Archive for the Garage Gym Category

Garage Gym Update

Posted in Garage Gym with tags on January 19, 2009 by joeyfit

Air InductionIt’s been a couple of months since I did an update on the garage gym. I have a couple of note worthy additions. One, my awesome fresh air induction system for the kerosene heater. We were having a real problem with the heater sucking all the O2 out of the air, so after talking to several people I came up with this solution. On the outside of the garage, it looks just like a vent. This draws in outside air for the heater and actually seems to make the heater run more efficiently.

The real test was a few days ago, when the day time high was around -2, yes NEGATIVE 2 for the high. Within 30 minutes it was almost 60 deg in the garage. We also came across an additive for the fuel that makes it smell like lilac… Gena says it smells like Grandma in the garage… that’s better than smelling like jet fuel!

The other big addition is my Concept II rower…. I love this thing! It’s in great shape and looks like it just came out of the box. Hard to believe it’s almost 7 years old. CII

Gettting WOD’s Text To Your Phone

Posted in Crossfit Info, Garage Gym with tags on November 14, 2008 by joeyfit

I stumbled across this neat little website that allows you to get the WOD’s sent directly to your cell phone via text message. I have used it for about a week now and love it.

Since most people I know use ATT, your SMS address is your phone number plus so it would look something like

You can sign up for the free service at

Garage Gym Antics for Sat 081101

Posted in Garage Gym with tags on November 2, 2008 by joeyfit

I spent another Saturday of adding, building and perfecting the garage gym. Today’s main focus was finding, designing and building a good anchor system for the rings. This proved to be quite a challenge, but as usual, with some good old redneck head scratching, I figured it out. It came out pretty good if I don’t say so myself.

The biggest challenge was finding a way to get up to the rafters and do the deed. This was no small feat as I have a horrendous phobia of heights. Cleaning the gutters or getting on my roof to retrieve a wayward Frisbee is nerve racking for me. So I knew a ladder was out of the question. I couldn’t afford, nor justify renting a lift, so the idea came to me when I had my brother over who is much more carpentry savvy than I. Without missing a beat he said, “Back the Suburban in the garage and stand on top of it.” At first I kind of laughed, but as the week drew closer to the weekend, I began to scheme how I could make that work. I just took a piece of 3/4″ plywood and laid it out on the roof rack and then used a step ladder to get on top of the beast. I was actually almost to close to the ceiling now and spent most of the time in a slightly hunched position, never fully able to stand up, so I got a good leg workout as well.

I used some really strong anchors and lags to bolt a 4×4 beam between two 2×6 rafters. This allowed me to install the hooks at exactly 50cm apart and left room for a center hook to later add a climbing rope, if I can ever afford it.

The whole project took me several hours, but I’m a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I did a lot more thinking, figuring, measuring and re-measuring than I did cutting and bolting.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Jesse M. Samek

We also hung a very special American Flag to really give it that gym feel. I say special, because this flag was one that flew in the memorial field here at the local high school and was dedicated to Airman 1st Class Jesse M. Samek, who I went through BMT at Lackland at the same time as I. He gave the ultimate sacrifice on Oct. 21, 2004 when he died from injuries he received when an Air Force HH-60 helicopter aircraft crashed during a medical evacuation mission in Afghanistan. I think this dedication is very fitting, seeing as how many of the “Hero” workouts are dedicate to such men and women who have given their lives in service to their country, whether in the Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters or other public servant capacities. This flag stands as a reminder to their strength, courage and faithfulness. While we work out to become healthier, they train to save lives and our freedom.

I barely got done cleaning up my tools and pulled the Suburban out, when my 6 year old boy was drawn to the rings like a moth to a porch light. He’s probably going to get his first muscle up before Dad does.

Medicine Ball Update

I wrote a few days ago about a home made medicine ball that everyone lamented had to be more than 20lbs. Well, guess what folks. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. We finally got a scale and lo and behold. A picture speaks a thousand words. Nary an ounce heavier or lighter.

Garage Gym Pics

Posted in Garage Gym with tags on October 29, 2008 by joeyfit

Here’s what we started with after emptying out two truckloads of junk. I’m not kidding, we had wood, garbage and things that had been in the loft of the garage since 1960, 40 years before I bought the house. I even found a license plate from Tippecanoe County from 1970.

The pole in the middle and the loft that it holds up was not there a few weeks ago. The garage had a pseudo loft in it before in the middle, basically making a 7′ ceiling. In order to do anything over head, I was going to have to get rid of that loft, build the one over the workbench for the things we can’t do without and pitch the rest of the junk. Pitching the junk wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and even gave me a sense of relief. Amazing how much crap you can accumulate over the years, not to mention the dust, dirt and rodent nests. I still needed to make room for the boat, so rather than put it in the garage diagonally like we’ve done in the past, we made a space along the west wall. These first pictures are the trial run. Added a Oly weight set and some horse mats and you have the beginnings of a gym.

