How to Build a Home Gym

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Page:  1 Next »
Print
By JOEL TOLEDANO


So you have been doing CrossFit for a while now; you are thinking it is time to take it to the next level and build yourself a home gym. Is it right for you? And what equipment do you really need? How much will it cost you? Let’s take a look.

Should I build a home gym?

If you love the community and motivation of group training, think carefully before you invest in a home gym.
This is the key question you need to ask yourself. And don’t forget to ask the others in your household, since this potentially impacts them as well – get their buy-in before commandeering a room in the house or half your garage. On the one hand, a home gym sounds like a great idea:

On the days I’m not scheduled to go to my CrossFit gym, however, I’m at a bit of loss as to what to do. … At first, I thought I’d have to re-join a big globo-gym to get access to the equipment I’d need. But then I read this article in the CrossFit Journal explaining how to fully equip one’s home gym for CrossFit. It sounded fun, so I started cramming stuff into our little garage. – (Fitbomb)

But on the other hand, make sure you will actually use it:

Working out on your own isn’t for everybody. Some people would buy this equipment and never use it, because they actually find better motivation in group classes.– (BreakingMuscle.com)

Most people think first about how much money they would save on affiliate gym dues and commuting costs. But you should also spend some time thinking hard about whether you are motivated enough to use that home gym and not just let it accumulate dust.

OK, I am motivated to kick butt and I want to build a home gym. What are the essential items I need?

Start with a well thought-out approach to (1) necessary equipment, and (2) the space that equipment will require in your home gym.

Keep it simple: Your most important need in a home gym is… SPACE.
Matthew Hall analyzed mainsite WODs over a period of 18 months for the CrossFit Journal and came to some surprising conclusions about what equipment is truly necessary to do most WODs in your home gym:

The most important idea to take away from the data: it costs close to $4,000 to completely outfit a CrossFit home gym, but 80 percent of exercises can be completed by spending about $1,500. Most of that total goes to CrossFit staples such as a bar and weights. They cost less than $1 per use. Less expensive items such as rings and medicine balls are used frequently. Buying them adds to the percentage of the program that can be completed. A jump rope is used infrequently but costs just $13. Buy one.

Hall’s analysis chart below highlights the frequency distribution of various pieces of equipment used in WODs. Kettlebells and dumbbells, which are typically part of home gym setups, are used in a surprisingly small percentage of WODs, and reasonable substitutes abound for equipment that is infrequently called-for (e.g., running for rowing):

image

Blair Morrison takes a “less-is-more” approach to home gym building and lays out a series of helpful checklists as to what a home gym does and does not need:

5 things a home gym needs:

  1. space (see next section)
  2. a pullup bar (“the quintessential upper body strength builder”)
  3. a sandbag (“better, more versatile, and costs less” than a barbell)
  4. barbell and bumpers (“Barbells are necessary if you intend to build real strength. You can only get so far before you have to deadlift and squat to improve.”)
  5. rubber flooring and a rack (“Without someplace to rack your bar you can’t do heavy squats. If you can’t do heavy squats you can’t get strong. … I’m simply referring to some way to load a secure bar at shoulder height. Portable metal racks, cinder blocks, whatever.”)

5 things a home gym does NOT need:

  1. a treadmill
  2. a bench (“It is good for one exercise and otherwise it is always in the way.”)
  3. plyo boxes (“These things just don’t get used enough to justify the inevitable headache they create. They are space vacuums and shin destroyers.”)
  4. a platform (“The rubber flooring will serve as your platform if you don’t have the time or space to build a proper wooden one.”)
  5. medicine balls (“They wind up all over the place—stacked on weights, in corners, or right out in the open—and second, the vast majority of CrossFitters only use them for one exercise—wallball.”)

And don’t forget the ipod or stereo system. You have to rock good tunes while you work out!

Printable Version
Page 1 2 3 Next »

Looking for a competition near you? Having an event?
Check out our new Event Calendar!

Our event calendar lets you create your own event listing for any type of event - throwdown, adventure race, seminar, you name it. For free. In 2 minutes. It's as easy as writing a Facebook post. And you can embed the calendar right on your website.
Try it today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Most Popular of All Time

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

CrossFit WV shared an image on Facebook

JJ gets a bar muscle on his last day at crossfit wv!!!

CrossFit Rife posted on Facebook

*****reminder there are no 6 or 7pm classes this evening. Please plan accordingly.

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

WOD 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/wod-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

RVA Fit 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/rva-fit-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
cfwhrob published the post 4 Common Kettlebell Swing Errors Made by CrossFitters on Tabata Times
The kettlebell is a common tool in the CrossFit arsenal. Every box has a collection of them, and I...
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CF Teens Spring Break Schedule Mon 4/14- preteens @ 5:30pm, teens @ 6:15pm Weds 4/16- teens @ 6:15pm NO class T/Th! CF Kids class this Sunday 4/13 12pm at Patriot! Hang Snatch 2-2-2-2-2 4 Rounds 10 HSPU 15 Box Jump (24/20) 2 Rope …

North End CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

http://northendcrossfit.com/?p=2118

North End CrossFit posted an article
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Compound CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Chesapeake shared an image on Facebook

A great night with the CrossFit Chesapeake Kids!! Rowing, tire drags, and burpees, oh my!!

CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Don't forget about Yobility at 6am tomorrow morning with a Coach Alicia!

CrossFit Old Town shared a link on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Everyone is invited to join PCFer ML Gilbride's family and friends in a celebration of her life and legacy by participating in a CrossFit WOD in her honor. All are welcome to participate, spectate, or just come out to honor our friend. Registration link and details below. http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2128714

CrossFit WV shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Strong work today

CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Fairfax shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
shortz published the post Is it time to pay judges? on
Is it time to pay judges? CrossFit and CrossFit Competition is big business. There is a lot of...
CrossFit Chronic posted an article
CrossFit Rubicon posted an article
CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Max and Texas working hard this afternoon...

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

New website is live!! Featuring many of our members. What do you think?

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse athlete Sean O'Brien and his wife Angela on the arrival of their healthy baby boy William Cooper O'Brien!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Coach Neal Jamison says an "aerobic finisher" does the body good. What exactly is he talking about?

CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
North End CrossFit posted on Facebook

FREE COMMUNITY CLASSES!!! Saturdays at 10am are now open to our local Community and our NECF Friends and Family! Been wanting to try Crossfit, but been to nervous?!?! Come as a guest to NECF for a great beginner style workout. Coaches will be there to welcome and instruct you through basic Crossfit movements to keep you safe and efficient while you work. Current members are welcome as long as they bring a guest:) We hope this will be a great opportunity for more of our neighbors to get involved and see how NECF and being a part of our family can greatly improve health and daily life. Look forward to seeing you soon!

CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

RunningBrooke hitting the WOD with Team 0915!

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

Last chance to sign up for the mobility and recovery seminar with Svetlana and Brian! You are not going to want to miss out on this!

CrossFit South Arlington shared an image on Facebook

Benchmark week.

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Scores for the WOD "Squat Jumps, Pull Ups and HSPU" on Friday April 4 have been posted

CrossFit Annandale shared a link on Facebook

Sometimes your PR might not seem so awesome compared to big-time CrossFitters, but remember that you are probably stronger than almost everyone you know! Check out this article for some numbers to shoot for at different levels.

Fentress CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK....The only schedule change we will have is....THERE ARE NO 11AM CLASSES ON MON, WED AND FRIDAY! All other classes are ON!

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

AM all finished... What could the wod(s) be?

CrossFit Fairfax shared an image on Facebook

Happy Birthday today to Keya!! Enjoy your special day you beautiful BEAST!!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse Athlete Chassity Martin for her feature on the CrossFit Games website!

Patriot CrossFit posted on Facebook

Effective Monday, April 28th, Potomac will no longer be offering a 7:15pm Class.

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Yoga for Outlaws http://wp.me/p1bPVX-1po

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

BCF - we are expecting our new and improved website to launch today! We may have some downtime during the transition and Thurs WOD may be delayed in being posted.

CrossFit Advance posted on Facebook

Meghan, our new in house sports massage therapist will be in tonight from 5-9. If you are feeling sore, need a little recovery or just want to treat yourself be sure to see her. It's a game a changer!!!

Outlaw CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Outlaws, we are happy to announce a new specialty class we will be offering on Thursdays and Sundays! Check out the flyer below for more info on Yoga for Outlaws! Thursday classes start April 24th and Sunday classes start April 27th.

CrossFit RVA shared an image on Facebook

Deadline for orders is 1pm today! If you haven't tried them, fED meals are a great way to begin improving your diet and getting the most out of your hard work in the gym.

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Download this free app CFC peeps. You're gonna need it today :)

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Ugh, I am a day late, but yay for more birthday wishes. CFC wishes this longtime, dedicated, strong, and beautiful gal a Happy (day late) Birthday! Happy Birthday Teresa!

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

Reppin that Tribe

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

6am just completed the day 3 blackout wod, what is it though?

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

TODAY'S WOD: “Nasty Girls” 3 RFT 50 Air Squats, 7 Muscle Ups, 10 Hang Power Clean (135 / 95). Post experience to comments!

Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Wednesday's Programming: Strength: Dead Lift Warm Up 10x Empty Bar 10x 20% of 1RM 10x 50% of 1RM Strength 3x5 85-90% of 1RM 3xMax Strict Pull-Ups (In between Sets of Dead Lifts) THEN WOD: 5 Rounds 400m run 10 Thrusters 95/65

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV