Garage Gyms


About a year and a half ago I started to get serious about fitness and I realized it was never going to work if I had to go somewhere to workout (its so much easier to just walk outside, let the kids play, etc). So we cleaned out the garage and started acquiring equipment.

We started with a rack, bar, and some bumper plates and eventually it grew into this. I enjoyed looking at pictures of other people's home gyms and getting ideas while we were outfitting ours.

So I will start this thread here.

From L to R

Dumbells, kettlebells, slam balls, yoga mat, misc weights
Bumper Plates
Ballistic Block (for sledge hammer work)
Concept 2
Rack, Bench, & Rings
Bars & Slater Slammer
Misc Equipment
Climbing Wall
Mats for Climbing wall and jits
Punching Bag & Jump Box
100lb Sandbag, 75lb rucksack, 15lb plate carrier
Dip Station - On Wall
Butcher Sled

My wife and I use it 6 days a week and occasionally a neighbor comes to lift. My kids climb on the wall pretty often and they row, tire flip, farmers carry.

We are pretty happy with it, eventually get a few other little items, but we can do quite a bit with what is shown.

Any other members with garage gyms?
Nice, brother and a job well done getting your kids into it. I hope it sticks.

My neighbor and I have a good bit of stuff in his garage that we've assembled and continue to assemble. If you haven't been to "End of Three Fitness" on the interwebs, it's a good source of DIY garage gym stuff.

I still get the bulk of my lifting on at a conventional gym (I get a $250 health club reimbursement), but getting in smoker sessions across the street from my house is outstanding.

I cannot have this in my garage as one sided is filled with shit and the other a triple black 1993 Mustang GT 5.0 convertible.

I'll try to post a picture, of the gym and car. :D


Blue Line Sheepdog
Well its in the storage unit attached to the apartment... instead of the garage it used to be in.

Squat Rack is in pieces in the shed, can't leave it out for the rust to set in.

I get out the rubber mats, bumpers and bar when I want to lift. I have 2 sandbags, 3 kettlebells and a wall ball that get used as well.
Here's mine-home built squat rack, 2 B&R bars, 320 freedom units of Rogue training bumpers, 360+ old school York plates, micro plates, Rogue monster bench, home built platform, chalk, copy of Starting Strength. All well used by me, gotten me a lot stronger. Going to pick up a sled soon. LE, military, and even firefighters are welcome to come by and lift, pm me if interested.


Here's mine-home built squat rack, 2 B&R bars, 320 freedom units of Rogue training bumpers, 360+ old school York plates, micro plates, Rogue monster bench, home built platform, chalk, copy of Starting Strength. All well used by me, gotten me a lot stronger. Going to pick up a sled soon. LE, military, and even firefighters are welcome to come by and lift, pm me if interested.
In Tacoma WA
This thread is nearly 3 years old but it's relevant to my needs so hopefully no one will hold it against me for bumping it... I'm recently divorced and now a full-time single parent of a school-aged kid. The transition has been harder than I thought it would be both financially and in terms of time, energy and other resources. I made a push last year ago to lose weight and get in better shape, but failed miserably. I believe a home gym is what I need to be able to get workouts in every day, and I just so happen to have half of the garage available since the 2nd car is gone.

I'm not sure where to start. I only have a heavy bag and some dumbbells right now, so I think a resistance trainer and kettle bells might give me the best bang for my buck to compliment what I have, but I'm open to suggestions. With money being tight I have to be strategic about the order with which I accumulate equipment, so I'm looking for suggestions both on the type of equipment to purchase first and any specific brands / recommendations you guys may have.


Regular Member
Man, you can get a heck of a setup for pretty cheap if you shop used. I got the following off craigslist, facebook marketplace and local tire shops.
1. Good rogue barbell with a slight bend from a crossfit gym for ~$45
2. Generic squat rack with 2 45s, 2 35s, 2 25s, 4 10s and 4 5s, flat bench and curl bar of a local forum's yard sale section ~ $450
3. Car tire (free at a local car dealer) + scrap plywood (home depot bargain section) + tow strap (harbor freight) ~ $15
4. Large tire ~ free at industrial tire place
5. 2x4 -8' $3
6. 4x4-8 $8
7. Green army duffle bag ($12 on amazon) and 2 40lb bags of wood pellets ($3 each at lowes) for a big floppy sandbag.