As you can see, the boat took up a lot of precious space. So after noticing an ad for warehouse space and making a few calls, I found some dirt cheap, secure indoor storage for the boat. To put it in perspective, a local marina wanted $400 to store the boat in a rack for the season (Oct-March), which meant I still had to do something with the trailer. The place I found was $50/month in a secure coded entry building that I could come and go as I pleased. So for about $150 less, I got the boat AND trailer out of the garage and freed up more space.

We then started adding more equipment, watching the local paper, eBay and the classifieds at my work. We were able to pick up stuff for penny’s on the dollar and even a few new items, like a squat rack and GHS/Back Ext bench. I found a full dumbbell set locally in really good shape for about 25% of what it would have cost me new and the racks were included! With the boat gone, we doubled our space and realized that had we not done that, we wouldn’t have had enough room. We put down a total of 16 4’x6′ mats giving us 384 sq ft of usable workout space. The plywood wall on the west wall is for doing stretches, hand stand push-ups and anything else that a flat vertical surface is needed for. The kids have been put to task to come up with a mural. I’m going to paint the plywood black and they get to do whatever they want from there. I’m betting it will turn into a graffiti wall of sorts, which is cool by me.

We still have a lot of work to do, and only have the rings set up temporarily until I can figure out a way to mount them to the rafters. Kevin came in about 30 minutes after I had them set up in their current location and IMMEDIATELY started monkeying around on them. Goes with the statement, “Build it and they will come.”

Medicine Ball!!

Posted in Garage Gym with tags , , , on October 23, 2008 by joeyfit

I tried to make my own medicine ball.¬† I had a bunch of old basketballs that the kids had long ago abandoned, so using the instructions from a CF article, I bought a bag of sand and a roll of duct tape to make my own ball. Now sand only comes in 50lbs bags and since I don’t have a scale, I couldn’t accurately measure the weight of the sand going in the ball. But hey, 50lbs of sand divided in half is 25lbs, so not quite half the bag should be 20lbs, right? Well, apparently not. My wife said there was no way it only weighed 20lbs, more like 30lbs.

So every time someone came over, it was obligatory to have them judge the weight of the ball and the consensus was almost unanimous. The ball weighed between 25-30lbs. Perhaps that’s why my wall-ball shots have been so difficult.

Anyway, I decided rather than try to remake the ball again (The duct tape pattern I came up with was awesome!), I just decided to buy one. It’s much “prettier” than my duct tape ball… but not nearly as much character.

Garage Gym Update 10/21/2008

Posted in Garage Gym with tags on October 22, 2008 by joeyfit

I finished putting together a 20″ Plyo Box that just needs sanded and painted. Really made me scratch my head when I laid everything out to cut the pieces. Getting the angles right was the hard part.I plan on making the 24″ this weekend, but the 20″ is going to be seeing the most use.

I also scored a great deal on a set of dumbbells with racks! We now have from 5lbs to 95lbs. I doubt the heavier ones see much use for a while. It was a workout in itself to just get them home.

Also picked up a Back Extension bench. Gena didn’t like the one we have. This one is more at an angle, while the one I bought earlier was/is horizontal, more for doing glute-ham sit-ups.

Adjustable bench showed up and I put it together as well. Cheap piece of crap, but it will work. I think from here on out, I’m going to save up for the quality stuff. It can be used, but I’m not buying anymore fine “China” items.

Sunday 081019

Posted in Garage Gym with tags on October 20, 2008 by joeyfit

Garage Gym Update:

We went out Saturday and got the rest of the horse mats and have pretty much covered the usable area of the floor. Squat Rack came on Friday, so I spent the evening putting it together. Not the best quality, but it will do. Has a pull-up bar that Gena can use, but if I want to do Kip-Ups, I’ll need to figure something else out. Picked up a 35lb kettle bell at Dick’s for a decent price. I have a bench coming, another medicine ball and a few other minor items. So the smaller items are pretty much done, now we’re looking out for the bigger items. Top on the list, Row Machine. I’m settled on holding out for a Concept II, so will have to watch eBay closely. Would be nice to find a treadmill for winter running, but those seem to be a dime a dozen. Gena would like an Elliptical (calls it a eucalyptus, she’s so cute!) machine. She likes it better than running, says it doesn’t hurt her feet and knees like running does.

I have plans to build a couple plyo boxes and picked up some wood to do so. I have the 20″ and 24″ plans from here so I need to get busy with that this week.

Also got a nice set of rings from Xtreme Rings. Racking my brain on the best way to set up the rings. Our rafters are a little screwy, so I want to make sure we don’t make something too flimsy, but don’t want to make it a major engineering project either.Want to incorporate a way to hook a rope up as well.

Don’t have a really good place for a wall ball, so I’m building a “backboard”, kind of like for a basketball hoop, minus the hoop and basket.

At some point, we’re going to need a few dumbbells, but they’re so expensive! I’ve looked at a few used sets locally, but everyone seems to be really proud of them and want nearly 50 cents a pound… yikes! We bought our barbell and plates for 55 cents a pound from a retail store BRAND NEW!

Well, piece by piece. We still have the YMCA membership to fill in the holes.