Home Gym Ideas: John’s $5,200 Home Gym and Office Setup
- Explore John’s Journey to Building His Dream Home Gym Over the Years. The fit Software Engineer’s $5,200 Setup
- How to Stay Lean and Fit like John: Tips for Busy Software Engineers with a Home Gym
If you’re looking for home gym ideas, John’s garage, office, and gym is a great source of inspiration.
Meet John Gazzini, the Chief Technology Officer at TrueMed, where they let people use HSAs & FSAs to buy healthy food, exercise, & supplements. Prior to his role at TrueMed, he’s also left his mark at powerhouse companies like Coinbase and Dropbox.
Not only is John a rockstar software engineer, but he’s also incredibly fit. His home gym and his body have a lot in common – they’re both damn awesome!
As John thinks to himself, “Programmers aren’t known for their fitness, but I believe taking care of our physical bodies is crucial. Staying lean helps with energy and longevity, plus it’s just fun to look good.”
He’s managed to fit 9 hours of weekly workouts into his schedule by optimizing his routine for convenience thanks to his amazing home gym.
John’s Fitness Method
John works in 6-month phases and his method involves building muscle for over 10 weeks, then cutting fat for 10 weeks.
Changing your mindset towards discipline and enjoying the process rather than focusing solely on the destination it’s something that helps John achieve his fitness goals. He believes consistency is key and that it requires great resolve to maintain it.
John acknowledges that injuries are inevitable, but one must learn to adapt to overcome them.
You gain muscle much faster when in a caloric surplus, and carbs help you train harder anyways.
Lift heavy, minimize cardio, eat a ton. Don’t take shortcuts.
Create a large calorie deficit while eating 200 grams of protein per day. This will cause your body to eat its own fat to make up for the deficit.
If you can create a 1,200 calorie deficit, you can cut 1/3 lb per day. Your body is better at eating fat when in ketosis. So, it’s much easier just do strict keto.
When cutting, John needs a way to burn calories & build strength without wrecking his joints. He mixes in running & swimming, but one of his favourite ways to unwind after a long day is rucking around his neighbourhood at night with a good audiobook.
If he goes for an hour, with a 45-lb plate, at 4mph, that’s over 1,000 calories! He uses the Ruck plate carrier from goruck.com
In his opinion, cutting on keto is much easier due to reduced cravings and consistent energy levels.
He also suggests that plant-protein is easier on the stomach than whey, and that mixing it up throughout the day can yield better results. For muscle growth and maintenance, protein is key. He advises everyone to always eat 200g protein per day, which may require supplementing with protein powder.
John also suggests avoiding binge drinking alcohol and sugar. He recommends eating a big breakfast and going to bed hungry while cutting to achieve better results. In his belief, there is no free lunch, and discipline is key to achieving one’s fitness goals.
CTO John’s Home Gym
He’s been building his home gym one piece at a time since 2019, and it’s now a perfect space for working out and working from home.
Here’s how John has transformed his space over the years:
Home Gym V1
Back in 2019, John was renting a small house with no garage, but that didn’t stop him from creating his own workout space.
He cleverly transformed his work room into a work & gym room by removing the carpet, installing rubber flooring and awesome equipment.
Home Gym V2
But, when John found out that he was going to become a dad, he had to convert the gym into a nursery. He ended up having to move his equipment into his bedroom, which wasn’t ideal. His bedroom converted into a bedroom, office and gym (Kudos to Jhon’s wife for allowing him do this!). But, John didn’t give up on his fitness goals.
Home Gym V3
In 2020, John and his family moved to a bigger house that had a real garage. He seized the opportunity to create the ultimate home gym and work from home battlestation.
Since the initial setup of his home gym in his new house, John has made various improvements to ensure that he has the best workout experience.
He recently installed an AC system to combat the hot summers in Austin and mounted his gym rack on the concrete floor, which has significantly improved stability.
In addition, John built wooden stalls for stretching exercises and installed rings on the rafters. These improvements have transformed his home gym into a fully equipped and functional workout space, ensuring that he stays fit and healthy.
With a little bit of creativity and determination, John transformed his garage into a top-notch workout space. If John can do it, so can you!
Home Gym Equipment
He bought the following equipment:
- Rack: Rogue R-3 Power Rack $800
- Bench: Rogue Adjustable Bench $119 (John says a cheaper bench would have worked the same)
- Weight Plates:
- Dip Station: Rogue Matador $105 (John doesn’t recommend if the rack is not mounted in concrete, squat cage wobbles violently during use)
- Rogue Wood Rings $100
- Dumbbells: PowerBlock Elite -70 Dumbbells $360 – These are great!
- Pulldown Attachment: Spud Inc Pulley This is super useful, don’t get the second-pulley-extender though, he never uses it.
- Dark Iron Fitness Dip Belt $36
- Flooring: Horse-mats from Tractor Supply Co (it took 2 days and 2 knives to cut & fit them – 220 square feet)
- Wooden stall-bars for stretches
- Accessories $150 (Resistance Bands, Jump-ropes, Wrist straps, Squat belt, Chalk)
Total Home Gym Cost = $5,200
$4k compared to a $60 / month gym, it will pay for itself in 7 years. Compared to a $150/month CrossFit gym, it’s only 3 years.
Did he do CrossFit before? No, but the numbers make it sound better.
Home Gym Photos
As a software engineer, he has to bend over backwards (literally) to avoid slouching in the shoulders & improve mobility! He built these stall bars with dowels & lumber from Home Depot.
PowerBlock dumbbells with the extender sets all the way up to 100 lbs. These are really fun, but they enclose your wrist in a weird way that makes some exercises tough (overhead tricep extensions).
special thanks to Calley Means, TrueMed Co-founder for the intro