Tips for Outdoor Garage Gyms

What’s happening, Fringe Fam? We’re back with another blog. We’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about the location of gyms, specifically gyms that are built and stored outside. With the weather changing and as we enter fall and eventually winter, there are some things to note about storing your garage gym gear outside.

A lot of times, these questions are centered around how our products will hold up when being used in the elements, but sometimes we get questions about storing your gear outside too. We’re here to tell you exactly how to do it to maximize the longevity of your most prized possessions.

Storing Bumper Plates

bumper plate wagon


Bumper plates are not thoroughly weatherproof. When stored outside and left to experience the elements, they’ll need a little extra TLC to make sure they reach maximum longevity. Your bumper plates will need to be cleaned and maintained to ensure that they’ll do their job and help you get the gainz you work for, workout after workout. If left outside without cover after use, you could experience rubber bloom or a buildup of sweat, dirt, and moisture. Plus, if left in the sun, bumper plates can reach scorching temperatures which could lead to cracked or worn bumpers and decreased lifetime for your bumper plates.

Storing bumper plates outside can be tricky because, well, they’re heavy and when piled together, the weight adds up, so storage options become limited to shield your weights from the elements. We have a few suggestions (you can also read more about this here!)

If nothing else, your bumper plates can be covered with a tarp, although we don’t think this is thoroughly going to protect your precious pile of plates from all of the elements. Here’s an idea: you know those outdoor storage cabinets that can be used for things like patio cushions, gardening or lawn tools, etc? Those come in really handy for storing bumper plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. Plus, while they won’t shield your gear from extreme cold or hot temperatures, they will be protected from things like rain, wind, and sun exposure which can elongate the lifetime of your gear.

Or, you could attempt a bumper plate wagon to haul your bumper plates in and out of cover from the elements like the one above, made by Garage Gym Revolutioner Gail Smith.

Storing Benches

While the bases of our benches are coated in a black powder coating (which can be exposed to elements and survive), the pads of our benches need more protection. If you must store your bench outside, it’s best to make sure it’s covered from the elements and protected from moisture to keep the padding and upholstery in tip-top shape.

Storing Barbells

storing garage gym gear outside

Barbells are something that have little to no wiggle room in the way and where they’re stored. We hate to break it to you, but unless you’re treating your barbell like an absolute beater, we recommend hauling your bar in and out of a climate controlled space away from the elements, moisture, and extreme temperatures if it’s being used outdoors. This ensures the longevity and durability of your barbell for the entirety of its lifetime. Plus, it always helps to give your barbell a little TLC no matter where you’re using to make sure it always works at its best.

If your bar is exposed to the elements, though, you can often repair it through thorough cleaning if it’s not too far gone.

Storing a Squat Rack

outdoor squat rack

Storing one of our squat racks outside is an entirely different story than the gear mentioned above. All of our squat racks are coated in ultra-resistant matte-black powder coating.

Take it from our fearless leader, PK: “It’s perfectly fine to use our racks outdoors. They are powder coated and the powder coat will resist surface rust even in an outdoor application for many years. Of course, there will be some internal rust. But just remain vigilant after you have used the rack for years and you’ll be fine.”

Lucky for you, it won't be necessary to haul your squat rack in and out of your garage or home to use it outside. As long as you're aware of the internal rust that can occur on the non-powder-coated insides of the posts after quite a while of use outside, you can leave your rack outside and utilize it there. It might even be beneficial for you to look into one of our rig options, if space allows for it. Can you imagine an adult jungle gym in your backyard? Now we're talkin'.

Other garage gym gear

strength bands used outside

Ideally, items like strength bands, mini bands, and others made of something like latex would be stored inside only because they're subject for dry rot if stored outside where they're exposed to the elements and climate extremes.

Items like rubber hex dumbbells and kettlebells can be stored outside as well, but the handles of the dumbbells may need to be maintained to reduce the risk of rust.

Medicine balls should be treated like a bench, except they aren't equipped with powder-coated bases. It's best to store these off of the ground and cover them with a tarp if possible when storing outside. They'll perform best if kept inside, but be aware that moisture can affect the upholstery or rubber on the outside of a medicine or slam ball and act accordingly by keeping them off of the ground and covered between uses if you must store them outside.


We know these tips are somewhat vague, but we hope they help. Most items should be stored indoors, away from the elements, moisture, and temperature extremes just for the sake of longevity, but it isn't the end of the world if that can't happen. Just take proper precautions and you'll be rewarded for it with gainz.

If you have questions about specific instances for storing your garage gym gear outside, don’t hesitate to send us a message on our site. Our team would be glad to help you get the most out of your garage gym gear and keep it in the best possible shape for you to use for many gainz to come.

As always, lift heavy outdoors, lift happy :)

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