What’s your name? Ronnie Gomez
How old are you? 48
Do you have an Instagram handle or website you’d like linked? www.facebook.com/g5fitness
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, April, for 22 years. We have 3 sons, two are attending UT Austin and our youngest is a Junior at Churchill HS in San Antonio.
How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)? Do it all - Crossfit, Olympic Weightlifting, Odd object, and Endurance training.
How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? I’m recovering from an injury but still trying to do what I can, when I can.
What are your fitness/strength goals? Continue to increase my strength across all modalities. My goal is to complete an Ironman triathlon by 2020, bench 315lbs for multiple reps and squat 400lbs+.
Describe your garage gym. We love our garage gym. It’s a place where family and friends can get together and work out.
Who works out in your garage gym? The whole family and even some clients.
Why did you build a garage gym? Weight lifting and fitness have been a part of our lives since we were young. We knew we wanted to share this with our kids so having a garage gym is a perfect way to make this possible.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Kettlebells are the favorite. You can do it all with kettlebells , overhead presses, swings, carries, squats, single hand, double hand, snatch, clean. They are extremely versatile.
What piece of equipment was a waste? Nothing really, it all gets used.
What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? Airdyne or GHD
Any dream piece of equipment? Airdyne or GHD
How did you build your garage gym? (All at once, craigslist over a few years, etc.) Started with a large purchase from Rogue and then added additional items through Craiglist and purchases from Fringe.
Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Buy the best equipment you can afford and always be on the lookout for deals.
What is your name? Tony Orozco
How would you describe your title? Owner and Coach
Where should we send visitors? www.imperiumcrossfit.com
What is the name of your box? Imperium CrossFit
Are you a Crossfit Affiliate? If so, how many years have you been affiliated? Yes - 5 years
How many years have you been in business? 5 years
What sort of training do you offer (personal training, group fitness, etc)? Both Personal/Private Training, Endurance training and CrossFit
How would you describe your community? Awesome!!
How would you describe your training style or philosophy? Perfect the Basics approach, masters those before you increase.
Do you offer nutrition advice? We do, but we outsource for personalized nutrition planning
Tell us about your box. I opened Imperium CrossFit in 2011 and at the time, we were the only CF affiliate located in the Houston Heights. We started off in an older warehouse with roughly 1800 SQF, within a year, we grew out of our smaller location and moved into our newer current location with 5000 sqf. Our BOX has become a staple in our local community and we continue to grow and impact lives.
Tell us about your fitness journey. I’ve always been involved in fitness at every point in my life. From working out with friends, for football, training friends and eventually getting involved in CrossFit.
Describe your best source for getting new members. Our best source of getting new members is from the members we already have… Results and word of mouth are everything.
Is there anything that you found for member retention? Take care of your members, and they will take care of you.
Are there any marketing channels that you hate or are very poor? Magazine ads really suck…. Probably the worst money every spent
Is there anything you've done for your box or customers that's been a game changer? Provide cold bottled water…. It’s HOT in HOUSTON!
If you were starting again from scratch, what would you do? Stay small and having air conditioning...
Is there anything you'd like to add? Love what you do and you will never work another day in your life
Want your Box featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in contact with you with more details.
We get asked a lot where to start when putting together a garage gym. We’ve looked at the best strength and conditioning programs, as well as customer and athlete feedback, and put together several packages that are meant to suit the needs of the novice to the advanced exerciser. To elaborate on why we include the equipment that we do, we’ve categorized our gear into what its intended use is, and gone into detail about why they matter.
The three necessary ingredients to any good strength facility are a Barbell, Bumper Plates, and a Squat Rack.
Depending on whether you plan on making lifting and particularly Olympic lifting a major priority, there are various barbells and types of bumper plates you can look for. For general CrossFit style programming, getting high quality bumpers and a good all purpose barbell (good for both oly lifts and powerlifting) will usually do the trick. For those looking to take their Olympic Weightlifting to the next level, then getting a top of the line Oly training bar and competition plates are a must.
Squat racks also come in a few variations. The space you have available as well as your goals should determine what type of rack you get. For a rock solid, mobile, squat rack with a small footprint, something like this would do the job. If you’ve got the ceiling height and want a squat rack that will have multiple uses and benefits, getting a Squat + Pullup Rack or the power Kip Cage are both great investments because they serve not only as a squat rack but also as a pull-up bar and give you a stable platform to attach and hang gymnastics rings or strength bands.
