Finding Accountability & A Community With Luis Garcia

Garage Gym Athlete
Finding Accountability & A Community With Luis Garcia

Hey, Athletes!  Episode of The Garage Gym Athlete Podcast is up!

Finding Accountability & A Community With Luis Garcia

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Garage Gym Athlete podcast either on Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play by using the link below:


  • Joe interviews GGA'er Luis Garcia 
  • Luis's training history
  • Luis's family life 
  • The goals Luis is training for
  • Luis's answers to the QuickFire questions
  • And A LOT MORE!!

Diving Deeper… 

If you want to go a little bit deeper on this episode, here are some links for you: 

Study of the Week  

  • No Study This Week! Come back next week where they guys will discuss one!

Garage Gym Athlete Workout of the Week 

Be sure to listen to this week’s episode:


Thanks for listening to the podcast, and if you have any questions be sure to add it to the comments below!

To becoming better!


Podcast Transcript

Joe: [00:00:00] Welcome to the garage gym athlete podcast, where we talk about fitness, health, and anything to help you become the most optimal human beings. Let's dive in.

What's going on ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the garage gym athlete podcast We are back with another athlete interview and this time we have Luis on how's it going?

Luis: It's going great. It's going good and I'm enjoying everything that garage gym has to offer. It's great

Joe: Yeah, we were supposed to do this interview back in the fall, but schedules happen things get moved around and so But excited to get you on here.

You've, I think you, when you joined, you hit the ground running and really, I'm just going to kick it over to you on tell us who you are, how you train, what you do and where you're at.

Luis: Yeah. Luis Garcia, I'm a father. I got a beautiful wife and I got two kids and one on the way.

My kids are one in three. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, South Atlanta. I'm in my thirties. So some people say I started late with the kids [00:01:00] stuff, but that's why I'm training, to keep up with them. And


Joe: mean, yeah, so at our first. Right before 34 at the end of 33. We're also one and done, but that's the whole.

I got you.

Luis: Yeah, no, I got three but, and they're all boys, so we're going to cut it there. Yeah. We're people keep saying you should try for the girl, but I'm like, it'll just be another boy and then I'm stuck with four. Yeah, I'm in South Atlanta. I'm I currently work for Quick Short Distributions.

It's a job switch that I made recently and it's very labor intensive. So that's been some acclimating to as you might've seen on my post on the circle, which by the way, circle was a great move. Applaud y'all for that. And yeah, so just doing that I did come from a CrossFit background I picked up CrossFit back in Afghanistan in 2013 when I realized that looking good was really not the way to go.

I think that was my primary objective. Since I ever started, like weight training was just a little good. And in Afghanistan, I got bottom told to do a functional fitness competition because the army didn't want to get sued by calling it [00:02:00] CrossFit. And there was a guy that had probably a greater body mass index than me.

Just a fat guy. And and the first event involved kettlebell swings and he was killing him. knocking them out the park. And I had been always doing functional weightlifting and I couldn't swing a kettlebell. It was flopping all hitting me in the arm and stuff like that. And it was 52 pounds and I couldn't get it over my head.

And I realized at that point, being overseas in Afghanistan, I realized man if we had some sort of incident, he'd probably be more likely to survive than me, I guess I was at that point training to just look good in a casket. You know what I mean? But that's not the, that's not the objective.

So that's when I picked up like what functionality was. And I guess CrossFit was my intro to that. But then yeah, just did that for some time. And the intensity was killing me. I think after a while back in my younger days CrossFit was I wanted to compete in it. So that was like the goal.

But as I matured a little bit and just settled down and had a family, I [00:03:00] realized I don't need that kind of intensity in my life. It was just too much. So that's when I began to seek outside. And like you said, I hit the ground running with H2K. I think I came in like on a week that man, it was almost soon to be a year.

And I came in like right before week. So I hit the ground running and then we had a deload week. And then I was like, where's the making me throw up stuff at where's the stuff that's going to hurt, and I remember making a comment on, on, on Facebook and I was like, Hey guys it's this kind of way.

You guys are about your guys a little bit more chill and and then I began to become a little bit more educated with the great content that you guys put out there about longevity. And I think that's the goal now is just to be able, later on in life again, not to just look good in a cat and a casket, and I try to tell people that, I'm like, man, you're going to be a good looking diabetic by the time you're 60, because, you're just.

He's just curling and doing all these other movements that don't really lend themselves to a long life. And I think that's where you guys are making a difference in, [00:04:00] in providing education that will allow us to make those changes in our life, to just allow to go the distance.

So that's where I'm at. I train H2K. I think that's my ride or die. I took some time off to do OMOP. I just wanted to see what that's about. That was incredible. A lot of pain definitely it, it's funny because it's repetitive to some extent, but you dread it more than I think the uncertainty of it.

