BUILDING A GARAGE GYM. Part 1. Getting in shape for less than $100 (4 week plan included)

Intro - the New Years Resolution Paradox.

So its the beginning of the year. You've made some New Years resolutions to get fit, look after your health, and shed some of that holiday weight. The problem? Thousands of other people have the exact same idea. Joining a gym at this time of year is not only hellish, it is also a terrible environment to try and create a new habit. It's busy, noisy, inefficient (waiting around for equipment) and can be intimidating as the local gym rats become particularly territorial of the influx of new members in their spot.

Trying to form a life long habit in a situation like this can be borderline impossible. The excuses write themselves.

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Why not train at home?

Remove your accountability to be dependant on other people. Train at home. And it won't break your bank like you may think. Not if done correctly.

Don't waste money on equipment that produces minimal results.

Don't put yourself in the position where you've spent a boat load of bread on items that produce minimal results. If you walk into a fitness store they're going to try and sell you some total body multi station. You know what I'm talking about, a home station that supposedly targets everything.

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People buy these because they look the part. I get it. You've seen all these things in commercial gyms. Lat pull down for the back, pec deck for the chest, leg extension for the legs, and and some curls for the girls...And you get to do all of it while sitting down.  Sounds great? Right?

No.

Here's something any experienced lifter knows. These movements are important, but they are accessories to bigger lifts. Lifts that produce better results in both weight loss and building muscle. They can be the icing on the cake, but they are definitely not the cake in making actual physical change.

It'll eventually gather dust, be used as a place to hang laundry and you'll be looking and feeling the same with $500 missing from your pocket.

This machine will become redundant to your training very quickly without the REAL lifts. I Own a fully equipped garage gym that I use for personal training and you'll see that even at that level I don't have one of these.

 

Do it all for under $50 - enter the kettlebell

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The kettlebell has gained popularity over the last few years. The kettlebell is one of the few pieces of equipment that blur the line between strength builder and cardio vascular developer.

The reason Why I recommend the kettlebell for people wanting to get into resistance training is because not only will it help with the above mentioned qualities, but it also teaches you to move your body in ways that allow you to advance your training in the future. The kettle bell swing teaches you the hip hinge that is instrumental to deadlifting properly, the front rack and goblet squats teach you how to correctly position your spine and hips to effectively perform all variations of the squat.

If you are a male, I would recommend starting with a 16kg / 35lb KB. For women I recommend purchasing an 8kg / 17lb. This is more than enough weight to get you started.

Wait... thats actually worth buying? The ab wheel, a $5 masterpiece

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Seems like a failed infomercial piece of equipment right? You can pick one of these up from Kmart or The Warehouse (sorry all you non New Zealand readers) for $5-10. And they are worth every penny.

The full body tension these provide is unrivalled. Performed correctly, the rollout produces some of the best integration between functioning abdominal, spinal, back and trunk muscles. What we refer to as "core" (no, your core is not just your abs). This little monster is deceptively difficult. Don't under estimate its power.

You might not be able to get a full range of motion to begin with, go as deep as you can go without landing on your face.

When one door closes, another one opens. And hopefully you can do chin ups in it.

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Again with the silly infomercial products. But the chin up and pull up is a staple for strength training. These are readily available on second hand sites such as eBay, trade me, etc, as people tend to buy them and quickly find out that chin ups are harder than you think. You should be able to pick one up for $20 bucks used, and not much more if you want your own new shiny one.

Your own body. Everyone gets one for free when they start their life.

Bodyweight exercise work, especially if programmed correctly. There are plenty of jacked callisthenics athletes. Not all of them are in prison either.

All these items new should cost you less than $100. Even less if you get them second hand.

You don't even need a garage. Literally every room can now be a training spot. Or outside if you want to take advantage of some vitamin D.

