Cribs for Gyms — Rust and Iron, Episode 1

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kelly starrett

After visiting dozens, maybe hundreds, of gyms all over the world, I decided to create a show that showcases some of my favorites. From home gyms to the training meccas of the world, welcome to the Rust and Iron® TV mini-series!

Thinks of it as Cribs for gyms.

The first episode of Rust and Iron® features the home gym of Kelly Starrett (@mobilityWOD), one of the top Crossfit coaches in the world, and one of my favorite PTs and performance trainers.

Links to nearly everything Kelly shows, plus some bonuses, can be found in the show notes below.  His expanded bio is also included.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!

I’m not married to the idea of this series; this is just an experimental episode. Should I do more or focus elsewhere?  Whose gyms or which gyms should I feature? What would you like more of, less of, etc.? All feedback is welcome and encouraged.

Enjoy!

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Kelly Starrett

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram

Start Here: The Foundation

Rogue Folding Back Squat RackAfter your workout, you have the ability to quickly remove the pull-up bar and fold the sides of the rack back against the wall.

Rogue Garage Pull Up BarStandard pull up bar that can be mounted to both a concrete wall or garage support beams.

Rogue ParallettesMeant for gymnastics training such as handstand pushups, planches, or L-sits.

Rogue Bumper PlatesStandard training plates with a rubber exterior to cut down on noise and damage to floors.

Rogue BarbellsThe Rogue Beater Bar is a budget-priced barbell made to handle regular high-rep abuse. Kelly only uses basic barbells and does not use any of the $1000+ barbells, but any serious Olympic weightlifter should consider one.

Rogue Fat Bells: Just like a regular kettlebell, but with the handle on the inside. With this change, it allows you to use it like both a kettlebell as well as a dumbbell. It reduces the shearing force on your joints since the grip is centered around the weight.

Rogue Kettlebells

Rogue Collars

Rogue Jump Ropes: Great for warming up or conditioning. Beginners often prefer heavier ropes, but as they progress, athletes often opt for lighter ropes so they can move at faster speeds.

If You Have Extra Budget…

Rogue Log BarInitially used as a strongman tool, it’s effective for any weightlifter looking to gain strength. The neutral grip handles are easier on your wrists and shoulders, and the thickness of the bar forces you to stay over the weight longer to maintain power during your initial pull.

Rogue Thompson Fat Pad: Thicker and wider than a regular bench, the Thompson Fat Pad is Kelly’s preferred training pad for benching. It promotes proper scapular movement and eliminates shoulder hangover.

Rogue Multi-Grip Bench Bar: Kelly has wrist issues from 30 decades of paddling, so this is his preferred bar to bench with. It has multiple handles, all in a neutral grip. This makes it easier to pin your shoulders back, thus putting you into a more stable and safer position.

Rogue Bandbell Earthquake Bar: A unique bar made with bamboo, meant to hold tons of weight attached with bands. Benching/squatting/pressing/overhead walking are all made extremely difficult due to the constantly moving weight. Just put some kettlebells on the end with some bands and wait to feel the burn.  

Rogue Farmer’s Walk Handles: Simple but sinister tool to work your grip, shoulders, traps, posterior chain, etc. 

Rogue Slam Balls: Ideal balls for overhead ball slams, as they are much sturdier than medicine balls.

Dynamax Medicine Balls: Good grip and durability, they are most often used for wall balls, but can be used for a variety of different exercises.

MobilityWOD Tools

Rogue Supernova: An alternative to foam rollers, the Supernova’s grooved design and firmness allow athletes to get deep into their larger muscles. 

Voodoo Floss Bands : Kelly calls this his most versatile piece of equipment. Compression flossing (aka Voodoo flossing) works on so many levels to break apart adhesions and flush out swollen tissues and joints. Plus it’s easy to travel with.

Rogue Mobility Stick and Cradle: A short metal bar for mobilizing your janky tissues. Same look and feel as a barbell, but hand-held and easier to transport.

Rogue Battlestar Kits

Other Mobility Tools

Raw Roller Foam Roller Kelly’s preferred roller. A thin layer of foam over a pipe that is stronger and thicker than most rollers. 

