Feeling Boxed In By CrossFit? Ready To Take Your Knowledge To Your Own Garage Gym Instead?

If the answer is “yes”, then you’re not alone! While CrossFit gyms exploded in the years 2011 through 2015, the once massively popular, cult-like, gritty exercise regimen has slowed down in popularity and appears to be in a consolidation phase, likely due to a confluence of events.

In general, CrossFit seems to have reached its natural saturation point, like many exercise trends that have gone before it, there’s a point where it peaks and interest wanes. Today’s ever-busy lifestyles mean that free time has become an even more precious commodity and a larger number of people are opting for convenience over a traditional gym, avoiding commutes and hefty membership fees that often fund amenities not always taken advantage of.

Combine all these elements with the ability to buy strength training equipment more easily and affordably from companies like Rally Fitness, and a plentiful supply of likeminded people who have bonded over their love of CrossFit and passion for healthy lifestyles, a new movement is emerging, “The Garage Gym” - an unofficial CrossFit affiliate, typically a group of friends who come together to do CrossFit workouts but haven't opted to formally affiliate with HQ.

It will take a little upfront investment to outfit your garage gym but not as much as you might think. A strength training gym doesn’t require nearly as much equipment that most commercial gyms have and even CrossFit boxes that don’t have any machines still tend to have far more equipment than is necessary to work every muscle group.

With as little as $500 investment you can convert a small space in your garage into your own customized gym complete with rack, stand, weights and bench and start your own Garage Gym. However, before you cancel your Globo gym membership or put lid on the “box” at your local CrossFit gym, consider these pros and cons and decide what’s best for you.

The Pros
No gym fees. By dropping your monthly gym membership dues (which probably help fund amenities and services you don’t even use), even after you invest in your own gym equipment, you’ll likely be better off financially.
No standing in line. Your days of having to wait your turn to use a piece of equipment are over.
Convenience. No commute, just walk out your bedroom, through the kitchen, and into the garage. In 30 seconds, you’re at the gym and ready to start working out.
Fresh air. At a Globo gym, you’re trapped inside with fluorescent lights staring back at you, a temperature controlled by gym management and with little or no fresh air. With a garage gym, you can customize lighting, adjust the temperature and can even open the garage door for some fresh air.
Privacy. Having a bad hair day or maybe you’re the type that lets out a loud victory grunt after a PR, not a problem when you have your own privacy.
Availability. Your garage gym will always be open whenever you need it.
Family time. Some gyms don’t allow children in the work out area [for obvious safety reasons] and don’t provide childcare. Having a gym at home means you’re never stuck for childcare, moreover your children are introduced to the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

The Cons
Limited equipment - unless you’ve got a large space in your garage, your garage gym is going to be somewhat limited. However, for many people, a barbell, plates, squat rack, and a bench is all they really need.
Knowledge. To get the best from a garage gym, having previous experience with either CrossFit high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or another workout regimen is going to be key, even if you plan on using a personal trainer application. It’s not recommended for a beginner to start out in a garage gym.
Parking. Depending on the size of your garage, once your equipment is installed your car may not fit in the garage anymore and will need to be parked outside.
Temperature control. Garages are not typically connected to the heat & air systems and as a result, can get very hot in the summer and very cold in winter.
Discipline. While having your own gym means you don’t have to leave your house, the flip side of that, means you don’t get to escape the responsibilities or distractions of being at home. It might be harder to carve out time for a workout and will likely require more discipline to avoid the temptation to cut short a work out and work on chores instead. Leaving the house and going to a gym in some ways could make it easier to get in the right frame of mind.

So, whether you decide to stay with your Globo or CrossFit gym, for now, the good news is you have options that could make it easier to switch later on should you decide to go, "beyond the box".

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