Top 10 CrossFit Gear for a Garage Gym

Camille-Leblanc-Bazinet-25What gear do I need to start CrossFit in a garage gym? After starting our CrossFit garage gym back in 2010 we have learned a lot a few things and made some mistakes.

We get asked all of the time what we think are the top 10 CrossFit gear you need for a garage gym. We started out at a local track and built our way up to having hundreds of athletes workout in our garage gym.

We just wanted to share a few things that we learned along the way so you don’t make the same mistake we made when you buy CrossFit gear and set up your garage gym.

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Check out this guide for athletes starting out with CrossFit workouts and building your garage gym:


An Olympic weightlifting barbell will need to be #1 on your list of gear. You don’t have to buy the most costly barbell but like anything else you get what you pay for. If you purchase a hundred dollar barbell it will not last that long. One drop from head high with 200 lbs and its going to bend. Here is the inside info on what you need in a barbell.

CrossFit barbell – Your own preference will decide whether you want a barbell with or without center knurl. The most popular CrossFit style barbell is one without the center knurl (keeps you from scratching your throat during cleans).

If you find a bar with a bolt in the end, this is a “pin barbell”. If you see the pin – I would not recommend it. You can try to use it but you will be disappointed in the end as the pin will come out and the bar will bend.

Check out Olympic barbell options and prices at:
FringeSport Vaughn 20kg Olympic Barbell
Vulcan Strength
American Barbell

crossfit bumper platesWomen athletes will like the smaller diameter 25MM version barbell.

For kid athletes and beginners you can go with the aluminum training barbell (it is lighter).

The women want to have their own barbell and we bought several just for them. This bar is slightly smaller in diameter to fit their hands better and also weighs less. The Vulcan 15KG ladies wod bar has been a favorite for the strong ladies in the gym.

Ladies will gravitate towards this bar – we have several in our CrossFit box.


vulcan bumper plateBumper Plates – You will want a good set of bumpers if your going to workout in a garage gym. You can try and use metal plates but if you drop them you will chip the concrete floor or destroy the rubber matting. Rubber bumpers allow you to drop the barbell as the plates will bounce off of the concrete.

There are two type of training bumpers: Rubber bumpers with stainless steel inserts in the center are very sturdy and last for many years of wear and tear in the gym.

We like Vulcan Strength bumper plates as they are 100 percent high density virgin rubber with low bounce and a 3 year warranty.

There are dozens of different types of rubber bumpers with brass sleeves. Most of these are made overseas in China. Brass inserts will last longer than steel. These can be good all around bumpers but will crack over time. Beware of the cheap 10 lb rubber bumpers as they will split at the insert after being dropped from head high in your gym.

Check out Bumper plates options and prices at
Vulcan Strength


crossfit girl pullups 2There are many options for this so lets begin with the basic pull up bar for a garage gym.

We started out at a local track and used the pull up bar there.  Once we moved back to my house and building up our CrossFit home gym in the garage we added a bar connected to the joist in the ceilings.

It was easy to do. You can build a pull up rig with pipe from your local hardware store for your garage or you can buy a 36 inch pre-built version.

Check out this SGPT article on How to install a pull up bar in a home gym

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Check price at Fringe Sport
Check price at Vulcan Strength


You really want to get a good set of gym rings as there is so much you can do with them. Start with ring dips, pushups, muscle-ups and much more. What are the best CrossFit rings? Read on.

exf rings vs suspension trainerMany of your CrossFit workouts will have ring dips and muscle ups so you will need to be ready for this.

You can make a set of do-it-yourself (DIY) homeade Crossfit rings.

I made a set of homeade gymnastic rings but they were rough and uneven. Eventually one of the rings cracked and I had to tape it up.

So I broke down and bought a set of gym “WOD” rings. I really like woods rings – a lot.

These rings are lightweight and you can throw them in your backpack and take them to the local playground or beach for a workout.

You will find that rings workout your body in multi-directions making you a stronger athlete overall.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
Check price at Vulcan Strength


A lot of options here so take notes:
I worked out at a gym that has the cheap squat stands from China. We made do with them as the owner did not know any better. Ok for shoulder press but will slide.

The heavy duty squat stand was designed to allow you a portable squat stand that you can move but will hold as much weight as you need.

York FTS Press/Squat Stand – Great value and has a lot of versatility. It has two j-cups for press and squat. The threads can wear out with heavy use so be aware of that issue. ProMaxima – Independent squat stands with out and connection across the back.

The ProMaxima are sturdy and have plastic in the cups to protect the knurl

Check price at
Check price at Fringe Sport
Check price at Vulcan Strength


crossfit kettlebellKettlebell – We recommend a 16 to 24KG kettlebell for men and a 8 to 16KG Kettlebell for women.

I just bought a 35 lb competition kettlebell and love it.  It is just the thing I needed for my home garage gym.  Now I can bust out CrossFit workouts like Helen and have the right gear for the workout. for the kettle bells – here is what you want to keep an eye out for: Casting Seam – A cheap kettle bell will have a casting seam that is visible and will tear up your hands. Finish of bell – The hammer tone painted bells with baked on paint are the best. The epoxy coated bells will chip and you will be sweeping up the pieces off the floor of your gym.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
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dynamax ball Medicine Ball – The Dynamax medicine balls have been number one in Garage gyms for years.

