This article was written by guest contributor, Paul Montes.
Planning your own CrossFit gym is exciting and you can learn a lot about the sport just by browsing the different equipment options. There are many pieces of equipment you can choose from and in the end it is down to your budget, space and imagination to find the right choices for your garage.
Ideally you want to choose a combination of strength and agility equipment. This will provide you with enough variation to mix up the workouts. Crossfit training is obviously more complex and can’t be really confined to 7 equipment choices, but given you have limited space in your garage you have to ensure you get the most out of each option.
Strength is an important aspect of CrossFit. To really approach this part the right way you need to ensure you get your strength training through functional exercises. Let`s have a look at some of the most recommended CrossFit equipment options for strength:
1. Power Rack
A power rack comes with plenty of versatility both in terms of the muscles involved and in strength growing capacity. You can work most muscle groups of the body just with a power rack and you can start with legs and back to get the basic functional exercises with compound movements.
The good news is that progression is visible with a power rack as you can add more weight or increase repetitions to improve your overall strength. Power racks come in various sizes and you need to make sure you have enough space in your garage for your preferred model.
Kettlebells are amazing for both strength and agility exercises. You can purchase various weights which will work for various muscles groups. Starting with smaller muscles such as the shoulders you can work your way up to abdominal or legs exercises using kettlebells.
Most gyms carry varied options which usually come in different colors for different weights. You can also choose this differentiating system so you know exactly which kettlebell to use when you are in a rush, like in the case of circuit training.
3. Olympic Weight Set
One of the most popular choices for crossfit home gyms is an Olympic weight set. The best Olympic weight set isn’t cheap, but the system can be used for multiple muscle groups like legs, shoulders, traps, biceps, triceps, chest and back. It provides incredible versatility and can be used to increase strength and it can also be incorporated in core exercises which target the abdominal muscles.
To make the most of your Olympic set, you can purchase an adjustable squat rack. As you have limited space, you can go with a smaller rack, but make sure it`s sturdy enough to support your weights.
CrossFit incorporates some of the best routines from multiple sports such as bodybuilding, gymnastics, running or rowing and you can use these sports to get the inspiration you need for your own personalized home gym. Now that you have the basic strength training in place you can start thinking of the best choices for your functional routines.
4. Gymnastic Wood Rings
One of the most beloved pieces of equipment in the CrossFit community is the gymnastic wooden rings. This equipment is so versatile and demanding that it is used even by professionals in the field.
To use the rings you need a good amount of strength in the pushing and the pulling muscles but you also need the right coordination to perform the exercises correctly. Using the equipment you can perform chest exercises such as dips, back exercises such as muscle-ups and pull-ups, front and back levelers etc.
Make sure you have a safe anchoring point in your garage for the wooden rings as they need to be locked-down to support your weight. Since you’ll be using the equipment at home it`s also a good idea to have a professional perform the installation in case you’re not sure on how to do it yourself.
5. Jump Box
For explosive exercises you can use one of the many jump boxes available on the market. There are no major differences between the models and the first thing you need to look for is safety and the weight supported by the box. Since the equipment is easy to move around you’ll be able to store it in a corner or move it away from the center of the garage if you need the space for other exercises.
6. Jump Rope
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to incorporate high intensity training into your routine without spending a fortune is by using a jump rope. Professional athletes also use jump ropes for losing weight or in a warm-up session. You can buy any jump rope and use it for years to come.
7. Medicine Ball
For the ultimate functional core exercises you can use a medicine ball. Ideally you need at a few different weights to use get the most variety into your workouts. The good news is that medicine balls will last for a long time and you will be able to use them for years without thinking of possible replacements.
The advantages of using strength and functional equipment are obvious as they will help you achieve a strong and balanced body. The power rack will help you achieve you goals especially with leg training by performing squats. Kettlebells will work for multiple muscle groups and they will last for a long time providing you with the workout variety you need in a home gym. The Olympic weight set will work to isolate muscles and it has the advantage of being usable for both strength and agility training. The wooden rings come with multiple exercise option but they all require strength and coordination which is ultimately your own objective also.
The jump box is a good addition to the power rack as it can deliver the exercises needed for an increased heart rate which will lead to fat loss. Jump ropes and medicine balls can be incorporated in single exercises and in circuit-style training also.
There are so many possible variations with just these 7 pieces of equipment that you only need to use your own ambition to fuel a new CrossFit routine with each workout.