Lacrosse Balls Any brand will work, perfect for rolling out your feet or very specific areas of your body.  

Rogue Monster Bands The go-to bands for mobility, specifically banded distraction to help joint mobility.

Geisha Body Tempering Roller (Thompson X-Wife)

Endurance Training

Watt Bike: This is a perfect indoor bike for any serious cyclists. The data it delivers is vast and extremely accurate.

Concept 2 Rower: The best selling indoor rower in the world, and for good reason. Great for cardiovascular training that taxes both your upper and lower body.

Concept 2 SkiErg: Think of it as a rower turned on its end. Fantastic aerobic trainer and especially ideal for anyone looking to maintain their aerobic training through a lower body injury.

Assault Bike: The resistance ramps up automatically as you push, pull and pedal with greater speed and force. 

Onnit Mace Kelly loves to use this to hit a tractor tire. It’s an effective way to mimic real world movement and gives you a total body workout.

Tractor Tire: You could buy one online, but the easiest way to get one is to contact your local tire supplier as they most likely have some old, used ones lying around that will be perfect for your needs.

Armor Plyo Boxes: Kelly’s preferred boxes for box jumps or step ups. Lifetime guarantee. 

Inflatable Tub: Kelly (and his wife Juliet) use this for their cold baths, alternating between a few minutes in their hot tub, and then jumping into this for 10-30 slow, controlled breaths. 

About The Host: Kelly Starrett

Kelly Starrett (@mobilityWOD) is a coach, physical therapist, author, speaker, and creator of MobilityWOD, which has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance.

His 2013 release, Becoming a Supple Leopard, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He teaches the wildly popular Crossfit Movement & Mobility Trainer course and has been a guest lecturer at the American Physical Therapy Association annual convention, Google, Perform Better Summit, Special Operations Medical Association annual conference, and elite military groups nationwide.

Kelly Starrett received his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2007 from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, California. Kelly’s clients have included Olympic gold-medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world and national record-holding Olympic Lifting and Power athletes, Crossfit Games medalists, ballet dancers, military personnel, and competitive age-division athletes.

Posted on: January 9, 2017.

Please check out Tools of Titans, my new book, which shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It was distilled from more than 10,000 pages of notes, and everything has been vetted and tested in my own life in some fashion. The tips and tricks in Tools of Titans changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for sample chapters, full details, and a Foreword from Arnold Schwarzenegger!

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93 comments on “Cribs for Gyms — Rust and Iron, Episode 1

  1. Tim, I’m a huge fan and really dig this new project. You have helped me change my life and lose 80 lbs in the last year. Keep up the great work!

    Like

  2. Does anyone know why Kelly prefers those specific plyo boxes. The box I manage uses the padded ones, which are ok, but I’m curious as to why he prefers these ones. Thanks!

    Like

  3. Same comment I left on YouTube: I love the concept, but the production feels a little too amateur. The “here’s a million things I own in two seconds” format is okay for a laugh, but I would rather see two or three elements that make each gym/space unique. Seeing Laird’s pool and how he uses it would be cool. It doesn’t have to be high-end stuff though. I would also love to see some more basic set-ups. What about your own pull-up rig? Or the assisted acro set up you discussed with Jason Nemer?

    Like

    • Agreed. You’d get a lot out of spending a day, hanging out, asking questions. This will be more interesting than the gyms themselves.

      Like

  4. Love the episode. I have been down on myself for feeling like I have to have a home gym to get anything done so it was nice hearing K Star reaffirm that a home gym is a must. Keep the idea going

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  5. This is really cool concept. I would love to have them stack rank or at least say what top 3 most important things are for them. Kelly sort of alluded to it with Kettlebell and jump rope. But I am in the process of building my own home gym and would like concrete advice on what to prioritize. For example Concept 2 Row erg for aerobic base, squat rack for strength, and slack line for fun 😉 (or whatever). Anyways, very cool and excited to see future episodes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOVE the concept! I would love to see a breakdown of something specific the gym owner specializes in, if they do. Kelly could show us a couple mobility drills that he likes to do at home. Also, what might be a go to workout that they do in their set up.

