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Getting in shape in your garage

The Home Gym
The Home Gym

For those who know me, I’m not exactly a big fan of the public gym. A new brand comes around, lasts a few years, and then either shuts down or is bought out by a bigger franchise. Trust me, there’s a reason for this cycle. Not to generalize, but I don’t like gyms because they’re usually not all that honest with their members and tend to be staffed by people who love to work out but don’t necessarily qualify as a health professional. If you love your gym and can get good workouts in, then all the more power to you. However, if you don’t like your gym or want to stop paying for a membership but fear you won’t be able to get fit, then fear not and read on.

Here’s a little secret for you: you don’t need 7,000 square feet to get in shape. You also don’t need a machine for every single muscle on the body, and this is a good thing because you have over several hundred muscles! To explain this, let me give you a little back-story.

In May of 2013 I left my then current employer in hopes of branching out on my own. May was also the month of my marriage after a two year engagement. To further compound things, when I got back from my honeymoon, I decided that I wanted to finish my last year of Graduate School. You could say that I like to keep things simple.

However, I still needed to train. Leaving my employer meant not working out at his facility. It’s pretty difficult to open a fitness business and not try to be fit, so I needed to do something. I wasn’t going to join a gym and pay for a bunch of equipment that I don’t need. So, I spent some money on some real home equipment to begin the process of building a home gym. Keep in mind I had a nice chunk of change to work with, but I’ve supplied the bare essentials for anyone on a tight budget. Here’s what I bought (I will also add a link to my blog where I discuss, in greater detail, buying toys for the home gym):
-Olympic Barbell (120 – 250 dollars)
-Medicine Ball (15 to 90 dollars)
-Weight/Bumper Plates (varies)

Some might complain about the expense, but you just paid for a five month gym membership in advance, and the equipment will last a lifetime. Plus you get to train from home, which is a great feeling.
The training was pretty easy. Here’s how I divided it up:

Strength: Each workout started with 3 sets of a strength exercise. I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so I needed to continue to build my strength levels. This would take about 8 to 10 minutes.

Fat Loss/Hypertrophy (scientific term for building muscle): After the strength component, I have a barbell, weight plates, medicine ball, and my own bodyweight to design a 20 minute circuit for whatever goal I may have. It’s a true circuit because I’m using major muscle groups,something that’s great for the metabolism.

Conditioning: This is super easy. Outside, you have access to sprints, intervals, hills, and stairs. Once it became too cold outside, I simply used the barbell to do barbell complexes, which is something I teach my members to do if they are short on time for a workout.

Want to know the best part? No driving to the gym, no hassle for parking, and no toting around a huge duffel bag. Once done with my workout, I can simply walk upstairs and begin my day.

If you’re further interested in this, check out this piece:

So there you have it: garage training. Park the car outside, save yourself a lot of money in the long run, and start getting in great shape!

Marc Pogorzelski, Nexus Fitness

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