The base of functional movement comes from the ability to control and move one’s body through space. With that in mind there are three pieces of equipment that can deliver dozens of exercises and develop total body strength and awareness.
Pull-up Bar, Gymnastics Rings, Abmat.
If you have a pull-up bar attached to your squat stand, perfect. If not, wall mounted pull-up bars are solid, and can easily go wherever it’s most convenient.
Gymnastic Rings are essential for developing pushing power (ring dips), pulling power (ring rows) and total body awareness and function (muscle-ups etc). If you do not have a pull-up yet, rings are ideal for building the pulling and core strength needed to progress to the pull-up bar.
The ab trainer has two main functions, however they are very important. Firstly it is used at a lumbar support during sit ups, forcing athletes to use abdominals instead of hip flexors to bring themselves through a full range of motion. Second, the ab trainer can and should be used as a pad to descend upon when doing handstand pushups - without it, your scalp and neck will suffer.
Strength and gymnastics equipment can both be used for general conditioning, in workouts like Fran for example this is obvious. However there are huge benefits that come from implementing these final three pieces of equipment.
Kettlebell, Speed Rope, Plyo Box
The Kettlebell is potentially the best full body strength and conditioning tool out there. You can so single or both arm swings and snatches, turkish get-ups, tons of different stabilization drills, as well as countless types of odd object workouts (burden runs, farmers carries etc). Having 2 or 3 kettlebells that range between 16-32KGs is ideal for just about everybody however if you're only looking to get one male beginners will most likely get the most out of a 24KG bell while females should start with a 16KG.
Speed Ropes are small, portable, and great for developing conditioning and coordination. Starting with single unders and progressing to doubles and then triples should keep you busy for at least a few months if not years.
The Plyo Box has a number of uses and is particularly good for jumps, weighted step-ups, and elevated pushups. Multi Sided Plyo’s are by far the best option for a garage gym setup and usually come 30in x 24in x 20in in dimension, which allows for easy scaling and use by athletes of all sizes.
Lastly. A rower or airdyne can be a game changer in not only your general conditioning and power endurance, but also recovery. Once all the above is accounted for, putting one of those on the gift list is a must.
Have you ever been sick in Bangkok?
I have- just this last weekend.
Downside: you feel like you’re going to die, far away from home.
Upside: You can walk into a pharmacy, wave at your head and general demeanor/situation, and they’ll sell you whatever drugs you want.
But now I am in Qingdao, China, and mostly better. And truthfully, I knew I was in for a rough few days- I never thought I was going to die.
I’m now meeting with our principal bumper plate factory boss. We’ve been doing business with these guys since 2013. David is the name of the boss/laoban. We’re business partners, but he’s also my friend.
I remember our excitement when we first saw one of his 10# bumpers- back in early 2013. We had found the sample somewhere and immediately knew it was special. It took me another few months to positively ID the factory and visit.
I found the factory while I was in a little coffee shop in Shanghai. I sent them an email, and immediately heard back from them. We had a meeting scheduled for a few days later, and shortly after that, we ordered our first container from them.
The bumpers started out awesome, but in the past 3 years, this has turned into one of the best partnerships we have- continually pushing the boundaries of durable, affordable bumpers.
So, I’m here refreshing the connection, and working on some new cool stuff.
But back to basics for a minute.
Before I founded FringeSport, I built a pretty awesome garage gym, and I did it on a budget too. Here’s a link to what I had back then (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LL6XCDirKNHJtIA4rhlIx2I_hapKBRubLaL1Uy_dbCQ/edit?usp=sharing).
I’ll always remember Greg Glassman talking and writing about building “a world class strength and conditioning facility in your garage.”
It made sense then, it makes sense now, and it will make sense in the future.
Even as I go to one of the best gyms in Austin (when I’m actually in Austin), and we have an awesome gym at Fringe, I have a great garage gym at my house.
It’s where Fringe came from, and we’ll always be there for people looking to build that “world class strength and conditioning facility in their garage.”
And that’s what our sale is this week- up the 25% off our garage gym packages.
Two of the things I love about travel are meeting people and having new experiences.
When I was in Bangkok, I got to hang out with Ben from Wodprep again. I had met him in Tokyo a few months back… and incidentally, we got naked together within 2 hours of meeting… but perhaps that’s a story for another day.