H2K there's this, this idea of. I know this is this variables, there's a lot, it may change from week to week but with OMOB, you know what's coming and yeah that right there can really play a mental game, but it's a great program. And I did the barbell one, not the kettlebell one.

And yeah, so that's where we're at right now. We're deload week, praise God. And legs are still recovering from Monday, but we're doing all right. Yeah. It's the status right now.

Joe: Yeah. One man, one barbell, you can definitely get really far with it. And yeah, especially as your numbers get up there, those EMOMs get worse and worse for regional women barbells.

That's those listening who don't know, that's [00:05:00] our, like a strength program that we have a huge kind of build it together, but at its core. It's a strength system. And then from there you can build an accessory work and other conditioning, but really it's just, it's a barbell you and a barbell getting very familiar with each other.

And yeah, it can be a lot of volume, especially if you're not used to it, but it's it's definitely killer. And I still use that to base the strength track off of as well how I do the strength portions there. Where were you at in Afghanistan? Actually, I just want to go back to that one.

Luis: I was in Zabul province. So right next to Pakistan. And that was, I was east of Kandahar. So I got a chance to, yeah, go ahead.

Joe: Sorry. No, I was just saying it's funny because I have a similar journey or story back in 2012. I was in Afghanistan and that's when I started CrossFit I was more of in the, either bodybuilding and I started doing a little more functional stuff.

I got a set of rings and I would take it to my local global gym, but I got to Bagram and like you go to the main. Giant tents, which is like their [00:06:00] base globo gym, you still have the bros and the cardio equipment. And then there was just this small little tent around the corner with one person at, and it's here's a functional space.

Here's a rig. Here's some racks. Here's some rowers. There's no mirrors. So nobody goes there. I'm like there's nobody here. And I basically get the entire space to myself and I started making up workouts. I started looking up workouts and that's how I got into the. It's more of yes, I wanted to get more functional and away from the bodybuilding stuff, but also it was just, I just wanted a space of my own.

Luis: Yeah. I remember you actually mentioning there was a, you guys put out the podcast about garage and problems and the isolation factor, and you were like, I'm completely okay with the isolation factor. Yeah. I got, yeah, I got a train with one. I got one other guy. I don't like mass. But I like one guy just to pace it.

So I got a friend that comes in and trains with me. But yeah, too much is too much. And I completely get that. And then, with the functional stuff, man, it's always the benefit of it is you don't need a lot, you can do a lot with little and I think that lends itself well.

And I think most people who can't think outside of that [00:07:00] there's just been ingrained. You dependent upon the machine, they have to, subscribe to the global gym. So it really does help out to have some, I guess some capacity to just go on the road and maybe come up with stuff, that requires very little bit.

Yeah, no, I think functional is, yeah.

Joe: Yeah tell us about your garage gym or why you decided to start a garage gym. So

Luis: the garage gym I had, I think I had wanted to do that for a long time. I just never thought of committing and investing. That way. And what happened was I think in 2020 I think really made us pull the trigger.

I already had a barbell that I had bought when I was in Germany. I was overseas in Germany in 2014. And the CrossFit thing was not big where I was at. I was in down in Grafenwoehr and they were just getting started. Like the CrossFit flu was just getting over there. And so they had very not good stuff.

The pull up bars were not like, it was like metallic tubing, very slick. You had to [00:08:00] like. Put KT tape all over it to get some sort of grip in there. So they weren't thinking they were just this is what we see on TV and they Jerry rake some stuff. So I had bought that already and I really enjoyed just having my own barbell and having some plates.

And then I ended up separating from the service. And when I came back here, stateside, I just found a CrossFit gym and started working out there. But I think I was at that point, beginning to drift away from the idea of. Just being upside down for 50 reps, just beating my head against the floor, that kind of thing.

It was just like, man, this is crazy. Like, why do I need this? That's when that kind of set in. And so I tried a conventional type gym. But again, it's just too, I don't know, the drive, the people, it's just, it was just a little bit too much for me. So I began to, we finally got a home in 2020 and then me and my wife, and then we started to look into getting a garage ready.

And the idea was that in 2020, my wife being a nurse her time was so limited. It was an incredible demand for her as a nurse for [00:09:00] me. Time with my family is like one of the most important things that I have. So I needed to find a way where if I wake up within I can be in a gym working out.

So we began to invest, we cleared out the garage and then we began slowly with UVA foam, which is not the right way to go. It breaks apart really easy and stuff like that. And we just started scrapping that out. And with that barbell and those plates that I have from Germany is how we began and really what led me to you guys was.

How do I DIY a plyo box, and that's I looked that up and I found the Jared's plan on how to do that. And we use that to build our first plyo box in here. And that's how we started to see, okay, this is doable. You know what I mean? It does afford us more time at home.

