Today I'm joined by Jake from Garage Gym Experiment, who has taken some time to answer a few questions for the community. Jake has been running GGE for over two years now and he's been a great source of inspiration for the home gym community. With a goal of connecting home gym owners around the world, Jake regularly posts insightful content on his website and social channels. His website includes a blog, product discounts, swag for your gym, and other helpful resources. He recently started a ‘Sunday Survey' on his Instagram (@GarageGymExperiment), which polls his followers on interesting home gym-related topics. He posts the results each week on his website. Jake is doing great things for the community, and I'm excited to collaborate with him. You can also read his interview with me on his website here.
Here we go…
You’ve been running Garage Gym Experiment now for about 2 years. What made you decide to start it?
I couldn’t pinpoint one specific thing. It was a combination of wanting to do something entrepreneurial with my favorite hobby and seeing some sort of opening in the market. My home gym was benefiting my life so much as a new father and I wanted to help spread the word. There also wasn’t a whole lot of attention being given to home gym owners on social media and I thought there was plenty of room for it to grow.
You’re a former football player – what’s your training style these days?
It’s actually pretty similar to what it was when I last played (9-10 years ago). A lot of barbell work – squat, bench, deadlift, power cleans, and some basic conditioning.
Looking at where your gym is now compared to where it was when you started, what’s one thing you would have done differently?
That’s pretty easy actually. I would have definitely added Horse Stall Mats earlier. I had some used equipment to start my garage gym, but horse stall mats should have been the first item I actually bought. I lifted on cheap, puzzle piece flooring and old carpet for years. It got the job done, but the upgrade in flooring made a HUGE difference.
You feature a lot of DIY gym equipment on your Instagram feed. What has been your favorite/most impressive DIY piece that you’ve seen?
There isn’t one that stands out as most impressive (they all are), but my favorites are usually the storage solutions. To me, the best DIY pieces are designed specifically for their space and equipment someone already has. This is a great way to save some money. Traditional storage solutions from equipment manufacturers are not usually cheap.
One of your sayings is “slam bars, then brews.” If you could only pick 3 beers for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Ah. Yes. Nothing quite like a nice craft beer after a good workout. This is the toughest question on here! I’ll go with:
- Gumball Head – Three Floyds Brewery
- Dorian Stout – Scarlet Lane Brewery
- Vanilla Porter – Breckinridge Brewery
Indianapolis has some great breweries. It was tough leaving Taxman and Sun King Brewery off of the list, so here’s some love!
You’re on an elevator with someone who randomly asks you why they should start a garage/home gym. Give us your best pitch…
Well, without knowing their goals or interests, I’d just emphasize the importance of having instant access to a workout. We all know the benefits of working out on a regular basis and it’s so much easier if you have an option in your home. If they are someone that already goes to the gym, I’d try to tell them how much time they save for the whole year. For example, if you typically spend an additional 20 minutes a day going to and from the gym, but cut that out, you’ll end up saving more than 3 working weeks a year (122 hours). That’s time you can spend with your family, do a different hobby, work on your career, or even start a business!
Let’s say your elevator pitch was a success. Your new friend decides to start a garage/home gym, but they don’t know where to start. What advice would you give them?
I’d really try to start by finding out their goals, what they are interested in, and their budget. This is different for almost everyone, so my answer would vary from person to person. Nevertheless, for the newbie, I’d say don’t just buy the first stuff you see on Amazon. Read reviews (consumer and those who make them public), take a look at other setups to get inspired, and build it out slowly. All space is precious and you don’t want to fill that up with something that is just going to sit there.
The garage/home gym community is growing every day. What do you think is contributing to its rise?
There are probably a hundred different reasons. I think the big ones are a combination of:
- We live very busy lives. Every second counts and if you can save time with a home gym, you should create one.
- The equipment is becoming more and more affordable. You can get yourself a nice home gym with $1,000.
- It’s fun to build out your own gym! Then, when you see other people on social media doing the same thing, it becomes addicting!
There are just so many benefits to having a home gym (whether you go to another gym or not). I think the community will continue to grow and it’ll actually just be “normal” to have an incredible gym in your garage. To us, it’s common sense, but to many, it’s still a little crazy. If it doesn't become a more common trend, oh well. More for us, I guess?