Reincarnation of the Garage Gym

Remember that weight bench, dumbbells, and barbell collecting dust in your garage?  You gave it away finally two years ago.  Don’t you wish you had it now?

Social distancing, quarantine, isolation, or whatever you want to call it, has brought a surge in garage/spare bedroom gyms.  The clothes and dust on your treadmill have been cleaned off and thankfully it still works.  On the day my gym employer closed for Coronavirus, a client and I went to Academy Sports & Outdoors to buy a few items we could use for training at his house.  When we arrived that evening, all that was left were the floor models of various equipment.  Not much matched, you saw it, they sold it at a discount just to move it off the floor.  I don’t think retail fitness departments ever saw such a spike in sales as they did that day and week!

We’re now almost a month into gyms and health clubs being closed.  If you have backdoor access to anywhere “unofficially”, you are the envy of your gym friends.  Out of tragedy, comes necessity and innovation.  While nothing can replace a fully stocked gym, a little elbow grease and online shopping can give an adequate substitute.  For many men, these days harken back to their bedrooms working out with a curl bar, pull-up bar in the doorway, and push-ups till you face planted every night.  As teenagers, this type of workout was the standard to “get big” if you weren’t on the football team.  Well, boys, those times are back!  At least for a few more weeks.

A new twist on the old home gym are the number of women who enjoying pumping iron and are buying various equipment for this unusual time in our world.  I have a female client in her early 70’s who purchased dumbbells and loop bands for us to use in her carport.  She’s still very excited to workout and see new results from the combo of her and my stuff.  From a trainer standpoint, I have to rethink movements because there are no luxuries of a full gym at my disposal.  Creativity is the key for everyone, and from what I see on social media, people are having some fun with their new ideas.  A lot of “trainers” have popped up on Instagram sharing their workouts to stay connected with others.  For some it’s an outlet for maintaining friendships, and others it’s a tiptoe into whether a fitness career path can work for them.

The year 2020 is not your father’s garage gym.  Now you can buy a TRX, full cable machine, a bench, and adjustable dumbbells that rival large hotel gyms!  The proliferation of free workouts on YouTube have made it easier than ever to incorporate whatever equipment you have into an effective session.  Add your smart speaker and smart phone, now you have a full studio in the comfort of your garage.  One constant from the old days is the weather.  Whatever temp it is outside, it is in your garage.  Heat and humidity are definitely equalizers on your endurance and stamina!

When we are allowed back into the gym, it is inevitable, that recently purchased equipment will be pushed back into the closet or corner of the garage for the spiderwebs and dust bunnies.  30 or 45 days doesn’t create new habits, and we are itching for the comforts of a full gym.  In the meantime, let’s get creative and share the knowledge.  All those “new” ideas can be used wherever your fitness journey takes you.

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