Outfitting your CrossFit home gym or garage can be a daunting task. There’s a lot of gear needed to truly follow a CrossFit program as it’s written. While some items are pretty affordable, other pieces will require you to invest a pretty penny or two. However, it’s totally possible to cut your expenses down drastically when building your CrossFit gym at home. Just be savvy with your purchases, don’t cheap out on the stuff that really matter, and wait to get certain pieces of gear until later.
Here’s how to build your home gym setup and our top picks for outfitting your CrossFit garage gym.
How to Setup a CrossFit Home Gym
Ideally, your home gym should be built on the first floor. Garages and rooms near doorways to the house are perfect. You’ll want somewhere you have easy access to get in and out on days you have to run.
Setting up your CrossFit home and garage gym equipment setup is going to vary based on a few factors:
Space. How much room can you allot to your CrossFit home gym equipment? Along with the gear in this guide, look into space-saving gear like wall clips, weight racks, and other nifty hacks that’ll maximize your space.
Training program. Consider which movements come up frequently on the CrossFit program you follow. Use that as a guide to determine what you’ll buy first and what can wait.
Fitness needs. What you need can be partially determined by your fitness level. If you’re experienced and strong, you might need additional bumper plates, kettlebells, etc.
CrossFit ambition. Do you want to get really good at CrossFit? Then your home gym will, in all likelihood, be an ever-growing conglomerate of gear. Keep that in mind as you outfit your gym with the essentials now, thinking about what your equipment needs will look like after a year or two of hard training.
Budget. Money is a factor for any home gym (of course). But sacrificing quality to save a quick buck will only cost you in the long-run. It’s better to prioritize pieces of equipment and add over time than buy stuff that will need to be replaced every 12 months.
It might help to draw up a to-scale blueprint and map out where each item will go.
Essential Equipment for CrossFit Home Gym
These are the pieces of gear you need pretty much from day one to do CrossFit at home or in your garage.
Without these pieces of equipment, you’ll struggle to do CrossFit WODs without making major changes to the workout—ones that might change the workout’s entire structure or intended stimulus.
Only seems appropriate to kick off our list with a piece of equipment so essential, they named the CrossFit gym after it: the box.
It pays to spend a bit more on a high-quality box. The last thing you want is to perform a step-up with 50-pound dumbbells on a wobbly and unsteady box.
Look for a box made with thick and durable wood; preferably one with a steady stream of recent positive reviews.
Also, while the break-down-build-up boxes are convenient, we’d recommend buying one that comes built for you and can’t be taken apart. In this way, you can rest assured that what you bought is solid.
Another CrossFit staple, a pull-up bar is going to play a part in most of your metcon (metabolic conditioning) work.
You’ll need a pull-up bar for exercises like the kipping pull-up, toes to bar, and muscle-up.
We highly recommend getting a permanent pull-up bar professionally installed. Given the ballistic movements of CrossFit, you don’t want to risk it with a poorly installed pull-up bar. (YouTube has plenty of proof of what can happen.)
You should pair your pull-up bar with a set of plastic or wooden gymnastic rings. You’ll need a set of rings for exercises like the front lever, iron cross hold, and ring rows.
Plastic and wooden gym rings both work great. Most times, it’s a matter of preference. Buy a pair of each and see which one you like better.
For weight-based skill work like the chest press, a weight bench is essential.
We recommend a bench that can be adjusted in three planes of motion: decline, flat, and incline. What’s more, the bench should have a wide base so you don’t have to worry about tipping to one side should you lose form.
Barbell and Weight Plates
Continuing with your skill work essentials, you’ll need a durable barbell for exercises like the back squat, front squat, deadlift, snatch, clean and press, and bench press. Always opt for an Olympic barbell as this is the standard in CrossFit.
As far as weight plates, we recommend selecting a brand that has a thick rubber coating. A lot of CrossFit exercises will have you dropping the barbell on the floor. In order to protect the barbell plate from cracking, you need a durable coating on the outside.
Battle ropes will serve a dual purpose for your CrossFit workouts – both of which are essential for your metabolic conditioning workouts:
First, when used on the ground, battle ropes can be paired with most other CrossFit staples to target your shoulders and core. Second, you can use the battle rope as a climbing rope, to work your back, forearms, and shoulders.
Ideal for a warm-up, a speed jump rope is also a great way to mix up your workouts.