In CrossFit, Equipment, Videos

January 25, 2011

Video Article

HQ trainer Pat Sherwood shows off his personal gym at his Denver, Colo. home. It doesn’t take a fully equipped, professional gym to make elite athletes, he says.

“Sometimes there’s so many big gyms out there it’s easy to forget that there are plenty of people around the world that don’t have access to facilities like that and are getting some really good work done in their backyards, their fire stations, and what not,” he says.

Among his collection of CrossFit equipment, Sherwood also displays his memorabilia, including an autographed plyo box complete with Chris Spealler’s artistry. Sherwood has accumulated a hodgepodge of items and equipment over the years, and the gym is rugged but completely functional, especially now that it’s insulated, he says.

“The garage gym is not clean,” Sherwood says. “I love it. It’s just pure, gritty, grimy working out in your garage, and it’s really, really cool.”

If you have a cool home gym, send a video of it to

8min 43sec

Additional reading: Smart Shopping for your Home Gym by Matthew Hall, published Sept. 9, 2009.

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36 Comments on “The Home Gym With Pat Sherwood”


wrote …

Hehe the jar that's supposed to 'boost pride' is from the Netherlands. However it is actually a part of a marketing campaign against all those 'whey protein' products etc. The title 'Eigen kracht' means 'Own Power'.

So hopefully you guys don't think we dutchies actually believe that we can take a pill to boost our pride :P


wrote …

Nice garage gym Pat! Hopefully, my gym will be as cool as your in a cupples of years:P Hehe!


wrote …

haha why do you have that bone frog on your wall? you're not a team guy!


wrote …

or were you?


wrote …

wow sorry, as I typed that question I tabbed out to the video and saw all your phase helmets on the wall.


wrote …

Pat, can you give some specs on the heater you have in your garage? thanks.


wrote …

This definitely needs to be something we see more of. I just started my garage gym and could use some ideas (freestanding pull-up bar anyone). Anyway Pat awesome gym. I have to agree with you working out in a garage are any dirty grimy gyms definitely leads to better workouts in my opinion.


wrote …

thanx pat, great idea to show home gyms. yours looks like the ritz compared to my set up!


wrote …

HA! It's been sub-freezing in my garage for a few days and I just haven't been able to get the WODs done...there comes a point where it's just too darn cold. I need insulation and a space heater!


wrote …

Thanks Pat. Loved this piece!

I'm looking forward to seeing other garages out there too. Great idea.


wrote …

I can relate - I work out in my backyard, snow, rain, whatever. My dog pees on the squat rack because it's the closest thing to the dog door. Garage gyms ftw.


wrote …

I feel you on the winter workouts. Its so cold here (minus 20-30 celsius) I have to truck my bar and kettlebells from the basement to the garage every time I need them. I wear big fluffy mitts in between movements where I don't need my hands.

Someone gave me brilliant piece of advice for whatever you can't move (p-bar, rings) - electric heat gun (about 35$ at home depot).

Infinit scalability goes hand in hand with making the most out of a tiny space. You just need to be more creative with what you have - modify accordingly and you can get the same results as a huge CF box with all the fixings.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

GOOD shiiizzzaaaa, Pat! I miss my home gym.

There is something that can't be explained about the workouts you get in your home gym, and, not ironically, I also bought my first home with a 2 car garage and it was the FIRST thing we fixed up.

I was operating my biz before my wife and I even lived in the house, ha ha

That pic of the SEAL Frog is damn cool.

I wish I had video footage of my original garage gym, those were the beginning days of The Underground, I remember not affiliating b/c I knew it was illegal to run my biz from my home and I didn't want CrossFit to get caught up in legal issues if I was going down!!! ha ha


wrote …


As a fellow CF'er...Great, functional home gym! I wish mine was as well equipped.

As a Home Inspector...Please correctly enclose your light switch before you electrocute yourself. Duct tape is still not on the list of "approved" methods of insulation/electrical safety. Watch the overhead lifts near the exposed bulbs. If you hit it just right you might end up with a new PR!


replied to comment from Richard Sattro

Hi Richard, I started my garage gym in October, and a free standing pull-up stand was my first priority. I looked at what was offered by some of the gear vendors, and just couldn't afford that luxury. So after some looking around I found They manufacture and sell handrail hardware. With a combination of their pieces, eight 10' sticks of 1 1/4" black iron pipe, a 10' 2x6, and some concrete anchors I now have a masterpiece. I have one 7' bar, one 8' bar (both for pull-ups), and one 9' bar to mount rings. I regularly have 2 athletes doing pull-ups at the same time (kipping like crazy!) and have had no problems. I hope this helps.


