Garage Gym Workout – Garage Strength

Garage Gym Workout

Garage Gym Workout

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Oftentimes we have this idea in mind of what a perfect training session will look like. You get to the gym with 90 minutes of free time ahead of you. You walk into a spacious facility to see all the equipment you need unoccupied. You throw your headphones in, and your favorite jam starts blaring. The hype is real, and you are ready to cruise around with unlimited access to every fancy piece of equipment, interruption free, ready to get yoked.

Now let's talk about what really happens: You are rushing out the door trying to capitalize on every free minute you have before you need to get to either work, school, back home to the kids, your next appointment- one of the many responsibilities that fight you for your time. You arrive at the gym later than you had hoped and can't believe how crowded it is. As you rush in to get warmed up, you realize you forgot your headphones and to make matters worse, the squat rack you were planning on starting with is occupied and you know the guy in there…it's going to be a while until you can get a working set in.

Don't be fooled- we love the atmosphere that working out in a traditional gym offers. But sometimes being able to simply walk out into your own garage can't be beat. Understanding the benefits of a garage gym workout, how to build out the space for efficiency and even understanding how to have a great workout without a ton of equipment might be just the thing you need to consider taking your workouts out into your own garage.

Benefits Of Working Out At Home


How easy could it be to talk yourself out of everything required to get your workout in: packing your bag, getting in your car, walking into the gym, unloading in the locker room and then finally getting to work. You have laundry and deadlines and kids and .... your to do list feels never ending. It can sometimes feel like a hard battle to pause to get to the gym in the midst of it all. If you are working out at home, there is no excuse to keep you from getting it done. The convenience that it provides can often be one of the main reasons you are able to commit to a multiple time per week training plan. You can simply throw your shoes on and get to work. No talking yourself into or out of the drive- it's a short walk and you know if you focus, the workout you are about to crush is only going to help you be more focused and efficient at tackling that list waiting for you.

Investment You'll Have Forever

A gym membership is a worthy investment for anyone who values health and fitness. But what about an investment that you will have forever? That's what building a home gym is. Sure, it might take some time to have the exact equipment or set up you want, but once you have it- it's yours. No worrying about parts or pieces needing to be replaced frequently, as you are the only one using them and likely taking good care of them throughout the years. Have a holiday or birthday coming up? A piece of equipment or gift cards to get more only make the build out of the gym of your dreams even easier.

Save Time on Travel

Even if the gym is just a short few mile drive, if we are being honest, the commute chews up more time than just the drive. Working out at home means you can roll out of bed, throw on some lifting clothes (or choose to stay in your pj’s- its your own gym so it is your own rules after all!) and walk the 100 yards or so to get to work. Driving to the gym is fine, but what about then finding parking, getting unpacked in the locker room, the 30 minutes of time you killed chit chatting with your friend between lifts or before the workout. When you are set up with a space of your own you don't have to worry about any of that- or what you look like for that matter!

No Sharing Equipment

You want to squat first? Cool, you get to do just that.  When you are working out in the privacy of your own garage there is no such thing as first come first serve.  You get full access to your equipment when you need it in the order you want. 

Less Chance of Ego Stepping In

Let's face it, we all fall guilty of this sometimes. Loading the bar with your planned weight then looking over and seeing the next guy's bar.  All of a sudden you are thinking “I can probably do more than him” and before you know what's happening you have added more weight to what you were doing, and you are near maxing on what should be a lift that requires only 80% effort.  Congratulations, you're human but also lifting with ego more than sticking to your plan can oftentimes get you in trouble.  

When you are in the confines of your own home, the chances of being influenced by ego and straying from the plan are a lot less likely.  No comparison, no fear of judgment, no trying to do better than the guy next to you. You simply follow the plan and keep rolling.

Try New Things

If you were in the middle of a crowded public park and a friend challenged you to do something way out of your comfort zone, like a push up or handstand contest, you would probably adamantly turn it down. But now, in the privacy of your own home with just the two of you, you're more likely to see what your skill and ability levels are made of. Who knows, trying new things might lead you to surprising yourself in both skill and strength and if you had not been training in the privacy of your own space, you would have never known.


Like we said, building out your gym can be an investment. But it doesn't have to be one that breaks the bank or requires everything at the start. Starting with a few basic pieces and being willing to piecemeal it together can get you yoked. Places like Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups from local gyms closing, word of mouth, asking around to other friends and neighbors who might have equipment laying around and collecting dust are all often reliable places to look. But what equipment is best to start with? The ones that are most versatile and then build from there.


These offer versatility in both how you train but as well as versatility in the challenge they offer. For example, going single or double dumbbells for unilateral training. When was the last time you worked on improving single leg strength more than focusing on your traditional squat? Or how about a weighted goblet squat at a tempo that forces you to slow down, perfect each position and challenge yourself in a completely different way? A set of dumbbells can offer variety (and a level of instability in training) that barbells often can't.


If you have the option, investing in an incline bench up front would be helpful but it's not a deal breaker if it doesn't incline. A bench can be helpful in the most commonly thought of exercises like bench press and dips, but other movements like rows, hip thrusts and dumbbell pullovers can be performed with the help of a bench. Also using it in place of a box for step ups, step overs or jump overs makes this piece of equipment become a worthy investment.