And there really is no excuse once you got it, we began doing that and then other people from like our church community started wanting to get in shape and. We've opened a garage to them as well. So they come in here and do stuff whenever they need to. And they've helped out thrown, a couple of bucks our way here and there to try to, help it grow.

And that's what we're at now. It's just about being [00:10:00] more at home.

Joe: Yeah. Your space looks legit and it does have to come on pretty quick. And I, you showed a few photos and I think you did a garage tour as well. You submitted, right? Yeah. On our YouTube. Yeah. A full tour that of his you can check out.

So it's definitely a legit space. And you see you paint on the walls and everything. So that's great. Yeah. You have sorry, go ahead. No, I was just if anybody else in your families is joining the gym but you got your whole community and your own community that kind of comes and works out there.


Luis: Yeah. I got some people that come, my family in my wife's pregnant right now. So she eased off a little bit, but I do have I've invited my brothers, but they don't want to come in here. They prefer more of the global stuff. That's a little bit not as intense.

And I tell them too, I was like, man, you got to trade the heart, that heart rate. And they're like why do I need to change my heart rate? So anyway, but it, yeah, that, that's a, it's funny, you think your family would be the first ones in here but it's other people. So

Joe: they're always the [00:11:00] hardest.

Yeah, for sure. Let's see. Okay. I guess we can get to the other questions. So what's the hardest workout you've ever done?

Luis: So the hardest workout I've ever done, I think would have to be I can't remember the benchmark name, but it involves rowing and involves barbell thrusters and pull ups.

I can't remember the bench. No. No. I think for garage gym, the hardest one that I've definitely done was the. I can't remember the name, but we had to walk with a barbell on our back and we went, yeah, that's it. Yeah, I did the Iron mile and I think I might have bit off too much weight, but at this point the neighbors always happens the first time, , I know it.

And and I remember the comment thread was just like infinite or Hey, it's my first time. What should I, and if people were comments and you're like, man, don't bite off Chu. But but at this point, man, I had made it down. The issue is walking too far out. I think next time I'll do like quarter laps, but I had walked a half mile out and by that point I was like done and then it's oh [00:12:00] man, I really thought at one point to just take the barbell apart and maybe drive back,

Joe: come back and pick them up. That's the whole mental toughest part. You walk all the way out and you have to come back.

Luis: Yeah, no, it was, and your arms start going numb and the, you start feeling the, that neck in the back of your neck and you want to straighten out and it's sweating now, don't do it with a shirt.

It was my recommendation. Cause then the Barbara starts slicking everywhere. And yeah, it was, down here in Georgia, it's super humid. And so it was. Yeah, it was not, I think I was upset is one of those workouts where you just get upset. You're like, man, why am I even doing this? But yeah, it was, that's insane.

It was, I was like, who came up with this? What kind of crazy person?

Joe: Yeah. We do something like this. Yeah. In your opinion, what's the best activity for building mental toughness?

Luis: Honestly I think one of the most difficult things is I'm not gonna lie, I think planks is probably one of them. And you wouldn't think so in the sense that it's [00:13:00] not the most intense thing.

But I think that's really what makes it it brings you to that question of okay, this isn't killing me. Can you hold out even longer? Can you hold out even longer? Can you? And it seems like you always can. And I don't care who you are. For me anyway, every time I've come out of a plank, I always say I could have gone longer.

I don't, it's just me. I'm like out of it, it could have been the longest one I've ever done, but as soon as like the tension eases up, I'm like, I should have held in there like probably another 30 seconds. You know what I mean? So it's just that idea of, it's not the hardest thing in the world.

Now I don't think it always has to be. It's just a matter of, it's just enough discomfort to where you're like, okay, it's not killing me. Should I go longer? Should I not? So I think planks for me have always, when I see them automatically, I'm like, am I going to hold out or not?


Joe: I definitely agree. I am awful at planks and they suck. I think Jared's even said that cause especially when we, when it comes up the workout plank, [00:14:00] you Tyler, cause there's a ridiculous amount of planks in that. And it's so much, but it's one of those things where you can't it's really hard to hurt yourself or go too much on a plank because you'll just fail.

And then you just drop. And that's it. There's not you're really not going to hurt yourself on a plank. It's just more of you digging deep. No, I don't know. It would be a really hard thing to take a plank to actual muscle failure. It's more of just you're just done.

Especially mentally. And then I know for me, I'll I have to really concentrate on my breathing or else I'll hold my breath. And then that's just makes it worse and it goes, and goes even bad.

Luis: Yeah. And then I'll, I'll have my friend always Hey, your butt's getting hot.

And I'm like, I didn't even know, I didn't even realize, I didn't even realize. And then you sink it down and there's two inches and like the world difference. You're like, Oh my God, I was cheating. I was even cheating the whole time. Can you imagine? Anybody to write, even

Joe: just tilting your pelvis a little bit is like, Oh, yep.

