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The Garage Gym Movement

As a college student, an academic advisor described the advantages of a semester of study abroad. Inspired, I decided to spend a semester in Bogota, Colombia. I lived with a host family who lived in the suburbs of the city.

One of my favorite memories of being there was at the end of the day, I would take the bus home, then walk the rest of the way from the last bus stop. Some families had converted their garages into little neighborhood general stores (“tiendas”) that had bread, milk, pencils, pens, stamps, envelopes, and treats. I discovered the world of Lindt chocolates, and over the semester tried just about every flavor available.

These little shops impressed me. At that time, in the United States, typical zoning laws and neighborhood covenants wouldn’t permit a commercial business in a residential area. It made perfect sense to have these shops throughout neighborhoods. Not having a car wasn’t as much of an inconvenience. I could walk a short distance to buy whatever I might need.

Fast forward to 2022. Many people have been impacted by the global pandemic. Work from home has become the norm for many people, as has workout from home. Home gyms have flourished. The University of Iowa has a fitness center just minutes away from our home, and that’s where I would workout each morning. I made the shift to a home gym just prior to the pandemic, and I’ve been upgrading and improving the home gym over the past two years.

A few days ago, I received an email from someone at the Garage Gym Reviews website. As a website owner, I get hundreds of similar emails from people wanting me to place a link or article on my website. Sometimes they offer to pay, or provide a link to my site (a link exchange). I have a long list of criteria that usually disqualifies most of these requests. [Learn More]

The request from Garage Gym Reviews caught my attention. The request was not coming in from a shady marketing agency send by someone using a fake name. The email was from an actual employee at the business. A good test is to write the person back with a simple question. If a human actually responds, then it may be worth pursuing.

Upon checking out the Garage Gym Reviews website, I was impressed with the content, site design, and the mission of the umbrella organization, Pillar4 Media — a team of fitness and wellness experts dedicated to promoting exceptional sleep, fitness, nutrition, and mental health. The more I learned the more I liked what I saw.

Part of the Resources For Life mission is to promote wellness among other goals that make up the Life Map.

What I find really interesting about the Garage Gym Movement is how it has been impacted by the work from home trend. With more people and couples working from home, two-car homes are down to one car. Electric bicycles have turned some one-car households into no-car households. Home delivery of food and other goods has further reduced the need for a car.

All of these factors have resulted in empty garages. Empty garages have turned into money-saving and possibly money-making spaces. Instead of paying to go to the gym, people now have a place at home where they can put commercial-gym quality equipment. People are building home gyms nicer than commercial ones because they are personalized and right-sized. They aren’t jumping around from station to station in a large gym, waiting in line to jump in between sets, sharing a sweaty bench with a stranger.

Not everyone has the space for a home gym. For people living in apartments, or those with garages and homes already filled to capacity, a home gym isn’t an option. However, if a neighbor, or nearby garage gym is open, perhaps it’s possible to pay a little money and have super convenient access to a nearby fitness center. You’d get all the advantages of a private gym (no waiting), but not have the out-of-pocket costs and maintenance concerns.

The idea of people being able to create a small business by having a neighborhood garage gym fitness center intrigues me. We have some of these in our city. They are typically located on the outskirts of town in a commercially zoned area with construction companies and car detailing shops. But there’s no reason why neighborhood gyms couldn’t be established.

If you’re thinking about setting up a garage gym for yourself, or to share with friends, the Garage Gym Reviews website is a great resource for getting inspired, researching equipment and possible gym configurations.

All the gym equipment in the world would be of little use without a culture of fitness and wellness. A lifelong mindset of keeping an active lifestyle is something that’s learned, and hopefully established as a habit at a young age.

GGR writer and editor Nicole Davis is a parent with a passion to pass on the priority of proper fitness to her kids and the next generation. To this end, she has written, “Family Fitness Ideas: Fun Workouts For All Ages.” This is a great article for parents who want to inspire life-long fitness habits with their kids.

DISCLOSURE: This is not a paid post. None of the links were exchanged for reciprocal links. None of the links are affiliate or referral links.

P.S. If you’re starting a website or a business, consider doing something that’s so good, inspiring, or cool that people will want to voluntarily support you.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com