As a founder of a local Garage Gym – we get asked all of the time what we think are the top 10 equipment for a Garage Gym. We started out at a local track and built our way up to having athletes workout in our garage. So 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 gear. Please note there are affiliate sales link in the text below. Please click the links as this helps us keep the lights on at the gym and gas in my truck. Many thanks in advance.
Video – Top 10 Equipment for a Garage Gym
Check out Top 10 CrossFit Equipment @ RogueFitness.com
Check out this guide for athletes starting out with workouts and building your garage gym:
#1 of Top 10 Garage Gym Gear – Numero Uno on your list of gear you must have on your list. You don’t have to buy the most expensive barbell but like anything else you get what you pay for. You want a good middle of the road Olympic weightlifting barbell for daily home gym workouts. 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.
Garage gym barbell – Your own preference will decide whether you want a barbell with or without center knurl. The most popular is without 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”. This is a red flag and I would not recommend it. You can try to use it but you will be disappointed in the end. Women athletes will like the smaller diameter 25MM version barbell. For kid athletes you can go with the alumilite barbell. The Bomba women’s barbell has been a favorite 15kg bar for the strong ladies in the gym.
Video – Top 10 CrossFit Gear for a Garage Gym
Check out the Rogue Fitness Beater Bar @ RogueFitness.com
Collars – If your throwing weights around in the gym you will want to have a collar to secure the load.
If you want more you can go for the HG collars, Muscle Clamps are both great .
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 but pick however you like.
#2 of Top 10 Garage Gear
Bumper Plates – You need 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 and plates.
There are two type of training bumpers: Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Plates – Recycled rubber bumpers with HD stainless steel inserts. These bumpers are made in the USA (Tuscumbia, Alabama) and are hands down the toughest bumper on the market. Rubber bumper with Brass Sleeve – There are dozens of similar bumpers out there on the market – mostly 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.
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 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.
If you workout outside and want a portable version – Check out this simple RPG system that goes with the rings. Sorinex has made an all in one BaseFit system that has a dip station, squat rack and pullup system.
Gym Rings – 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 garage gym rings? Read on.
Video – Rogue Fitness Rings
Check out the Rogue Fitness W4-Garage Gym Setup for your home
From Brad McLeod, founder of a Garage Gym and CrossFit box –
Many 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 gym rings.
I made a set of homeade crossfit rings but eventually lost interest in them as they were too too homey – if you know what I mean.
So I broke down and bought a set of Rogue Rings and stepped up to the big time. Rogue Fitness Gym 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.
Head of CrossFit Training, Dave Castro – uses the Rogue Fitness Wood Rings in his home gym in California. He can use any gymnastic ring in the world that he wants and he choses the Rogue Fitness Wooden Ring. Dave gives the Rogue Fitness wood rings a good review Plastic Gym Rings – The Elite EXF rings get some good reviews and several athletes really enjoy them. The rings that have the foam covering on one portion of the ring is a slight hassle as it helps to get a better grip but the foam will wear out over time. PowerMax Fitness Rings – Very solid setup but the strapping system is very complicated, straps are short and the plastic knurl is very aggressive.
#4 of Top 10 Equipment for a Garage Gym
Squat Stand – A lot of options here so take notes:
El Cheapo squat stands – You can get a very cheap affordable squat stand on Ebay that is not steady at all. Made in China by the boat loads and shipped over here. Cheap and you get what you pay for. From Brad McLeod – I worked out at a gym that had these exact squat stands. We made do with them as we did not know any better. Ok for shoulder press but will slide.
Rogue Fitness SPX squat stand – 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 from Rogue Fitness.
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 More Top 10 CrossFit Equipment for a Garage Gym
#5 Kettle Bell
We recommend a 16-24KG kettlebell for men and a 8-16KG Kettlebell for women. A note from Brad McLeod – I just bought a 53 lb Ader 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. We have a set of the Rogue Ader Kettlebell and really like these bells. These have the right feel.
#6 of Top 10 Equipment for a Garage Gym
Medicine Ball – The Dynamax medicine balls has been number one for years. Here are some things to consider: Fight Gone Bad sizing – 20 & 14LB Dynamax Medicine Balls are the sizes used for the CrossFit RX workouts. 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 with the warranty them even though no one has been able to make a slam proof med ball It is easy to make a do-it-yourself med ball with a basketball skin and some sand. Check out the SEALgrinderPT video of us making one out in front of the gym.
#7 of Top 10 Equipment for a Garage Gym
Concept 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 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 on of the new Concept2 Model D rower for $900
#8 of Top 10 Equipment for a Garage Gym
Jump Rope – There are a number of new speed ropes in recent years like the RX jump ropes or Power Max Jump Rope. I have several jump ropes in my gym bag and if going for raw speed – I use the Rogue Ultra Speed Cable Jump 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 Rogue Ultra Speed Cable Jump Rope is wicked fast and used to break the US National and World speed records. You can buy a set of 5 Replacement Cables for your Ultra Speed Cable Jump Rope if you wear out one.
Video – Gear for a Garage Gym
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.
This is a relatively cheap item and a must have for your garage gym.
#10 GLUTE HAM DEVELOPER
GHD – One of the most under used pieces of equipment out there, this is a great piece of equipment. Here are some options: Legend Econ GHD – This is the lowest price GHD without sacrificing all quality. Legend Standard GHD – This is a good GHD with 3X3 tube steel construction. This GHD ships already built which costs a little more.
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.
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.
Another question asked was “What is one piece of equipment I can start with for CrossFit gear for my home?”. Again, I would say a yoga mat as you can do pushups and sit-ups then run and come back and do standing lunges touching your knee to mat.
Question: What is required to set up a CrossFit garage gym? Check out the tips above and you will find good info to help you.
Question: Is there are list of the best CrossFit garage gyms? I don’t think I have seen a list but there are many videos on Youtube.
Question: Where do I purchase CrossFit equipment? Check out any of the links above to Rogue Fitness or other gear companies.
Question: Is it worth it making your own workout powerack for crossfit? 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 neccesary equipment for cross fit workouts? 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 the best Rogue Fitness weightlifting starter kit for women? We would recommend the Rogue Bella barbell and a starter set of bumper plates and collars.
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 is a good crossfit at home starter packs? The Alpha CrossFit pack by Rogue Fitness is a good garage gym starter pack.
Question: Do you have any promaxima weightlifting bars reviews. Yes; check here:
Question: What about hanging a boxing bag off a crossfit rig? I would look at the weight rating of the cross beam and make sure you are not exceeding the maximum.
Question: What is a good 2 or 3 station boxing stand kit to add to the back corner of a CrossFit gym? Try this one from Everlast – 2 Station Heavy Bag Stand.
Question: What kind of machines are used at crossfit gyms? The only machine that is used is a rowing machine.
Question: What are other companies like Rogue Fitness? Other good companies are MuscleDriver, Rage Fitness, Tru Strength, Perform Better and Again Faster. We are also looking at new companies like MaxWod, WOD superstore and American Aggression.
Question: Can I buy Rogue bumper plate in the UK? Yes; check out Rogue Europe to get CrossFit gear in Europe. Check back in as we will discuss more CrossFit gym equipment soon.. like Olympic lifting shoes, dumbbells, AbMats, mobility bands (for pull-ups) and foam rollers.
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