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Dan Gable’s Home Gym

Few athletes have ever been as dominant as the legendary Dan Gable. He wasn’t just a successful wrestler though. Gable’s dominance carried over to a successful coaching career. While at the University of Iowa, his wrestlers earned 16 NCAA team titles. If there was ever an athlete and coach to study, Dan Gable has to be at the top of the list.

If you haven’t studied his past before, the documentary below is a good starting point:

Dan Gable – Dominant Athlete and Coach

As for how Gable trained, many are surprised at the simplicity of his approach. There was no fancy periodization or state of the art facility. The only secret to Gable’s approach was working his ass off day in and day out. He trained with an intensity that would cause most men to break. His success was not derived from a particular program or piece of equipment. Instead, it came from dedication and desire. He outworked everyone. It was his passion and obsession.

As for where he channeled this passion, you can see his home gym below. So much can be learned by simply witnessing where Dan Gable trained as a youngster. Many will likely be surprised at the crude surroundings. His success goes against so much of what is marketed in today’s fitness industry. Gable’s gym was as low-tech as they come. No fancy equipment or programs, just old fashioned hard work.

Dan Gable was going to bust his ass no matter where he trained. And obviously where he trained didn’t matter. That alone is a lesson worth its weight in gold.


Every time I worked, I was getting a little better. I kept moving that limit back and back. Every time I walked out of the gym, I was a little better than when I walked in. – Dan Gable

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12 Comments so far

  1. James Trotta August 26th, 2013 8:38 am

    If there’s one message I’m reminded of when I visit the site, it’s do your work. Does it matter if today is pull-ups and pushups or fancy machines? Not if you do your work.

  2. Richard W. August 26th, 2013 9:11 am

    Nothing beats hard work. If you really train with that in mind you do have your best workouts ever! Gable is proof of that for sure.

  3. Eric August 26th, 2013 1:18 pm

    Dan Gable might have been one of the fittest athletes to ever compete in any sport, indeed wrestlers are in my opinion some of the fittest athletes. It is a damn shame I hear the Olympics are looking to drop wrestling, unbelievable. I heard while Gable was at college he would often sprint to his classes, and would sometimes while watching a movie with his friends walk out of the theater, and go train instead. The guy was a machine, and certainly one of the top Olympic wrestlers of all time and one of the top Olympic athletes of all time.

  4. John Cintron August 27th, 2013 8:07 am

    Having done this myself for over a year.I have used nothing special and have made the most gains of my life at the age of 43. Just shut up stop looking for a miracle and do the work.Persistance over time equals amazing results!

  5. Gavin B August 28th, 2013 11:57 am

    This is a good post, videos like the youtube one is what made me build my own home gym

  6. Levi December 8th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Gable’s whole story is unreal.

  7. Bret Contreras December 9th, 2013 8:59 am

    Awesome!!! What an amazing guy.

  8. Marc March 26th, 2014 7:12 am

    Love this guy. Same approach I have always taken.

  9. Blog May 14th, 2014 7:14 am

    [...] Also see: Dan Gable’s Home Gym [...]

  10. Blog May 19th, 2014 7:16 am

    Always great to compare others’ home gyms to what I have set up and be able to get some tips. Thanks.

  11. Blog June 12th, 2014 5:38 am

    [...] For instance, consider sports such as boxing and wrestling. Does anyone truly believe that a prime Dan Gable could not compete with wrestlers today? Yet when you look back at his training style, there was [...]

  12. Random Thoughts - Bret Contreras October 29th, 2014 11:23 pm

    [...] HERE to see a video of Dan Gable’s home gym (the one he trained in as a wrestler throughout his [...]

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