5 Garage Gym Workout Routines (Ultimate Full Body Fitness)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: April 30, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Garage gyms are becoming increasingly popular among people who want to create a personalized workout space in their homes. With the right equipment and workout routines, your garage gym can deliver amazing fitness results.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve trained hundreds of clients remotely, helping many of them build a bespoke home gym for their specific needs.

In this article, I’ll share five different garage gym workouts, the essential gym equipment for each, the benefits of having a garage gym, and tips for maximizing your garage gym experience.

Let’s begin.

Quick Summary

  • You can set up a home garage gym for strength, bodybuilding, calisthenics, HIIT, and yoga training.
  • The benefits of having a gym in your garage outweigh the cons; nothing beats having your own personal workout space.
  • According to Havard Medical School, a calisthenics workout set-up in a garage allows you to work on bodyweight exercises that develop functional strength, flexibility, and body control.
  • Based on my years of coaching, the personal touch and familiarity of a garage gym often lead to more consistent and focused training sessions.

Garage Gym Workouts

A woman working out in the garage

Based on my experience as a fitness trainer, here are five routines that can be done in a garage home gym.

Workout #1: Strength Training

Equipment: Power rack or squat stand, weight plates, flat bench (adjustable), barbell, deadlift platform (optional).

Exercises: Squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead shoulder press, pull-ups, and more.

Benefits: Having a strength-training set-up is a great way to start off your home gym fitness routine.

It allows you to focus on the four big compound movements (squat, bench, deadlift, and overhead press) and other exercises as well.

The only downside I have found is that most of the equipment is quite expensive. But if you plan to exercise at home, investing in the equipment is a lot cheaper in the long run.

Tips: Make sure your garage has enough horizontal and vertical space to fit a power rack. You’ll also want to have enough space to store your barbell and weight plates. The good news is that most power racks come with storage pegs.

Workout #2: Bodybuilding

Body builder working out

Equipment: Free weight dumbbells, barbell, plates, adjustable bench, resistance bands, cable machine (optional).

Exercises: Bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, leg curls, calf raises, and most exercises that require free weights.

Benefits: A garage setup for bodybuilding allows you to target specific muscle groups without waiting for equipment or being limited by gym hours.

With a focus on hypertrophy, you can sculpt your body according to your personal goals in a private, focused environment.

Tips: Most of the equipment for a bodybuilding setup is fairly cheap if you buy it used and from the right places. Machines might be on the pricier side, but they’re worth it in the long run.

I highly recommend pairing the bodybuilding set-up with the strength-training one so you can combine both routines.

Related: Best Bodybuilding Leg Workout

Workout #3: Calisthenics

Equipment: Pull-up bar, dip station, calisthenic rings, parallettes, and ab roller.

Exercises: Pull-ups, push-ups, ab-wheel, dips, etc.

Benefits: According to Havard Medical School, a calisthenics workout set-up in a garage allows you to work on bodyweight exercises that develop functional strength, flexibility, and body control [1].

Having a dedicated space makes it easier to track your progress and fine-tune your technique without distractions. 

The best part is that setting this up isn’t too expensive, and the equipment will last you many years.

You can also join online communities or local groups to share progress and tips, fostering a sense of community around your garage gym.

Tips: If you plan on doing the strength and calisthenics workout routine, I recommend buying a power rack with a pull-up and dip station.

Workout #4: High-Intensity Interval Training

Woman doing jumping jacks

Equipment: None, since most HIIT workouts are purely bodyweight training exercises.

Exercises: Most HIIT exercises like jumping jacks, squats, mountain climbers, burpees, etc.

Benefits: Out of all the workout setups, this one is the cheapest because it requires little to no exercise equipment. Anything you need is purely optional.

Doing HIIT workouts in your garage gives you a safe place to perform various cardio workouts, free of judgment. All you need is a cell phone or laptop and a free workout app.

Tips: If you’re someone who isn’t comfortable doing HIIT movements in public, like some of my clients, this might be the perfect option for you.

Workout #5: Yoga and Recovery

Equipment: Yoga mat, foam roller, bands, yoga blocks, etc.

Exercises: All yoga poses

Benefits: A garage yoga and recovery space allows you to work on your flexibility, balance, and mindfulness in your own space.

It offers a dedicated area to focus on stretching, mobility, and relaxation, improving your overall fitness and well-being.

Tips: A yoga set-up is fairly cheap and requires very little space, so we highly recommend adding it to your other set-ups to create a more complete garage home gym.

Tips To Maximize Your Garage Gym Workout

Gym equipment in a row

Here are some tips that I always emphasize on to my clients to make the most of a garage gym:

  • Invest in quality equipment: High-quality home gym equipment ensures a safer, more effective workout.
  • Organize your space: Keep your garage home gym clean and organized to create an inviting workout environment. Make sure your garage is spacious and maximized to build a home gym.
  • Maintain a workout schedule: A home gym isn’t an excuse to throw routine out the window. Consistency is key for progress, so set a regular workout routine.
  • Incorporate variety: Rotate between different workout routines so you’re hitting every muscle group, avoiding plateaus, and experiencing better workouts, as recommended by studies in the National Library of Medicine [2].
  • Personal training: Personal trainers aren’t out of the equation in garage home gyms. You can always opt for one online to guide you through workouts.

“Hitting a plateau is inevitable. Remaining at the plateau is within your control, though... Try increasing your workout frequency. If you’re training once per week, switch to two sessions a week.”

- Dr. Sean Preuss, Ed.D, M.S.

Also, as I always encourage my clients, consider integrating fitness apps for personalized tracking and virtual training sessions.

FAQs

Is It Healthy to Workout in a Garage?

Yes, it’s healthy to workout in a garage as long as you have proper ventilation. Working out in a closed garage without airflow could be unhealthy for your body and cause fungal growth in your garage.

Is the Treadmill Ok in the Garage?

Yes, having a treadmill in your garage is okay. However, place it in an area where it won’t affect your other exercises.


References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-advantages-of-body-weight-exercise
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22395266/
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About The Author

Senior Coach
Tyler Sellers is a trained athlete and author with contributions to publications like Men’s Health, The Healthy, Fox Business, NerdWallet, Weight Watchers, and MSN. His unique approach extends beyond physical techniques, emphasizing the significance of mental techniques like the flow state and mind-muscle connection.
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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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