Garage Gym’s and the Virus

What a mess the world is in right now. Some people are terrified, and some think it is a hoax. Whatever you believe our gyms are closed and we have no powerlifting meets in the near future. This is a pandemic to the iron athletes. I wanted to give you a little of my own opinionated views and timeline on the current situation at hand. 

I competed at a meet on the last weekend that anything was allowed in Oregon and talked with a lot of lifters that thought it would be over in a couple of weeks. The gyms were closing left and right, and we noticed a massive drop in sales, email, and chat sessions on our website. The first week we heard a lot of pissed off lifters venting and saw their frustration on IG and FB. Then the mood started to lift a little bit the next week and lifters thought “hell I can just lift at home”. I can lift something, anything, whatever is laying around the yard or garage. We saw a post on IG where a guy strapped his wife to a bar with nylon straps and deadlifted her for reps. Iron athletes find ways to train whether it is lifting rocks or concrete bags. The 3rd week in was when the light went on in everyone’s head, “Let’s build a home gym”. We quickly sold out of Texas power bars and Spud straps home gym type set-ups. We quickly placed new orders as thousands of lifters tried to build homes gyms, garage gyms, living room gyms, backyard gyms, front yard gyms, and sidewalk gyms. We are quite entertained by the workout’s lifters come up with at home. 

Teale and I have always had some sort of home gym set-up. We prefer it as we can play the music we want and can make noise and use chalk. We had 3 other people coming to our gym when this all started but now it is just us. Why? Because it is safer for everyone. What we are seeing on FB and IG is that when someone builds a home gym, they are inviting their friends over to lift with them. I do not understand how this is social distancing when your buddy is standing over you spotting when you are benching in your gym? I think most lifters would do better in a home gym environment with 4 or 5 training partners. However, the camaraderie, focus, and intensity cannot be matched in a powerlifting home gym. 

Now with thousands of home gyms up and running why are we doing max singles at home by ourselves?  What is the point? No meets coming in the near future, no spotters except the pets or little kids running around under your feet. IG and FB are loaded with lifters trying new at-home single maxes. I guess now you can be the new living room carpet deadlift world champion of Instagram. Just think about it for a minute, you try some dumb ass max at home and get hurt. Not just hurt, really hurt. An ambulance is called, and you are taken to the hospital. This is the hospital where all the people that tested positive for the Coronavirus are residing. Lucky you! You can now post on IG about your recovery from your injury from your hospital bed while on a ventilator because you now have COVID-19. Seems like a plan to me. 

Stay home and train safely at home. Do not take risks because those health professionals at the hospitals are there to help the sick and not the home gym champions. If you know any health professionals say “Thanks” for all they are doing.

It is time to think out of the box at home with your workouts. Try lots of variations, grips, and stances for lifts. You don’t have to mimic anybody, just try something yourself that works for you. Your body adapts to change and gets stronger from variations on reps and positioning, not just how much is loaded on the bar. Do you have a weakness that you are avoiding? Then get on it and get rid of that weakness. Just about everyone has a weakness in the core area and with bracing. There is not a better time to tackle this. You do not even need weights for dozens of core and bracing exercises. Do you need to increase your GPP? Then grab a bag of sand or cement from the hardware store and start down the street. Push your car down the road. or grab a couple of cinder blocks and start walking. We all can increase our GPP which will help not only your training but your life in general. 

When this has all died down and we can get back to some normalcy, I am sure some people will just stay in their home gym and not go back to the commercial gyms. I say good for you, you spent a lot of money and now have the pride of your own gym. The powerlifting meets will come back online, and we can all start bending some bars again and setting some legitimate records. 

Stay healthy, train smart and we will see you on the platform.

Mike Adelmann




Elaine Waugh

Date 4/24/2020

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