Fringe Fam, we’re gonna let you in on a little secret.
We’re talking about how to get an amazing garage gym with only two pieces of equipment. Yes, you read that right… just two. (Hint: both of these are not a squat rack!).
We call this the “minimum viable garage gym,” because these two items are the least you can have and still say, “I’ve got an amazing garage gym.”
"A garage gym is a state of mind. If you have a pull-up bar and a kettlebell in your apartment closet, hell yeah! You've got a garage gym." -PK
We’re guilty of showing you a squat rack in our video, but that isn’t the main focus here. The piece to pull from that squat rack is at the top. Let’s talk about important, essential item numbers one and two.
A pull-up bar is a great, versatile piece of equipment to add to your garage gym. The pull-up bar is essential because without something to hang from, and pull yourself up and back down, it’s difficult to gain strength in the also essential upper back, trap, and lat region of your back. The pull-up bar is perfect for bodyweight strength training to develop new skills, old skills, and the necessary and essential parts of your back.
If you’re not accustomed to regular pull-ups, a pull-up bar can be used with straps and rings for ring rows, with a band attached to it for some assistance, and it might create some intrinsic motivation to get your pull-ups down if you see it in your space all the time.
You can find a great pull-up bar on our website, and we have plenty of options whether you’d prefer it was attached to a squat rack, a cage, or something you can mount to your ceiling or studs in a wall.
Another great option is to go to a hardware store, like Lowe’s, and grab some threaded pipe. It’s super easy to get your own, customizable pieces to create a homemade version.
The second piece of necessary equipment might come as a surprise at first, but it’s extremely versatile and can be used for so many things… which is why we’ve included it here.
A kettlebell is a perfect way to move slightly beyond bodyweight training and into strength training.
While you might think, “why can’t I just get a dumbbell or set of dumbbells?” and the reality is, while you can get some crossover between dumbbell and kettlebell movements, a kettlebell allows you to unlock an entire world of posterior chain development, as well as static strength exercises.
A dumbbell, or set of dumbbells, doesn’t necessarily allow you to reach all of the same movement patterns.
In terms of a static movement, think about a single-arm overhead press. It’s a slow lift, without having to be explosive, that allows you to build strength.
In terms of explosive movement, think about movements like a kettlebell swing or single-arm snatch. These movements allow you to build and gain power and develop on your posterior chain. In these movements, you’re recruiting power, and not just strength, from the posterior chain to pop the kettlebell up. This helps build athleticism and comes in handy in any athletic endeavors.
Strength is just raw ability to move something. Power is applying that strength over time. If you think about what it takes to be an athlete playing basketball, soccer, football, or anything of the sort, you’re required to move quickly, in strength and in speed. A kettlebell is the perfect addition to your garage gym to help build those abilities, even if you’re not applying it to sports like those above.
We suggest a 26 to 35lb kettlebell for our women, and a 45-53lb kettlebell for our guys. If you’re unsure about what size to get, and what might be best for you, contact us! That’s exactly what we’re here to help with.
If you can only get two things to complete the “minimum viable garage gym” package, we suggest the pull-up bar and the kettlebell. Even starting with one of these pieces of equipment is better than nothing at all. If you’ve got a little more space and budget available, sure, we’d love for you to have a barbell and squat rack, or even a sandbag trainer too. But if you’re short on space and budget, you too can go for the “minimum viable garage gym” system and get some great strength and conditioning in.
When we mention these things, we’re not talking just to our Fringe guys out there. We’re talking to our ladies too. We celebrate strong people, and we want to help you reach your goals.
Have questions? Let us know in the comments below, shoot us an email at email@example.com, or hit us with a chat on our site. We’d love to help you find the right size kettlebell, pull-up bar variation, or garage gym package for you and your space.
Don’t forget to join our private Facebook group focused on garage gyms, strength, positivity, and community growth. Follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with our latest tips and tricks.