Willie is a Masters raw powerlifter, training coach, and of course a garage gym owner. His garage gym is exceptionally well put together and it includes some awesome pieces that belong in the dreams of any powerlifter.
Join me as we step into Willie's stellar garage gym.
The truth is that Willie's journey is much like a lot of us who have started our own home gyms.
Even though there was a decent commercial gym located only two miles from Willie's house, being able to work out on his schedule won out. Not only did this time convenience matter to him, but the quality of equipment also played a critical role.
The barbells that he used in other commercial gyms just didn't cut it. They had crap-tier knurling, they didn't offer any sort of specialty options, and worst of all…
Damn those hex plates straight to hell, I say.
Willie agrees, as they were his biggest pet peeve in the commercial gym setting.
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In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to Shut Up. Rich Froning. Today was one of those days where I had to listen to my body. 2 weeks out until the meet and the body is trying to hold itself together. Between a bad back and knee, lifting heavy in the last month has been tough. Today's squat workout called for 3 x 2 @ 365 lbs. Weight didn't feel heavy but my knees were shaking all over the place. Lost 14 lbs with 4 more to go to make weight. Thanks to the pit crew for their help and encouragement. It would have been tough to do it alone. #socalpowerlifting #powerlifting #roadtonationals #roguefitness #sbdkneesleeves #a7intl
When starting his garage gym nearly two years ago to the day, Willie went all-in on Rogue. After looking into other companies such as EliteFTS, Sorinex, etc… he felt the quality-to-dollar ratio favored Rogue. It also didn't hurt that his order was over $5k, which qualifies for free shipping with Rogue.
In general, Willie's garage gym mantra is ‘Buy Nice, Not Twice.'
All of the equipment in Willie's gym was purchased brand new with the exception of the 45lb competition plates. Those were purchased slightly used following the 2016 CrossFit games.
Let's take a closer look at Willie's assortment of gear.
On the whole, the equipment here is well diversified, allowing for excellent variety. From specialty bars, to reverse hypers, to conditioning tools… this gym covers all the primary bases and then some.
When I asked Willie what his favorite piece of equipment was, he answered the Monster rack from Rogue since it's used every time he trains. He also added that the Duffalo Bar, Earthquake Bar, and Rogue Trap Bar were high on his list.
Piece by piece, Willie's gym includes the following:
I absolutely love the assortment of bars this gym offers. It includes several of my favorite specialty bars and, of course, the all-important straight bar for comp lifting.
- Rogue Ohio Power Bar – (Review Here)
- Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar
- Rogue MG-2 Multi-Grip Bar
- Rogue TB-2 Bar
- Rogue Rackable Cambered Bar
- Rogue Bella Bar
- EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar – (Review Here)
- Duffalo Bar
- Bandbell Earthquake Bar
- SouldeRok – (Review Here)
Rack & Bench
This rack is just awesome. I love the monster series, and I strongly considered it when upgrading my own personal rack. The LT-1 50 Cal Trolley is an impressive, functional piece of equipment that is surely going to add a TON of variety. On the bench front, the Rep Fitness FB-5000 is my current #1 pick for a bench. Check my review here.
- Rogue RM-6 Monster Rack 2.0
- Rogue Adjustable Monolift
- Rogue LT-1 50 Cal Trolley & Lever Arm Kit
- Rogue Monster Safety Straps
- Rogue Monster Matador
- Rogue XM-43 Monster Multi-Grip Crossmember
- Rogue Monster Socket Pull-Up Bar
- Rep Fitness FB-5000 – (Review Here)
- Rogue Monster Utility Bench
- Thompson Fat Pad
Plates & Kettlebells
Willie elected for comp bumpers from Rogue as his primary source of plates, and I think it's a great choice. I too went with these plates when I first started my garage gym. They're durable, they're sexy, and they perform extremely well.
- Rogue LB Competition Bumpers (8×45, 2×35, 2×25, 4×10, 4×5, 4×2.5) – (Review Here)
- Rogue Wagon Wheels
- Rogue Kettlebells (26lb, 53lb, 70lb)
The rower is an immensely popular choice for home gym conditioning because it's effective and it stores easily and compactly. The XPO trainer is a very cool piece too.
- Concept 2 Model D Rower
- Armored Fitness XPO Trainer
- EliteFTS Compact Dragging Sled
- Rogue Medicine Balls (14lb & 20lb)
The reverse hyper and the glute ham raise are two heralded pieces of equipment, especially in the home gym space. They take up a fair amount of space, but they're very versatile and effective in various forms of training.
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This started out 2 years ago with the dream of creating a garage gym. It's not quite complete but it's getting close. Having a blast with the pit crew, @tom_ashbrook @m007martini12 @jgray_r1 @cfgirlalana. #roguefitness #garagegymlab #garagegymlife #garagegym #garagegymfanatics #garagegyms #garagegymreviews #xpotrainer
What gym is complete without some accessory pieces? As a powerlifter, Willie has the band and chain game on lockdown, along with some other nice pieces to round out his training.
- Crossover Symmetry
- Rogue Monster Bands
- Rogue Shorty Bands
- EZ Squat-Bench Loader Straps
- EZ Deadlift Loader Straps
- Spud Inc. Suspension Straps
- Titan Fitness Neutral Grip Viking Press Handle
- EliteFTS Box Squat Box
- Rogue Foam Games Box
- Slingshot – Original
- Slingshot – Reactive
- 80lb Chains
- Flooring – Horse Stall Mats
Willie's gym is a really impressive space. It includes the pieces that are important to his personal powerlifting training plus some really nice-to-have pieces that make the space stand out.
I'd love to check it out if I'm ever near his Cali-based home.
I'd like to thank Willie for sharing his journey, his home gym, and a list of his equipment with the community!
You can follow and stay in touch with Willie on Instagram @wongstronggaragegym.
If you would like the chance to be featured on the site, shoot me an email at Adam@garagegymlab.com.
The bar is loaded,