Top 10 Equipment Items For A Crossfit Garage Gym

If you want to have your own Crossfit box at home, then you might be looking for what you need for getting the most out of it. In this article you will find hints and tips about how you can get the best Crossfit gym right in the comfort of your own home.

1. Why do you need a Crossfit Garage Gym?

There are a lot of people out there still who are not convinced about the advantages of a home Crossfit gym, much less a garage gym. Well, the advantages over a commercial gym are numerous and too difficult to ignore.

1.1 Cost advantages

A gym membership in most places cost a bomb. And what do you get for the price? Not much if you are actually looking to lift some weights rather than just post pics on instagram. Check out our Guide about Power racks to know more.. You will have long queues at the machine that you are looking to work with and all you will do is ending up hurrying though your set, and end up with a lackluster burn with your workout.

1.2 Convenience

A home gym is literally open 24/7 and right in your house! Believe me, this is as convenient as it gets. Compare this to that gym more than a few blocks away to which you have to spend time traveling to and fro, while making sure that you have enough time to get ready for work. Huge hassle. All these problems are addressed when it comes to home gyms.

1.3 Freedom

I actually happened to visit a gym that said no “sleeveless tshirts” or “grunting loudly”. When it comes to your home gym, you can wear what you want and be yourself when you are deadlifting that weight. No one is going to bother you and this is a huge plus point for people like me, who prefer their own space to workout in.


2. Top 10 Equipment Items for Crossfit Garage Gyms

What we will go over in this article is to make an informed purchase decision when it comes to priority and cost of fitness equipment for your own Crossfit box. Here you will find sound advice, from the experts, about how you can create an effective fitness environment without busting your wallet. Lets first go with what you need to purchase first and then we’ll check what can wait.

2.1  Priority Purchases 

The top three items I would consider for my home garage gym Crossfit regime is what I’m going to tell you here. If you need to accomplish your goals and dedicated Crossfit fitness plan, you definitely need Olympic weightlifting bar, bumper plates and a pull-up bar. After these have been procured, then the rest you can add based on your preferences.

2.2  Ancillary acquisitions 

While I’ve termed the rest of them as secondary, they can help you level up your Crossfit game and get you even better results. These can be a bit less expensive and you can pick them as and when you feel like you need them. I bought them early.

3. Top 10 Equipment Items for Crossfit Garage Gyms

3. 1 Olympic Barbell

Olympic Barbell

This is the crux of any home gym and you should definitely start off with these. You can look at any home gym guides and they will have this guy right at the top. If a site doesn’t then it’s not a very good site.

A barbell is going to serve you for a really long time. So don’t cheap out on this even if you are going to for the rest. Set aside at least $200 for a high quality Olympic barbell. When you try to pinch pennies here, just remember that you aren’t saving money, you’re throwing it away along with that $100 bar you picked up back to the junkyard. And this is definitely going to happen when you buy a cheap bar.

Standard Olympic barbells weigh 20kg and women’s barbells are 15kg. Another difference between the two is that the women’s version is made for smaller hands, diameter of the bar shaft is 25mm compared to 29mm of the men’s bar. Get whichever version that you think will fit you the best rather than worrying about weight as you can always add more weight if needed.

The knurling pattern is another thing you need to look into based on your exercise preferences. If you are exclusively going to be doing Olympic lifts and Crossfit you’ll most likely need to avoid bars that are knurled at the center. This is because center knurled bars are more suited for power lifting and can cut up your inner palms during high rep clean and jerks. There are many bars that have a more passive knurl more suitable for Crossfit.

If you are on the lookout for an Olympic bar, check if the specification of the bar is a tensile strength over 150,000 PSI. If it isn’t, just don’t buy it. It’s that simple. Also, make sure that you are getting a bar with an end cap or snap ring sleeve. Hex bolts are a strict no, no as they take too long to get on and off.

If these last few lines confuse you, then you might do well to read more about them on this website. It can explain more on bar specifications and what they actually mean for you.

If you need more advice with barbells, you can find them on this site as well. Buying guides, exercises and various other resources are available and they can help you pick the right equipment/exercise for your target fitness goals.