I mounted the 4x4 on top of the squat rack to hold my heavy bag you can see the rope and pulley to make it a little easier to get the bag into place. The 2x4 was cut in half to use as dip bars over the safety catch bars. You can build a dead lift platform for cheaper than buying bumper plates if you want to save money there. There aren't many good lifts you can't do in the setup above. Pull ups, bench, mil press, rack pull, squat, dips etc etc. I drilled some holes at the bottom to use long bolts for band pegs, another cheap ++ for some lifts.

big tire.jpg
This is great for tire flipping, sled hammering, dragging, picking stuff up into, out of.

This little guy has a round piece of plywood slightly bigger than the inside bead in it. Cut the circle and then shove it into place. Drill a hole to tie a string into it and you have a wonder gym. You can weight it down to drag up and down the road. Unhook the string and toss it like a frisbee for a good core/twisting workout. Hook the rope back up and do pulls with your arms while squatting etc etc.

The sandbag is great for cleans, sandbag getups, all sorts of stuff. This is a good starting point:

It is no where near as pretty as a lot of home gyms. Most of which seem like they cost thousands of dollars but I don't think the few machines you get for that extra thousands gains much other than social media bragging rights.

KBs are cool but I'd suggest that for strength training they aren't as useful as a barbell and some 45s.
While no longer in a garage, I bought a home gym many years ago. I went with the Powertec Work Bench Multi-System. At the time I was lifting heavy and this version was rated up to around 600 lbs on the squat, vs 300 on their single person one. Nowadays, I could care less if I squat 500+ pounds again, but the machine is still in excellent shape and the wife and I use it 3 times per week each! Being able to work out when and how I want, without having to waste time driving to the gym, waiting on equipment and other such nonsense makes working out (especially as a full time LEO and married father of two special needs kids) worth the money I spent on it!


Building a decent home gym has been a godsend for me. I don’t need much, but going to the gym with an exact plan in mind, with no regard to equipment availability, etc. has been so good for me. The Rep Fitness PR-1100 rack was a great value and though it “walks” a bit when you re-rack hard, I love it.
I love pushing a prowler, and my long, sloped driveway is perfect for prowler sprints. I invested in the Titan Pro Sled and it has been worth every penny. It doesn’t take up as much room as a traditional sled, but it works well on asphalt and grass. I found a few cracked 45lb plates that I was able to get for free. I store those on the sled, so I don’t have to move as much weight over.
The sled is awesome for mixing into a boxing circuit (heavy bag, shadow box, jump rope, sled. Repeat.)
The biggest benefit for me has been time. Although I have a full gym at my office, the home gym allows me to come right home and either wait until my kids are asleep to train, or to train with them. My kids are 4 and 7 and I dig that I can model good habits for them and incorporate them into my training.
My equipment is minimal. Aside from the parts I already listed, I have:
Assorted grips for pull-ups/obstacle course training
Basic barbell and weights
75lb and 100lb sandbags, made with Army duffel bags and wood pellets
Loadable dumbells
Lots of bands
Heavy bag
Don’t overlook a good treadmill. If you lack a place to ruck with all your gear on (without freaking ppl out) it’s the next best thing.
I recently built a garage gym with Fringe Sport equipment. After a reading several reviews on bumper plates, I decided that I wanted Fringe plates due to their low cost and great reliability. While I was on their site, I also bought a power rack, incline bench and barbell from them. In my experience, they have great customer service. They also offer very good discounts to military and first responders. If you are going to buy from them, PM me and I'll send you the contact information to the salesperson that gave me a 12% LE discount.

So far their equipment is holding up great. No complaints other than the directions for assembling the incline bench were the worst directions I've ever read.

Ben H

Network Support I
If you're financially strained - craigslist, facebook marketplace, and other online resell places will be your best bet for getting gear on the cheap. If you stick with your fitness routine and want to upgrade your equipment, its easy to sell it online.