In the same vein as dumbbells being versatile, the novel stimulus of incorporating resistance bands into your training can help your overall performance. If you are only used to machines or barbells, incorporating banded resistance work might be just the novel stimulus you need to find more stability, more range of motion or even more precision in your training.

Barbell And Weights

Although a traditional barbell and weight set isn't as versatile as what a rack of dumbbells can offer, getting strong and fit AF can be almost guaranteed with them. The more obvious compound movements like squat and bench can be beneficial to have access to in your own garage. But even being able to Olympic lift can be helpful at home if you are refining the skill and technique of a lift or simply looking to build more explosive power or athletic ability.


What ISN'T there an app for these days? And while we know there are plenty of apps out there to help you time your work or rest sets or even play music from, it might be a worthy investment to get a clock and speaker for your space. Sometimes the distraction of your phone can be too much and being able to set your phone down in a space away from where you are working and still being able to time yourself or crank the tunes can be beneficial.

Space Saving Tips

If you don't have the luxury of a spacious pole barn or massive garage space, it might feel a little intimidating to consider a garage gym build out or committing to working out in that type of space. That being said, if you often find yourself with more excuses NOT to commute to the gym than to go to the gym, it sounds like simply navigating some space saving concerns can be the solution to both you creating your own garage gym space and ditching the gym more often than not.

A few things to consider when optimizing space in your home gym area:

Adjustable dumbbells are underrated.  With many brands out there like Gronk fitness or even the OG Bow flex brand, there is no need to find space for multiple sets of dumbbells, rather have 2 dumbbells that can range in weight from 5 all the way up to 90 pounds in some cases. 

Wall space (or shelving) is your friend.   Can you use the wall space to store things like bands and boxes, med balls and mats?  If you find yourself in a position where floor space is limited, get creative and take to shelving and walls for further storage.

Folding wall racks are the latest craze for optimizing space in a small home gym space.  Being able to squat, press and even do pull ups at home is next level.  With companies like PRx and Rogue now producing folding wall mounts, you can have the perks of a massive gym just a few short steps from your front door.  Added bonus when going this route versus something like a traditional squat rack? You can still pull your beloved car in and out of the garage when you aren't using the rack because of the ease of it folding into the wall.  

How To Program A Good Workout

There is nothing worse than having your own personal space to workout, whether it be fully equipped or outfitted with just enough to get the work done, only to find yourself wasting time scrolling through different blogs or even social media trying to figure out your next workout. None of that around here. You want a workout that is well thought out, periodized, prioritizing progressive overload, proper stimulus and load. You want to simply walk into your garage gym, put your head down and get to work. The peak strength app does all that, plus some. It takes the guesswork out of “what should I do today?” and puts you on a path of peak athleticism and success.  

Helpful Reminders

If you are hesitant to commit to a garage gym workout because you may be missing out on some of the fancier pieces of equipment, we implore you to think again. Working out with access to a leg press or leg extension machine might be nice, but we promise you that those fancy machines are no better (arguably sometimes they are in fact not helpful at all) than what you can outfit your own space with. Remember, no fancy equipment required to get yoked.

Finding yourself in a pinch with space or time for some temporary reason? In a pinch, body weight can get the job done. Thinking back to when we were at the height of covid and we were all forced to take our workouts into our own backyards, you may recall feeling a bit sore and dare I say worked from those banded workouts or body weight workouts you were doing. Now, with heading back to the weighted stuff you may have totally avoided either of those things. But bringing them back into rotation is you introducing a novel stimulus to a body that knows what to expect with a heavy load. Body weight can help shake things up and give you the pump you need in a pinch.

While we already discussed how a garage gym can be extremely helpful when your time is limited, it's worth circling back to this topic and reminding you how much you can truly get done in a small amount of time. Yes, you need to commit to full training sessions at some point but remember, don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Completing your set of squats in the 15 minutes you have between home improvement tasks is much better than skipping those squats all together. Something is better than nothing sometimes.

Effort is always required. Working out at home can have the downside of distractions. So long as you know this going into it, you can have a plan on how to fight back. Rather than doing a set of squats and walking over to the tool bench to fix something only to get lost in the task and 10 minutes goes by before your next set, have a plan in place. Set a timer between sets for the audible reminder to get back to the bar, stay at the bar between sets and wait to fix that trinket after your workout, do what you need to do to keep your focus on the workout.

Final Thoughts

Given that we love our onsite training in Fleetwood, PA, there might be a slight bias to getting into the gym to get your work done. And also, we understand that life happens, perhaps you are too far to be in person, or you simply know yourself and know that if it's not as convenient as possible, you aren't doing it. Whatever the circumstances are, knowing that you can in fact train to reach your peak in the confines of your own space takes a load off. A carefully curated space doesn't take much time, effort or money and with the help of our Peak Strength app, the training part is even easier. Set goals and get after them.

Gaylemarie Kayes

Gaylemarie, but just call her GM, is a seasoned fitness and nutrition professional with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. With a diverse clientele ranging from ultra runners to high-level competitors, gm brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. As a former high-level athlete in running, CrossFit and Olympic lifting to now, a busy yet active mother, she understands the challenges of balancing fitness and goal getting with a hectic lifestyle. Gm's approach emphasizes discipline, ownership, and hard work, tailored to honor each individual's life season for optimal health and well-being.

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Yo, It's Dane

Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!

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