Benjamin’s 5 Year Garage Gym Evolution

Benjamin’s garage gym in Prosper, TX has been a 5 year process of incrementally adding equipment. It’s a nice example of what you can do in a 2-car garage.

Contents:

  1. Beginning Setup
  2. Current Setup
  3. List of Equipment

Beginning Setup

Here’s how it started 5 years ago. A bare garage floor, VTX bumpers, and a Troy bar. 

Troy bar and VTX bumper plates, using towels and cardboard as a platform

Rogue S-2 squat stand, gymnastics rings, and sand bags to hold it down

Rogue S-2, rings, and a new buddy

Yes, those are towels under the bumper plates. That’s the lifting platform he began with. Old bath towels on top of cardboard pizza boxes. 

A year into it, Benjamin started switching to Rogue equipment. He added the S-2 squat stand, gymnastics rings… and a workout partner, Baron! We all love friends running between our legs between reps of squats. No, luckily he’s well behaved.

Those black things you see on the rear are boxes filled with sandbags, to keep it stabilized for kipping pull ups. That will save you from drilling into your garage floor and mounting the rack. Even some manufacturers recommend doing that, in lieu of having an option for weight horns on the same spot on the rear to load down your rack with plates.

Current Setup

A squat stand, bar and bumpers will cover a whole lot of work, but it’s nice having more options to do every exercise you want.

A year later he moved into a new house and had a 2 car garage to work with, plenty of room for a really nice personal gym with a lot of extras. His tools moved to his second garage (hey, why don’t we all have 2?). The car gets to live outside.

Here’s what he’s got now.

Rogue 14ft Infinity rig with all the weights and some accessories

Benjamin ditched the S-2 squat stand and got an Infinity 14′ Wallmount rig, to accommodate his wife, along with her own Bella Bar. 

He and his wife both work out regularly, but only together on Saturday mornings during their daughter’s nap time. It’s at those times they need the two barbell stations, and they have enough kettlebells, med balls, etc, to share. His daughter comes in later and has a plastic weight set, med ball and box so she can join the fun.

The bar he’s using is the Rogue 2.0, to replace the Troy bar that had gotten rusty. He does Crossfit workouts and both olympic lifts and power lifts, so he needed an all-around bar that was durable for high rep Crossfit abuse. The Rogue 2.0 has dual knurl marks, durable composite bushings, 28.5mm diameter, and no center knurl so he wouldn’t scratch up his neck with cleans. The black zinc shaft is very grippy. 

Abram GHD and Assault Airbike

The Rogue Abram GHD and Assault Airbike have their spot in a corner.

That’s the old rusty Troy bar sitting against the corner, waiting to be refurbished someday.

Dog Sled, Echo Slam Balls, yoga mats, and Sandbags

In the opposite corner, a Dog Sled, nestled among Echo Slam Balls, Yoga Mats and Sandbags.

A chest of drawers to store workout accessories

Benjamin built chis chest of drawers under the bumper rack to store all the small odds and ends that would clutter up the place, including some bands, a dip belt, weight belt, collars, Grid rollers, and a big pile of his wife’s grips that she’s been trying out to find just the right one for pullups. The last thing she did was cover her pull up bar with Rock Tape.

Custom built handstand pushup fplatform

If you don’t do this exercise, you’ll have no idea what this pad is for.

It’s a platform for handstand pushups. Originally he was doing what a lot of people do, which is to space a couple 25lb plates out to put his hands on and some kind of padding between them for his head, in his case a rolled up curtain. The point of that is to get your hands elevated so your head can go down lower. 

After a few years of that he built he and his wife a couple handstand pushup platforms. By the time he built his wife’s he learned the need to offset the hole closer to the wall.

2x1 boards to keep stall mats from sliding in garage gym

He slowly gathered stall mats over the years, first to cover the barbell floor area and then under additional equipment until pretty much the whole area was covered.

In the front of the above pic you’re looking at a 1×2 board sunk into the concrete at the front of the garage to keep the mats from sliding. 

Garage gym weight storage rack for bumpers, change plates, kettlebells, and med balls

The inserts on his original 25lb VTX bumpers came loose, and they and the 45s had chunks of rubber coming out from around the insert and cracking. He replaced them with Rogue Echo colored bumpers, which have held up. Troy also did improve the design of their bumpers since. On that note, there are a few brands of bumpers available where the inserts are anchored in or at least designed in such a way that they aren’t going to pop loose.

The change plates are a mix of half Rogue and half the cheap “Standard” branded plates. They all double as plates for the dumbbell handles.

Concept2 Model D Rower, Assault AirRunner treadmill

Duke the black lab joined the family, and they got a Concept2 Model D Rower and Assault AirRunner treadmill, which he just got a couple weeks ago.

His wife was the one who pushed for the AirRunner. It was not a cheap decision, but they are amazing. I tried a similar treadmill of the same kind of design. It’s a motorless “manual” treadmill with a curved platform that moves smoothly according to how fast you want to run. The higher you step on the front portion, the faster it goes. It works good for sprint/jog intervals, and quick transitions, that a traditional motored treadmill simply can’t keep up with. Plus it’s really quiet.

A great example of a complete garage gym in a 2-car garage

A final view of his setup. A soft foam plyo box and wooden plyo box sit in the left corner. The wood was the first one, self built from plans, but his wife had a nasty miss on a box jump, and that was that, a foam Games Box for her.

See the rings hanging from his extra-high 10ft ceiling – He luckily has just enough room to do muscle-ups.

There’s still some space under the rig not covered with mats. He plans on cutting up plywood painted black to cover it up. Not much need for mats back there.

List of Equipment

Here’s a list of what he currently has in his gym, as detailed above.

Big stuff:

Weights:

Accessories:

Note: Benjamin isn’t available to answer questions unless he wants to follow the comments here (that’s a little too much to ask of him!), but I’ll see if I can help if you have general questions about his setup.

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About the Author:

David Kiesling
David founded Adamant Barbell in 2007. He is into weight training, Crossfit, nutrition, hang gliding, snowboarding, archery and hackysack. He also owns a hang glider repair business.

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