Skip to main content

Home Gym

I love my garage gym. I've built it one piece at a time since 2019.

You can skip to the main list of equipment here.

New home gym


reverse chronological order:

May 2023

  • Fun: B+
  • Learning: A
  • Finances: A+

Gym with construction debris

Baby #3

Look, we're about to have 3 kids in 1,500 square feet. My office/gym is getting cut in half (to sort-of add a bedroom), my office is getting punted to the shed (it'll be awesome), and my gym is getting squished.

It's actually got more curb-appeal now -- I added blue lights, a mirror, and moved the squat cage to the center. I get more engagement from my neighbors walking by, but that might just be because my spotter is super cute (and totally ineffective):

Gym with baby in front

March 2021

  • Fun: B+
  • Learning: A
  • Finances: B

A desk next to a squat cage


I didn't build the gym with Covid / quarantine in mind, but wow, I got lucky. When I feel sad or claustrophobic, I'm sitting right next to heavy weights, so I lift them, and then I feel better.


I grew closer to 2 friends during quarantine, because their gyms closed & they came here to work out.

Mini-split AC

It's hot in Austin, so I paid to get an AC unit installed. This makes it not just a better gym, but a pretty great office.

I now WFH full-time, so I can spend 8+ hours per day in this room getting stronger, smarter, and richer.

A ductless mini-split AC unit mounted to the wall, above an American flag painted on a wooden pallete.


I bought more stuff:

  • jump-ropes
  • bands
  • wrist straps
  • squat belt
  • chalk
  • more weight plates (I can deadlift lots)

Oh, and I mounted my rings on the rafters: Rogue rings, hanging from the ceiling of a garage, with a car in the driveway.

December 2019

  • Fun: A
  • Learning: B+
  • Finances: B

This 3rd iteration of my home gym is AWESOME!!!

New Garage

  • We moved
  • The new house has an actual garage
  • I put in good rubber floors (horse-mats from Tractor Supply Co)
  • I built wooden stall-bars for stretches Big garage with squat cage, stall-bars, and Texas flag

Smaller Desk

  • I got a smaller standing desk
  • I have SO MUCH ROOM for activities Small white desk with 2 computer monitors, a rug, a chair, a dog, and some patriotic art.


  • So much more room
  • Stall-bars are helpful for stretches (I started
  • The house-walls are well insulated & basically soundproof
  • The squat cage is much more stable now that I've mounted it to the concrete (as opposed to plywood)


  • No HVAC in the garage, I'll need to figure that out when it gets hot

October 2019

  • Fun: C
  • Learning: B
  • Finances: B

I don't love this 2nd iteration of my office-gym. We're having a baby, so the old room became a nursery. But the equipment didn't just disappear...

I now have an office / gym / bedroom (and a cool wife who hasn't murdered me yet).

squat cage in crowded bedroom next to huge desk

I have some regrets... but it's still kind-of awesome!

March 2019

  • Fun: B
  • Learning: B+
  • Finances: D


  • We have a (small) rental house with no garage

  • I want to squat, bench, and do pull-ups at home


  • Change the floor in my office
  • Buy a bunch of weights
  • Cram it all in there

small room with squat cage and standing desk


  • It's a great conversational piece
  • I work out more often
  • The equipment is fantastic & meets all my needs
  • It's fun to have friends over to work out


  • The floor material was cheap & has warped so that it bubbles
  • Sometimes, the whole point of going to the gym was to leave the house (not anymore!)


$3.5k -- compared to a $60 / month gym, it will pay for itself in 5 years. Compared to a \$150 / month crossfit gym, it's only 2 years. Did I do crossfit before? No, but the numbers make it sound better.

I bought the following equipment:


I really like having this stuff at home. It's so much fun.

The floor was more difficult than I imagined. We kept the carpet (un-cut), and only had to pull up 1 piece of tac-board at the threshold: Mangled wood w/ nails next to rubber floor

The final floor looked great: nice looking rubber floor

But now it's warped (due to heat & use), so the pieces don't fit together anymore (they overlap significantly, no pic). I should have got nicer floors.

It also looks great next to my desk, and the American-flag-pallet really ties the room together: dual monitor desk with flag pallet behind

Plus, I can use my standing-desk, monitor, and web-cam as a mirror to watch my form: john trying to squat too much weight

^^ what a guy!