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  • garge gym in the cold...

    Hi, I live outside of Oslo Norway.
    In these Covid 19 times I find that I need to t take matters in to my own hands. I have a small garage in which I could set up a squat rack. The car can suck it and stay in the driveway. I looked in to foldout racks but the wall in my garage just wont work for this.
    There are are a few things I need to take in to consideration and would love some feedback from you all.

    1. The garage is not insulated. It gets pretty cold here for half the year. I can probably deal with wearing more clothes when I train, but I would either have to keep the closed. Any ideas here about heating or temperature ranges for training. Does it matter as long as I can warm up. I mean runners and cyclists run in all sorts of temp ranges.

    2. plates? the floor is poured cement/concrete. Should I have a platform under for deadlifts if I get iron plates (cheapest) or do I need to get a platform made as well. As the car wont be in there the garage will be pretty dry albeit damp at times depending on the weather.

    3. Any thing I need to take in to consideration? I do not intend on powerlifting yet so what if I use a shorter barbell? Anything to think about there as long as it is still 20kg.

    Thanks for any and all input. I was hoping my gym would open up soon but probably not for months.


  • #2
    Hey Glenn - I'm in a similar boat to you. I'll buy my equipment as soon as Rogue Europe restocks. My answers to your questions are below:

    1) I'm thinking of getting one of those electric heaters and turning it on about 15 minutes before working out, next to the rack/squat stand. That along with wearing more clothes whilst doing enough warm-up before working sets should mitigate the cold.

    2) I'll build a deadlift platform. There's loads of guides on the internet and it should take about 3-4 hours to do. Deadlifting without a platform will certainly cause damage to your flooring over time, even with bumper plates.

    3) You should get as good a barbell as possible, even if you don't plan to compete. It's the most important purchase since you'll be using it for all of your lifts. I'll likely go for the Ohio Power Bar since it's a good, all-round, high quality bar (see below).

    Hope that helps and interested to hear what others might have to say.

    The Rogue 20KG Ohio Power Bar is fully machined and assembled in Columbus, OH, using 205K PSI tensile strength steel. Available in multiple finish options, including a brand new Stainless Steel w/ Chrome option!


    • #3
      Thanks Sheak !
      I just bought a set of 100k bumpers and a very good bar. At least the best they had. No Rogue quality but it´ll do for the time being. I plan on making a platform and have even found where i can purchase horse mats here in Norway. Go figure. I read and article about training in the cold and I imagine it´ll work for a while. I actually look forward to it. Best part was my wife was the one who actually pushed me to go to the store today. I was able to get the last set of bumpers in person. Now to order a squat rack and bench. I amm good with heat for at least 6 months and wont need to heat up the room til late October.

      Thanks again


      • #4
        I have an portable oil-filled radiator on a timer that I park right underneath the bar inside the rack. If it's really cold, I might keep my hat on or long sleeve shirt, usually able to shed those after warm up sets.

        A couple more miscellaneous tips:
        • Put bar under heater of keep indoors so it's not ice cold when you use it.
        • Knee sleeves are nice to have.


        • #5
          Originally posted by barnlifter View Post
          [*]Put bar under heater of keep indoors so it's not ice cold when you use it.[/LIST]
          I agree with barnlifter. I have my equipment on an unheated covered side porch. Bringing your bar inside for a while before you lift (or keeping it inside and taking it outside only when you lift) is a key practice. Bare hands on freezing metal is a definite problem.
          The kind of layered clothing that you would wear for skiing/outdoor running/cycling can also be very helpful. Wear layers and peel off as you get warmer from the exercise.
          The smaller the space, the more efficient any heating will be. If you use a space heater that burns fuel, make sure you have a CO2 detector installed.


          • Gforce
            Gforce commented
            Editing a comment
            Sounds great. I will probably use a fan type space heater for those exact reasons. The only way in and out o the garage is through the garage door. So I may experiment with keeping it closed or half open depending on the temp.
            Keeping the bar inside seems like a great idea both for temp and for exposure to condensation.

        • #6
          I've been lifting at home in the garage for about 10 months now. It's a bit of an adjustment after lifting in a climate controlled gym. Lifting at home as been great overall. My consistency is 100% and I never have to worry about waiting for a rack. No lift-off help when benching heavy. But I can live with that.

          Just to echo others' input, keep your bar inside the house and take it out for training sessions. This made the biggest difference for me. Bare steel and cold hands are a miserable combination. I tried various type of gloves without success. I couldn't maintain a good grip on the bar and the gloves ended up shredded. The only good thing about the cold is that your hands won't get sweaty. So you're less likely to lose your grip on the barbell.

          Also, I do a general warm-up (usually 1,000 meters on a rower, or skip rope for a few minutes) before I lift. This plus adequate clothing in layers usually generated enough warmth that I could train without being unbearably cold. It was pretty uncomfortable at times though. The trick is to peel off the outer layer before you sweat. Once you get sweaty, you'll get cold fast.

          As for a space heater, I found an electric space heater insufficient to provide any significant warmth. I'd go with Barnlifter's recommendation of a portable oil-filled radiator. Those take a while to warm up. So get one with a timer as he suggests. There are bigger electric space heaters, but they require a larger electrical outlet to run -- like the kind for a washing machine or refrigerator. A propane heater might work. But I'd be concerned about the exhaust fumes in an enclosed space. To me, it isn't worth the risk.

          A deadlift platform is worth the time an expense. I doesn't have to be fancy. If I built another one, I'd build it in three sections so it was easier to move. I have a couple 20kg bumpers that I put on first, but the rest of my plates are iron. The platform protects the floor and the additional bumpers help dampen the noise, which keeps the neighbors happy.

          Hope that helps. Good luck!


          • Gforce
            Gforce commented
            Editing a comment
            Fantastic help! Thanks

        • #7
          Don't forget flooring. A little insulation can go a long way, so anything you can use will help


          • #8
            Thank you for sharing!