bad boy in my garage, I couldn't be happier with it. I dim it down in the mornings and evenings, and when the sun is shining bright, I keep it bright. I can turn off the noise "beep" when I'm working out late at night, or leave it on to play over my music, and I can always keep track of my workouts down to the millisecond. And hey, for everyone working out at home, we all have days where we just don't want to put in 100% effort. On those days, I do a quick warm up, and set the timer for 20 minutes and just go hard. I keep the intensity high, but I'm in and out in under 30 minutes total so I can jump in a cold shower and feel refreshed to take on the day!
Q. Great, I'm sure our readers will find this very useful!
Shane - You're welcome! And for our readers, if you have any questions, leave a comment, contact us on Facebook, or shoot us an email/call. Always happy to help people set up an awesome home gym.
Starting building your own --> customized garage gym <--
As co-owner of Rep Fitness - I've got a ton of choices when it comes to my garage gym that I use primarily for CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and lots of bodyweight workouts. Here is the run down of what you'll find in my garage, and why. I'm hoping it will help some of you who are thinking about outfitting your own gym.
Equipment found in my garage gym for Crossfit and Olympic Weightlifting
1. Rep color bumper plates - 370lb of solid goodness. This includes 55lb red bumper plates, 45lb blue bumper plates, 35lb yellow bumper plates, 25lb bumper plates, 15lb black bumper plates, and 10lb gray bumper plates. These match the color coding of competition bumper plates, and for us mere mortals, they are a better cost option.
2. Rep Excalibur barbell. I was thinking about waiting till we got our bearing version of the Excalibur, but for the weights I move, the bushing design of the Excalibur is so smooth, most people who walk in our door automatically assume it is a bearing bar. More than good enough for the turnover in my Olympic lifting for my C&J (100kg)
3. 2 pairs of Rep Competition Kettlebells - 16kg and 24kg. I don't compete in kettlebell competitions, and the casting and finish on these is far superior to any steel handle one I've used before. I warm up on the 16 kilo kettlebells and work up in double swings and snatches for my 24kg pair of comp kettlebells.
4. Rep 3in1 Wooden Plyo Box - Easy to put together, makes for great set ups, the support in the middle allows me to use it for box squats without worrying about it falling apart like the one I made 7 years ago. Oh yeah, those box jump things too. Makes for a fast paced plyometric workout. I usually use the 30" side while my girlfriend uses the 20" side.
5. Slam Balls - Not all my customers are awesome, so to work out some frustration while simultaneously getting a full body workout? SLAM BALLS. Honestly, these are probably the most underrated workout tool around - kettlebells taking a close second. Cardio? Check. Strength and power? Check. Fun? Check. I've got a 20lb slam ball for more cardio based wods, and 40lb slam ball for more strength based wods.
6. Wall Balls for CrossFit - not all wall balls are created equal, nor are they all the same. I recently swapped out our older version wall ball for the new ones we carry. I put the old ones in our clearance corner. +1 for owning an equipment store. On to why I upgraded and why I have them. 1. Wall balls suck. In the best way possible. Between doing wall balls, and slam ball exercises, I think you could be a chiseled statue. I haven't tested this, but I wouldn't bet against it. 2. Our new wall balls are perfect for crossfit style workouts, ab exercises, look cooler (my girlfriend really liked the colors), and the stitched logo and weight is awesome.
7. Rep Fitness GHD glute ham developer - I can almost bet most of you have more developed quadriceps than hamstrings/glutes. It isn't your fault. Sports, squats, biking, running, etc. all develop the quads more than the backside of the legs. However, this makes you more prone to injury, which is why I own a GHD. I also use it for hyper extended ab exercises, but that is a distant second.
8. Rep Fitness adjustable bench - I don't bench a lot, but enough to warrant a solid adjustable bench. Incline, decline, and flat, with lots of settings between. I owned a flat bench for years before I upgraded.
9. Speed Jump Rope - Quick adjustable speed rope I use to warm up with and for all my crossfit wods. For the colder winter days, there is no faster way to warm up than some burpees and jump roping.
10. Rep Wood Gymnastic Rings - Perfect for muscle ups, tons of hanging abdominal workouts, different types of pull ups (L-sit pull ups, strict, kipping, etc.), and inversions when I'm feeling frisky. We went with numbered straps on these, which I think is ideal for those of you who are setting them up repeatedly. I'll take these out to the park and it takes a lot less time and I can set them up perfectly in 30 seconds... no more readjusting or realizing one of the rings is a few inches off during a muscle up.
Home Gym Complete?
Note quite, but part 1 of my garage gym for crossfit is complete! I'll talk about my squat rack, flooring, a few other items, and a couple custom mods I've done. Thanks for reading, and would love to hear in the comments what you think is essential gear for a home gym.