Dave Young of CrossFit Radio asked me what I thought were the top 10 CrossFit Garage Gym Equipment Requirements, there were a few I would swap out.
You might ask how we know, well we started running our facility in a garage(October 2006) then to the park and finally we opened our training facility in June of 2007. So I know what does and doesn’t work.
Here is a great guide for folks just getting started with CrossFit:
1) Weightlifting Bar - This is the most important piece of equipment you will have in your arsenal. Just like anything else you get what you pay for, if you buy a $125 bar it will bend and will not be built well. Here is what you will need in a bar
- Bar that won’t bend, get a bar that you can will to your grandchildren
- For CrossFit – Personal preference will determine a bar with or without center knurl. The most popular is without center knurl.
- Bar with Olympic knurling and not Power lift knurling
- Bar with either snap ring or end cap collar construction. If you find a bar with a bolt in the end, this is a red flag and I would not recommend it.
- For women the 25MM version is preferable and for children the alumilite is preferable
- Collars – You can get the new HG collars or a pair of good old spring collars
2) Bumper Plates – Having a solid set of bumpers is paramount to your ability to workout in your garage and/or outfit your training facility. There are two families of training bumpers:
- Rogue HiTemp - Recycled rubber bumpers with HD stainless steel inserts. These bumpers are made in the USA and are hands down the toughest bumper on the market.
- Virgin Rubber/Brass Sleeve – These bumpers are offered by most weightlifting companies and have evolved quite a bit. Made in China with virgin rubber and brass inserts. The brass inserts normally don’t last as long as the steel. They are good all around bumpers
3) Pullup Rig & Rings- There are many ways to skin this cat, we will start first with the pullup bar
- You can build one with pipe from your local hardware store for your garage or you can buy a 36′ version
- If you are outside and want a portable version – We have built a simple RPG system that goes with the rings
- Sorinex has built an all in one BaseFit system that includes dip station, squat rack, pullup system and much more. We carry these in stock now!!
Rings – A good set of rings is key to performing ring dips, pushups, muscle-ups and much more
- Rogue Rings are made of steel with powder coat. The straps are 1.5″ wide with a HD cam buckle, each strap has a velcro strap to hold excess strapping. These are made in the US and are second to none. Our straps setup in a fraction of the time that other rings take
- Plastic Rings – Tyler Hass led the way with his Elite rings and there are a few other plastic ring manufacturers out there. This is a personal preference.
- PowerMax Fitness Rings – Very solid setup but the strapping system is very complicated, straps are short and the plastic knurl is very aggressive
4) Squat Stand – There are many different variation for this piece of equipment. Here are a few options
- El Cheapo – You can get a very cheap version on Ebay that will wobble like crazy but will work. Normally made by the thousands in China.
- Rogue SPX – This system was designed with the thought of eliminating all the knobs, pins and threads that wear out over time. They have full adjustability for shrug through press for a 6’5″ person. This system is made all in the US with heavy duty steel construction. Once you see it you will know it is Rogue
- York FTS Press/Squat Stand - This is a very low cost piece of equipment for the versatility. It has two j-cups for press and squat. The drawback of this system is that the threads wear out with heavy use which will be pain while adjusting.
- ProMaxima – These stands are independant without connection in the back. They are sturdy and have plastic in the cups to protect the knurl
5) Kettlebell – We recommend 16-24KG for men and 8-16KG for women. This is all personal preference, here are some attributes to look for:
- Casting Seam – If it is a poor quality bell the casting seam will tear up your hands
- Finish of bell – If it is epoxy coated it will chip like crazy. Look for naked, baked paint and/or hammertone painted bells. These have the right feel
6) Medicine Ball – Dynamax reigns king in this arena. Here are some things to consider:
- Fight Gone Bad sizing – 20 & 14LB are the sizes used for the CrossFit RX
- For gym use we recommend purchasing lighter med balls for mixed use.
- For Slamming the d-ball is the ball of choice – The manufacturer does a relatively good job warrantying them even though noone has been able to make a slam proof med ball
- You can make homemade med balls with a basketball skin and some sand as well!! Tons of info on the CrossFit forums about this
7) Concept 2 Rower - The Model D with PM3 is the champion here, there is no substitute for C2, here are some ways to find one:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for C2 pricing on new rowers
- Search out Craigslist for a used Model C or D – If you can land a C for $400 or less based on the condition this may be a good deal. A Model D should go for around $600 used. The Model B’s will work but are starting to get a bit old
8 ) Jump Rope – If you want a fast rope the Ultra Speed Rope is it. If you want a plain old rope the speed ropes will do the trick.
9) PlyoBoxes – You can make one from instructions you will find on the net or buy a wood or metal box
- Suggested Sizes – 16-24″ Boxes
10) GHD – One of the most under used pieces of equipment out there, this is a wicked piece of equipment. Here are some options:
- Legend Econ GHD - Cheapest without sacrificing all quality. We carry the black with Gun Metal in stock, we are waiting on the next batch right now. Custom colors will take 6-8 weeks
- Legend Standard GHD - This is a good GHD, 3X3 tube steel construction. Ships built which costs more
- Sorinex M2 GHD - This is the latest and greatest piece of equipment. Hands down the best GHD in the 5-6 hundred dollar price range. Made in the USA and is by far the sturdiest of all the GHD’s mentioned here
- York GHD – This is a well built GHD with roller pads. Good commercial GHD for the price.
Stay tuned for the next 5 pieces of equipment like Dumbbells, AbMats, Bands and much more!