I think I promised this a while back. Here’s part one of a tour of my home gym (i.e. the back of my garage). I’ve spent the last few years collecting, scrounging, building, and stealing a good amount of training equipment. Here’s some of what I have so far and how I use it.
I took these shots with my iPhone, so I couldn’t get a wide enough angle to include everything. I’ll break down some of the spaces. One thing to note in this picture is the fitness flooring. I used to work out on the concrete floor before I sprung for the 2′ x 2′ tiles. They can be a bit slippery with sweat, but overall they’re a good investment to protect joints from impact and for light grappling practice.
In this picture you’ll see my #1 piece of equipment–the power tower. This is for pull-ups, dips, pushups, and abs. It’s also essential for hanging and airing out sweaty clothes. Conditioning bars consist of a broken shovel handles. I used them for body pounding before moving on to other exercises.
A lot of this is self-explanatory, but here are a few details. I love the freestanding bag because I can practice shooting on it too. I built the dummy about a year ago out of industrial wire, stuffing, pool noodles, and LOTS of duct tape. For a design, see: http://wtfe.net/dummy/. The mirror cost $3 at Walmart and is awesome to spot check form for katas and lifts. Cinderblocks are used for wall presses after clearing everything out of the way.
This picture serves as a reminder to make the most of available space. Waste not, want not.
Writing this post is a nice retrospective for me. A marriage, a move, and a career change brought me away from my home dojo and my gym. Circumstances greatly changed my views of training and fitness. Instead of lumbering around weight rooms and plodding through roadwork, I became much more self-sufficient and creative in my approaches. I can get more done in less time than in the dojo or the gym, using way less space (10’x 15′). I urge anyone interested in martial arts or fitness to design and implement a minimalist home gym of their own–for when you’re in a rush to work out at the very least.
There’s more to follow in part two where I’ll discuss additional equipment and specific exercises. For now, do you have tools or tips for working out at home? Advice and comments are always welcome.