What's inside a budget garage gym? Featuring Hannah and Nick

What’s happening, Fringe Fam? We’ve got a customer garage gym tour to show off today, and we know you’re going to like it. If you’ve ever thought about building out your own garage gym, but were worried about the budget and felt like you had to spend thousands of dollars, we’re going to show you that it’s possible to get an awesome set up that suits your budget and your workout needs.

Our focus today is on Hannah and Nick. The pair were kind enough to show us around their gym, and are a perfect example of a great garage gym on a budget.

Hannah and Nick are a nutrition major and exercise science major respectively, so living a healthy lifestyle is something they both truly believe in, and their garage gym allows them to embody that.

Did you look at the garage before you bought the house?

Hannah: “One of the things we looked at was the height of the garage. In every place we looked, we wanted to make sure a squat rack would fit in there. The garage had to be at the house, and we wouldn’t do it without one, so it was definitely a big factor.”

What does having a garage gym mean to you?

Hannah: “Convenience, and it means being able to workout whenever you want, however you want in the comfort of your own home. It really opens up opportunities to be able to do whatever you want.”

What’s your favorite piece of equipment?

Hannah: “My favorite piece of equipment depends on the day. I really just like being able to have a barbell and bumpers.”

What is the very first thing you would buy for your garage gym?

Hannah: “I still think the squat rack would be the first thing, but with that, if you have a squat rack you need to have a barbell and bumpers, so if I didn’t have the money for that, and we were starting all over, I would still go with the smaller pieces of equipment like the sandbag, a medicine ball, a kettlebell, all the smaller things like a jump rope because you can do a lot with those very versatile pieces of equipment.”

Where did you get most of your gear?

Hannah: “A lot of it is from Fringe Sport in ATX, but a lot of it is also just kind of acquired from family, friends, things that we were seeing being thrown out or sold very cheaply. You can always look online, there’s things like Craigslist, and we had a wide network of people who are getting rid of equipment, like my cousin, my boyfriend’s dad who works at a middle school and they had their gym there that they were getting rid of stuff from, so it all just kind of came together.”

What is the next piece of equipment you’re going to get?
Hannah: “We really want battle ropes. Yeah, we’ve been waiting to get some battle ropes. For me, I really struggle with those. They’re really hard, they’re a good workout, they’re a lot of fun, and they look badass, so that’s why.”

What do your neighbors think about your garage gym?

Hannah: “We’ve had some people come over and introduce themselves. They haven’t actually come to workout, but we do have friends who come over to workout, family members and stuff. We’ve talked shop with the guy next door about his old house that had a nice gym set-up with mirrors and everything around, so he’s definitely really into it.”

What’s your favorite piece of equipment?

Nick: “My favorite piece of equipment is a couple of things. These sand bells, I think, are number one. Every workout that I do, I’ll throw them in somehow, either do like a lunge matrix or slam them, or step up on the box with them. Then, number two would be the box. Those are the two most dynamic things in the gym, I think, so I really like those.”

What do you do in your workouts?

Nick: “Typically, I’ll do a set or two of a strength lift, like a base lift, either back squat or front squat, shoulder press or bench press, one of those big strength lifts at the beginning of my workout, and then I’ll go through some sets of metcon stuff, not necessarily timing, but I’ll use these things (sandbells and box) in between strength sets. They’re good to keep your heart rate up and keep the workout going. I like it.”

Why did you build your garage gym?

Nick: “We love this stuff. I’m an exercise scientist and my girlfriend is a nutritionist, so it just made sense to have what we believe in and what we learn about all the time and basically what our lives are going to be about, have a place in the home. This is where we put it, and it’s important to us.”

If you move, are you going to do the same thing?

Nick: “I don’t know if it’ll be in the garage, I might do a separate building, or something with a higher ceiling. That’s one of my pet peeves in here, that my ceiling is not high enough and I mean, I can press stuff over my head in here, but I can’t do muscle ups in here. Unless I blow out the ceiling… which I’m not allowed to do. I mean, I could do it, but I’m not allowed… she won’t let me do it (smiles).”

What is the very first thing you would buy for your garage gym?

Nick: “I’d have to go with some sort of rack… some sort of rig, you know, you need a base. But after that, let’s just assume this rack is already here, I’m getting sand bells of every different size, you know. I love those things. 50, 40, 30, 25, 20… I’d stop there and probably get a 6lb.”

What did you do with this med ball?

Nick: “This med ball is a little heavier than your standard med ball. It’s about 21.75lbs, we weighed it. This cover, here, I got as a birthday present from a friend of mine and he started a CrossFit club at UT. The thing inside of it is an old, beat up Dynamax ball that they were going to throw away at a box, and we just grabbed it, covered it up, got some shoelaces out of some football cleats, tied it nice and tight, and I got a kind of lop-sided med ball, but hey, it works. It’s a little heavier, so I’m a little better.”

Moving over to the old school dip station:

Nick: “Alright, so this dip station is from Pasadena, Texas. It’s like right outside of Houston. Deepwater Middle School, my father coached there for like 35 years, and they’re redoing the weight room over the last year, and there was no place for this dip station, and he asked me if I had room for it, and I always have room for strength and conditioning equipment. It’s kind of a hobby just to collect stuff, so now it’s here. It’s a little wobbly, but it works, and it reminds me of my dad.”

Talking about the poster behind him:

Nick: “I ran cross country in high school, and we’d go on these long bus trips, and we’d have to watch that 1980s movie about Steve Prefontaine and how he ran a NCAA championship with 9 stitches in his feet, and we’ve got a dog named Prefontaine, and that was an accident, so it seemed appropriate to put it in here, and that’s the story on this poster here.”

Hannah and Nick have compiled the perfect garage gym for them and their workout needs on a budget, and you can too. Not every piece of equipment, especially at the start, needs to be brand new and cost you a fortune. If you make do with what you can acquire and what you have, you’re guaranteed to be able to get some good workouts in the comfort of your own home.

Have questions about building out your own home gym on a budget? Let us know! Send us a message at team@fringesport.com, send your questions through our chat, or hit us up in our private Facebook group.

As always, lift heavy, lift happy :)

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.