Garage Gym Equipment Must Haves

Are you sick of all the hectic process involved with staying fit and healthy – with getting in the best shape of your life? As days pass by, staying in best shape takes the toll against your busy work routine and everything becomes second priority. Keeping the balance between your day-to-day tasks and your fitness routine seems to be tough at times. You may find it challenging to keep up with your regular fitness routine, or even find it difficult to manage a steady workout schedule, all things considered.

The worst part about fitness regime is everything that comes with it: a long commute to the gym, taking time out of your daily chores, crowds of people, excessive gym fees, occupied equipment, hygiene issues and what not. And above all that, you have a family to take care of, and even if that’s not enough, you obviously don’t want to start or end your day with what seems like just another chore. Running to the gym every day involves getting in the gym avatar, driving, waiting and then more driving – the routine becomes a monotonous thing. Every day you feel like “that’s just it” and you can’t take it anymore, then you decide to skip the gym and it will cost you money.

Would you rather be working out at home than making those trips to the gym every day? The solution to all your fitness problems is garage gym equipment. You don’t need a personal trainer to keep you on track as long as you committed to the process. Perhaps when you think of a garage gym, you picture a version of the commercial gym stuffed in your garage. The thing is commercial gyms are designed for the masses – TVs, music, isolation machines, crowds of people, and a bunch of other stuff you don’t really need.

Public Gym or Garage Gym?

garage gym

Gyms are expensive and crowded, and working out is a huge commitment, maybe more than anything else, and it’s physically exhausting as well. But that’s the whole point – getting your body used to take that level of exertion – isn’t it? And the cost of owning your own gym equipment seems too high and way out of reach and that reason alone prevents you from starting your own garage gym. But is it so hard to take a decision if you can’t at least give it a try?

A garage gym is built to serve your fitness needs with more efficient training. If that’s any comfort, some of the fittest people in the world prefer to train in their own garage gyms. A garage training facility doesn’t have to include nearly as much heavy training equipment as you’re used to seeing at your regular commercial gyms. And you don’t even need those heavy isolation machines and pin-select stations in order to set up your gym. There’s a lot you can do but you have to lay the foundation first.

But you can do it with enough willpower and determination, and a with proper workout plans, you can set up a great training facility in your own garage. And a garage gym tends to have far more equipment than is actually required to work every muscle in your body. Then there’s question of privacy. A garage gym means you can train alone in your home void of all distraction which allows you to concentrate more on the task at hand. After all, your home gym is your sanctuary.

Why Should You Have a Garage Gym?

garage gym

Perhaps when you picture a garage gym, you see heavy garage gym equipment, more space and a bunch of stuff you won’t be needing in the future – in fact, you think of a version of a commercial gym when you think of a garage gym. Or maybe you think of some world-class training facility. But the truth lies somewhere in between. With a garage gym, there are two options – you can either have a garage with a gym inside it, or a gym in the shell of a garage. Either way, storage, and organization are two main priorities here.

Now, no more waiting in the queue to use the squat rack, no need to work in, no need to wait for anybody; it’s just you and your equipment. You can work out anytime you want in the comfort of your garage gym. You can have all the equipment just to yourself and work some heavy lifting sessions without anyone getting in the way. Listen to whatever music you want, lift however you like, and that too, without anyone interfering with your fitness routine. You get to enjoy all the freedom you want in the world, with a garage gym.

Many gym-goers claim to spend 1-2 hours at the gym, but how much of that time they actually spend in training? Commercial gyms have too many variables that affect your fitness routine, one way or another. But, with garage gym equipment at your disposal, you don’t have to worry about those variables anymore because every minute adds up when it comes to health and fitness.

The main thing that will eventually cross your mind is if it’s a worthy investment or if you have enough money and space to make it work. While making your own garage gym is certainly not cheap, a small investment of cash and space will save you lots of money in the long-term. You can have your garage gym setup for as little as a few hundred dollars, which is almost equivalent to about a year and a half of the cheapest gym membership fees. The advantage of home gym is it’s kind of a one-time investment thing and you’re set for your whole life, which is better than spending on those abusive gym fees which only add up and you end up investing a lot more.

Now that you are convinced it’s time you visualize and choose your space wisely. A home gym is something you can build over time, beginning with the essentials and you can always upgrade your equipment. And once you establish your budget and space, it’s time to build.

