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3 Things To Buy To Start A Shed Gym

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

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Can you Workout In Your Shed?

Ask most people what the first steps are in starting a fitness journey and getting a gym membership will be high on the priority list. It makes sense because a gym has thousands of dollars of equipment. Most of us couldn't afford to buy all that equipment and even if you could would you have the space?

Why do we need all that equipment? Why do we have to leave our house? Why do we have to pay that membership every month to achieve our goals? The bottom line is you don't need any of it and I figured that out during my fitness journey.

At my house, we have 2 car garage and a nice wood shed right in the driveway. Luckily we had the space to move everything to the garage and the shed could be turned into my personal fitness space. I wanted to start off small but have the equipment I need to get a quality workout in. I was able to narrow it down to 3 pieces of exercise equipment.

My First 3 Purchases

Bowflex SeclectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells



Easily adjusts from 5 to 52 pounds

Dimensions a little different than traditional dumbbells.

Replaces 15 sets of dumbbells. Space Saver!

Made from Plastic. Do Not Drop!

Cost Saver

52 pounds can sometimes be too light

A pair of these will cost you $429 directly through the Bowflex site. I went that route but they were running a sale so I bought the dumbbells, stand, and the bench at the same time.

Space Saver would be an understatement. 15 sets of dumbbells and a rack would take up a huge space in the shed. The Bowflex dumbbells sit in the corner on the stand and barely take up any space.

Fast weight adjustments. Set the weights in the stand and adjust the dial and you can change the dumbbell weight in a couple of seconds. It really keeps your work out moving along quickly.

While not mandatory by any means I bought the stand. The regular price is $179 but like I said I was able to get everything on sale. The dumbbells do go well with this sturdy stand. You could set them on the ground but I didn't want to constantly bend over and grab them. The dumbbells on the stand are right at my waist.

Bowflex SelectTech 5.1S Stowable Bench

Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench
Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench



6 adjustments for a variety of angles.

None So Far...

Stores vertically to save space.

600-pound capacity. Very sturdy.

The Bowflex bench costs $349 but again I got it on sale. Just like the dumbbells wait for it to go on sale because they run deals often. The price seems high but in comparison to a brand like rogue it's actually a value.

Lots of angles including the decline. You can go straight verticle for a dumbbell military press and all the way down for a decline dumbbell press. The construction seems pretty durable and sturdy. I weigh 275 pounds and while pressing the dumbbells on a chest press the bench doesn't shake.

It can store vertically. As you can imagine space is at a premium when you're working out in a shed. So if I'm not using the bench the cool feature is you can store it against the wall vertically. Comes in handy when you want to do a floor exercise like a plank.

TRX Suspension Trainer

TRX Suspension Trainer
TRX Suspension Trainer



You can set this up literally anywhere!

Not a good standalone piece of equipment to build muscle.

A huge variety of exercises

Scalable. You can make the exercise easy or hard.

I picked this set up at Dicks for $99. Also because it's going in my shed I bought the steel mounting plate. That turns the Trx system into a very secure and sturdy way to train. Never during exercise was there any give and I weigh 275 pounds!

In the box, it comes with a great exercise chart that I hung up on the wall in my shed. When you get bored of those exercises do a search on YouTube and you'll find hundreds more. For $99 it brings a lot to the table and doesn't take up any space!

Any exercise is scalable to match your fitness level with the TRX. If you want a row to be harder just lean back more. Don't lean back as much and row for high reps.

My Next 3 Purchases

I'm getting a great workout in my shed with the 3 pieces of equipment I purchased but I'm looking to diversify my training in the near future. With the dumbbells and TRX suspension straps, I'm getting a great workout but I'm interested in equipment that will allow me to go heavier in my training. These 3 items will be on my wish list for the next year.

  1. Foldable Squat Rack- Rogue, PRx Performance, and Titan Fitness all have a foldable Squat Rack that would work in my Shed Gym. They unfold and you can use it for Squats and other heavy barbell lifts. Fold it back up and it's out of your way. It's a real space saver.

  2. Bumper Plates and Bar- If you have a rack you gotta have the weights. The bumper plates will allow me to do deadlifts without the plates crashing on the concrete floor in the shed.

  3. Land Mine Attachment- Every Foldable Rack usually has an optional Land Mine Attachment that hooks right onto the rack. This will provide more variety and allow for heavy movements.

What About Cardio?

A few years ago I bought a Peloton for my wife for Mother's Day. She didn't end up liking it so it sat and collected dust for a year or so. Once I started my Fitness journey in 2020 I really took to it. Since there is no electricity in the shed the Peloton is in the basement.

On a nice day, I will go for a walk/jog but in Michigan, the weather doesn't always cooperate.

The best part of the Peloton is the variety. One day I'll go for a 45 minute low-impact ride. On the next day, I'll go on a 15-minute HIIT ride. Lots of different instructors with different personalities and tastes in music. It never has to be boring!

Will I Ever Go Back To A Gym?

I'm a personal trainer so I may go back to a gym for business but not because I need to get a workout in. Unlike the gym, my shed gym is never crowded and it's always open. It can be as simple or complex as you make it without sacrificing results. You can spend a100 bucks or thousands. It can be the gym you've always wanted!

Update 3-9-23 Rock Weights

Rock Weights After Adding Concrete
Rock Weights After Adding Concrete

Still going strong lifting weights in my shed gym but I have added a new piece of equipment. I was looking for something heavier than my 52.5-pound bowflex dumbbells. Heavy individual pairs of dumbbells can cost hundreds of dollars so I tried these DIY 80-pound dumbbells by Rock Weights. Check out the Review Here!

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