Garage Gym Plan

The time is nearing for when I quit the free fitness center (graciously provided by my work) and setup the home garage with the right equipment to facilitate Olympic weightlifting and general metabolic conditioning for me and my wife. This solution will include 15KG and 20KG bars, KG bumpers, a squat stand, pull-up bar, bench, dip station, and some plate storage. And eventually I will build a platform to round it out.

All of this is contingent upon selling our house in FL to free up the cash. And it will be completed in phases to allow for training as equipment is slowly purchased.

Phase 1: Kettlebells

My original plan had kettlebells as an afterthought. But they are the cheapest means of achieving fitness at home by incorporating them into simple workouts by way of KB swings, cleans, snatches and presses. For my wife who has no CrossFit or Weightlifting experience teaching the concepts and movements with kettlebells might be an easier transition into full blown Olympic Weightlifting.

Rogue Kettlebells

There are plenty of good kettlebells on the market. But the Rogue Fitness Kettlebells are a good mix of durability and price.

Phase 2: Bars

Back to basics. Keep it simple. A bar each for me and my wife. Hopefully this phase will not last too long before we can move to the bumpers in phase 2. But I do not mind spending time on the fundamentals.

Rogue Ohio Bar

And I don’t care who you are enough bar-only overhead squats focusing on form will do some work.

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Phase 3: Bumpers

With SO MANY BUMPERS to choose from, I made my decision based on a good price ($/kg) and reputation. And buying a 140 kg package will help on price, too.

Pendlay HD 25kg Bumper Plate

Phase 4: Rack

I did not move the wooden squat rack when we relocated to NC a few months ago. It was donated to a good friend. I can live with knowing my buddy is able to do some squats at home. AND… it was one less thing to move. Win win.

After reading the official power/squat stand review, I have narrowed down the perfect solution that will facilitate add-ons instead of separate pieces of equipment.

Rogue S-2 Squat Stand

I almost went with the power rack for more stability and less depth. But I would have to deal with mounting it in a rented garage or build a sub-floor to mount it on. Besides I will not be moving that more weight than the s2 can handle. And I would not have the option to move it outside on a nice NC day.

Phase 5: Plate Storage

Rogue Infinity Series Rack Plate Storage Add-on

This will allow me to keep the bumpers off the floor AND provide more support to the base of the rack while doing pull-ups.

Phase 6: Dip station

Rogue Matador / Dip Station

This would be a nice to have. It certainly has proven to be a staple by the leaders of the sport.

This is a good start. I will post updates as equipment is purchased and setup.


Cycle #6 Week 4 Workout 1/3 (Workout B)

After a failed attempt, missed workout, and a hurts-more-than-sore day, I was finally able to get 5×5 squats @ 255#. It is motivating to think that only 2.25 months ago my 1RM back squat was 275#.

I still have a few workouts before I fail on the overhead press. That makes me feel a little better about how drastically different the upper and lower body numbers are. One note I have on the overhead press is that I found it easier to not front-rack the barbell between reps. Simply pushing through the set left me less fatigued after the fifth rep of each set.

I hate deadlifts.

  1. 5×5 of Squat @ 255#
  2. 5×5 of Overhead Press @ 90#
  3. 2r of Deadlift @ 275# (fail)

Pyrros Dimas moving weight effortlessly

This guy. It seems like he lifts inside an anti-gravity bubble.


Cycle #6 Week 3 Workout 2/3 (Workout A)

After missing the gym on Wednesday my plan changed to Thursday and Saturday. And after missing on Thursday my plan changed to skipping Workout B this week and doing Workout A on Friday as originally scheduled. And that’s what happened.

I believe today was the first day in my short training history to where I felt like my leg was verging on being hurt. The eccentric portion of the squat was fine. I was able to work up to doubles at 225#, 30# less than my working set. But even at that weight on the first rep, the concentric portion of the squat, although completed, made my left quad feel sharp. I did a few sets of doubles at 225# and it did not get any better. So squats will have to wait until Monday where I will try 255# at 5×5 again.

On the bright side for today I did much better on bench than I was expecting. Not only did I get 155# @ 5×5 I felt like I could’ve done more.

  1. 5r5s of Bench Press @ 155#
  2. 5r5s of Barbell Row @ 135#


Cycle #6 Week 3 Workout 1/3 (Workout A)

I hit my first failed set today on squats of 5×5 @ 255# on the 25th rep. I feel good about repeating this weight again on Wednesday instead of moving up. Squats have been progressively harder each workout. This was bound to happen at some point.

The bench press is nearing failure as well. I may not get through 5×5 @ 155# on Friday.

With regard to the barbell row… well.. it is what it is. I jumped up from 95# (last week?) to avoid swapping out 25# and 45# plates so my co-worker and I could share what equipment we had in the gym in a timely manner. Rowing 135# is definitely as much as I can handle right now. Although the reps might count, the form, isolation, and control of the weight is not where I think it should be. Instead of dropping back down 10-20# like I should I am just going to repeat 135# until I feel good about the 25 reps.

  1. 5r5s (failed last rep of last set) of Back Squat @ 255#
  2. 5r5s of Bench Press @ 150# (close to failure)
  3. 5r5s of Barbell Row @ 135# (meh…)