    Thanks for everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Some recommendations:
    Boss barbell is here in your back yard in mountain view if you want a pretty extreme powerlifting gym. Dan is likely the strongest actual person on the planet.
    North: Joel Jamieson has some cool stuff.
    LA: you could see Ben Bruno, juggernaut.
    Midwest: IFAST, Elite, west side are all worth a visit.
    East coast I’d go to Drive 495 to see the opposite end of the spectrum where they train actresses and celebrities.
    The pro teams have some interesting stuff if only for the scale. NBA practice facilities have everything from extra tall chairs to monster sized kettle bells.
    Shoot me an email if you want more info.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice project Tim. Would love to see a small home gym setup built exclusively with dumbbels and equivalents – no big machines once I (and most people) don’t have the space!!

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  9. Dear Tim

    Great idea. Reminds me of how inspired I was seeing tony horton’s gym (of p90x fame) on YouTube (an inspiring gym to say the least).

    Would love to see some of the gyms of sub specialty athletes you’ve interviewed (dancers, gymnasts etc).

    By the way – would love some in between episodes on some of the many many hobbies you have taken up. Shooting, archery, German… You are good at making learning endlessly fascinating

    Like

  10. Love the idea Tim!

    It would be good to see Joe Rogans home gym for a mix of fitness and martial arts equipment! Would also like to see the episode a little longer with you there asking questions and digging into the different pieces rather than a really quick skim over everything they have!

    Looking forward to seeing more of these!

    Like

  11. Hello Tim,
    My Name is Nicolas I live in France, I read your book and I love dit, first I laughed almost at every page and then and used it in my life. Like now i don’t read my emails every 5min et don t take calls until I want to or those kind of great stuff you teach.
    I already feel like I handle things better, but it s not enough, i wanna push more.
    L willl follow your advices but I already have a question
    Now that you had all this experience,
    Do you feel like me sometimes ? like « ok that’s better, but I wanna push more »
    Or do you feel peaceful like « ok let s keep it that way » ?
    Thank you !

    Like

  12. Tim, the episode was very nice! Congratulations. I have an idea to add. “What would you like more of, less of, etc.?” – I think it would be nice also if you add on the episodes some workouts on the gym. If you visit a gym specialised in CrossFit or kettlebells, let them show some workouts or a routine showing how they like to do there. That can include tips and insights for other people. Whatching this episode, for example, I got excited to build my own home gym.

    Again, thank you for the awesome material.

    Like

  13. Very cool. Would love to see more.

    I love my home gym, and am always looking for ways to refine it. This would be a great way to get ideas.

    Thank you.

    Like

  14. I love the Episode and it comes along at the right time for me. I recently started a new consulting gig which requires some morning/evening commuting making it more difficult to get to the gym on a schedule. Prior to this I was working at home and had greater flexibility. I’ve been slowly building out my home gym (kettlebells, weight bar/plates, and a few other odds and ends). Great for me to see how others do it, learn about great products, etc..!

    Maybe the guest could share a workout tip or exercise?

    Great addition!!!

    Like

  15. Hi Tim,
    I’m a PT in Long Island (like someone else you know?!). Would love to see a minimalist approach to home gym concept. 80/20 rule applied to it (better yet 97.5/2.5).

    Like

  16. Hey Tim,
    Loved this! Love the idea of sneak peeks and behind the scenes. Perhaps framing the video on the front end rather than the end – like, “hey guys, Tim here. I asked Kelly to talk about the top 3 things he uses every day and to show us how that works in his space at home” and it just runs right into the person talking. Just my two cents!

    Absolutely does NOT make a difference to me if the camera work is amateur – J Star isn’t a camera man and the camera work to be perfect doesn’t matter to me. I’m more interested in the content in general.

    Also, thanks for all the links on the gear!!! Super helpful. Appreciate you, Tim!

