Carl: Homemade Dumbbells to Elite Home Gym | MuscleSquad

icon Nov 11, 2021 - Jamie Grover

Home Gym Hero, Carl: Homemade Dumbbells to Elite Home Gym

Carl has almost 20 years of training experience under his belt. He’s worked out from home for his entire life. Starting off in his bedroom, Carl dreamt of one day having his own home gym. As soon as he bought his first house, he used money he’d saved by working out from home, to invest in some quality equipment. He now has a seriously kitted-out home gym.


Where did you start your fitness journey?

My fitness journey began nearly 20 years ago from training in my bedroom, back yard, and parents’ garage. I was teased in school by a girl who humiliated me in front of everyone about my appearance. That same day I went home and vowed that it would never ever happen to me again. I built my own dumbbells in my bedroom from wood and some old concrete weights, bought a pull up bar, and didn't sleep until I had done 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups every night. I fell in love with it and haven’t looked back since!

What were your goals and targets?

My goals changed as I fell in love with it. It started out as an “I’ll show you” kind of thing, and then as time went on, it became more about me finding my passion. My targets then became get bigger, get stronger, and get better!

Did you know you were going to end up working out from home?

Yeah, I always knew I would work out from home or from my own facility. In my early teens it was a dream of mine to either own my own gym or have a home gym in my future house. That’s why I got started in my room, outgrew that and went to the back yard, outgrew that and moved into my parents’ garage. When I bought a house of my own, I had eventually saved up enough money to just build one from scratch, which was always the goal.


How long did it take to finish building your home gym?

I guess we’re referring to my current gym, well I believe that a home gym is never fully finished. Most home gym owners will always add bits here and there and make changes. Trust me, it’s addictive! But I’d say it was roughly a month or so to get it built structurally. Then I moved in all the equipment from my parents’ garage which I already had over the years. But for the past 3 years, I’ve been updating it with new dumbbells, a new rack, a new bench, signs and lighting, new flooring etc etc, so it really has been a long slow process that I can’t really put a timescale on!

Roughly how much did your home gym cost?

This one is a tricky one. I’ve spent a lot in investing in my home gym over the years, and I’m sure I still spend about £40 a month on it even now with the little ideas an upgrades I have.

I’ve upgraded a lot of my equipment over the past 18 months too, so I’d definitely say it’s worth at least a good £6k (excluding the build). We’ve got over 300kgs worth of weight, sets of dumbbells in various weights up to 50kgs, a couple of bars, folding rack, bench, kettlebells and bands all from MuscleSquad. It’s also got two sectorised weight stack single cable machines up to 50kg each either side of the doors, a sound system, led lighting, backlit led sign, and two folding bikes with extras. So yeah, I guess me and the Mrs have a lot to play with.

“When it’s been a dream all of your life you don’t see it as money spent, it’s more like money invested!”

Is there anything you’d change?

I think the only thing I’d change is I’d make it bigger! More space for more equipment I think! However, I guess having the size that we do have has allowed us to think more about space saving equipment and the aesthetic we want to have.


What’s your favourite part about working out at home?

The best thing for me is that the gym is mine! I can do what I want in it, whenever I want. If I have an idea for an exercise or a hack then I can just walk in and try it, even at 11pm at night. I also love how it’s right there, it’s just so convenient. I don’t need a membership or to drive 25mins to a different location. Plus, this way I have no excuse to not train!

What’s a piece of equipment you think every home gym should have?

I’d probably say dumbbells because you can do practically everything with them! Plus, that’s how I started out, with a dumbbell and a pull-up bar and bands.

Is there anything you would’ve done differently?

If I had the money and the planning permission etc when I was building at the very start, I would probably have built the structure slightly differently and bigger to give even more room. Who wouldn’t want a huge gym attached to their house?!

Check out Carl's Instagram: @CJSessionz