This article is an overview of home garage gym and will talk about everything we have, how it works & how we use it, and some details on the choices we made.

There is a full equipment list at the bottom of the article with links, so you can see exactly what we bought and go straight to the source

The primary goal of our garage home gym is to allow us to strength train for overall health, longevity, muscle creation & maintenance for old age support, and to also support our active lifestyle and sport choices. We rather not spend time indoors doing exercise and don’t believe in over focusing on cardio, so the rebounder and rowing machine we have is plenty to warm up and do some cardio when we can’t get outside for some reason.

Almost all of the heavy-duty equipment is from Rogue Fitness, since they generally make high quality gear and we don’t like buying things more than once and buying junk and being forced to throw it in a landfill.

Some items like the safety squat bar (SSB) and the vertical bar holder from Titan Fitness were too good at their price point to not get. The equivalent Rogue SSB is not only considerably more expensive, but it’s also been reviewed to actually not be as good. The vertical bar holder (necessary for our half-dozen bars we now have) is also a nice item from Titan. It is not as heavy a gauge of steel that the Rogue uses. But, it still perfectly does the job, costs much less, and you also get free shipping versus Rogue’s arm-and-a-leg shipping cost. That said, I will say that I honestly would’ve preferred the weight and heft of the Rogue item. The SSB from Titan also has machining and various indications that shows it’s just not a very high-end product. These are the things that Rogue typically gets right and you pay the price for it.

We decided on the Monster Lite racks as that is more appropriate for non-commercial use. The beefier “Monster” racks are really intended for public gyms and the extra cost, weight, and hassle wasn’t worth it in my estimation. We got the “flat foot” version of the power rack as I didn’t see the need or want to drill into my garage floor to securely mount the normal four-post racks. Yes, the flat foot racks will “walk” a bit when you’re racking heavy loads after your set. But, I don’t want to deal with holes in my foundation/garage floor and also lose the ability to change my mind and reconfigure my gym easily by simply pushing the rack into place.

The power bars we got in stainless steel to be the most long-lasting and trouble-free. The deadlift bar didn’t come in stainless steel, so I got it in bare steel since I didn’t want to deal with the other special coatings that may take away from grip feel and also have a limited lifetime. The bare steel will have more upkeep, but we don’t live in a humid environment and I don’t expect much concern or work there.

The benches we got in “shorty” configuration, especially since we got the “competition fat pad”. I highly recommend doing exactly like that as the pad is super secure and feels great. And, unless you have very long legs (especially from knee to foot), I would seriously consider getting the shorter bench.

The vertical plate tree is fantastic. It holds all of the weight that we own (over 1,000 lbs) and is on wheels. I was concerned about putting so much weight on the stand, especially with wheels. But, Rogue assured me it would be no problem and after I saw the gauge of steel involved and how strong the casters/wheels are, I trust them and am very happy with it. If you’re wondering, yes, the fully loaded does move decent with the wheels. It is not easy, however, and will take some focused effort.

You may noticed that we have no 45LB plates. They were out of them during our order and I compensated with just more 55LB plates. An issue that came up because of this is that when my wife needs a normal height plate to deadlift with and doesn’t yet want to use 55LB plates, this was a problem. Thus the subsequent order of some Rogue Echo bumper plates at 10LB that accomplish this. They are light but also full-height for normal deadlifting experience off the ground.

The deadlift bar jack is a completely essential item, in my view. If you’re going to be doing any kind of serious training, this is the best money you will spend on saving your back, time, and energy.

Our entire garage gym area has a footprint comprised of [15] 4’ by 6’ rubber stall mats. This is an excellent material that is just the right amount of flex (very little), but quiet, non slippery, easy to clean, super sturdy, and long lasting. We are very pleased with this investment and the effort involved in preparing and moving all of the heavy pieces into place.

Finally, I built custom deadlift platforms and highly recommend doing the same if you rather not buy a commercial version like from Rogue. The construction is very simple. You need 2-3 layers of 4’ x 8’ flooring type of wood panels, depending on what thickness your local hardware store or lumber yard has. You then need 1 4’ x 8’ hardwood plywood panel and, finally, 1 4’ x 6’ rubber stall mat. Your base wood panels are the foundation for the entire 8’ span of the platform. The final/top layer is 3 components; a 4’ x 4’ hardwood panel in the middle that is flanked by a 2’ x 4’ piece of the rubber stall mat.

Each of these layers is wood glued and wood screwed to complete the assembly. The final steps are to, first, treat the hardwood surface with a wood stain to protect it (and makes it look attractive). Second, you seal the hardwood surface with a polyurethane finish. Let me know if you have questions about the process, materials, or how I did my custom graphic on my deadlift platform.

I hope you found this overview helpful and it inspires you to build your own gym in whatever form suits your needs. Give me a shout if you have any questions along the way.

 

 

 

Here is the current composition of our home garage gym and the prices paid.

Initial Order:

[2] Rogue Monster Lite Racks RML-390F, each with a Single Skinny Pullup Bar at $795 or $1,590 total

[2] Rogue Monster Utility Bench 2.0, each with Shorty Height and Competition Fat Pad at $295 or $590 total

[2] Rogue 45LB Ohio Power Bar, each in Stainless Steel at $395 or $790 total

[1] Rogue Vertical Plate Tree 2.0, with wheels at $187.50

[6] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 55LB at $212 a pair or $1,272 total

[4] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 35LB at $142 a pair or $284 total

[4] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 25LB at $111 a pair or $222 total

[6] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 10LB at $73 a pair or $219 total

[4] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 5LB at $49 a pair or $98 total

[6] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 2.5LB at $42 a pair or $126 total

[6] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 1LB at $33 a pair or $99 total

[2] Rogue Calibrated LB Steel Plates, 0.5LB at $25 a pair

Special “Black Friday” Holiday 2019 Promotion: $561.12 discount

Grand Total with shipping & tax: $5,304.61

Subsequent Orders:

[1] Rogue Deadlift Bar Jack at $165

[4] Rogue Echo Bumper Plates V2, 10LB at $47 a pair or $94 total

[1] Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar, in Bare Steel at $310

[1] Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2 at $229.99

[1] Titan 9-Bar Vertical Storage Rack at $84.99

Other useful items in the gym, purchased in the past:

[1] Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine with Performance Monitor

Several difference sizes of Rogue Plyo Boxes

Rebounder / mini trampoline

A collection of Kettlebells from 8KG to 24KG, here are some Rogue examples

A Smartphone Holder with Tripod

[15] 4’x6’ Thick Rubber Stall Mat

Rehab item: TheraBand Set

Rehab item: Theragun PRO

Rehab item: Yamuna Foot Wakers, previous discussed in my Plantar Fasciitis article here