An Ode to the CrossFit Garage Gym

In one of his first orders of business after went live in February 2001, coach Greg Glassman programmed and published the site’s first workout. Though it originally went unnamed, the workout later became known as “Fast and Heavy” and consisted of dumbbell thrusters and quarter-mile runs.

As more and more athletes began to check in on this new website and use the “dot com” workouts to train, many did so from their basements, in their backyards, in their driveways, and in their garages. 

[Related: Breaking Down the Most Common CrossFit Open Movement Combinations]

The Garage Gym Spreads

In September 2002, Glassman penned an article in The CrossFit Journal titled “The Garage Gym.” In it, he guides his readers through “outfitting a world-class strength and conditioning facility in your garage.” He provides equipment shopping lists and instructions on how to create the ideal space on a budget

Glassman’s article came out before CrossFit affiliates began multiplying throughout the world. Today, reports that there are currently over 12,000 affiliated gyms, which makes it easier for athletes to find a space that suits their needs and goals. 

However, many individuals still opt for the humble garage gym, perhaps due to convenience, accessibility, schedule, or just a personal preference. 

In a sport where the garage gym is at the heart of its history, it’s always meaningful when the CrossFit Games crew gives a nod to these athletes and their often impressive spaces. 

A Time to Shine

In 2016, the 16.2 Open announcement and the subsequent throwdown between Dan Bailey and Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson was held in a garage gym for the first time. On that cold night in Candler, NC, in Crossfitter Joel Hartzler’s garage, Bailey and BKG went head-to-head across 20 minutes of toes-to-bar, double-unders, and squat cleans. 

Hartzler was chosen from a field of thousands of hopefuls, who had to send pictures of their garage gyms to CrossFit for the chance to be chosen to host the workout. 

A Return to Form

For the 24.2 Open Announcement, CrossFit returns to a garage gym, but this time, it belongs to two-time CrossFit Games champion Justin Medeiros

Medeiros’ “Shred Shed” will host the March 7 battle between himself and fellow Games athlete Colten Mertens. Anyone who has seen Medeiros’ YouTube channel has quite likely drooled over his facility. 

[Related: Laura Horvath Takes 7th at 2024 European Weightlifting Championships]

While garage gyms may call to mind multi-use spaces with gritty floors, a squat rack in one corner, and some fertilizer and tools in another, the Shred Shed is far from that. With almost every piece of Rogue equipment one can imagine, Medeiros built and customized the ultimate destination for any CrossFitter. But this isn’t technically the first Shred Shed. 

In 2021, before he won that year’s CrossFit Games, Medeiros trained out of a literal shed. During this time, he traveled periodically to Vancouver, Washington, to work with coach Adam Neifer at CrossFit Fort Vancouver. But while he was home in Boise, Idaho, his facility was an 18-by-15-foot shed, equipped with what he could afford at the time and what would fit. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to build a champion. 

[Related: Interview: Haley Adams Talks About Her Year Away From CrossFit Competition]

The Bottom Line

The 24.2 throwdown is a significant tip of the cap to all the garage gym grinders out there, opting for a more grassroots approach to their fitness. Each year, #garagegym can be found on the Open leaderboard so those athletes can compete against one another, far and wide. 

An ardent supporter of affiliates, Medeiros extended an invitation for any and all gyms in his area to send a shirt his way so that he can hang it up during the live event for the CrossFit team to film.

With 24.2 right around the corner and without all the details known, the excitement is building and speculation is running wild. Regardless of the workout, Thursday, March 7, is going to be a proud moment for garage gym owners everywhere.

Featured image: @justinmedeiros34 / Instagram

The post An Ode to the CrossFit Garage Gym appeared first on BarBend.


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