3. 2 Bumper plates

Bumper plates Garage Gym

You have a barbell, it only makes sense for you to get bumper plates. Why? Because even though they might be a bit more expensive, they last longer, your floors last longer and they don’t corrode easily. For anyone who isn’t aspiring to be a power lifter, I would recommend bumper plates any day. These days though the difference in price has come so far down that you absolutely need to get bumpers rather than classic weights.

Your best option would be to stick with reputed manufacturers and brands for your purchasing options. Companies like Rogue, Vulcan, OFW, and HI-Temp are most preferred by home garage gym enthusiasts. Statistics show that the most preferred brand for home users in terms of quality, performance and price is OFW. There are high-end competition oriented brands like Eleiko and Ivanko which focus on extreme quality but are overkill when you consider home gym purposes.

Theres a post on the website where I discuss about different bumper plate brands, their apparent benefits, value and everything else. There is a handy comparison chart you can use to find the best you can use.


3. 3 Pull-Up Bar / Power Rack

Pull-Up Bar and Power Rack Garage Gym

This is one of the most essential pieces of equipment to build the perfect fitness plan around. The number of exercises that you can get done with this single (large) piece of equipment is mind-boggling. There is nothing like a power rack to heavy squats, presses and other exercises that require the support. You increase your safety considerably which means you can focus on your exercise and not worry about anything else.

Additionally, you can also use it to pull-up and chin-up at your convenience. There is nothing like training your back when it comes to exercises like pull-ups and chin-ups. Crossfit involves a lot of those exercises and getting those cheap door handle pull-up bars well never do. Since they aren’t very expensive anyways, I don’t bother with cheap alternatives or DIY bars.


3. 4 Jump Rope and/or Battle Rope

You’ll need a good quality rope for your double unders. I feel that anytone, regardless of their alignment to any specific training regimen, should own a jump rope. It affordable and easy plus you don’t need a ton of space. There are speed ropes available for $20 that you can whip through a lot faster and with less effort.

There are battle ropes which I consider a strictly optional item. There are a lot of people who use battle ropes since they fit into the high intensity training encouraged by regimens like Crossfit. I prefer battle ropes for the heavy upper body workout it can give you. I’ve always felt like this was an upper body dash which exerts all the muscles equally.


3. 5  Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic Rings Garage Gym

Another must-have for Crossfit training is the gymnastic rings. They are awesome for building upper body strength through muscle ups, front levels, ring dips, ring rows and plenty of other movements. They are made up of either wood, plastic or metal but it all comes down to preference. They are pretty cheap on the market, no reason to not own a pair of them for your routines.

I went with Rogue rings for my use and till now they’ve performed admirably. I highly recommend them for your home garage gym use.


3. 6  Kettlebells

Kettlebells Garage Gym

Kettlebells form an unlikely but a large part of Crossfit. You are going to need at least a few of them for your gym so you can swing, snatch and clean effectively. While a full set of kettle bells can be expensive, learn to select what weights you would ideally require at first before you venture further. You can add more as your requirement increases.

There are a couple of things that you need to look for before you settle on the purchase of kettlebells. You need to make sure that they aren’t coated with epoxy as they will flake away or chip. Make sure that they do not have a ‘seam’ on the underside of the handle as they tend to play havoc with your hands with the heavier weights. Cheaper kettlebells are notable for their welding or molding seams on the handle. Take hold of the kettlebell in question so that you get a feel for it and also to check out how much space you actually need around the handle.

High quality kettlebells like those from Rogue have no seam as well as have a nice powder finish. Eleiko also make good quality kettlebells that come in various colors that can liven up your home garage space. But they are a bit too pricey for what they offer, so I would skip them. Vulcan Strength offers great looking competition grade kettlebells that are pretty durable.


3. 7 Plyometric Box / Squat Box

Plyometric Box or Squat Box

Plyo boxes are available in many materials but are mostly wood or metal. They have functions that can be adjustable, angled etc. Their heights vary from 12” to 24” and people mostly have them around for jumps, step ups, or sometimes even box squats. This is one of items that you can buy anywhere.

There are hundreds of DIY projects available for people who like to build their own. But like the pull-up bar, they are pretty inexpensive to buy and you can save a lot of time by just buying it off the shelf for $20.


