Create your own Personal Gym
Olympic Barbell / Weightlifting Bar
This piece of equipment must be quality made. A good barbell should be able to withstand shoulder height drops to the floor without bending. Don’t try to go cheap here, the bar will probably become the most useful item in your set. Alumilite is recommended as the more affordable material to look for if you are just getting started or using CrossFit for rehab. Otherwise, buy a quality steel bar. It will last for years….. probably your whole life.
The Rogue Bar is likely the most popular Olympic, steel barbell out there, but there are lots of other bars available to choose from. Remember that for Olympic lifting, you want to have a bar with the smallest possible diameter and whichever you choose, you’ll need to make sure you clean it often to keep it in great shape and prevent rusting.
- The Rogue Bar from Rogue Fitness
- CAP Barbell Olympic Bar, 2-Inch
Bumper plates are a common tool used in Olympic lifting. These are large circular discs that come in varying weights. For this item, you will want to avoid steel plates. Some of them are coated in thick rubber, but most actual CrossFit gyms recommend solid rubber composition plates in varying weights. These are softer on your garage gym floor, and they are much quieter too. In addition to the plates, you’might want to consider a bumper plate holder for storage.
- XMark Fitness Black Bumper Plates
- Rogue Bumper Plates by Hi-Temp
Squats are a must for building strong legs. Your quads will especially benefit from this exercise. As you improve with CrossFit and your squats, you’ll be adding weight with a barbell and plates to every squat you perform. Make sure that you have a durable and sturdy squat stand, which will aid you in lifting while doing squats with weights. This is a great backup in case you can’t make the lift, and it makes it so that you don’t have to bend down for the bar every time. The Rogue Fitness SPX squat stand is an excellent choice. Individuals who stand up to 6’5” tall can use it with ease, and it is fully adjustable. Heavy steel provides the durable construction.
- ES-1-squat-stand from Rogue fitness
- Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
Out of all of these garage gym toys, the pull-up bar is one of the staples. You will certainly need a large, open space both vertically and horizontally to perform pull-ups and dips with this bar. You may see freestanding bars or dip towers, and these are adequate, but they are also cheaply made. A wall mounted bar is much better. You can get an excellent dip and pull-up bar from Rogue fitness that will last for years and not damage your walls.
- Rogue P-3 Pull-up System
- Rogue individual pull-up system
If you have enough space for it, we recommend getting a power rack. It allows for maximum safety during lifts because of the safety pins it has to catch the barbell in case something goes wrong. It also allows for a wide range of other exercises since they are usually equipped with built-in pull-up & dip bars. This will replace both the squat stand and the pull-up bar. an all in one solution. The only drawback is,….. it demands a lot of space.
- Rogue RE-3 Echo Rack / Power Rack
- Rogue individual pull-up system
Secondary items, needed for a more allround Crossfit workout.
A kettlebell is a large weight with a handle on it. You can purchase kettlebells in varying weights and perform a variety of beneficial CrossFit moves with it. It is recommended to get a kettlebell that is 8-16KG for women and one that is 16-24KG for men. There are several attributes to look for in a kettlebell, but it all comes down to personal preference. Make sure that you get a bell with a quality casting seam, or this could rip up your hands as you work out with it. In addition, make sure you get a bell that is not coated with epoxy, or it may chip badly.
- ProSource Solid Cast Iron Kettlebell
- Rogue Ketllebells
Medicine balls are another staple of a great CrossFit workout. These are literally large balls about the size of a bigger basketball that you can lift, toss or slam to bulk up. If you want to slam with a medicine ball, try the D-ball. That works the best because they have great warranties in case of damage. If you want an inexpensive medicine ball, consider making your own with a deflated basketball and some sand! Either way, a medicine ball that is about 14 pounds will have the best overall weight for what you’ll want to do with it.
Jump ropes are awesome for a quick cardio workout in your garage gym. The Ultra Speed Rope is a quality fast rope, but there are many to choose from. You might want to consider the length, the material and the hand grips. Don’t choose too heavy of a rope if you want to do hundreds of jumps at a time, but a rope that is too light will be difficult to jump with.
- Premium Crossfit Jump Rope for Mastering Double Unders
- WODFitters Bearing PRO Speed Rope
Gymnastic rings are often used in CrossFit gyms and hang from high ceilings. It may be difficult in some garage gyms to incorporate these into your routine, but you can certainly try it. If you have a somewhat vaulted ceiling, those work best. Professional Athletics has wood rings and straps for a little over $100, and these can be used with or without vaulted ceilings to provide options. If you own a power rack you can easily attach the rings to the pull-up bar.
- 1200lbs Rated Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings
- Gymnastic Rings – Premium Heavy Duty Crossfit
A plyometrics box is an awesome workout tool, and you will see many of them in the Crossfit gyms. Plyo boxes are super effective for power training and conditioning. They will also help with explosive movements. You can actually make your own box with wood, or you can purchase one made of steel. You can have an adjustable box or simply make or buy several boxes in different heights. Having a range of box heights will allow you to work your way up to doing standing jumps on tall boxes. Once mastered, most people end up sticking with the 20” box. Many CrossFitters have been happy with plyometrics boxes from Bigger Faster Stronger.
- Plyometric Platform Box Set- 18″, 24″
- Fuel Pureformance Adjustable Plyometrics Box
In addition to the fundamental and secondary tools described above you will eventually need a flat bench to “help” you with your body weight exercises and extra weight exercises. Your bench should be comfortable and sturdy, and the material should be durable. The Iron Mind flat bench will last forever, but it may be a bit pricey for some. It is made from steel. You can use it for its general weight exercise purpose, or you can use it to reach the pull-up bar or as a step-up.