Barn Gym

Through our house search one of the things we were looking for was a space for a home gym… ya know, an extra ground level room or a garage with extra high ceilings… that kind of thing. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect we would fully renovate an entire barn in to a full functioning Crossfit gym basically! But here we are anyway!

side note: I feel like I say “never in my wildest dreams did I think…” a lot but that’s honestly how I feel about so much.


barn before and after.JPG

At some point in time this barn actually housed animals. To me it looked like there had been horses here. An old neighbor told us that a previous owner of this property had cows. His property runs up against ours and he’s the original owner of his home and he said in the ‘70s his wife would come up and feed the cows… like just for fun. So who really knows! You can tell that some of the floors are dirt and some are concrete. There was a place for water or a sink or something and the barn had electricity. Those were definitely wins going in to this project.

We went back and forth a lot about should we heat and cool the gym or should we just leave it mostly open? I mean we live in Nashville, after all. Our weather doesn’t get too crazy one way or the other. It’s December right now and it’s been in the 60s the past couple of days if that gives you any idea. But then we started working out in the barn in like June and July and I have never sweat so much in my whole life. It was bad. I would bring the barbell back down and lose it because my legs and hands we so sweaty. So basically, we had to heat and cool the gym.

The barn had electricity already right, but it was basically just one or two lights on the inside. So thank goodness it was already run down there. But we weren't sure if it would be enough to power all the things we needed. Luckily it worked out. I don’t know what they did, but they made it happen.

So luckily we only had to pour concrete for half of the space (just shy of 1,000 sq ft.) which was a huge money saver! HOWEVER of course the existing concrete was no where near level. I guess this doesn’t matter for the average exercise space But for me.. my sport is weightlifting.. I need the floor level af haha plus you don’t want to be coming off the pull up bar and then landing in a random indent in the floor and twisting your ankle, ya know! We build platforms over most of the floor but parts still dip and it drives me crazy. Oh well. I guess nothing can be perfect, right? We’ve gone back and forth about having the whole floor redone but at the end of the day it’s just not worth it.

I feel like getting the rig installed was the thing that look the longest. We were on vacation and thought it was getting installed but it didn’t. And this guy was supposed to be making one but the date kept getting push further and further back so we eventually just ordered one from Rogue and had that installed. Boy. hahah reliving this, I’m like what a freakin’ head ache!

Then of course we took several days to pick the paint color out. It HAD TO BE PURPLE DUH! But just the right shade of purple!! And then Luke thought about repainting it. But we all know in the end, I win. haha Luke is too good to me, really.

Anywayyyyyy so.. the floors were in, walls painted, rig installed….

Luke had a lot of equipment from before we got married, so that was a few things we didn’t have to buy. My barbell and wallball were gifts a while back. The jerk blocks are Lala’s that she lets us store. I think the only things we really added right away were one set of rings, some dumbbells, and the assault bike. Later we added a sled, another set of plates, more dumbbells… That’s kind of it. I don’t require a lot for my work outs unless Coach throws in random bullshit haha. I’ll say too, Rogue has Black Friday sales that were pretty good to us, and they have a sale after the Crossfit Games of the equipment they used there. A few other things we bought from the local Facebook Crossfit group. Obviously we still have a running list of things we want to add but for right now it works great.

Oh ya! The mini climbing wall! I get so many questions about this! Honestly.. I bought the pieces when we first moved in our house with the intention of putting them on a tree for my daughter to climb. No one would ever let me install them in a tree. So when we finally had the space for them I just had to add them. We have a couple of crash mats we use under it. My daughter love love loves it and tries to climb up there all the time.

All in all, yes the process was kind of a pain in the ass and definitely more expensive than we had planned (aren’t all renovations?) but I’d definitely do it again. It's great to have a quiet place to train at any time of day. It’s my gym so it’s my rules. There’s no gossip. I get to choose the music. I can invite whoever I want. haha I know those are all kind of little things but really. It’s great. We love it and we use it a lot.

LOVE,

MEL BELL SHEFF