3. 8 Medicine Ball / Slam Ball

Medicine Ball or Slam Ball Garage Gym

Medicine/slam balls have a lot of uses but are mostly used by the majority for wallballs. They are also added to exercises like cleans, push-ups, weighted core routines like planks, or tossing to another person.

Rogue racks feature an accessory for wallball target that you can attach to the rack. Slam balls are also an option if you want something with a dead bounce which won’t give up on you that easily when it comes to durability, even after repeated slams.

Dynamax is one of the top brands that you can choose for your medicine balls. It’s so popular that you’ll see a lot of athletes use it.

Here’s a demonstration of how to use a medicine ball effectively. It should be noted that most of the exercises you see are not as easy as they seem.


3. 9 Weight Bench

Weight Bench

Another one of those pieces of equipment that people conveniently forget to mention despite it being pretty useful is the Weight bench. There are a myriad of exercises that you can carry out with these and I would recommend that you pick one up whenever possible. You can combine this with a power rack to get heavy bench presses done, ab workouts, skull crushers, dumbbell rows, dumbbell flyes, seated shoulder press, and much more.

While most people won’t need an adjustable bench, a flat utility bench should be more than okay. I went ahead with the adjustable variety because I do a lot of incline and decline bench presses. But when it comes down to it, it’s only a matter of preference.

When it comes to benches, you can afford to be a bit stingy with the purchase. Just remember to look out for the basic requirements for one: solid construction for the frame and high density foam for cushioning. York and Rogue manufacture pretty decent looking benches that relatively inexpensive. Even Adidas makes good quality benches.

I have a comprehensive buying guide for benches on the website that you could check out.


3. 10 Glute Ham Developer (GHD)

Glute Ham Developer GHD Garage Gym

Glute Ham Developers are small and offer great benefits that you can use for developing glutes, hamstrings, core and lower back. A lot of commercial gyms don’t have these and hence people are unaware how to use them or how good they are. I think there has to be a good portion allocated to this wonderful piece of equipment in every gym.

While the GHD is a moderately expensive workout machine, I feel that you need to add them to the home gym so you can get complete body fitness going.

When it comes to GHD, Rogue is a pretty good retailer you should consider for your needs. They sell Legend Fitness brand of GHD’s, the Sorinex M2 and their own Rogue Abrams GHD. Both of them are good and they can get the job done pretty well. They also come with the option for adding band pegs for additional resistance.

While the Rogue is $$$ cheaper, the Legend is more of commercial quality equipment. Vulcan also makes a commercial grade GHD that doesn’t cost that much and is definitely worth it.


4. Other Suggestions

4. 1  Rowing machine

One of the best cardiovascular fitness machines that you can get for your money, this is an integral part of the Crossfit experience. Most of the Crossfit gyms features this as a mainstay and most people including us would include this without hesitation. We’ve covered rowing machines exhaustively on this website and you would do well to check it out.

If you’re in a hurry though, you can pick Concept 2 Model D rower which gives you a lot for the money and is durable as well.

4. 2  Parallettes

Another suggestion that is overlooked by a lot of people, Parallettes is a worthwhile replacement for parallel bars and you can find the steel version from Rogue. If you feel that it’s too expensive then you can opt for DIY guides and instructables which use PVC material to good effect and hardly cost about $10-15.

4. 3  Crossfit shoes

This is one of the most critical pieces of gear that you need. A Crossfit shoe has to be able to take a lot of weight and be flexible enough for box jumps and other activities. This means that you must invest in a decent pair of shoes which can withstand the rigors of every day Crossfitting.

4. 4  Gear

When it comes to gear, you need to pick and choose ones that are durable and worth your money. It also needs to amp you up for a long session at the gym. And most important of all, it needs to be comfortable so you can push yourself to your absolute limit and not worry about anything else.


5. Conclusion

Well, considering I was able to keep you absorbed in the article till this, it must not have been all that bad, right? There are several guides out there that have another perspective and you need to do research done before you make up your mind about your home gym equipment.

If you found this post useful, please do consider sharing it or letting your friends know via social media. Have something to add? Please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I really appreciate it!