- What’s your name? Fred Abalon and Luba Sigaty
- How old are you? 26 and 28
- Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? IG: Fabalon
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a registered nurse and my fiancé owns a mobile pet grooming business in Socal called One Bark Avenue (shameless plug). During high school, though I was active in football and dancing, I was overweight and was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Chronic diseases tend to run in my family and seeing that I was at risk, weight loss became my goal. Once achieved and my pre-diabetes reversed, I wanted to excel and now that’s the only thing I’m obsessed about.
My fiancé, Luba, on the the other hand, has been exposed to multiple sports as a child and the sports she played called for agility rather than strength. Currently, she enjoys lifting as it helps with her body mechanics that her job physically demands.
- How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)? If I were to categorize myself, I’d be a powerbuilder during spring and summer, powerlifter during fall and winter, hopefully someone caught the fat joke. I’ve partially torn my right shoulder many of times from high school activities so as much as I look up to weightlifting and strongman, I have to baby my shoulder in order to lift for years to come.
- How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? Currently, I’d say I’m strong, but not fit. My diet is not the cleanest though realistic and effective, and my endurance is not at it’s prime, though adequate for long distance cycling. As a 5’4” male born with thin frame, I’m 185lbs around 15% BF of mass and I’m enjoying what it can do. My bench is currently 345lbs, squat is 505lbs, and my conv/sumo deadlift is 515/600lbs. Not too bad for someone who has learned these lifts 3 years ago.
- What are your fitness/strength goals? Currently, I’m shooting for a 405lb bench, 545lb squat, and 650lb deadlift, hopefully by the end of this year. Lifetime goals would be a 500lb bench, 600lbs squat, and 700lb deadlift and if I were to achieve that sooner than later, I would then try to achieve higher, but realistic baby steps first.
- Describe your garage gym. Our gym is small yet effective. It’s an apartment garage, 1 port 10ft x 24ft gym, allowing us to park 1 car inside at the end of the day. Large enough for the 3 main lifts with 840lbs of combined bumper/calibrated plates, 120lbs of adjustable dumbbells, 1 5ft oly bar, 1 20kg power bar, 1 standard oly bar, and 2 specialty squat bars. We have a foldable squat rack as the main course and a deadlift platform for dessert. 2 TVs and a sound bar for entertainment, beverage cooler and supplements in the corner, 2 road bikes with a trainer for cardio, with all the wearable gear needed for our lifts.
- Who works out in your garage gym? Me and my fiancé, along with anyone local who has my number
- Why did you build a garage gym? We work out 5 days a week and though we love our local gyms, we tend to stay there longer due to coincidental gym buddies and waiting for people to be done with equipment. Our gym is for our convenience of time with our hectic work schedules, convenience of equipment availability, and to keep us focused on what we want to achieve with no distractions
- What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? My favorite piece of equipment would be our 100lb chains courtesy of home depot, and resistance bands. Chains has helped my lifts tremendously by letting me remember what heavy feels like at the top, while allowing the weight to drop at the bottom for explosiveness and keeping correct form. Resistance bands are the only thing keeping my shoulders/hips healthy.
- What piece of equipment was a waste? None of our equipment is waste as we carefully buy what we need. As I always say, buy nice or buy twice. Though I would say (and she’s gonna get mad for this) that in our garage, my Nike Metcon 3s were kind of a waste… They are cushiony and comfortable but as a lifter who likes to feel planted and immovable, Metcons don’t do the job.
- What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? More weights, if me or my friends are deadlifting over 500, there would be roughly 300lbs for any other movement to be done, whether its overhead pressing, bench or sled movements, more would be better. A foldable reverse hyper would be ideal in our small gym and a deadlift bar would be fun to have.
- Any dream piece of equipment? I’d love to have a torque fitness tank to do push and pull exercises without making so much noise and a portable GHD but space would be a limiting factor for both of those equipments.
- How did you build your garage gym? (All at once, craigslist over a few years, etc.) I didn’t know we’d be this serious into lifting 3 years ago, so we equipped ourselves with a Chinese oly bar, some no name squat stands, and the star was the one fit wonder bumper plates. I chose carefully on what plates to get because I knew they were gonna be there to stay, so one fit wonder had the least weight tolerance of declared weight and thinnest profile compared to it’s competitors. With wearable gear, bars, and weights piling up in our “living room gym”, it wasn’t until last December did I notice the squat stands’ feet started to bend with weight over 400. That catapulted our garage gym plan into what it is now.
- Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Get what’s needed first and then gets what’s wanted last. I mentioned before, buy nice or buy twice, but also buy smart. Most expensive doesn’t mean the best and plan for the future so each equipment has a meaning.