As a full-time student, part-time retail supervisor, and soon-to-be dad, I knew I would not be able to have near the amount of time that I used to for training. I was driving 1.5 hours round trip each training day to the closest powerlifting gym, but I knew that was no longer realistic. One thing was for sure, and that was that I would not be going back to a commercial gym anytime soon. The only way to stay in the game was to start my own garage gym.

Come February 2018, we bought our house, and by the end of the month, I had started a garage gym with a 300-pound Cap brand weight set and a homemade deadlift platform. Now 10 months into garage gym ownership, I feel that I have the tips for the best budget powerlifting garage gym.

Before getting into the Christmas list, I am going to give you a major tip for garage gym ownership, and that is the garage gym budget. As you could imagine, most of us powerlifters are poor, but try being a full-time student, powerlifter, soon-to-be dad, and work a part-time retail job. (Yes, I have no idea how I am not homeless, either.) So the most important thing to do is spend some time writing down a good budget for your gym to meet your financial needs. Now that you have your budget written down, the next steps are critical:

  • Step one: Wad up that budget sheet into as tight of a ball as you can.
  • Step two: Proceed to dunk the wadded-up ball as hard as you can into the nearest trash can. (Please note that if you are a white boy like me, then go ahead and pull up from the 3-point line so you don’t embarrass yourself.)
  • Step three: Pull out your credit card and go to and proceed to order until you hit your credit card limit. If only there would have been someone to tell me the same tips, I would have had the following Christmas list long ago.

1. elitefts Garage Line 3x3 Power Rack with Weight Storage

This is the holy grail centerpiece to all garage gyms. A power rack is an absolute must for a powerlifting home gym, and this one has the perfect setup for it. There are so many things that you can do in the rack, and this seems to be the safest way to lift.

2. elitefts Garage Line GHR and elitefts 0-90 Degree Signature Bench

It would not be a powerlifting gym without benches! Weak hamstrings don’t make big totals, and neither do gyms that don’t have 0-90 degree benches. These are must-haves for the powerlifting home gym.

3. elitefts Chest Supported Row

Traps and lats are some of the most important muscles on a powerlifter. This machine is a great way to build up those weaknesses and build a huge bench.

4. elitefts Custom Built Functional Trainer

There is a reason they are called functional trainers, and that is because they are functional for pretty much everything that you can think of. Plus they are so beautiful, you will want to train every day just to look at it. In fact, while you’re at it, go ahead and get one of everything from the elitefts Custom Built section.

5. elitefts Bars

This is an extensive list, but you can go ahead and start with the elitefts Power Bar, elitefts 5 Rings Bar, elitefts Multi Bar, elitefts SS Yoke Bar, and the CAP Cambered Bench Bar, just to name a few. You can never go wrong with having lots of bars in your powerlifting gym.

My personal garage gym.

My personal garage gym.

Having these five things on your Christmas list is a sure way to get yourself a World Record total. In fact, once you hit the order button for these items, you instantly get massive gains. I know that I will for sure have all these items on my Christmas list. In fact, my mom is the real MVP and gave me her credit card on the Better Than Black Friday Sale to buy my own elitefts SS Yoke Bar for my Christmas present. Make sure you try that strategy out as well because moms can be pretty cool.

Codey Williams is a full-time college student working on getting a bachelor’s degree in science with a degree in kinesiology — exercise/fitness management at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has been powerlifting for almost two years now. Codey competed raw for his first three meets and has competed in single ply for the last two. He says he has the most amazing wife in the world who supports him in all that he does. She also allowed him to turn their garage into an awesome gym.