Brandon is definitely one of my favorite guys to follow not only for home gym reasons but also for lifting tips & equipment reviews.
He also has arguably the greatest tagline in the game! “bar don’t lie” is a funny take on Rasheed Wallace’s popular “ball don’t lie.”
Whether he likes to admit it or not (he doesn’t), he’s a strong dude with a lot of great information and no shortage of awesome content.
I first discovered Brandon four years ago when I was looking for reviews on Mark Bell’s Gangsta Wraps… Pretty sure I binge watched about 50 videos that afternoon from him.
Fast forward to today and I still look forward to his videos, which include some subtle… and some not-so-subtle sexual jokes.
Since launching Garage Gym Lab in late ’17, I knew I wanted to collaborate with Brandon on some projects. We’ve caught up a few times since then, and I’m excited to share this conversation we had, along with a list of his awesome equipment lineup.
So with that…
A Conversation with Brandon Campbell
Brandon, for those of us who aren’t aware of your awesomeness, can you take a minute and let us know a little bit about yourself?
I take offense to this question, I’d prefer “mediocre-ness.” What else can I say? I’m a 37-year-old guy who likes to train. I initially got into training when I was 15 as a way to improve at sports and after a short stint playing college basketball, I realized I enjoyed training more.
You’re a successful… ahem… “mediocre” powerlifter and a very popular YouTuber. Which came first?
Again I take offense to the question, but I’ll let it slide. I did my first powerlifting meet back in high school as part of a weight training class my school offered, however, there was a ton of time between my first meet in 1998 and my 2nd meet in 2013. I initially got involved with YouTube back in 2009/2010. Oddly enough at this time, my main training focus was bodybuilding. It wasn’t until around 2012 that I got more involved with powerlifting and competing as a way to help motivate me to get better and scratch that competitive itch now and again.
What made you decide to start a YouTube channel?
At the time I was training for hypertrophy and I had been an active member of the BB.com forums dating back to 1999. One of the things that was getting popular on the boards was supplement reps looking for people to run training logs of supplements and post reviews. Being of the mindset of “if it’s free it’s for me,” I figured doing a video journal and reviews would set me apart from others and afford me more opportunities (which it did). From here the people watching for my supplement reviews began asking other questions about my diet and training, which led to other videos.
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Supposed to do two singles at around 95% which is 255kg/562lbs. Running short on time today so decided to try to just do a double instead. Didn't look awesome but actually felt really decent. Nice to get 2 squat PRs to end this mesocycle with limited sleep, food, and training bc of the 👶🏻. #bardontlie #powerlifting #squats
You’ve got an awesome home gym. Tell us a little about why you started it
I’ve had a few “home gyms” in the past. One while growing up and another one in my post-college/early YouTube life. I use quotes here because it was basically an all-in-one bench with leg extension, barbell, curl bar, and maybe some push up stands. I started the current iteration of my home gym for a few reasons:
One of the biggest was I finally purchased my own home with a dedicated space. I never wanted to invest in big heavy equipment if I knew I’d have to move them to a new location at some point.
Another prominent reason was the lack of decent gyms close to my home. The one I had been frequenting was in the process of closing down.
Finally, the last thing was just a lack of time I could dedicate to training. Being newly married, having a social life, making YouTube videos, and balancing my corporate job, I needed something more convenient, a home gym was the best option. I’ve been lucky enough to make some side income from YouTube so I try to reinvest that into other pieces of equipment.
Knowing what you know now about starting a home gym, what would you have done differently if you could go back?
There are a few changes I would have made in the overall design or equipment choices that I outlined in a recent YouTube video, but to be honest they’re mostly little things I don’t overly regret. Like any passion project, a lot of it is learning from mistakes and trying not to duplicate them.
Can you share a list of your equipment for the community?
I’ll list some of the bigger pieces (some of which I have replaced/upgraded/or done away with):
- Rogue Westside Power Bar
- Rogue Ohio Power Bar 20kg
- Rogue Ohio Bar
- Texas Deadlift Bar
- Strength Shop Bastard Power Bar
- Kabuki New Generation Power Bar
- EliteFTS Yoke SSB
- Archon Multi Grip Olympic Barbell
- Body Solid Curl Bar
- Kabuki Shoulderok – Check out my review here
- Iron Master Adjustable Dumbbells (up to 120lbs)
- Iron Master Adjustable Kettlebell
- CAP 45lbs kettlebell
- Onnit Ironman kettlebell
- Rogue Competition Bumpers – check out my review here
- Ivanko Calibrated Steel Plates
- Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates
- Rogue Deadlift Platform
- Rogue Box Squat Box
- Inzer Lever Forever Belt – check out my review here
- Schwinn AD3 Airdyne
- NordicTrack Apex 8500 treadmill
- Titan Olympic Weight Tree
- Rogue Monster Bands
- EliteFTS resistance bands
- LockJaw Collars
- Ivanko Competition Collars
- Rogue Matador
- Deadlift blocks (homemade)
That’s an awesome setup. What’s your favorite piece of equipment you own and why?
If you’ve seen any of my videos it’s the Rogue Ohio Power Bar. A good barbell is the one area you shouldn’t skimp on and it’s hard to match the quality/price that this bar brings to the table.
If you could invite one person to your home gym to lift with, who would it be and why (I will exclude myself from consideration)?
I’ve had a few friends come train (as well as other YouTubers), but one of the benefits of having a home gym is having your own personal space you don’t have to share!
Where can people keep in touch with you?
I highly recommend you all go follow Brandon. He’s a great dude who puts out awesome content.
I want to personally thank Brandon for taking the time to let us get to know him and his home gym a little better.
If you would like the chance to be featured on the site, shoot me an email at Adam@garagegymlab.com.
Also, if you want to read more about powerlifting equipment and how to build the ultimate powerlifting home gym, check out my article here.
The bar is loaded,