Putting it all together

BEGINNER 4 WEEK PLAN

WEEk 1

Monday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps - 90 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand - 90 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand - 90 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 3 sets 10 - 90 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 3 Sets of 5 - 90 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 10 - 90 secs rest between sets 

Wednesday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 6 reps - 90 secs rest between sets
  2. Floor Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand - 90 secs rest between sets
  3. Pull Up (Pull Up Bar) - 3 sets of 5 - 90 secs rest between sets
  4. Jumping Lunges (body weight) - 3 sets 10 - 90 secs rest between sets
  5. Hanging Leg/knee Raise (pull up bar)- 3 Sets of 5 - 90 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 12 - 90 secs rest between sets 

Friday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 8 reps - 90 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 6 reps per hand - 90 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand -90 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 3 sets 12 - 90 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 3 Sets of 6 - 90 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 14 - 90 secs rest between sets

WEEk 2

Monday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps - 60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 3 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 3 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Side Plank (bodyweight) - 3 sets 30 secs per side - 60 secs rest between sets

Wednesday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 6 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Floor Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Pull Up (Pull Up Bar) - 3 sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Jumping Lunges (body weight) - 3 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Hanging Leg/knee Raise (pull up bar)- 3 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7.  Plank (bodyweight) - 3 sets of 60 secs - 60 secs rest between sets

Friday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 8 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 3 sets 6 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 3 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 3 sets 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 3 Sets of 6 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 3 sets of 14 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Jump Squats (bodyweight) - 3 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets

WEEk 3

Monday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 4 sets 5 reps - 60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 4 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 4 sets 5 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 4 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 4 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 4 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Side Plank (bodyweight) - 4 sets 30 secs per side - 60 secs rest between sets

Wednesday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 4 sets 6 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Floor Press (kettlebell) - 4 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Pull Up (Pull Up Bar) - 4 sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Jumping Lunges (body weight) - 4 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Hanging Leg/knee Raise (pull up bar)- 4 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 4 sets of 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7.  Plank (bodyweight) - 4 sets of 60 secs - 60 secs rest between sets

Friday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 4 sets 8 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 4 sets 6 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 4 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 4 sets 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 4 Sets of 6 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 4 sets of 14 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Jump Squats (bodyweight) - 3 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets

WEEk 4

Monday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 5 sets 5 reps - 60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 5 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 5 sets 5 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 5 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 5 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 5 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Side Plank (bodyweight) - 5 sets 30 secs per side - 60 secs rest between sets

Wednesday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 5 sets 6 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Floor Press (kettlebell) - 5 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  3. Pull Up (Pull Up Bar) - 5 sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  4. Jumping Lunges (body weight) - 5 sets 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Hanging Leg/knee Raise (pull up bar)- 5 Sets of 5 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 5 sets of 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7.  Plank (bodyweight) - 5 sets of 60 secs - 60 secs rest between sets
  8. Burpee (bodyweight) - 1 set of 20 

Friday

  1. Goblet Squat (Kettlebell) - 5 sets 8 reps -60 secs rest between sets
  2. Push Press (kettlebell) - 5 sets 6 reps per hand - 60 secs rest between sets
  3. Staggered State Bent over Row (Kettlebell) - 5 sets 5 reps per hand -60 secs rest between sets
  4. Press Up (body weight) - 5 sets 12 - 60 secs rest between sets
  5. Roll Out (ab wheel)- 5 Sets of 6 - 60 secs rest between sets
  6. Swing (Kettle Bell) - 5 sets of 14 - 60 secs rest between sets
  7. Jump Squats (bodyweight) - 5 sets of 10 - 60 secs rest between sets
  8. Mountain Climbers - 1 set of 30

Notes on if you can't perform the Movement.

Push press: Make sure you are keeping your abs engaged and driving with your legs as much as you can.

Pull Ups: Perform negative phase pull ups if necessary, that is, jumping up, and lowering yourself down as slowly as possible (aim for 3 seconds). 

Press Up: Go on you knees if necessary.

Next week: BUILDING A GARAGE GTM: Barbells, Squat Racks, and everything in-between.