Garage Gym of the Week: Tim Beckman

What’s your name? Tim Beckman
How old are you? Soon to be 52 wise years of age LOL
Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? Nope not a fan of the social media.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’ve got a beautiful wife that I met while serving overseas. We both travel a lot for work so our home box is our sanctuary and regeneration area. I retired after 20 years of military life and between the two of us we have five kids.
How would you describe your training style? I started out as a classic newbie in Afghanistan at the world’s biggest box. I had years and years of bad habits from the gym and that took a while to overcome. Having to relearn everything that had to do with lifting was a humbling experience in my mid-40s. As I progressed from athlete to coach and eventually to the box president I realized that variety and family is key to success so I started experimenting with strongman, kettlebells, and core power tools. Since returning home I had in my mind what I needed for my place and my favorite activities haven’t changed much…crossfit and strongman.
How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently? I’m doing much better than I was even 10 years ago. Since joining the cult I lost about 20 pounds, dropped by cholesterol a bunch, and my range of motion is the best it’s been in seems like forever. Of course there is always room for improvements and bad shoulder injuries haven’t allowed me to get that muscle up just yet.
What are your fitness/strength goals? As I turn 52 I plan to keep at it. The trick is to keep pushing to get outside and get the WOD in. It’s hard some days after being on the road for a couple days and getting out of the hotel drone. I would like to hit 225 on my front squat, string 40 pullups and string 50 Double Unders.
Describe your garage gym. I chose to set up outdoors, under our overhang for most of the WODs and then out in the yard for the strongman stuff. I’ve got two racks to accommodate my smaller other half and my tall self. Lots of simple bumper plates, OSO collars (swear by them!), kettlebells, sandbags, slamballs up to 100 lbs, wallballs, weighted maces, big ass tire, couple dumbbells, axle, log, and several atlas stones.
Who works out in your garage gym? Myself, my wife, the kids when they feel like it (my daughter is a beast since she’s studying fitness in college..keeps the old man honest on his reps LOL).
Why did you build a garage gym? I had a couple years to experience what "right" looks like in Afghanistan and had hoped to find a good gym here locally. All I found was top 10% types that only value you if you can make it to regionals or who want that money every month but don’t have the spirit I found downrange. Truth be told the money they are asking for membership here made it a no brainer. Couple grand in gear from sales and craigslist and viola...instant 24/7 box. I also like to experiment with new techniques and WOD designs from folks like MyMadMethods and ONNIT and that free spirit sort of thing isn’t much encouraged in a commercial setting.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Hmmm that’s a tough one. I think it’s a tie between the 25# mace and the 19# Thor hammer. Nothing says to the neighborhood you’re getting your groove on like swinging a mace or hammer on a big tire ;)
What piece of equipment was a waste? Indian clubs. I bought a pair on sale from ONNIT and they do mostly nothing except take up space. Couldn’t get a sweat going using them so they are on my go away list.
What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get? Need to replace my generic rower with a real rower. There’s just no comparison between a $300 and a $800 rower.
Any dream piece of equipment? I always get the happy feeling when I see the after GAMES sale at Rogue. I’d love to have one of the things they made to replace the tires in tire flipping..think it was called a pig. Then I could vary the weight of the tire flip to scale for everyone.
How did you build your garage gym? Started with a squat rack then realized I needed a pullup bar so I sold that and got a squat cage. As I started to get in more and more plates I realized it was too small and too short for ring work so I got a large cage with plate holders. Then I slowly added all the pieces as they went on sale. Luckily my time in Afghanistan showed me what was not useful and what was critical to a box. A couple of sales at CFF, AgainFaster, Rogue, and FringeSport allowed me to build pretty quick over about 9 months. When I found a guy making atlas stones on Craigslist I cleared out a sand area and bar out in the yard to keep from damaging everything and to make good use of the nasty sand that this area is known for.
Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? I concur with other posters.

  • Try out a box somewhere and watch. Notice what everyone uses a lot and what sits in the corner gathering dust.
  • Some things you should go expensive on like a really good OLY bar. The difference between a Rogue Ohio bar and a Walmart OLY is having skin on your hands after 35 reps of the Power Clean at weight.
  • Don’t get shiny kettlebells they will slide out of your hand and do damage. Get flat black smooth ones with as wide a handle as possible.
  • Look for folks bailing out of crossfit on Craigslist. You can get a basic box for under $1000 easy in most places.
  • Get more bumper plates than you think you will need. Lots of 45s and 25s and 10s. Don’t waste money on 35s and 15s if you don’t need to.
  • Slamballs are cheaper than wallballs most of the time and are functionally similar..they just really suck if you eat one.
  • Look for free shipping sales that’s where you get hammered buying online.
  • Go with a 4’ x 8’ sheet painted in chalkboard paint instead of whiteboards. I tried both and the cost is way less for chalk then those markers plus it doesn’t stain after a while.
  • Find a good website that publishes WODs for your programming. You could get school trained and do it yourself but that’s a bunch of time and money you’d be wasting.
  • Lastly, whenever you travel stop in the boxes you come upon and check them out. I’ve been to boxes across the US and Europe and you can always pick up a trick or technique for the cost of conversation or buying a gym t-shirt.


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