Here are some things to consider: Fight Gone Bad sizing – 20 & 14LB Vulcan Medicine Ball are the sizes used for the CrossFit RX workouts.

For gym use we recommend purchasing lighter medicine balls for mixed use.

For slamming we like the Vulcan Slam Balls as these balls have a warranty for three years against rupturing. We have used these slam balls in our gym and they are working great. The 20 lb are the go to ball for a workout.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
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row-CFDConcept 2 Rower – The Model D with PM3 is the champion here, there is no substitute for C2, here are some ways to find a used one.

Search out Craigslist for a used Model C or D – If you can land a C model for $400 or less based on the condition this may be a good deal.

A Model D rower should go for around $600 used. The Model B’s will work but are starting to get a bit old. You can pick up a new Concept2 Model D rower for $900

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Check price at Fringe Sport
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crossfit jump rope workout CrossFit Speed Jump Rope – There are a number of new speed ropes in recent years like the WodNation Ultra speed rope. I have several jump ropes in my gym bag and if going for raw speed – I just picked up a new Ultra Speed cable rope. I give this rope a good review – just be careful if using on rough concrete as it will wear the rubber coating off the cable. I remedied this by jumping on smooth concrete and putting a piece of tape over the middle of the cable.

The Ultra Speed Cable Jump Rope is wicked fast and used to break the US National and World speed records. You can get a set of CSX Spare Replacement Jump Rope Custom Wire Cables if you wear out the first set.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
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Plyo Boxes – You can make one from instructions you will find online or buy a wood or metal box. 16 to 24 inch plyo boxes are the suggested sizes.

We are also seeing more D1 style gyms go to all foam plyo boxes to save their athletes from injuries hitting their shins on the wood boxes.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
Check price at Vulcan Strength

#10 Glute Ham Developer

vulcan ghdGHD – One of the most under used pieces of equipment out there, this is a great piece of equipment.  Here are some options: Vulcan Glute Ham Developer – This is the lowest price GHD without sacrificing all quality.

Sorinex M2 GHD – This GHD has been getting good reviews. Probably 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. You occasionally hear about athletes buying CrossFit equipment at Wal-Mart but in the end you pay for what you get and can expect it to break in the first year. We get asked a lot “where do crossfitters buy their equipment?”. There are a number of CrossFit equipment providers. We get most of our equipment from, Rogue Fitness, Muscledriver and local used sports stores for airdyne bikes and dumbbells.

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Check price at Fringe Sport
Check price at Vulcan Strength

Extra Stuff:

Collars – If your throwing weights around in the gym you will want to have a collar to secure the load. We like the vulcan strength collarVulcan collars as they keep the bumpers really secure.

The tried and true spring collars are a good way to start if your on a budget. If you want more you can go for the muscle clamps are both great. You cant beat the price of a spring collar.

Either way it is good to have collars to secure the bumper plates on the bar. Many Olympic lifters in the old school gyms don’t use collars on their barbells.

Another question asked is “What is the most basic CrossFit equipment you recommend to get started?”. We say to get a yoga mat, jump rope and sand bag if your just starting out in your garage. As that will allow you to do many workouts for the lowest price and still have basic gear. At one point we had a stretching mat.

Question: What is a good jump rope workout to add to my garage gym workouts?

Answer: Check out the tips and workouts in this SGPT Article: Jump Rope Tips and Workouts

Question: What is required to set up a CrossFit garage gym? Check out the list of gear above and you will find good info to help you.

Question: Is there are list of the best CrossFit garage gyms? Yes; check out the videos above as they show many of the best garage gyms around.

Question: Is it worth it making your own workout power rack for crossfit workouts? If you have a lot of time and knowledge of metal and working with it then go for it.

Question: What is the best size medicine ball for cross fit? The mens RX med ball is 20 lbs. The women’s RX med ball is 16 lbs in CrossFit.

Question: What is a standard size barbell for CrossFit? 7 feet long and 45 lbs in weight. Question: What is the best bar for CrossFit? That is a hard question but the best barbell for CrossFit workouts day in day out may be the Rogue bar.

Question: What is the minimum neccessary equipment for cross fit workouts?

Answer: Check out the list above but I would say a pair of shorts, sports bra if your a gal, pair of running shoes and socks and have at it. You may want to have a jump rope and pull up bar next.

Question: Is a GHD essential to CrossFit workouts? We think that any CrossFit box will have a good GHD and incorporate that into their workouts.

Question: What is a CrossFit training station? I believe you mean a CrossFit rig which is a combination of a pull up bar and lifting station. Let me know if that answers your question.

Question: What are other good Crossfit gear companies like, MuscleDriver and Rogue Fitness? Other good companies are Rage Fitness, Tru Strength, MaxWod, WODSuperStore, Christians Fitness Factory, Perform Better and Again Faster.

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