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  • Garage Gym How-To Guide

    I did a search on the forum and didn't find too much about how to build a garage gym. I'm looking for tips and advice from vets who've outfitted a garage gym before since I'm starting the process this week. I don't have many specific questions, rather, I want to know what mistakes other folks have made and what things ya'll overlooked before so I can learn from you. This might be a forum worth building. Garage gym pictures are encouraged!

    I'm going to follow this article on how to build a weightlifting platform: https://www.artofmanliness.com/artic...ting-platform/

    Alan Thrall has a good video, too, but his platform is smaller - just for deadlifting. I need to lock down the whole power rack.

    I'm getting my barbells, plates, and rack from Rogue. What exactly is the advantage of getting a power rack compared to a squat stand?

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  • #2
    Originally posted by WonderCat4Life View Post
    What exactly is the advantage of getting a power rack compared to a squat stand?
    Regarding this topic, and with limited knowledge, I would say pin presses and benches, along with normal bench press, which you can do in racks and not in stands, afaik
    Me gainzz

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by t_angeiras View Post

      Regarding this topic, and with limited knowledge, I would say pin presses and benches, along with normal bench press, which you can do in racks and not in stands, afaik
      It looks like pin presses and benches *should* work with this stand, I would think.

      https://www.roguefitness.com/sml-2-r...te-squat-stand

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah, I think you're right. I'm less useful to you then, haha. Not sure what would be the drawbacks.

        I wish there was a rack or a stand like this one in my gym.
        ​​
        Me gainzz

        Comment


        • #5
          Looks like that should work for almost anything you can dream up. I think the main difference is that in a 4 post power rack no matter how you fall you can't really miss the arms. That being said you probably shouldn't be that reckless in your training though accidents still happen.

          Comment


          • #6
            I’ve been assembling a home-gym slowly over the past couple of years.

            Platform:

            The platform you reference from the “art of manliness” looks good. I built a separate deadlift platform and love it. The disadvantage is that it is separate from the rack/stand and, therefore, takes up more real-estate. I would recommend that you build blocks (for block-pulls) at the same time you build your platform. I like using blocks (that have a top layer of stall mat) better than rack pulls.

            Rack vs stand:

            I chose the rogue SML-2 stand and it is a really great piece of equipment (very stable). With J-cups and safety spotter arms, you can do squat, bench, press, pin-press, pull-ups, rack pulls, etc. The main advantages are cost and that it takes up less space.

            As was mentioned, a 4-post rack would be safer when missing a rep. safety is always important, but especially so when you're lifting alone. If you’re getting a rack, you’ll have to decide if you want pins or straps. When squatting with the SML-2, I actually face out, so the L created by the uprights and the safety spotter arms is behind me. Racking the bar behind you is a bit weird, but hasn’t caused me any problems.

            The other advantage of a 4 or 6 post rack is plate storage. There is no way to hang plates on the SML-2 that would be out of the way. I have a separate a-frame for plate storage.

            Here are a couple good, recent, videos from Brandon Campbell with some really practical advice on getting the best bang for your buck (while still getting solid equipment): “ultimate home gym $1,000” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjrISEeYhkk) and “biggest home gym mistakes” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rqS5rerJtc)

            thanks
            Last edited by sjalbrec; 05-01-2018, 06:24 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dboeding View Post
              Looks like that should work for almost anything you can dream up. I think the main difference is that in a 4 post power rack no matter how you fall you can't really miss the arms. That being said you probably shouldn't be that reckless in your training though accidents still happen.
              This is a very useful back and forth. But yes, as I think on all of my gym experience in a power rack, I can really come up with a time where I've needed the entire rack at once.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sjalbrec View Post
                I’ve been assembling a home-gym slowly over the past couple of years.

                Platform:

                The platform you reference from the “art of manliness” looks good. I built a separate deadlift platform and love it. The disadvantage is that it is separate from the rack/stand and, therefore, takes up more real-estate. I would recommend that you build blocks (for block-pulls) at the same time you build your platform. I like using blocks (that have a top layer of stall mat) better than rack pulls.

                Rack vs stand:

                I chose the rogue SML-2 stand and it is a really great piece of equipment (very stable). With J-cups and safety spotter arms, you can do squat, bench, press, pin-press, pull-ups, rack pulls, etc. The main advantages are cost and that it takes up less space.