The best equipment to begin with varies from person to person, but there are some essential equipment to consider first when building your own garage gym. So let’s start with the following essential pieces of equipment.

Essential Equipment For A Garage Gym:


garage gym

While it’s too damn important for your garage gym, a barbell is usually easy to find. Now you don’t have to spend a grand on a barbell, but you can’t just go for any cheap alternative either. The thing is cheap bars bend easily, loose sleeve rotation quickly, or even break completely. Barbells vary in weight, diameter, shaft, and in some cases overall bar length. Most bars are 20 kg men’s bars, while many popular manufacturers offer the women version of their most-selling bars as well.

There are two major types of barbell: standard and olympic. Standard bars follow a standard specification of one-inch diameter with 1-inch holes through the plates. They are ideal for light applications but are not suitable for heavy lifting. Olympic bars, on the other hand, are specially designed for heavyweight applications and they store more elastic energy for heavy cleans. There’s a third type which is starting to picking up momentum these days, and that is the dual-marked bar. This is kind of a hybrid bar which is commonly used for general purposes. It’s suitable for both light and heavy lifting applications.


garage gym

As for weight plates, you can find them almost anywhere. You can also find great deals on used plates and that would be great for a start. But should you choose a bumper plate or a classic steel plate for your garage gym? If you’re a little tight on the budget, steel weight plates might be the way to go. Steel plates are less expensive and you can find used steel plates almost anywhere, be it your local sporting good stores or flea markets.

For heavy lifting, bumpers are your best bet as steel plates are built for general strength training. Bumpers are also safe, which means it won’t break your foundation if you accidentally drop them. Picture yourself dropping a bar loaded with steel plates, and what it would do to your platform or floor. Additionally, bumpers create less noise when banging against each other, while steel plates are crazy loud on the floor. So a bumper is always a great option for your garage gym.

Power Rack

garage gym

A power rack is undoubtedly the centerpiece of your garage gym and the most important purchase you make for your garage gym. Not only it’s the most important piece of equipment for your gym, but they also add to a considerable measure of safety. After all, you need a place to rack the bar for overhead presses and heavy squats. They also have lateral safety pins to catch the barbell in case something goes wrong, and they are a versatile piece of garage gym equipment. There are a lot of things a power rack can do to make your exercises comfortable and efficient, but your garage needs to be big enough for the power rack to fit in.


garage gym

Certain actions require you to lie down, such as a bench press, which is an area where you’d definitely shop around and maybe you can find something decent of you’re lucky. And not only do you need a weight bench, you’ll require a quality, reliable bench which supports your weight as well as the additional weight you’re lifting. But you have to be very careful about what you need. Most of the benches are designed to support a couple hundred pounds, but as you get stronger, you’d need a bench that can hold your gains. The benches need to be strong and stable under any kind of load.


garage gym

The main staple to any garage gym is going to be dumbbells. They are an essential piece of equipment for a solid workout routine and a great addition to your garage gym. Dumbbells are just as versatile as barbells as you can use them in multiple arms, chest and shoulder movements. The kind of exercises you can do with dumbbells are seemingly endless so they are totally worth it. You could get your hands on a pair of fancy up-market adjustable dumbbells for a few hundred dollars, or you could just go for standard handles if you’re on a budget. Fixed dumbbells are also more comfortable for low-level strength training.


garage gym

The kettlebell is one of the most important and versatile training equipment in a garage gym which can be used either one handed, two handed or one in each hand. This is an amazing tool with a ton of uses to keep your programming varied, no matter if you’re in a garage gym or a commercial gym. While a lot of people believe that kettlebells are not as essential as dumbbells, but there are many movements that work better with a kettlebell. Additionally, they take less space and they are relatively cheaper than other gym equipment, making them a great investment for the variety they add to your workout routines.


garage gym

Every fitness enthusiast wants a treadmill. But is it a worthy investment for your garage gym? It might seem strange to invest in a running machine, but in reality, a treadmill is a great investment for a plethora of reasons. Simply making a few runs on the treadmill is one of the most effective fat loss strategies, especially for those looking to hold on to muscle mass. Having a treadmill at your own home can simplify your life by providing you with a means of regular workout routine which ensures optimum control.