There it is. Yeah, it's insane. Yeah. If you could have one piece of equipment to train with for rest of your life, what would it be? Probably kettlebells. Yeah. I think, yeah, [00:15:00] I think that after that kettlebell story, you you learn how to do them and now you don't want to be without them.

Luis: Yeah. It's crazy what like one ball I'm looking at mine right quick, but it's just the ball of weight with a handle.

That handle is a game changer. I think dumbbells will probably come second, but everything you can do with a dumbbell, you pretty much do with a kettlebell. And it's. Yeah, it's a beast. And then, once you guys, the first time I did upside down kettlebell presses and yeah, I'm over here with a 52, I'm like, I'm about to kill these and it's yeah, okay, you're not about to kill these, it was like the most wobbliest thing in the world.

So just the fact that there are things that challenge you with a kettlebell at. 30, 20 pounds. I think that says a lot about it and you can pull them. You can swing them, press them, drag them. It's a lot. Kettlebell probably the way to go.

Joe: If we ever stop, whenever we stop moving around, I'll probably slowly add to my kettlebell collection because I'd like to have doubles in all the ranges.

And I only have doubles in 35 and that's it. But I love to have doubles in everything to do. But even like having that variety, because I do have adjustable [00:16:00] dumbbells. And those are fantastic for so many things, but kettlebells, you, you can still do a whole lot, like swinging and cleaning and stuff.

I just prefer with a kettlebell even though it's, it is a bit harder. Yeah,

Luis: no facts. Kettlebells are like the best in my opinion. I used to think it was the barbell, but then you got to buy plates. And plates cost money and just out there for the marketplace, people kettlebells hold resale value.

So like when people ask me like, Hey, I want to start a garage gym. I tell them like don't go buying the expensive stuff. Go one, go buy one kettlebell at Walmart and then try out like. One workout with that kettlebell, or you can probably do a month's programming with one, one kettlebell. And if you don't like it, just sell it.

You didn't break the bank and the one kettlebell probably offered you every movement you could possibly think of. So if anyone out there is thinking

Joe: about it, pretty much we'll always hold a dollar per pound or even a little bit more dependent on the demand. Yep. So what is your best advice for [00:17:00] garage gym athletes?

Luis: I would say accountability. It's probably the biggest thing. It's easy to it's easy to cheat reps. It's easy to not get up. I think it's easy to invest in the, into the garage gym culture and not necessarily put in the work. I, when I was on Facebook before you got switched over to circle, there was a lot of, I think a lot of more, I don't know, maybe people were missing the mark on what the garage gym was for.

And if your thing is just to make it a thing, like a hobby, then that's completely cool. But. I think if your approach to garage gym is I want to be healthy and I want to live a long life, I think accountability would be the way to go because it's easy to lose the focus on on why you started it.

And there's times when I come in here and I don't want to, I really don't. I'm just like, I'm at home and my living room is like on the other side of the wall, and but, we have a great community here. One of the things I appreciate about you guys is that you guys are not out of reach, like you and [00:18:00] Jared, you guys are.

Close by. And I think that's something that a lot of other things are missing is that element of you guys aren't just figures, you guys are like real people. And so that's really cool. And I think that helps in the accountability sense as well, just to know that, there's this end of three through the decades challenge and things will be reviewed and things will be seen.

I think that's incredible. I think that's why people tough it out with you guys as long as

Joe: they do. Awesome. Yeah, I definitely like to change up my surroundings when working out some if you if you find your own garage him a little bit stale. So I like to run I am my. Exercise bike is here in my office just so I can do zone two in here if I want, or even go on base every once in a while, just because just for variety sake, but definitely will always come back to the garage gym.

Sure. Cool, man. Thanks for coming on. Glad we can finally reschedule and get you on. You definitely have a lot of great stories and great things to say about about this and your own journey. So hopefully, next time we're doing these rounds, we'll get an update down the road and see [00:19:00] how, see if you really did stop at three kids or not.


Luis: I think that's it, man. I don't know, man. You never know, yeah we'll have to be a year from now because, we're going to try to take it easy. Actually, this last one wasn't even planned. So it's man, I can't get away. But yeah, no, I I appreciate the time and appreciate everything you guys do.

You guys are incredible. What you do and appreciate how accessible and. And I think I speak on behalf of the community, just how down to earth you guys are with engaging with us and stuff like that. I really do appreciate that. Like I said, it's not a, it's not ghost figures. You guys are bridging the gap pretty well.

And I think that's that you can't match that, so I appreciate that

Joe: from you guys. Cool. Yeah. Thanks man. Really appreciate it.

Luis: Sure. Sure thing.

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