                As was mentioned, a 4-post rack would be safer when missing a rep. safety is always important, but especially so when you're lifting alone. If you’re getting a rack, you’ll have to decide if you want pins or straps. When squatting with the SML-2, I actually face out, so the L created by the uprights and the safety spotter arms is behind me. Racking the bar behind you is a bit weird, but hasn’t caused me any problems.

                The other advantage of a 4 or 6 post rack is plate storage. There is no way to hang plates on the SML-2 that would be out of the way. I have a separate a-frame for plate storage.

                Here are a couple good, recent, videos from Brandon Campbell with some really practical advice on getting the best bang for your buck (while still getting solid equipment): “ultimate home gym $1,000” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjrISEeYhkk) and “biggest home gym mistakes” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rqS5rerJtc)

                thanks
                VERY HELPFUL. Especially regarding the plates. Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used spotter arms at the gym I used over the winter until I could get back into my garage gym. I have a Titan cage at home and prefer it much more to spotter arms. You have to squat pretty close to the uprights to get the full use of the spotter arms. Rack pulls really chew up the plastic on the spotter arms as well. And it just plain feels better lifting in a cage. You can get a Titan cage for less than that squat stand.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The one thing you won't be able to do with that stand that you can with a rack is mid shin rack pulls. I have a rack with those spotter arms, and the spotter arms will not go low enough. The rack comes with some other pins that can go lower. The rack also has lots of places you can attach bands, and there are other Rogue attachments you can use, like a dip stand, that wouldn't work so well on the stand. Personally, I would go with an R-3 as it's not much more money and gives you a bit more utility than the stand. But if you're really trying to be as cheap as possible, the stand should suffice. I also built that same platform and it has been great for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My two cents on this:

                      I invested in equipping a home gym about 14 months ago. I bought the Rogue HR-2, which is basically the SML-2 squat stand with the added bracing on the back side. I also added the attachments for racking weight on that added bracing, and the spotter arms. Here's a Rogue picture of what mine basically looks like below. It's SUPER sturdy, and I have no fear of doing anything with those spotter arms. The biggest plus to me in this and the reason why I chose it is it doesn't have to be bolted to the floor, so you can move it around if you need to. I didn't know exactly where I'd want to ultimately set this thing up in my 3-car garage. This allowed me to fine tune the placement a few times, and since then it hasn't moved.

                      I don't do any kind of cleans or olympic movements, so I'm not too worried about the floor. I didn't by bumper plates, but I did by rubber-coated Xmark plates, and I love them. For things that happen off the floor (like deadlifts, rows, etc) I have a 3/4" horse stall mat that I cut into sections. I put one section under each side of the barbell where the plates hit the floor during the decent, and I have another section I stand on to keep me elevated at that same level as the barbell. Works beautifully for me and my near 400'ish deadlifting. No issues with my concrete slab at all.

                      It wasn't cheap to do all this by any means. Probably have $2500 invested in it all. I used to spend that much yearly on a Crossfit membership between me and my wife. She works out at home also, so no more gym/crossfit fees. The home gym has paid for itself and is saving us money at this point. I've added an airbike recently for conditioning work. Having a home gym makes it super easy to lift at any time, early or late. Having to physically go to a gym has been the biggest obstacle for me over years. I loath doing that in every way, from the drive time back and forth, to waiting on equipment to be free while you're there, to dealing with others giving/asking for advice, whatever. Working out at home is life.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	hr-2-web5_4.jpg Views:	1 Size:	46.3 KB ID:	11106
                      Last edited by Euby; 05-02-2018, 06:23 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think most has been covered but as others have said, bottom rungs that are not off the floor restricts things like using band - I have this issue
                        Racks that don't go low enough for rack pulls - again I have this, I just built a little raised platform which I stand on to counter

                        Other bits I'd say, rubber plates over iron, rubber mats and dip rings

                        Being from the north of the UK and having converted my garage a good heater/fan is also something I wish I'd invested in sooner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          +1 on the garage heater. I put one in this past winter. Very inexpensive and it makes winter training a complete non-issue.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm curious what garage heaters you choose. I have an older two-car attached garage. It's un-insulated except for the exposed insulation in the ceiling (a bedroom sits above it). I've tried space heaters, which have practically no effect at all because of the size and high ceilings. But I don't want to make a huge investment in a big "system." Then again, I'm sick of wearing 3-4 layers of sweatshirts over the winter months. Is there an easy cost-effective option?

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                            • #15
                              $1000-1100 for this set up, including a SS Ohio power bar. Titan T3 rack, homemade weight tree, no name bench and used weights. Summer plan is to get the garage insulated and heated, which will be the most expensive part of the gym.

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