    Like

  17. Kelly’s set up is simply amazing, the ferrari of home gyms.
    What is your desired outcome with this show Tim? Are you here to inspire people to get ferraris or are you here to inspire them to become great driver? Either or is great as long as you know what you are aiming at.

    When you interview world class performers in your podcast, they bring a lot to the table. They talk about the tools they use, their life, their stories, there perspective on life. As a listener, there is so much to take from, it’s unrestrictive and abundant, like a buffet to choose from. After a podcast my mind feels limitless.
    When you show someone that has done extremely well and has spend thousands on setting up the best gym ever, I am faced with a feeling of restriction. I feel that I am missing things if I want to be a world class athlete.

    I train at home everyday because I live in the gulf islands the gym here is pathetic. I have dumbells, kettle bells, a trapeze, gymnastic rings, a jump rope, heavy bag, speed bag, massive gardens with plenty of heavy stuff to lift, wood to split and some of the best mountain bike trails on the coast. Without fancy equipment I manage to be in decent shape. I love to get new ideas though and feel inspired to try something new! I felt like a kid after a bought my first gymnastic rings.

    If you are going to do this Tim, do it properly. Spend time to introduce these guys, share their background and stories, focus on or two of their favourite piece of equipment. The video reminded me of a Tai Lopez tour of his gym.

    I’m sure many of your readers that love training totally enjoyed that. I felt a superficiality that generated no fire in my soul.

    Like

  18. More of this show please, Tim. After losing 150 pounds (mostly through diet with the help of Ray Cronise) I’ve been incorporating more training into my life. And I’ve found that I’d prefer having a range of different functional workout implements in my home than belonging to an overpriced gym. Most of my experiments have come from your suggestions (kettlebells, Gymnastic Bodies, etc). Thanks for that. And this.

    Like

  19. Great first episode! Would love to see some of the gyms you’ve visited on your travels, especially any offering unique training concepts, equipment, etc. Even some that are destinations in their own right. Thanks Tim!

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  20. Tim this was great. Maybe you could also have them show what they keep in their fridge? I would have loved to see what Kelly stocks up on for food.

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  21. That’s awesome!!! Thank you 🙂

    I really liked how Kelly said about why he trains (to get outside) I love how rough it was. It felt like I was coming into his house as a guest, so cool!

    Would love to see his other gym too.

    I think a time line of when he/they acquired things would be helpful. An understanding of when and why is always great!

    Like

  22. I really like this idea for a series! I think a lot of the people featured in Tools of Titans would be a great list. I’d also like to see various “workspaces” of people you’ve interviewed; tools and products they use as well as tips and tricks. Just a thought!

    Like

  23. I love the concept, and I am a massive super fan of Kelly Starrett – and of course a massive Tim Ferris fan also!
    It would be great to see you visit the guys over at Gym Jones. Not sure how much involvement Mark Twight has over there in terms of couching now days, but he’s someone who changed my entire perspective on exercise and how to get the most out of my body. Bobby Maximus is the Head Coach and boy is he worth checking out on YouTube and Insta. He’d be a great one to include in this segment.
    Also. James Fitzgerald who founded OPEX fitness. He’s a fanatic and a genius who has built an amazing brand, training methodology and he truly gets it when it comes to the science of fitness. Definitely someone to consider.

    Like

  24. Love it – so interesting and brings new ideas. Maybe also asking them to talk through or demo their fav workout would be cool.
    As a tangent – I would love a video series like this of people’s work space / home office / sanctuary etc. Thanks for the awesome content Tim.

    Like

  25. Love the concept and I would certainly watch many more of these. You already have a treasure trove of gyms if you were in the mood to hit up previous podcast guests: Brian Mackenzie, Laird Hamilton (for the pool), Attia , Poliquin, Jocko, etc. You could even get into more non-standard gyms like those of strongmen, rock-climbers (Honnold), Cirque du Soleil training centers, gymnastics. I think you have a lot to go on. I’m excited to see it happen.