Joseph Alexander wrote …

Garage gym


wrote …

Great Vid! I think it's awesome how much Crossfit has grown in the last few years. And it's great to see so many boxes enjoying high levels of commercial success.
That being said, it'd be nice to see and go back to some of the roots that drew so many of us to CF to begin with.
CF HAS evolved so much since I first found it in 2005...but for me, the garage gym should live on!


wrote …

Nice gym Pat! I am currently working on mine and hope to send a video in the next week or so. One that heater gas or electric?



wrote …

This video should really be free to watch for non-subscribers.


wrote …

Awesome! I really really love the idea of "back to basics" and would love to see more!
Unfortunatly i don't have a garage so i workout in the:
a:bedroom/attic (3rd floor, benchpress, rings and barbell)
b:2nd floor dressing room (pullups, boxjumps and kettlebells)
c:yard and street
d:local woods with obstacle course.
e:globo gym
Quite a hassle with wod's with lots of excercises.

Keep up the great work!


wrote …

Awesome video, Pat.

I work out in my garage and I have no desire to ever go to a regular box and pay for what I can do for free in my garage.

It is cold in the winter and blazing in the summer. It is perfect!

And now I don't have to feel bad for not ever cleaning it!!


wrote …

A little off subject I'm sorry, but can anyone lead me to past journal articles on how to pick out a location for a box? What to look for when renting/buying space. Structures to hang bars, ropes, rings etc. Prices.. locations.. etc.. ??


wrote …

I have more of a "corner of the garage gym". I may never get where I could with the coaching and motivation of an affiliate, but with 6 kids I'd never have the time or money for it either. I'll never be a Games athlete. I just want to be as fit as I can be. My setup works perfectly for me. I usually get a WOD in at 8:30 or 9 PM after the kids are in bed. The convenience of my "corner of the garage gym" is just what I need.

I can't wait to see more videos like this.


replied to comment from Richard Sattro

This is the best free standing pull-up bar design that I've come across

I also have these tagged in my book marks:

That last one isn't free-standing, there were other points in the design that I liked.

I based my implementation on the first one.
I think I put some photos of what I did online, yes, here:


wrote …

I'd definitely like to see more videos like this, especially gyms set up in unusual areas or using out of the ordinary (maybe homemade) equipment. It's great to get back to the grass roots. Thanks Pat, keep up the good work!


wrote …

Echo #6. I would like the specs for the heater. Love my garage but not in the winter!!


wrote …

Michael (25), Craig (6), Realize this isn't Pat's setup, but works great for me:

I just put a Pro-Com 30,000 BTU propane heater in a 1000 sq ft garage (3 car), 10' ceilings. I got it from Northern Tool, but most propane suppliers will have it or something similiar for about $200. The ceiling is insulated (R-19) but not the walls. This weekend I fired it up when the temp was 30 deg F and it took about 30 min to get in the high 40s, close to an hour and it was a little over 50 deg F. 45-ish is about where I can train/work without gloves on. I also have a ceiling fan to push the hot air down, and a friend ran the propane line so I saved a few bucks there.

Pullup bars get rolled up in a electric blanket $22 bucks @ target, and an electric throw (smaller than the blanket, 20$ wal-mart) draped over the pullup bar warms it up in about 10-15 min.

For the pullup bars in our box, I "modified" a thermostatically controlled heat tape used to keep water pipes from freezing. I zip-tied it inside foam insulation tubes and snap them over the bars. Works great, but should only be used with someone monitoring it.

Good Luck



Daniel Moller wrote …

30 seconds of content in 9 minutes... A new PR for Pat :/


...but your gym is nice man


replied to comment from Marc Cox


Thanks so much for pointing out I've been looking for something like this for months!


wrote …

i like how the white board has "don't be a pussy" written on it...

great gym....looking forward to seeing more.


wrote …

"I've got some barbells, as well as some PVC pipe for training..."

That was some sly comedy. Well-played, sir.


wrote …

Whaaat? No rubber stall mats on your garage floor? Hard core, dude.
But does this slowly pound your concrete further into the earth? Any issues?
Real nice.


wrote …

Haha! Pat, your missing the point about "Eigen Kracht". It is a campaign from the Dutch anti-doping association. The paper you're having there came with a huge EMPTY container. One of those which holds proteinepowder or weightgainer. I have one here. Let me see....
Pride, discipline, character, selfconfidence, health, satisfaction


wrote …

I'm so motivated to go clean the garage after this vid. I've been in my new place for 6 months now and I have to crawl over my motorcycle, paint buckets and boxes of home repair/remodel stuff to get to the squat rack. I too bought an older home with a three car (massive)garage and large back yard. Once I get my act together I'll be able to have a 20 ft rope climb and pretty much anything else I want. I hope I never promote or switch jobs again because I may go into depression if I have to move out of this place.

Pat, didn't know you were on the teams. God Bless you for your service and a huge thanks from my family for your service.


wrote …

My training partner and I sent in a video today of our home gym. Its a 1 car garage where 3 and 4 people train at a time. I'm pretty proud of our set up. We built a 10 foot A frame foldable bar that we can put up outside for muscle ups, and we do our wall balls above the garage door outside. There's an affiliate about 40 minutes away for the days we need to do rope climbs. I hope they publish our vid!

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