Garage Gym of the Week: Joel Slate

What is your name? Joel Slate

How old are you? 42

Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? @joelslate

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a husband, father, and coach who played college football and has been around the barbell since age I love training hard, and the fact that my kids have taken an interest in weightlifting only motivates me to train harder.  My wonderful wife is a marathon runner and loves to train also.

How would you describe your training style? Primarily weightlifting with plenty of powerlifting thrown in.  Since I also compete in Master’s track and field, my coach has his hands full writing my programming!

How would you describe your strength/fitness level? I’m always striving to get better.  God blessed me with a lot of strength and tenacity, so I want to use that.  I definitely could stand to shed a few extra pounds though…

What are your fitness/strength goals? I would like to qualify (and win) Master’s Nationals in weightlifting, and also win a Master’s track and field national championship in the throwing events.



Describe your garage gym: Since my garage gym also has to be a garage for my wife’s suburban, I put a premium on portability.  I have a good barbell, OFW bumpers, miscellaneous iron and bumper plates, an OFW econo prowler, PowerMax squat stands, some pulling blocks that I built, a trap bar, bands and chains, and one of the most useful items, a set of quality sawhorses that make a great rack.  Everything has to fit in the corner when I’m done so I can pull the car back in.

 Who works out in my garage gym? The family and occasionally friends.

Why did you build a garage gym? First of all, none of the commercial gyms in this small town had bumpers or platforms, and I wasn’t interested in CrossFit.  Second, with small kids, time is at a premium.  A garage gym naturally fit this situation and allows me the flexibility to train on my schedule (which is usually at 4:30am)

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Hands down, my barbell and OFW bumper plates.  They are the basis of my training and I can actually do anything I really need to do with just a barbell.  It’s actually fun to try a “minimalist” cycle with just the barbell and bumpers.  Everything has to start from the floor.

 What piece of equipment was a waste? Nothing really, it all gets used.

What is the next piece of equipment? I’d like an airdyne

Any dream piece of equipment? A proper power rack

How did you build your gym? A bit at a time.  I bought some weights from Craigslist, and after trashing a cheap barbell, I bought a good one.  I’ve just added a bit here and there as I found a deal or identified a need.

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? First, why do you want a garage gym?  Will you totally replace training in a commercial gym or just supplement your training there?  Second, identify your objective…are you training for a specific sport, general fitness, etc? Third, start simple, but buy quality.  Low quality equipment will discourage you from using it. First, why do you want a garage gym?  Will you totally replace training in a commercial gym or just supplement your training there?  Second, identify your objective…are you training for a specific sport, general fitness, etc? Third, start simple, but buy quality.  Low quality equipment will discourage you from using it.


Susie Sebastian
Susie Sebastian

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Susie is the Digital Marketing Specialist here at FringeSport. She's a web nerd and loves being a part of the FringeSport team!



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