    Like

  26. Loved this. Super interesting to see what he has at home instead of reading or hearing snippets. Also how to implement some of the awesome learning into real life. Keep em coming mate! Peace

    Like

  27. Great concept – would like to see Tony Robbins and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gyms. And maybe some DIY examples/ideas, like your pull-up or GST rigs…

    Like

  28. Great concept. So many topics to cover. No home gym starters. No space. Pool. Inside most of the year. Outside. Small. Medium. Big. Giant. I would have liked better lighting with KS. I would have loved more on his pool. Guidance on building it deep. Some tips on best options for limited budgets. How to install things like rings, wall mounts, racks…storage.
    Sensational concept. Keep flushing it out. I would add home ideas and how to’s for things like infra-red saunas, meditation spaces, stretching spaces.
    I cannot wait to see what you do with this idea. AND just seeing the coolest home setups out there would be fun too but the practical stuff really interests me. Thanks for the perpetual evolution guidance.

    Like

  29. Nice overview. Love the idea of the mace, that shows attention to detail, and kind of a MovNat approach to exercise, i.e. we don’t need expensive machinery. (Though I do admire the Concept 2.) For episode two, let’s see some demonstrations. I’ve been a big fan of Russian-style minimalist workouts as exemplified by the Russian nordic ski team. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0bqFcGDq90

    Like

  30. Hey Tim, would love to see how you might take your traveling case of sardines to the next level by getting someone to showcase a way to travel with gym gear (eg where you might hang up your rings when backpacking in Buenos Aires).

    Like

  31. Fantastic concept, great ideas to inspire others to enhance their own home gyms.

    This episode felt like a trailer for the series. I’d like to see more detail in future episodes and perhaps demo some of the kit.

    I live remotely in Asia and lots of detail would be very helpful while buying, shipping and setting things up at home.

    Looking forward to seeing future episodes!

    Like

  32. I’d definitely recommend seeking out John Welbourn and the guys over at Power Athlete HQ. They just moved operations to Texas, which means they should have the biggest and best personal gym set up known to man. I can’t encourage you enough to seek out what John, Luke and Tex have to offer about strength and conditioning.

    Like

  33. This is one of the best things you have done in awhile. The show notes are always amazing after anything you post. Even though I am madly writing down things when watching/listening.

    Though while in an smaller apartment in a downtown area, hard to fit a lot of the equipment.. though smaller items I can.

    Like

  34. I liked this! It would be cool to see the gyms of athletes in snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding if they have one as well. Even rock climbers. There are some really cool home gyms and walls people have built in their garages or sides of houses.

    Another concept I’d enjoy is seeing the creative space for artists/creators. I know that’s going in a different direction but to take a look inside the studio of world class photographers or what a writer’s workplace looks like could be cool.

    Also, I’m still reading through Tools of Titans and I love it!

    Keep doing you my dude!

    -Ryan

    Like

  35. What are your post workout routines? Do you recommend drinking/eating a set amount of protein after a workout. Thanks in advance. Just discovered your work and loving it. Thanks for all the effort you put into making all of your content available to us.

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  36. I think this is a great concept and would love to see more! Seeing the environments that people work out in is very interesting. I would even love to see where studio/office/etc of guests in general – not just gyms (maybe too much of a side project) Regardless, this is great and I hope you are able to put together more.

    Like

  37. I’d like to hear about strategies folks have used to deal with low ceiling heights. Also, have you seen any set ups for for movement practices like Movnat? And, maybe you could include some martial arts and/or boxing related gear – like heavy bags, etc. I’d also like to hear ideas for using everyday objects, or building equipment on a budget – maybe that could include travel scenarios.

    Like

  38. I think this is a great concept, and I would like to see more. Obviously it’s a proto-type, so no need to comment about lighting, production etc. What’s important is that the videos have value for us viewers. Excellent that you added links to the products.

    Obviously difficult to have your guests use the products on camera, however if you can work out a way to show them using the equipment, then probably video will have more value.

    Keep this idea going. Thanks!

    Like

  39. Love this idea.
    (Title is very cool too.)
    Great potential to learn from the innovators and explore their methods as well as our own capabilities and potential.
    Repeat: Love it.

    Like