Sorry- I got sick so this is the only pic I have of me and Ben from this weekend.
But as for the experiences, I typically try not to train on the road, but rather exercise and experience what I can.
To that end, I went running with a few friends in Bangkok and ended up at Benchasiri Park. It’s a pretty small park by Thai standards, but everything there is free, and super cool. And I got to get cool pics from it.
That’s it for now. By the way, we are working on an awesome new product that’s been 3 years in the design and development process. I’ll announce it shortly. I’m super excited!
Here’s a teaser:
PS, as always email me @ email@example.com if I can help in any way, or if you just want to reach out! Sean K sent me a really nice email that weirdly helped buoy my spirits when I was feeling like death in a Bangkok hotel room.
What’s your name? Tim Beckman
How old are you? Soon to be 52 wise years of age LOL
Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? Nope not a fan of the social media.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’ve got a beautiful wife that I met while serving overseas. We both travel a lot for work so our home box is our sanctuary and regeneration area. I retired after 20 years of military life and between the two of us we have five kids.
How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)? I started out as a classic newbie in Afghanistan at the world’s biggest box. I had years and years of bad habits from the gym and that took a while to overcome. Having to relearn everything that had to do with lifting was a humbling experience in my mid-40s. As I progressed from athlete to coach and eventually to the box president I realized that variety and family is key to success so I started experimenting with strongman, kettlebells, and core power tools. Since returning home I had in my mind what I needed for my place and my favorite activities haven’t changed much…crossfit and strongman.
How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? I’m doing much better than I was even 10 years ago. Since joining the cult I lost about 20 pounds, dropped by cholesterol a bunch, and my range of motion is the best it’s been in seems like forever. Of course there is always room for improvements and bad shoulder injuries haven’t allowed me to get that muscle up just yet.
What are your fitness/strength goals? As I turn 52 I plan to keep at it. The trick is to keep pushing to get outside and get the WOD in. It’s hard some days after being on the road for a couple days and getting out of the hotel drone. I would like to hit 225 on my front squat, string 40 pullups and string 50 Double Unders.
Describe your garage gym. I chose to set up outdoors, under our overhang for most of the WODs and then out in the yard for the strongman stuff. I’ve got two racks to accommodate my smaller other half and my tall self. Lots of simple bumper plates, OSO collars (swear by them!), kettelbells, sandbags, slamballs up to 100 lbs, wallballs, weighted maces, big ass tire, couple dumbells, axle, log, and several atlas stones.
Who works out in your garage gym? Myself, my wife, the kids when they feel like it (my daughter is a beast since she’s studying fitness in college..keeps the old man honest on his reps LOL).
Why did you build a garage gym? I had a couple years to experience what "right" looks like in Afghanistan and had hoped to find a good gym here locally. All I found was top 10% types that only value you if you can make it to regionals or who want that money every month but don’t have the spirit I found downrange. Truth be told the money they are asking for membership here made it a no brainer. Couple grand in gear from sales and craigslist and viola...instant 24/7 box. I also like to experiment with new techniques and WOD designs from folks like MyMadMethods and ONNIT and that free spirit sort of thing isn’t much encouraged in a commercial setting.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Hmmm that’s a tough one. I think it’s a tie between the 25# mace and the 19# Thor hammer. Nothing says to the neighborhood you’re getting your groove on like swinging a mace or hammer on a big tire ;)
What piece of equipment was a waste? Indian clubs. I bought a pair on sale from ONNIT and they do mostly nothing except take up space. Couldn’t get a sweat going using them so they are on my go away list.
What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? Need to replace my generic rower with a real rower. There’s just no comparison between a $300 and a $800 rower.
Any dream piece of equipment? I always get the happy feeling when I see the after GAMES sale at Rogue. I’d love to have one of the things they made to replace the tires in tire flipping..think it was called a pig. Then I could vary the weight of the tire flip to scale for everyone.
How did you build your garage gym? Started with a squat rack then realized I needed a pullup bar so I sold that and got a squat cage. As I started to get in more and more plates I realized it was too small and too short for ring work so I got a large cage with plate holders. Then I slowly added all the pieces as they went on sale. Luckily my time in Afghanistan showed me what was not useful and what was critical to a box. A couple of sales at CFF, AgainFaster, Rogue, and FringeSport allowed me to build pretty quick over about 9 months. When I found a guy making atlas stones on Craigslist I cleared out a sand area and bar out in the yard to keep from damaging everything and to make good use of the nasty sand that this area is known for.
Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? I concur with other posters.
This week's WOD was submitted by Ariana P., read why she chose this WOD:
'The Sevens' there is something about that is emotionally and physically draining to me. I was in the military during this time (about 8 months), and it always brings me back to my time in. I loved being in for 11 years, and doing any Hero WOD makes me even more appreciative.
The Workout: "The Sevens" - 7 Rounds for Time
The History Behind the Workout:
A suicide bomber killed seven CIA officers and one Jordanian officer at a remote base in southeastern Afghanistan on December 30, 2009 after posing as a potential informant reporting on Al Qaeda. Seven new stars will be etched onto the memorial wall at the CIA where every star represents grieving friends, family and colleagues dedicated to fight against the enemy, forever in their name.
Killed in the attack were CIA officers Jennifer Lynne Matthews, 45; Scott Michael Roberson, 39; Harold E. Brown Jr., 37; Darren LaBonte, 35; Elizabeth Hanson, 30; and security contractors Jeremy Jason Wise, 35, and Dane Clark Paresi, 46.
Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic.
Willie McLendon of CrossFit 3040 in Lewisville, TX gives us a look into his facility, talks customer retention, and what has worked for him with keeping members since the start.
What is your name? Willie McLendon
How would you describe your title? Owner/Head Coach
What is the name of your box? CrossFit 3040
Are you a Crossfit Affiliate? If so, how many years have you been affiliated? In November it will be 4 years as a CrossFit Affiliate
How many years have you been in business? Just over 5 years
How many members do you have? 90
What sort of training do you offer? CrossFit classes and Weightlifting
How would you describe your community? We have a good mix of members at our gym, with a large percentage being in their 30's. Most people that have come to us had no previous experience with CrossFit, and many of those with no formal fitness training in the past. This has grown into a good mix of competitive athletes alongside those who are just looking to get into shape.
How would you describe your training style or philosophy? Start with the basics and build up from there. Day 1 for everyone begins with a squat assessment to see how they move and identify some up front strength and weaknesses. We don't run a separate fundamentals or on-ramp class for new members, but focus on them a lot to get the movement foundations down before adding a load.
Tell us about your box. It started out as a garage gym named North Texas Strength & Endurance back in 2011, and began purchasing equipment from FringeSport on Black Friday that same year. A lot has happened over the last 5 and a half years to get me where I am now. Our gym has a great community and I still have members here that started with me back when I was still training out of the garage. Through the years I feel like we have built a very good reputation for teaching the Weightlifting side of CrossFit, and a lot of that comes from the time I have been able to spend and learn from Chad Vaughn and Richard Flemming. We have about 10 members at our gym that have a Weightlifting focus, and among them we hold 11 official state records.
Tell us about your fitness journey. I was not very athletic growing up, but was active outdoors. In college I was tall and skinny (6'3 175#) and did not start working out until I was 23. At the age of 30 I was introduced to CrossFit and spent a year following the Main Site workouts, while trying to learn what i could by the limited online resources available back then. I couldn't perform a proper Overhead Squat with an empty bar and could not do a normal Thruster as I could not support the front rack position. In 2010, I actually joined a box and really got into it and started working mobility do fix my squat. In 2011, I got my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate as well as the CrossFit Endurance and CrossFit Weightlifting certificates and began training friends and family out of my garage. Since then I developed myself as an athlete and a coach, and now compete as a Masters Weightlifter in the 105kg weight class under Spoon Barbell with the infamous Richard Flemming as my coach.
Describe your best source for getting new members. Word of mouth has been our best resource for bringing in new members.
Is there anything that you found for member retention? My best retention tool has been to become personally invested with my members. I run a vast majority of the classes at my gym and know what each person has done and what they are capable of. They are often surprised that I can remember what their numbers are without having to look it up. I run a pretty relaxed policy here for those that want to leave, as in understand life happens. We do not require contracts or any minimum commitments and want to make their dealings with us hassle free. I feel that people appreciate this and the personal care and attention that is in our day to day activities.
Is there anything you'd like to add? Almost all of the equipment we use at CrossFit 3040 has come from FringeSport. It has been a pleasure working with them over the last 5 years and to have seen the evolution of their company and the quality of equipment they bring to the market.