We all know that commercial gyms – particularly those adequately equipped for Olympic lifting – are ideal for allowing us to lift heavy in the pursuit of greater strength and muscle mass, as well as higher total poundage numbers moved. However, gyms like these are also very often few and far between. Finding one located close to your home can be additionally tough. Many lifters find their solution to be a home gym.
A home gym – or more specifically in this case, a garage-based Olympic lifting center – can be a great way to save time and money. Plus, you will never again have to wait in line for a squat rack behind some 60 year old man doing barbell curls with the 45 pound bar. You’re the boss when you train in your home. You can blast the heavy metal music as loud as you’d like! You can drop barbells, swear, train shirtless, and do all of the other things that are taboo at traditional commercial lifting establishments.
Focus your lifting plan around the basic Olympic lifts: Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Front Squat, and Barbell Press. You will be purchasing the equipment that will allow you to complete these lifts from the comfort of your own home. A power cage would be your ideal initial investment. If you have the means to get a cage with the safety bar, that would be an even better idea. Training alone at home means you often will not have access to assistance from a fellow gym goer should the need for an unplanned and immediate spotter arise. So be careful! Add an Olympic barbell set. Kettle-bells and dumbbells can come later. A nice adjustable flat bench would be a good idea. For the floor, mats can provide protection against damage which can occur when the barbell falls.
Look around when purchasing equipment. First, put out a Facebook post informing your friends that you are seeking equipment. You may find someone willing to GIVE away equipment if you are willing to come and pick it up. If that fails, move to Craigslist and look for good deals on used equipment. Play-It-Again-Sports is an ideal store for getting powerlifting equipment with just a few dings here and there. Finally, stores like Sports Authority offer brand new lifting equipment of top quality, albeit a bit pricey. Choose the option that is right for you.
Treat your home Olympic lifting center just like the gym. Don’t allow yourself to run in the house to check email or cook dinner while you are lifting. This will only lead to further distraction and result in you not finishing your workouts. Focus just as if you were in the gym, but use the privacy and seclusion to your advantage! Or, if you have a neighbor or friend who lives nearby who enjoy lifting, you can invite them to your Olympic training center as well! A little added motivation and competition never hurt anybody, and the addition of a spotter will allow you to push yourself to even higher lifting limits.