I’ll be honest… I like the gym. There’s something about getting the right attire on, getting in the car and going somewhere where the focus is on moving. Yet, the gym isn’t always the right answer.
The nearest gym was unaffordable, and the one that was affordable had me in the car roughly an hour between going and coming home. Add to that, if you go at the wrong time, you can often find yourself waiting on the equipment you want while others are sitting on their phones texting.
While the gym can be a great option, I tried a few workouts at home in the garage and found that I ultimately felt like I got a better workout. I was able to focus in on what I wanted to do, could quickly move from one exercise to the next and knock out a full rotation in a fraction of the time.
The advantage to this approach is that in addition to the resistance training I was doing, the fast pace between sets in my rotation allowed my cardio to get elevated as well. Both muscular and cardio training at the same time? Count me in!
The Equipment I Use
When I first started, I had grand ideas of some large home gym that would take up half the garage. A full system that would give me all the options… sounds good, right? I considered a Cable Crossover Machine or Multifunctional Full Body Home Gym, both well under $1000. While both have wonderful reviews and certainly looked interesting, I decided to go a little smaller to start. After all, what if I didn’t stick with the garage gym? Why waste all that money?
Ultimately, I settled on a great pair of Adjustable Dumbbells from CAP, which allowed me to go from 5lbs to 50lbs of resistance, while giving me a great range of primary exercises to focus in on. Paired with a simple flat bench like the FLYBIRD Flat Bench, I had a solid base to start with. Eventually, I did upgrade to the Lusper Adjustable Weight Bench so I could do both incline and decline presses, but even with the flat bench, I got one hell of a good workout.
For less than the larger home gyms, I had a system that gave me a good range and solid workouts in a form that didn’t take up all that much in the garage. Plus, I could get in and out in around 30-45 mins, and be ready to move into the next part of my day. (BONUS! No funky car smell from the sweaty drives home!)
When a gym membership can cost you $10-30 per month, plus “yearly fees”, the time and gas to get there and the frustration of others hogging the equipment… the garage became the better option, at least for me.
You may not have a garage, but with the dumbbells and bench, you really don’t need much space. Both the benches I mentioned fold up, so you can easily store the whole setup out of the way in a closet or spare room.
Do Something, Either Way
Look, whether you go to the local gym, or get some basic equipment like I did, do something. I have been using the dumbbells and benches for the last several months, and I would definitely recommend them. But if that’s not your style, do something… Even if it’s just getting out for a walk.
Don’t wait like I did to do something. I made all the excuses in the world, and wish like hell I had started decades ago. There’s so much more I could have enjoyed in my life, if I had been in better shape. Learn from my life lesson here – Take care of your health and your body. You can enjoy so much more of it when you do.