13 In Fitness

Setting Up My Garage Home Gym + Postpartum Fitness Goals

As I write this, I just finished off a delicious bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate shell and crumbled Thin Mint cookies. It’s all about balance though, right?

Hey look! A fitness post! Remember when this blog was solely about running and fitness? It’s been a minute! But, now that I’m at a good place with nursing B, and feel much more at ease leaving him for the sake of self care, I’m excited to start back down the road of getting in shape. I’ve slowly been getting back into running, but as a supplement to running, I also need to start working on toning up and upping my strength training. You really can’t have one without the other. Strength training has always been one of my favorite things to focus on at the gym, as the perfect compliment to a good cardio workout. The exclamation mark after a strong sweat sesh, if you will. My body has always responded best to a mixture of both, with a heavier emphasis on the cardio side. I’d say I’m a 70/30 girl – 70% cardio, 30% strength training. As a runner, you need strong muscles to help you go the distance. And for increasing speed, you need strong muscles to help you power through. And for hills, you need strong muscles to help you make it to the top with ease. And for looking good in a swimsuit in 6 months on the beach in front of your entire family, you need strong muscles. (AHHH!)

And for mommin’, you need a strong body to make sure you’re around for a long, long time for those sweet babies of yours. Strong heart, strong body, strong mind – our babies deserve for us to be strong, for them. No exceptions!

As a busy, working mom though, finding the time to actually work out has become increasingly difficult. And it’s not necessarily the cardio portion of working out that’s difficult to fit in, but it’s the strength training that’s difficult to fit in because it requires additional equipment and/or machines. It truly takes prioritizing my fitness goals and scheduling out my workouts to make it happen. I’m planning to still join our local rec center gym so I can use the treadmills and bikes, but I’ve recently started taking steps towards creating my own little home gym in our garage for days when making it to the gym just isn’t going to happen. It’s a budget friendly way to still squeeze in a strength workout, and a time friendly way to ensure I’m not wasting any unnecessary time during the busy work week. I’m not exactly aiming for bodybuilder status over here, so simple, lightweight basics will be my friend. I’m envisioning a quick outside run + a quick garage workout being a great combo.

I’ve put together a mood-board of sorts for how I’m compiling my home gym, with some items I’ve already purchased, and hope to in the near future. I’ve stuck to the things I know I would use in an actual gym on a regular basis, and nothing too outside of my comfort zone. I feel like when it comes to creating consistency with working out, the strategy of sticking to what you know goes a long way. Once I get into a good rhythm, then I’ll feel comfortable adding in something new or switching things up to avoid the dreaded plateau. There are so many amazing exercises you can do with simple staples, and I’m excited to get started! Everything on my list is a tried and true favorite, and helped me stay in great shape pre-babies. Nothing is too cumbersome or takes up a ton of space, which I think will be perfect for my little strong-mom corner of the garage. It’s also all very affordable!

home gym must haves

I think this is a great start, and with Adam working hard to get into shape right now too, we’ll be able to motivate each other towards reaching our goals. I’m not typically a workout-at-home person, but if this is what it’s going to take to actually make it a reality, then I’m willing to give it a shot. I love, LOVE my gym time, but until I can figure out how to find both the time and energy to actually get there, I’m going to be setting up shop in our dear old garage.

Now, what are my goals, you ask? I’ve narrowed down a few below:

  • Gain back strength in my legs, feel like my quads are strong again
  • Work on toning up my arms
  • Decrease belly fat and leftover baby weight in my midsection
  • Feel confident in a swimsuit in 6 months (by August!)
  • Get back to being able to do 20 real pushups consecutively
  • Run an 8:50 mile (or faster!) just to know what that feels like again
  • Sign up and run a 5k and clock in under 28 minutes
  • Run a half marathon either before I have another baby or before the world ends, really whichever comes first (jkjkjk on the 3rd baby, the 2 I have are a hand full!)

Big goals? Maybe. Doable? I think so. I want to be realistic, and set goals that I feel are attainable assuming I put in the work to hit them. I’m not concerned with a certain number on the scale, but rather more concerned with feeling strong again. After you have a baby, or babies, everything sort of loosens up, like, everywhere, and I’m ready to feel not so jiggly. Ha!

Interested in following with my #StrongMom journey, part two? Be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I usually share glimpses of my workouts on my stories.

Do you have a home gym? What do you like to workout with at home? Are you a runner? Do you prefer cardio or weights or a combo? What are your postpartum fitness goals?


  • Reply
    Heather Brown
    February 20, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Haha i was like man she is a champ thinking of a third when the 2nd is giving her a run for her money 😉 This is so awesome, Sarah! You will get back in shape and be amazing. Running and strength is perfect. Aim for just a few days and go from there! Just remember how awesome it is to do things for yourself. Honestly, if you have it in your garage, grab some little weights for Adeline and let her join in while you do it. Annabelle loves it! She can do push ups, step up on the step, jump around, use her weight with me. It’d be a good way to make sure you can fit it in!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    We built a home gym in our garage when we bought our house 5 years ago and gave up the gym membership! We have more CrossFit style equipment (pull-up bars, gymnastic rings, bars, kettlebells and a box) and a treadmill bought used for $200. It’s helped us stay consistent with exercise since having a baby- seriously don’t know how people work full time and find time to go to a gym! We go through seasons where we use it more than others but I’m so thankful to
    Have it! Right now the treadmill is used the most by me with all the rain and dark mornings! You definitely set attainable goals!

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      That sounds awesome!! And YES my thoughts exactly. With one baby, it was easy to hit the gym after bedtime, but with two, our nights are SO unpredictable I can’t even imagine!!

  • Reply
    Overwhelmed to Blissful
    February 20, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Having some workout equipment at home can be very convenient. When I do workout, I prefer a combo of things.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      I think doing a combo of things is a great way to keep it fun, too!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 12:28 am

    This is a fantastic encouragement for me to be more consistent. Now to do it!!
    Trish recently posted…Postpartum Weight Loss Meal Plan for the Millennial MommaMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      You can do it!

  • Reply
    Laurel | mommability
    February 21, 2019 at 7:16 am

    We have a gym in our garage, mostly for my husband. He has a squat rack and a bunch of free weight out there. I actually got into lifting a few months ago and really enjoyed it!! This is a great list!

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Nice! Thank you! I’m excited to create my own little space, I’m hoping it will make it easier to stick to it!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Yeah! Great goals. We are similarly working on our basement gym and I’ve signed up for a few races. Getting back to it is tough but rewarding

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Great post! I might just have to start my home gym! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 3, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    Love that kettlebell set. They are so functional for so many different exercises.
    Ben recently posted…The Best Shower Chair for SeniorsMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    For me, having a garage gym was the key to getting closer to my fitness goals. It’s just exactly what I need when I’m under a time crunch.
    Jackie recently posted…Laura Horvath, CrossFit Athlete: Diet, Training Tips, Stats & ResultsMy Profile

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