Hi, I’m Tim, and I’m not a gym rat, fitness addict, or Cross Fit junky. I’m just a 50-year-old guy who doesn’t want to get old. Well, at the very least, I don’t want to feel like I’m getting old.
Don’t get me wrong. I wish I was a gym rat. I wish I had the drive of all those fitness models you see on Instagram. I wish I had the time and dedication it takes to Cross Fit (can that be a verb?). Honestly, I’m kind of jealous. If I was any of those things, staying in shape and fighting Father Time would be a whole lot easier. But I’m not.
I’ve spent the last 30+ years of my life starting and then stopping various workout programs. I’ve trained intensely for periods of time only to jump headfirst off the wagon for even longer periods. I’ve spent many years looking for ways to stick with a program that keeps me in shape. I think I’ve tried pretty much everything in my quest for bigger muscles, a smaller belly, and the ability to bend down and pick something up without groaning.
Very few things have worked for me in the long term, so when I find something that does work, I grab on for dear life. I hold that thing and nurture it, guarding it with everything I have.
At the top of the list of things that have changed my health and fitness levels for the better is finding a way to work out at home. Every time I’ve ever had any amount of success with resistance training or fitness, it’s been when I’ve trained at home, not at one of the many commercial gyms I’ve belonged to.
I’ve been building and training in home gyms since I got a Sears weight set and bench when was 12. It was time to do that again! But this time, with my poor health, I needed to start small.
After hours of research and reading a couple of books, I bought a kettlebell. One kettlebell. I took a single lesson from a local, certified instructor, so I didn’t hurt myself, and 3 days a week, I did kettlebell swings and Turkish get-ups in my living room.
It was training that I stuck with. The level of discipline needed to stay with this for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week, was much lower than anything I’d tried before. It took me less time to work out and clean up than it did just to drive to and from the gym.
After a short time, I expanded my at-home workout by adding a daily 30-minute walk. I liked it. My dog loved it. And I was feeling great. Until winter came.
I didn’t want to stop the walks, but it was below zero outside. So I bought a treadmill and cleared a spot for it in my bedroom.
That didn’t help my dog much, but it allowed me to literally roll out of bed and walk every day. I was also still doing my kettlebell workouts. I even bought 2 more kettlebells.
Over time, I added to this modest home setup. A mace. A sandbag. A jump rope. A yoga mat. Adjustable dumbbells. A bench. The list goes on. Before I knew it, I had 4-5 different small workout areas in my home, each with its own equipment.
Not only was I sticking with working out, but I also found myself in the best shape of my life. I had lost almost 40 lbs. I felt strong and flexible. I was sleeping great. I had found success simply working out at home.
So one day, as I walked around my house looking at the scattered fitness gear everywhere, I made the decision to clear out space in my garage and build a home gym. I had a vision in my head as to what that would look like, but I didn’t know what I was doing. So began the research.
Wow! The internet sure is filled with a lot of garbage. I spent hours and days, and weeks planning my new project. I took copious notes on what equipment I wanted. What was good? What was bad? What was overkill for my purposes? It was confusing and frustrating at best.
There were tons of forums where everyone had an opinion. So many fanboys. So many brand-loyal people were brand loyal for no justifiable reason. So much biased and one-sided information.
There were review sites. With unlimited reviews of every piece of equipment out there. But none of those people had actually used that equipment. In fact, most just seemed to cut and paste snips from Amazon and other reviews. Virtually no one was talking about how to make a good decision that fit my needs!
So I trudged on, determined to make good buying decisions. Determined to build a gym that I would use and love and have for a lifetime. Determined not to overspend but not to go cheap either.
At some point, I started keeping all this information together in one place. GymCrafter.com was born. If I was having this much trouble, surely other people were too. So I decided to share my journey with you.
Looking back, I realize I’ve been training with weights and other resistance implements for over 25 years. Over that time, I’ve worked with some of the best trainers in the world. I was an early member of Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Strength Club. I trained personally with Dr. John Rusin. I’ve run over 80 different programs by the biggest names in fitness.
Now I find myself bringing my fitness journey home to my garage.
My gym, at the time of writing this about page, is not complete. It is in a constant state of flux as I try new gear and evolve in my programming.
It’s a work in progress. And so is this site. But as I learn, so will you. As I make decisions and spend my money, you’ll know why I made that decision, how much money I spent, and whether or not I think it was worth it.
The product reviews will only be of products I own and use.
The product recommendations will only be of products I’ve tested and handled extensively and have or would spend my own money on.
As I said at the start, I’m not a gym rat or a Cross Fit guy. I’m just a guy trying to stay healthy and get a little stronger. I’m trying to age well. And I’m doing it by working out at home where I know I’ll stick with it. If you have similar goals, I hope that this site helps you on your journey.
Stay healthy and enjoy.