For those that have never been on Reddit, a quick primer. Reddit acts much like a forum. People have user accounts with whatever name they choose. They can post new content (pictures, links, or text posts) or view and comment on topics of their choosing. Reddit is broken down into sub-Reddits, which is a fancy way of saying sections based on a topic. Whether you are into brewing your own Kombucha, love to travel, are a professional photographer, or just like cats and dogs, there is a sub-Reddit for you.
Which takes us to the sub-Reddit r/HomeGym (the r/ is the short hand for sub-Reddit). I’m a moderator for r/HomeGym, so I may be a little biased when I talk about it. But since our goal here at Garage Gym Life Magazine is to spread the word about resources and opportunities for the home gym owner, I’ll do my best to paint a picture of what this section of the Internet has to offer.
Who is r/HomeGym for?
We as a group are almost entirely geared towards lifting weights. You will find yoga mats and other odds and ends in the pictures that grace the sub, but they are often extras in a tapestry of weights, bars, benches, and racks.
The primary lifter does either some form of CrossFit, or focuses on the Big 3 in a more traditional Powerlifting approach. You have your occasional bodybuilder, or someone who lifts to supplement their sport of choice, but in the end, almost every person either has, or is hoping for, a home space to dedicate to their lifting endeavors.
So, if your preferred methods of exercise are calisthenics, yoga, or any other non-meathead (I say this as a proud meathead) style of exercise, this probably isn’t the place for you.
However, if you love setting PRs, have a Craigslist addiction to finding new gear, or otherwise are infatuated with the home gym lifting lifestyle, this might be your new hangout.
What is r/HomeGym for?
There are a few common posts throughout the week. People often post pictures and updates to their gym as a whole. This is often new users, or people that have gone through a recent remodel or added a lot of new gear. They’ll post a picture (or ten) of their favorite place in the house and often a list of the equipment for everyone else to ogle at, add to their wish list, and of course ask questions and comment about how sweet the set-up is.
You get the Craigslist pick-up posts, where people post their deals of the day. Airdyne’s for $50, Rogue barbells for $100, or full set-ups for $250. Anything that would be considered a deal, people love to share their conquests with the group.
And then you have the general questions. Questions range from newbie level to expert level, from machine maintenance to barbell maintenance, from how to spend $500 or $5000 on their gym. So whether you are looking for insight yourself, or want to weigh in to help your fellow athletes, there are daily opportunities to do so.
And we have weekly dedicated recurring posts. Motivation Monday for posting your PRs, progress, and overall goals. Wish List Wednesday for posting what you are trying to track down to add to your gym, and Free Talk Friday for open discussions about anything gym adjacent in any way.
The basic day-to-day discussions are about sharing our passions with a group of like-minded individuals, helping each other out with odds and ends, and a little bit of bragging rights.
What is new at r/HomeGym?
I stepped into the Moderator role in May and had plans to do some new stuff. I had just finished organizing a successful virtual competition, the #GarageGymCompetition, and wanted to provide some opportunities to my new contacts and my fellow garage gym athletes alike.
We kicked off our first AMA (Ask Me Anything) in July with Garage Gym Rat and have included Garage-Gyms.com, Bells of Steel, Fringe Sport, Rep Fitness, and Muscle and Mirth in 2018 with plans for a full schedule in 2019. The goal is to give some of the garage gym companies and personalities an opportunity to interact with their customers and peers, answer questions and share some knowledge. A true win-win for the athletes and the organizations alike.
We also launched our monthly competitions where each month we have 3 different opportunities to connect and compete with your fellow athletes. We typically have one competition that anyone with a basic set-up can compete in, say a NFL Combine Bench Press Test. Then we have one that uses some more unique equipment, say an Airdyne or Lifting Stones. And then we have a comment based piece, like post your $500 Budget Build Garage Gym or favorite Garage Gym Meme picture. The goal is to challenge each other, have some fun, and push our programming boundaries a little.
On top of AMAs and Competitions, we often have giveaways. When we have companies joining us for the AMAs they often have giveaways for participation, and our competitions are sponsored by Gorilla Strength USA each and every month. Bells of Steel gave away 2 barbells as an example, and Gorilla Strength has done an axle bar and even new prototype products. So participating is easy, fun, and potentially very rewarding. Prizes are given out on a raffle type of system, where participation is your entry, and we choose a winner at random. So top scores and performances are not typically the winners of the giveaways, though they DO get a shout out in the following month for their efforts.
What is next for r/HomeGym?
The short answer is, whatever the community wants. We currently have two active mods (including myself), about 56k subscribers and growing about 1k per month. I see us, as we grow, needing another moderator or two to help with the daily processes, as well as when we grow we will have to decide some things as a community to help keep the content flowing but keep it organized, clean, and overall enjoyable. But the key for me, is to listen to the community as we grow so that it keeps everyone coming back for more. We’ll keep the AMAs and Competitions going, but we are constantly in a learning process of what people enjoy and don’t. And that is really the key, we want the community to drive the community forward.
If you are interested in checking out Reddit, you can download a mobile app, or access through your browser on desktop or mobile device. You can browse without any commitment or log-in. If you find you enjoy it and want to participate in the discussion or share your gym, simply create a free account and participate. And make sure to pay attention to the monthly announcements posted on the 1st of the month, every month, to stay up to date for our AMAs, Competitions, and Giveaways!