1. What’s your name? Dan and Jennifer Castillo
2. How old are you? 35 and 33
3. Do you have an IG handle or website? Shoutout to our box, @autumocrossfit on Instagram
4. Tell us a little bit about yourself: We live in California and have been avid Crossfitters for just over a year. I (Dan) used to be well over 300 lbs until I ran into health troubles at the young age of 27 - this led me to change my lifestyle, now at a healthy weight and stronger than I've ever been and still moving towards my ultimate health and fitness goals. Jen was very hesitant to join a CrossFit gym, but after the first day she had fallen in love and fully took the Kool Aid. We have a dog named Blueberry Valentine, she's the best.
5. How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)? Mainly CrossFit, with a healthy dose of Olympic weightlifting thrown in. Jen also coaches a boot camp style workout for her workmates every week.
6. How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? It's hard to say. I would say that we're both pretty strong but still have a long ways to go towards our goals. We both participated in the CrossFit Open this year for the first time and went with the scaled workouts - Dan was in the top 20%, Jen in the top 5% in our region for those who went scaled if that gives a good indication.
7. What are your fitness/strength goals? Immediate goals: Dan wants to be able to string 10 strict pull-ups. To reach the 1000 lb Squat/Bench/Deadlift club (currently at 980 lbs). To hit 15% body fat. Jen wants to get to the point where she doesn't dread any WOD that has running in it, and to get past a back problem and be able to do workouts with lots of jumping in them.
8. Describe your garage gym. Our garage gym consists of:
Around 450 lbs. in OneFitWonder contrast bumper plates and ~40 lbs. in accessory weights
FringeSport Bomba v2 Barbell - 20kg for him and 15kg for her
FringeSport Flat Bench
Fitness Gear Half Rack
Concept 2 Model D Rower
Rep Fitness Plyo Box
14lb and 20lb Medicine Balls
35lb, 53lb and 70lb Kettlebell pairs
25, 35, 50 lb. Rubber Hex Dumbbell pairs
Nayoya gymnastics rings
GymNext Flex Timer
Foam rollers, strength bands, pvc pipes for warm ups and cool downs
The all important FringeSports banner
9. Who works out in your garage gym? The two of us and, occasionally, our friends.
10. Why did you build a garage gym? It all started with failing to purchase L.A. Rams season tickets and instead putting that money towards the Concept2 rower. Over time we realized that having equipment at home was pretty awesome, and we started building out the home gym.
11. What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Him: I love my Bomba bar and OneFitWonder bumper plates! Her: Either the rower or the GHD. Also, the Flex Timer is really, really good. Its integration with the smartphone app is great.
12. What piece of equipment was a waste? I wouldn't call any of the pieces a waste, but I wish I had saved a bit and gotten a better rig than the half rack I have now. I'd ideally like the get something like the Kip Cage!
13. What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? I'd like to add an assault bike, but Jennifer has placed a household ban on "the devil's tricycle"
14. Any dream piece of equipment? That assault bike and some battling ropes.
15. How did you build your garage gym? We started with the rower and went from there. We initially got a cheap olympic set with a crappy barbell and some iron weights and quickly realized that it wasn't going to meet our needs and so placed our first order with Fringe for our Bomba bars and some bumper plates. We've built the rest over time, hunting for deals on craigslist and Facebook Marketplace or taking advantage of sales on FringeSport (like for our barbells).
16. Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Black Friday was an amazing time to start building our gym, which is when we got our half rack, barbells, and our first set of bumper plates. Otherwise, save up a little longer to get quality gear that will last. Don't feel like you have to buy only the gear that is at your gym, do your research and buy what you like. Speaking of which, do your research. We bought our rower new after our own research because used ones don't go for much less and it was important to have fewer miles on it from the get-go.