HomeInspirationStep Into This Retired Marine's Pain Cave

Step Into This Retired Marine’s Pain Cave

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Meet Castro.

Castro is an insanely strong dude with an absolutely ridiculous garage gym setup. Seriously, this is one of the most impressive spaces I’ve seen. It’s filled with high-end equipment and it’s decorated in a way that just makes you want to lift.

Join me as we step into the “Pain Cave.”

The Journey

Castro is a certified badass. If being a U.S. Marine isn’t badass enough, adding a powerlifting total of over 1,500 lbs surely is. Castro and his wife, Lady C, both compete in the USAPL Master’s division (45-49 years old). In February of 2018, Castro broke the California deadlift record (611.8 lbs) and the California total record (1,504.7) in the Master’s division in the 220 lb weight class. Lady C also boasts a total of 786 lbs in competition.

Pretty freakin’ strong.


Strength wasn’t always the end game for Castro and his wife, however. Prior to powerlifting, they were both on a quest to get super lean with loads of conditioning work.

Today, they’re all about the total.

After falling in love with powerlifting, they realized there were no accessible powerlifting gyms near them. The local commercial gyms weren’t conducive to their powerlifting goals, and they couldn’t listen to death metal! So, they built a powerlifting gym in their garage.

And man… is it ever awesome!

The vibe in this gym is just incredible. The black and red walls practically scream intensity, and the wall/ceiling coverings add a nice pop. I’d love to lift here if I’m ever in Murrieta, California.

Let’s take a deeper look into Castro and Lady C’s impressive assortment of gym equipment.

The Equipment

Castro Pain Cave 2 Garage Gym Lab

As you’ll soon see, the Pain Cave is packed with awesome gear. Most of the equipment was purchased new, but some, like the weights, were picked up on the used market.

Castro smartly started his garage gym with the flooring and power rack. Laying down flooring prior to buying equipment is an excellent idea in order to avoid a much more painful installation when you have a lot of gear.

From there, the Pain Cave was outfitted with various items from high priority to low priority. Currently, it’s one of the most impressive garage setups I’ve seen. When I asked Castro what his favorite piece of equipment was, he answered the Rogue deadlift Platform. Hey, when you hold the deadlift record…

Here’s a full breakdown of the Pain Cave’s equipment.

Bars, Plates, & Dumbbells

Castro Pain Cave 4 Garage Gym Lab

The Pain Cave is home to 15 barbells ranging from straights bars to specialty bars. It also comes equipped with a full set of dumbbells from 5 lbs – 95 lbs and a few heavier pairs as well.

Rack & Bench


The Pain Cave has one of my all-time favorite power racks: the Rogue RML-690. This six-post rack is an absolute beast. It’s large enough to handle multiple lifters, it’s sturdy enough to not need floor bolts, and it’s downright beautiful. Not to mention it offers westside hole spacing, allows for multiple attachments, etc…

Machines & Cardio

Castro Pain Cave 5 Garage Gym Lab

In addition to the staple pieces of a powerlifting home gym, the Pain Cave also includes several nice-to-have pieces that really take it to the next level.

Misc. Equipment

Castro Pain Cave 3 Garage Gym Lab

To round out the space, the Pain Cave offers a number of accessory pieces that Castro and Lady C use with regularity.

Castro’s Pain Cave is just an awesome place to train. It’s intense, it looks awesome, and it’s equipped with excellent equipment.

It’s without question one of my favorite spaces that I’ve seen.

I want to thank Castro for sharing his journey, his garage gym, and a list of his equipment with the community!

You can follow and stay in touch with Castro on Instagram.

If you would like the chance to be featured on the site, shoot me an email at Adam@garagegymlab.com.

The bar is loaded,


Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab. He serves as the chief content creator with over two decades of training experience. When he's not testing equipment and writing about all things fitness, Adam loves spending time with his wife and two children.

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