I was talking to some friends the other day about where people like to work out. They told me that they prefer going to a gym because working out at home was difficult for them. The gym environment, the people, weights, machines was a huge draw for my friends to go to the gym that they couldn’t replicate at home. Working out at home was a drag to them because of all the distractions of home life, garage clutter, and loneliness.
Are you like my friends? Do you really enjoy a gym atmosphere? If you enjoy a gym atmosphere more than exercising at home, do you have the opportunity to go as often as you’d like to? If the gym is convenient, I hope you find time to go. However, with our busy lives, it’s critical to know how to work out on your own when you can’t go to the gym.
Garage gyms are more than just a bunch of equipment. You create your own atmosphere that will motivate you to want to work out in your own garage. If you’re having trouble getting the drive to work out at home, please, read on.
It’s not as easy as it seems. But it’s not as difficult as it seems either.
I’ve had my garage gym for a little over a year now, and I’ve found a few things that have helped me create my own garage gym environment. Here are three key things I suggest:
- Find a good workout app
- Create a solid playlist
- Start using a whiteboard
There are TONS of exercise apps out there that help you track your workouts. Keep these questions in mind when trying to find one:
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- Will this app fit with what I’m doing?
- Free or not?
I opted for a one-time payment app called HeavySet. I can make workouts easily, it tracks my progress, and it’s pretty intuitive too. I’ll use HeavySet to plan my workouts, but it doesn’t track everything. A huge downside to this app is that it doesn’t track bodyweight exercises. So, I have to work with it if I want to include bodyweight workouts. Running workouts aren’t good on this app either.
For running, I’ve been using the Nike Run app. It has been good so far, but I know a lot of people prefer the UnderArmor and Garmin running apps. Those have more features than the Nike Run app.
The good news about these apps I use is that HeavySet is $9.99 and the Nike Run app is free. And they don’t have monthly payments. Do yourself a favor and DON’T get apps that require a monthly payment. Some features are good, but not that good to warrant a monthly payment. If you find one that does require a monthly payment, really consider the features it has to justify forking over the cash each month. In my opinion, you can track your workouts on a simple app or on an Excel spreadsheet if you want.
One exception to this is having a trainer create workouts for you through an app. I wrote a review about this as well, so go check it out.
This is super important! But you didn’t need me to tell you that. Find music that fits your style. Add songs as you want. Upgrading to the plus subscription of your favorite music streaming service might not be a bad idea if commercials ruin your workout mojo during a lift or exercise. Maybe, get some speakers to help drown out negative thoughts.
Another thing to consider is looking at a good speaker system for the garage. I have a speaker that I use. But most of the time I’ll just use my phone speakers. I like less noise and light in the morning so loud music is mostly distracting to me. I once worked out at my friend’s garage and he had a really good system set up for music. I don’t think it’s too bad to set up a speaker system for cheap in your garage. Whatever makes you feel good in the morning!
Also, don’t be afraid to just sit back and use your phone speakers. It’s not terrible once you get used to it. Or, there’s the tried and true bluetooth headphones too.
I cannot stress this one enough. The whiteboard has changed my workouts in my garage. I use it to track a few things for me:
- My previous sets and weight
- My next sets and weight
- Personal records for run times and sprints
- Workout start and end times
- Notes on what to maintain and how to get better
You need to see yourself holistically. A whiteboard helps you see yourself at one point in time and where you want to go with your fitness goals. It’s one thing to put it into an app, but it’s an entirely different thing altogether to write it down and track it yourself.
See what I have on my board? The bottom notes section tells me what I need to do to keep my workouts relevant. For example, look at the hand release pushups (HRP). I require myself to do two minutes of hand release pushups each time it comes up on my workout routine. I do this because I tried it out and felt like this was the perfect amount of time for me to improve.
Do you see that gap on Thursday? I used to do squats on Thursday before running five miles. I shifted squats to Fridays now so I moved my information over one day.
This board has shown me that no matter what workout I’m doing I can always improve. It has also helped me keep my workouts tough.
Even after these suggestions, you may still feel like you can’t workout at home. I totally understand. Bottom line, just go find a place to workout. Go to a gym, park, field, track, trail, or anywhere that fits your style and go with it. Try out different locations to figure out what works best for you.
Let me know what you think! Where do you like to work out? How have you overcome some of your mental blocks while working out at home? Let me know if the comments below! Send me your questions, too! Alright, Garage Gym Goers, I’ll see you next time!