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Welcome to Garage-Gyms, your one stop resource for all things home and garage gyms. Here you’ll find tons of comprehensive, unbiased reviews including dozens of bar reviews, pricing guides for the most commonly purchased pieces of garage gym equipment, a large community taking part in productive discussion, inspiration & ideas for your gym, and so much more.


With decades of training experience and five years experience managing this site, I think you’ll find lots of useful and impartial information within these pages. Feel free to contribute with a comment or ask me a question directly. If you’d like to support the site, I welcome you to visit the Garage Gyms Store. Thanks, and enjoy the site!



Welcome to 2018 - see upcoming events and new equipment releases

We survived another year, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Welcome to 2018! Have you resolved to do anything different or special this year? Did you set any training or diet goals? Maybe work or relationship goals? I wish you luck in all cases!

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This is volume II of the Equipment Reviews Revisited series. In case you missed volume I and don’t know what these articles are about, let me fill you in…

In this article I will take two previously reviewed pieces of equipment and briefly reevaluate them. I’ll discuss how each product has held up over time, what I think about it now x years later, and if I even still use that particular item. If I don’t; why not? It’s pretty straightforward.

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Vulcan Strength Pro Hex Rubber-Coated Dumbbell Review

You probably wouldn’t think that there was a whole that could be done to improve upon the rubber hex dumbbell short of just lowering the cost, right? That is to say, assuming that you select a reputable brand (one that permanently affixes the heads to the handles) they are a very affordable and durable dumbbell without much in the way of issues or complaints. The head shape is user-friendly, weight accuracy is better than cast iron, the ergonomic handles aren’t amazing but they are acceptable, and most importantly, the price is right.

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Thompson Fat Pad versus Titan Hefty Bench Pad

I’ve been a big fan of the Thompson Fat Pad since the very first time I benched on one. It’s wider, longer, thicker, denser, and more supportive than any other bench pad I’ve ever seen or used. In addition to all that it has a unique, heavy-duty “grabber” vinyl cover that prevents any slipping or sliding around on the pad; a surprisingly uncommon feature for bench pads.

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A Guide to Buying Steel Powerlifting Plates/Discs

With bumper plate options more than covered across the Internet (here included), I figured it was time to tackle the options for standard weight plates, coated plates, and powerlifting discs. In this guide I’ll cover multiple styles, numerous brands, and offer up enough product examples for you to be able to evaluate any brand or style of plate you happen to stumble upon in your quest for iron.

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Garage Gym Lighting Ideas - Brighten up Your Gym

Is your garage gym too dark and gloomy at night? or during the winter when you don’t dare open that garage door and let what little warmth there is out? Can you see the hash marks on your barbell when you lay down to bench inside your power rack? Can you spot rubber hex dumbbells against the black flooring?

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2017 Gift ideas for CrossFitters, Weightlifters, and Strength Athletes

Welcome back! Looking for the perfect gift for the garage gym athlete in your life, or maybe a gift idea for yourself? I’ve got a ton of gift ideas for CrossFitters, weightlifters, powerlifters, fitness enthusiasts, and strength athletes of all types. From big gifts that’ll ensure your gift is the best gift, to smaller, more affordable gifts and stocking stuffers.

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Garage Gyms Review - Custom Pioneer Power Belt

I recently ordered and received a fancy 10 mm powerlifting belt from Pioneer (aka General Leathercraft). I’ve been wanting to do more with the Garage Gyms branding for a while now and I figured putting the site name across my favorite power belt was a great place to start. Now that I have it in my hands, I figured I’d take some time to show it off while also praising Pioneer for all the great work that they do.

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Stainless Steel Barbells and Rust

Stainless steel barbells and rust - prevention, maintenance, removal

Is there truly a benefit to having a stainless steel barbell over a bare steel bar? Is stainless steel really rust-proof or does it just take longer to rust? Why am I paying all this extra cash for stainless if I still have to “maintain” my stainless steel bar?

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Rogue Stainless Steel Ohio Power Bar Review

I absolutely love the Ohio Powerlifting line; both the Ohio Power Bars and the Ohio Deadlift Bar. I have both of these beasts in raw, unfinished steel, and both of them are on my ‘never sell these bars’ list. The natural feeling of the raw steel combined with the deep, aggressive knurl makes for two incredible training implements, and that’s before even considering how well they are priced.

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Rogue Monolift Attachment Quick Review

A month or two ago on Craigslist I stumbled upon somebody selling the Infinity/Monster Lite Rogue Monolift Attachment; the version that’s compatible with my rack. I wasn’t really in the market for a Monolift and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I needed a Monolift, but they were in perfect condition and being sold for about half the price of new. Honestly it felt foolish not to buy them at that price, so I did.

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American Barbell Stainless Steel Elite Power Bar Review

This is a full review of the Elite Power Bar by American Barbell. This bar is one of only two semi-affordable, IPF-spec, stainless steel power bars currently on the market. In this review I will not only cover the specifications and features of the Elite, I will also compare it to that other semi-affordable, IPF-spec, stainless steel power bar.

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Eleiko NxG Performance Weightlifting Bar Review

This is an in-depth review of the new Eleiko NxG Performance Weightlifting Bar. This bar is offered as premium, less expensive alternative to the Eleiko IWF Training and Competition weightlifting bars for the sole purpose of training the Olympic lifts.

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Garage Gyms Old Reviews Revisited Volume I

I get asked fairly often whether or not I still like a particular piece of equipment reviewed in the past, or whether or not that piece of equipment is still a good buy. Well I thought it might be fun to go back and revisit some of my old reviews and see exactly where these products are today, and how well they’ve held up. Did my opinion change? did they last? are they still contenders? and so on.

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Quick and Easy Rust Removal for Bare Steel Barbells

Anyone who owns a bare steel bar probably already knows that it takes regular oilings and brushing to keep these raw bars free of rust. We all know it, but not everyone does it; or at least not as often as they should.

If you are one who tends to neglect this minor chore long enough for oxidation to take over your bar, this article will show you a quick, easy way to deal with that rust and get your bar looking new again, and with very minimal effort.

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