Garage Gym of the Week: Nick Billock

What is your name? Nick

How old are you? 43

Do you have an Instagram handle or website? @garageboxnick

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I just celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary and enjoy doing CrossFit in our newly christened garage gym with her. We have two school-age girls, too. We started CrossFit 2 years ago but in late March, we found out our gym was going out of business leaving us no other options but quitting or bringing it all home. I've also been serving in the Navy for over 19 years and absolutely love it. Overall, my goal is to be fitter, stronger and a great role model for my family. I tend to lean towards the suckier it is, the more I want to do it.

How would you describe your training style? Daily at 5:30am, I'm in the garage and normally have a fairly intense warmup that plays to whatever strength component is coming and the WOD. I watch about 6-7 CrossFit gyms across the nation that post incredible programming and usually decide each morning what I'll do. I ensure I move through the fundamental lifts every week, oly lifting, and lots of body weight work. It is the epitome of CrossFit's "constantly varied" methodology. By 7am, I'm done each day and take 1-2 days off per week max. I thought accountability would be an issue at home but the opposite has happened. I seriously can't wait to get out there every day and having a well-built, thought out place to go doesn't hurt!

How would you describe your strength/fitness level? At 43, I'm in the best shape of my life. I was a distance runner for 17 years and veteran of nearly 30 marathons and over 30 ultra-marathons yet never lifted a weight through November 2014. While I weigh the same today, I have totally transformed myself and I couldn't be happier. Still, if I enter a comp it will be scaled, but I'm ok with that. I have some real weak areas that always keep me from going Rx in a formal competition like squat cleans, double unders, hand stand push-ups and the muscle up.

What are your fitness/strength goals? Simply to be as fit as I can and enjoy life for DECADES to come without physical limitations. Of course, the occasional PRs are awesome but they aren't why I show up every day ready to work.

Describe your garage gym: If you don't love America, you may want to stay away! When we recently added a 3rd car garage, our vision for color was the American Flag. The blue was a close match to the field of stars and the red to the stripes. My father was the contractor so I had total control over the features like the 15' vaulted ceiling where the Fringe climbing rope is mounted and the gymnastic rings. Flat walls for wall balls and hand stand push-ups and high walls to facilitate wall ball height were also incorporated. Being in NE Ohio in the snow belt, it gets very cold but thanks to full insulation, once we get warmed up, our body heat is enough to be comfortable out there without auxiliary heat. I also had a high-lift kit put on the garage door so when open, we still have full use of the space for overhead movements.

As for those stars, those were a labor of love. They are 18", made of wood, painted, and screwed on. As someone who serves, the folded flag holds great meaning. I have seen heroes sent home from Afghanistan in flag-draped caskets and given families a folded flag after the loss of a loved one. To workout beneath those stars is both humbling and motivating to always give "Maximum Effort" in everything. That is also the nickname of our garage box.

Who works out in my garage gym? Just my wife and me!

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? No one piece is my favorite. I make sure no one piece gets "lonely" from lack of use. I do, however, think it's pretty awesome I can do 15' rope climbs inside my garage!

What piece of equipment was a waste? Nothing. I just need more! :)

What is the next piece of equipment? I think it needs to be an Assault Bike or Airdyne but I'm getting a bit of push-back on that! Plus, I really don't have the space for it. In reality, I really need dumbbells.

Any dream piece of equipment? Not really. The "whole" of our garage gym is the dream realized.

How did you build your gym? You'll find both Rogue Fitness equipment and Fringe Sport represented in my gym. Rogue is only 2 1/2 hours from us so we went there first for a lot because we didn't know about Fringe Sport yet. Then, we got all of our bumpers from Fringe and since then, the add-on items have almost entirely come from Fringe. As for the actual construction, look up a few questions for that. My CrossFit knowledge + my dad being a contractor = dream garage box.

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Sketch it out, draw chalk outlines in the planned space and do your research. The last thing you want to do is install a rig or build something and realize you can't do much due to a poorly planned space. Also, don't skimp on quality and support those companies that provide exemplary customer service and Fringe! Lastly, I do not recommend starting cold minus any coaching ever. You have to know what you're doing to be effective and not get hurt. Otherwise, it's all for not.


  • Nick Billock

    My new IG handle is garageboxnick. Thanks!

  • Nick Billock

    Thanks so much, Susie!!! You guys rock!

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