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Home Gym – Stage IVa


NOTE: This section of my gym was revised significantly in April 2015. You can check out v2.0 of my BTC here.

Since 2003 my home gym has evolved right along with my progress and goals. Back in 2003 when I first changed my lifestyle, my gym equipment consisted of a cheap department store weight set, a few dumbbells and a stair climber shoved into a barely-used junk room in my old house (here’s a picture).

Because I prefer to train at home, when I had my current home built in 2007 I decided to construct a dedicated home gym. I designed my home gym from the ground up, and the builder worked with me to accommodate all my requests for the room’s construction. I’ve never regretted that choice: it’s a rare day when my gym is not used in some capacity.

Of course my fitness goals have changed a lot over the past 10+ years. In late 2009 I fell in love with mountain biking and, a few years later, road cycling. Those two passions sparked what would become a major change in my fitness world. While weight lifting still plays an important part in my training, after taking up cycling my goals moved away from bodybuilding and more towards athletic performance.

Cardiovascular performance, in particular, has taken a central role in my training.

I decided that my indoor cardio training would be far more effective if I were to give that section of my home gym a complete overhaul. This involved getting rid of my trusty Schwinn recumbent cardio bike and setting up a cardio station centered around the Trek Madone and a fluid trainer.

This idea was the genesis of my Bike Torture Chamber, which I completed last night.

As a network administrator and technology enthusiast, it seemed only natural to use those strengths to my advantage. As I said yesterday, my Bike Torture Chamber may be high tech and polished in appearance, but don’t let that fool you: the suffering in there is downright medieval.

During the past five year the walls of my home gym have witnessed pain and suffering that would make the Marquis De Sade wince. Things are about to get a whole lot worse. Welcome to my pain cave…

Click to zoom. Detailed parts list (with links) follows pictures.

The Bike Torture Chamber section of my home gym is complete. Let the suffering begin.

The Bike Torture Chamber section of my home gym is complete. Let the suffering begin.

The cockpit: stem-mounted Garmin Edge 500 Premium Red Edition (since retired and replaced with the Garmin Edge 810), "floating" Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and a Toshiba Satellite Pro laptop running TrainerRoad software.

The cockpit: stem-mounted Garmin Edge 500 Premium Red Edition (since retired and replaced with the Garmin Edge 810), "floating" Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and a Toshiba Satellite laptop running TrainerRoad software.

The heart of the system: Trek Madone 5.9 mounted on a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine.

The heart of the system: Trek Madone 5.9 mounted on a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine.

Garmin Edge 810 mounted on my 2013 Madone 5.9

Garmin Edge 810 mounted on my 2013 Madone 5.9

 

Here is a complete list of items found in the cardio section of my gym:

BIKE & FLUID TRAINER
ELECTRONICS (HARDWARE & SOFTWARE)
MOUNTING HARDWARE

John Stone Fitness Comments

10 Responses to “Home Gym – Stage IVa”
  1. Gotta agree with barbell. That’s an amazing setup. And what really impresses is that we all know that while some people may put together an elaborate setup for working out (or doing whatever), you’re actually going to use it and get the most out of it. Looking forward to hearing how your training progresses.

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  2. If you were doing a big cut, like your initial transformation, would you recommend a setup like this, or something like a Schwinn Airdyne or a dedicated spin bike?

    I’m a cycle commuter, but for the next 3 months I’m stuck in Atlanta, which is not very bike friendly. I’m attempting a 30 pound cut and am trying to decide if I should put my fixie on a kurt kinetic, or if I should get an airdyne or a spin bike. My main goal at the moment is simply to shed fat – I’m not super worried about increasing other cycling performance metrics.

    Any thoughts as to whether or not a trainer or stationary bike is better for fat loss?

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    • If all you’re concerned with is fat loss, this sort of setup would be overkill. I created this new section of my gym with a very specific focus in mind: cycling performance.

      I’ve always maintained that the best cardio equipment for fat loss is what you’ll actually use (and what won’t aggravate any existing injuries you may have). In other words, it doesn’t matter if you ride outside, put your bike on an indoor trainer, go running, ride a stationary bike, skip rope–it’s all pretty much the same to your heart and lungs.

      If you’re interested, I wrote a more detailed blog on this subject in June: I really hate the phrase “Full body cardio workout”; Best cardio machine?

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  3. Love all the focus on biking lately, and I really don’t know why…I’m not a biker. Just the enthusiasm in your writing is magnetic I suppose, love it.

    Just a general wonderment I have. It’s been a while since I’ve heard you mention anything about your aesthetics? I know your Sunday blogs touch base on a lot of details, but I can’t recall you talking about vascularity or your abs in a long while. Of course I understand it’s not all about appearance, but I know you have mentioned “looking good naked” is always a plus! 🙂

    So I’m just curious if you’re happy with your aesthetic progress recently?

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    • Thanks Dan, glad you’re digging the blogs!

      When you’re busting your butt in the gym, giving it your all on the trails and eating clean, the aesthetics sort of take care of themselves. I’m actually a little leaner (5.6% body fat this past Sunday) than I was when my cut ended 30+ weeks ago, and look pretty much exactly the same–except for the buzz cut I’m rocking now.

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    • Being able to enjoy the outdoors pretty year-round is definitely one of the nicest things about living in Florida. Indoor cardio still has its place, however. For example, we still get bad weather here and sometimes I’m just too short on time to hit the trails. Most importantly, this kind of a setup allows for structured and targeted guided training programs (like the one I’m doing now on TrainerRoad).

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