Mikes Shipping Container Gym

Big thanks to Mike for sending in a pic of his truly unique gym. Although it is not the first, it’s still great to see.

This is a cool home gym set up in a 40-foot shipping container. With these gyms, length is not the issue, it is how you manage the space width-wise. 

The internal width of a shipping container is only 2.36m, so that rules out a lot of gym equipment. But by making careful and planned gym equipment selections, Mike is clearly not missing out on anything in his gym. More importantly, he has plenty of space to move and train freely. 

Sadly, we at Sam’s Fitness are all too familiar with shipping containers—there is no better workout than unloading a container flat packed with gym equipment in the middle of summer.

For those of you who would like to try this revolutionary workout, just let us know. We have plenty of spaces available. 

On a serious note, those of you who aren’t in the shipping game, a 40-foot container is MASSIVE! Clearly not in width, but definitely in length. 

A rack of rubber hex dumbbells is almost mandatory when you have a space like this at your disposal. The beauty of the 2-tier dumbbell racks is that they don’t stand too far off the wall.

Mike’s choice of the Barbarian Warrior Bench is perfect. This bench is compact, without sacrificing stability. It is one of the most solid weight benches on the market of any size. 

Also having the rear wheels will make it easy to pivot out of the way if Mike needs more space.

Mike has positioned his Powertec Leg Press perfectly. Fitting it in horizontally is out of the question, but by putting it in length-wise and dovetailing the narrow end with the weight rack, means he has plenty of room to walk past it. This is always a good tip to remember when planning your home gym.

Some pieces of equipment are narrower at one end. By alternating the positioning of the narrow ends, you can squeeze machines together comfortably. 

Last but definitely by no means the least, is the engine room of this fine container gym. The Megatec Power Rack System. It is very important to note that, by going with the stack weight option, Mike saves some precious inches over the plate-loaded lat machine. 

Normally, I am a firm advocate of the plate-loaded lat machines—they save money, offer easier micro loading—but in this case, the stack weight is the way to go. You can really slide the rack system firmly up against the gym wall.

Moving Mike’s Barbarian bench down to the other end of the gym would be a mission. So Mike has positioned what looks like an old Samson bench into the power cage. Although this bench does not look too flashy, if this really is a Samson bench, it will last forever! We see many of these in our gym installation travels and they still perform admirably despite their age and abuse.

In regards to the bench, I can already hear the howls demanding to know where the incline and decline options are for benching in the cage? Well speaking from experience, I have a Powertec Utility Bench in my cage, and I can’t remember the last time I performed either of those exercises in my cage. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I performed a decline bench press!

For incline, I just use dumbbells. I just find it easier on my shoulders, plus I don’t go for maximum weight on this exercise. With both shoulders being suspect, I save all my heavy pressing for flat barbell bench press.

Once again, big thanks to Mike for sending in these pics. Not only is this a great gym with everything that you need and more, but it is also a good learning example for those of you looking at setting up a home gym. Take note of the layout, and you will be able to fully utilise your gym space.