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.