SMALL GYM, BIG RESULTS
Tips for creating a home workout space
- Written byKatrina Zawojski
Sometimes the best things in life come in small packages. That’s certainly true for Dara Mazzie, who runs her successful personal training business from her 120-square-foot garage in Redondo Beach, a mere 42 steps from her front door. In the same space that once housed her truck—and a boat before that—you’ll find everything from dumbbells to medicine balls to the Body By Jake Tower 200.
For Mazzie, it’s all about customizing her clients’ workouts to align with their personal fitness goals, which in many cases requires nursing their injuries back to health. We recently caught up with the fitness
guru to find out how she transformed her small garage space into a personal studio that packs quite the punch. Did we mention she also offers kickboxing?
1 Choose the essentials.
Versatility and easy storage capacity rank highest on Mazzie’s list of things to consider when purchasing gym equipment. Her top three? A set of Super (infinity) Bands, a TRX and The Ultimate Sandbag.
2 Be creative.
If you share a similar aversion to large, stationary machines, you’ll have to be creative when it comes to integrating high-intensity training into your workouts. “I love using an app called Tabata Timer, which repeats intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. For inspiration, I adapt workouts from Zuzka Light, an online fitness personality, as well as visit the Instagram account of Bella Falconi, a fitness model and personal trainer.”
3 Go outside!
The greatest perk about being in the fitness industry in Los Angeles is the year-round sunshine, so don’t shy away from incorporating the outdoors into your workout routine. Of course there’s the beach and nearby parks, but don’t forget about stairs, benches and hills—all great resources that extend the real estate of your home gym.
4 Maximize every inch.
Walls, ceiling, floor—utilize all the surface area in your space so that every kettlebell and boxing glove has its designated home to return to. Mazzie built on to existing storage shelves to house everything from foam rollers to Bosu balls, and she hung a pull-up bar and ab slings on the ceiling. “I tried to be resourceful with what I was given. For instance, there was a pole in the garage that the former tenants used to anchor their boat. So now I use it to anchor my battling ropes!”
5 Be courteous.
Before officially setting up shop, Mazzie made a point to introduce herself to all her neighbors, including offering them free training sessions. “I sometimes see my first client as early as 5 a.m. and as late as 9:30 p.m.,” she explains, “so I wanted to establish an open and honest line of communication in case any problems arose.”
As the sixth largest city in Los Angeles County, Pasadena is in many ways its most fiercely independent municipality despite improved mass transit connections to the rest of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. If you’re from Pasadena, then you’re emphatically not from LA, and that’s that.