Garage Gym of the Week: Dylan Sinclair

What’s your name?  Dylan Sinclair

How old are you?  32

Do you have an Instagram handle or website you’d like linked? My fitness account is @mrcoolbuff. It's mostly just me in the garage working out, but I try and incorporate hiking and other adventures from around 4 corners! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I currently work and live in Navajo Nation of northern Arizona and I absolutely love it here! Chinle rules! We have a beautiful national monument on the edge of town: Canyon De Chelly and tons of other beautiful land to explore. It's a 1.5 hour drive to get a beer and the nearest real airport is 3.5 hours away so my wife and I do a lot of exploring here on the rez and in nearby areas of the 4 corners region.  We recently bought permits to float the San Juan river for 5 days and sequentially bought rafts and all the other gear to make it happen. Pretty much just focused on finding and trying new fun stuff! :)

How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)?  Man! I wish I could say Olympic, but I totally don't know what I'm doing when I do most of those and I struggle with it because I work out alone almost 100% of the time. I mainly do weightlifting, but I try and do Olympic lifting pretty often: just not any good at it yet.

How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? I've always been a skinny guy with too much energy. A natural runner type to be honest, but it's not really what I'm into. Ha! I have been working on improving my strength since college, but I've been much better about it since building my garage gym and hiring my friend Joshua Nalder to help me plan out workouts and tweak my diet. Currently as heavy as I've ever been at 148lbs and pretty pleased about it! Also probably as strong as I've been and it feels great!

What are your fitness/strength goals? Strength! I've not been able to gain enough weight to slow me down in any of the other things I do in life like backpacking/skateboarding/biking so until then I'm looking to gain weight and strength. I have to be in good enough shape to carry 50lbs around for 2-3 days over 15-20miles just because that's what we end up doing for fun a lot where I'm currently living (no complaints here!). 

Describe your garage gym. Such a great investment! I am totally in love with my gym and it makes working out so much more enjoyable in my own space. I don't see why people want big houses: I'd be totally cool with a 2 bedroom and 3 car garage! 

When I decided to go all in on the gym, I did a lot of research over at and decided I wanted to build a platform out of plywood and horse stall mats because I didn't want to have to bolt in the cement of my rental (and didn't know how to do that either). My rack is an R3 from Rogue which bought mainly for the westside hole spacing. My bumper plates are from FringeSport, I have 45,35,25,15,10 currently. I really like the new contrast bumpers as well. Dip rings, strength bands, jump rope, ab mat all also from Fringe. Barbell is the Vulcan standard. I recently got a medicine ball from American Barbell, but I haven't honestly used it a lot. I have a 45lb set of adjustable dumbbells from Ironmaster, dip stand, cheap adjustable bench, 20lbs kettlebell, and plyo box that are generic. I think about 90% of the time I'm just using the rack, barbell, and bumpers outside the rack, but it's nice to have the rest to mix it up when I get in a rut. The rest of the garage is an assortment of hanging bicycles, our whitewater raft, motorcycle, and other toys! 

Who works out in your garage gym? Myself and recently my wife started using it to do her BBG workouts.

Why did you build a garage gym? I built my gym because I felt like I wasn't able to work out hard enough at the local gym. I wanted to be able to have access to a squat rack without waiting for 20min because I'm busy and I don't have time to work out for 2 hours. I wanted something close to home that would motivate me to continue to better myself physically and I'm honestly a bit surprised and impressed with how well it's worked out since it's initiation. I love it.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Ugh! That's hard to say. It's really the combo of my barbell, bumpers, rack, and platform. I love lifting on that thing. I love how it looks and it makes me want to lift heavier than when I'm using other equipment. Really proud of how my gym has come together over time and it kind of works in a positive feedback loop that makes me want to lift and get stronger.

What piece of equipment was a waste? Hmmm. I don't think anything really is, but the least used would currently be the strength bands and the medicine ball. I just have trouble working the bands into my workouts so they get ignored. That said I like both the medicine ball and the bands, they just get used less.

What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? Hopefully I'll get stronger and need more bumpers at some point! Ha. 

Any dream piece of equipment? GHD for sure. I just have no idea where I'd fit it, I have WAY too much stuff in there already! Haha.

How did you build your garage gym? The main pieces came all at once. I wanted to make sure I had exactly the framework I wanted to build on because I knew it would be a pain to work on trading things around in my rural setting. I also really wanted something that I like and was proud of to motivate me to use the stuff, so I built the platform and ordered my bumpers, rack, and barbell. The rest have been accumulated over time.

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? I think the single best decision I made was taking a lot of time to figure out exactly what I wanted to have to start, and then carefully finding what the basic critical components were before I went out and bought. I really liked the reviews over at too. It's actually how I heard about FringeSport and their awesome bumpers and even better that they cost less than almost all the competitors I could find. Lots of great info and reviews there.


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