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Garage Gym (1): The Need

By April 25, 2011No Comments

I thought I would pen a short series on a project I’ve been working on lately: constructing a garage gym.

I was initially motivated to start researching how much it would cost to accumulate basic gym equipment when I realized that I my gym budget was hurting my overall fitness.

Here’s the reality: CrossFit seems a lot more expensive than Globo-gym.  Compare $175 unlimited monthly for CrossFit with $40/month at your local Globo-gym.  At first, this seems like a no-brainer.

So why are there people “foolish” enough to pay so much more?

The main reason why we pay more  is because you get a lot more for your money with CrossFit.  With CrossFit, you have superior methodology, superior equipment, superior camaraderie and a superior overall experience.  The training is constantly varied, it’s never boring, and the results speak for themselves.

All of this translates to superior motivation to keep it up, compared with the drudgery of dragging yourself to the gym to fool around on a treadmill and some machines.

Since classes are relatively small, going to a CrossFit class is not unlike having a personal trainer, except the attention is not quite as intensive (which is nice).  To pay for a personal trainer at a Globo-gym is a lot more expensive than going to CrossFit.

Compare $175 unlimited monthly at CrossFit with $150/week to meet with a trainer 3 times a week, plus the double-dip of the $40 monthly fee.  So if you take that into account, CrossFit is by far the better overall value.

Unfortunately, I am not in a place where I can spend $175/month on fitness. So what I had been doing was buying 20 CrossFit sessions (@$10/each) and then trying to make them last over 2 months.  This translated to doing CrossFit 2-3 times per week. Since I also play basketball on a weekly basis, it meant working out 3-4 times per week. I’d rather that number be 5, but I was fine with it.

What I found, however, was that I began to become very selective about my which workouts I would attend.  My CrossFit box posts the following day’s workout the night before, and so I would look at the workout and decide if I wanted to use one of my precious sessions doing _______.  Most of the time I decided there would be better options the next day.  The result was that my workout schedule became uneven, with several days of rest often coming in between workouts.  It just wasn’t working for me.

I began reading articles in the CrossFit Journal on building your own garage gym.  My goal wasn’t to leave my CrossFit box, but simply to make sure that I was working out on a more consistent basis.

Thus began my quest to turn a small space in the corner of my garage into a CrossFit-ready mini-box.

Question: Anyone out there who tries to work out mainly at home?  What are the benefits and disadvantages?  How do you keep up your fitness on a budget?

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