garage gym

A home exercise bike is the best addition to your garage gym and is one of the excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise. Cycling is the best way to infuse exercise into your daily routine and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Additionally, cycling is a fun way to stay in shape. They can be used for vigorous workouts and you can watch television, or listen to music while pedaling your way to your fitness goals. A perfect bike is just as efficient as other equipment in your garage gym, and they are a perfect alternative to going to the gym or jogging.


garage gym

Not everyone enjoys jogging or biking for their cardio. There are those who prefer to run on a treadmill or an elliptical, for that matter in the comfort of their own air-conditioned room rather than go outside. Though many people feel that elliptical is ineffective and boring, it’s a fantastic piece of equipment best suited for low-impact cardiovascular exercises. After all, comfort is the main priority when it comes to indoor gyms and there’s nothing wrong in taking your cardio indoors.

But you have to consider a few things first if you’re looking to buy your own elliptical machine. The main thing is how much are you willing to spend on an elliptical machine, and if you aren’t worried about the budget, then you should think about what kind of workout you wish to achieve with it. You can always go for a top-notch and extra durable machine if you want an intense workout session every day.

Abs and Back Machines

garage gym

There is a multitude of exercise equipment out there, which are specifically designed to train abs such as an adjustable sit up bench. Ab benches are one of the oldest fitness equipment that can be found on almost every commercial gym. Beside sit ups, it caters to a wide variety of ab exercises, such as crunches, leg raising, twists, and more. This is definitely one of the most versatile pieces of equipment which can be used for free weight workouts as well. The ab glider, on the other hand, is a fantastic piece of equipment for isolating your abdominal muscles.

There’s another very powerful machine to train abdominal muscles along with shoulders, arms, and back – an ab wheel, which allows you to perform core workout sessions efficiently and comfortably. It’s one of the best equipment for lower and upper abs training, and they are rather affordable.

Foam Roller

garage gym

Foam Rollers have practically surpassed other gym equipment in popularity over the past couple of years. Most of you might not have heard of a foam roller, and this tool here can give you a lifetime of relief from tight muscles, and so much more from working out the knots in your body muscles to sculpting an incredible set of abs. So if you haven’t considered it already, you’re missing out on some serious benefits. Foam Rollers can be used for support during your workout routines, thereby reducing soreness and flexibility.

Plyo Boxes

Plyometric box

Plyometrics involve intense workout of various muscle groups in short intervals of time. It’s an essential component of strength training and it’s something you can set up right within your own garage gym with little or no effort. Even a simple box jump is a fantastic addition to your daily exercise routine and there’s really an insane amount of ways to use it to improve strength. The reason why plyo boxes prove to be an all around incredible piece of equipment around your gym is because they are virtually indestructible and you can build your own plyo box without any hefty investment.

Space-Saving Ideas

Now that you’re fully committed to starting your own garage gym, it’s time to get to work. Because keeping your garage stuff out of the garage is easier said than done. You simply cannot dedicate 100% of the space to the gym and this is where your organization skills come to the picture. You can either transform your garage entirely to fit in the whole gym equipment or you can organize in such a way that the garage looks more like a gym than a garage. After all, organization is the key here.

Space always tends to be an issue when it comes to garage gyms. So avoid getting giant machines which are not only solo-taskers but also are difficult to move around. As they are limited to just one exercise, their usefulness in your gym is limited. You’d probably want to think twice before racking up a considerable amount of space for something that can perform only one exercise. A piece of equipment that can be used for multiple exercises is much more valuable to you.

Doesn’t matter if you’re building the ultimate garage gym or just working out on a tight budget, there are just so many alternatives to commercial gyms. From intense cardio workouts to regular push and pull activities, you can target every muscle group in your body from the comfort of your own home while listening to music and enjoying television at the same time. Remember, the best garage gym ideas are unique, versatile, and space-saving.

We have you all covered, should you ever think of creating our garage gym. The above-mentioned equipment are all the basic yet important things you’ll need for your garage gym, doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a good cardio machine to help you shed extra calories, or any gym bundle to aid you with your strength training. Building a garage gym is actually not that difficult as it seems and if you are intimidated by the overall process, we are here to help you at every step as you figure out exactly what kind of equipment you’ll need depending on your fitness goals.