Outfitting your CrossFit home gym or garage can be a daunting task.
There’s a lot of gear needed to truly follow a CrossFit program as it’s written. While some items are pretty affordable, other pieces will require you to invest a pretty penny or two.
However, it’s totally possible to cut your expenses down drastically when building your CrossFit gym at home. Just be savvy with your purchases, don’t cheap out on the stuff that really matters, and wait to get certain pieces of gear until later.
Here’s how to build your home gym setup and our top picks for outfitting your CrossFit garage gym.
How to Setup a CrossFit Home Gym
Ideally, your home gym should be built on the first floor. Garages and rooms near doorways to the house are perfect. You’ll want somewhere you have easy access to get in and out on days you have to run.
Setting up your CrossFit home and garage gym equipment setup is going to vary based on a few factors:
- Space. How much room can you allot to your CrossFit home gym equipment? Along with the gear in this guide, look into space-saving gear like wall clips, weight racks, and other nifty hacks that’ll maximize your space.
- Training program. Consider which movements come up frequently on the CrossFit program you follow. Use that as a guide to determine what you’ll buy first and what can wait.
- Fitness needs. What you need can be partially determined by your fitness level. If you’re experienced and strong, you might need additional bumper plates, kettlebells, etc.
- CrossFit ambition. Do you want to get really good at CrossFit? Then your home gym will, in all likelihood, be an ever-growing conglomerate of gear. Keep that in mind as you outfit your gym with the essentials now, thinking about what your equipment needs will look like after a year or two of hard training.
- Budget. Money is a factor for any home gym (of course). But sacrificing quality to save a quick buck will only cost you in the long-run. It’s better to prioritize pieces of equipment and add over time than buy stuff that will need to be replaced every 12 months.
It might help to draw up a to-scale blueprint and map out where each item will go.
Building a CrossFit Home Gym on a Budget
CrossFit home and garage gym equipment isn’t cheap. But there are definitely ways you can save money and get the most for the dollars you do spend.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
- If you’re buying brand new equipment, you can furnish your home gym with the necessities for under $4,000.
- If you go second-hand equipment and shop for deals, you can furnish your home or garage CrossFit gym with the necessities for $1500 to $2500.
- If you buy just the essentials now and build your gym over two years, you’ll need about $1000 to $1500 to get started.
To keep costs low:
- Buy the essentials first (see below) and get the rest later
- Take advantage of online sales through major fitness retailers
- Keep an eye out for gym closures or local fitness equipment sales
- Look on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for in-good-condition gear
- Take care of your equipment so it doesn’t break
Essential Equipment for CrossFit Home Gym
These are the pieces of gear you need pretty much from day one to do CrossFit at home or in your garage.
Without these pieces of equipment, you’ll struggle to do CrossFit WODs without making major changes to the workout—ones that might change the workout’s entire structure or intended stimulus.
Your weight lifting rig (often called a power rack) is going to be the centerpiece of your home gym. You’ll use it to:
- Perform front and back squats
- Perform overhead presses
- Set up for heavy overhead squats and Oly lift variants
- Perform pull-ups
This piece of equipment is going to form the foundation of your strength training.
Rogue RM-390F Flat-Foot Power Rack
Rogue’s power rack is state of the art and heavy duty. It’s powder-coated and weighs 335lbs, which is enough for even the strongest athletes. This CrossFit rig is a one-time purchase. It’s not cheap, but at least you know you’ll have it for the next several decades.
Rogue SML-1 Monster Lite Squat Stand
An economical choice for those on a smaller budget (or with limited space). This isn’t a CrossFit power rack, but still allows you to squat, press, and do Olympic lift variations from it. You’ll need a separate pull-up bar if you go this direction.
If there’s one piece of home CrossFit gym equipment you shouldn’t skimp on, it’s your barbell.
You truly get what you pay for. Cheap barbells don’t spin in your hands, and tend to permanently bend when you load them with heavy weights. Not good.
The Rogue Bar 2.0
This bar was used several years in a row at the CrossFit Games. The knurling is great, it spins well in the hands for Olympic lifts, and it’s heavy-duty. It’s a proven piece of equipment that can stand up to the rigors of CrossFit.
Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Barbell
Titan’s Economy barbell is about half the price as the Rogue Bar (depending on sales). But it’ll still do the job just as well. It comes highly rated and was designs for Olympic lifts, meaning you’ll get similar whip speed on your cleans and snatches.
Beginner CrossFit athletes might be able to get away with metal plates for a while. But eventually you’re going to want to switch to bumpers. If you’re outfitting your home gym from scratch, investing in good plates is just as advisable as getting a quality barbell.
Get a set of good clips too, while you’re at it.
REP Black Bumper Plates
We went with the REP Fitness bumper plates over the Rogue ones simply because of the more flexible options. Rogue only sells their bumpers in sets, which could be pricey if you’re trying to outfit your CrossFit home gym as a beginner. These allow you to buy exactly what you need.
Titan Fitness Economy Bumper Plates
Similarly-priced, this is a good option if you’d prefer to buy your bumpers in one set. Titan’s got a great reputation in the CrossFit community.
Double unders are a staple of CrossFit. Here’s a place where you can save a few bucks.
SR-1 Rogue Speed Bearing Jump Rope
Another piece of Rogue equipment wins here (you’ll start to see a theme as we go on). It’s a proven rope that many high-level CrossFit athletes use.
Ultra Light 3.0 Speed Rope
Half the price and weighted similarly, this rope is great if you just need one and don’t care about the Rogue name. Ropes have to be replaced every few years anyway.
Kettlebells made the essential list for two reasons. One, they naturally come up in WODs in the form of kettlebell swings, snatches, and deadlifts. Two, they’re an easy substitute for dumbbell workouts. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford both right now, start by getting a kettlebell or two.
Simply the best option on the market. Powdered-coated, color-coordinated and flat bottomed for easy storage and transitions during WODs, this is the best kettlebell you’ll find for the price.
Budget Pick: Same!
Rogue wins here again. Their kettlebells are some of the cheapest in the business, and you don’t want to mess around with a super cheap one just to save a few bucks. If you’re really trying to score a deal, look on Amazon for deals that could land you free shipping with Amazon Prime.
Chalk is cheap, but necessary. One of the benefits to having your own CrossFit home and garage gym equipment is no fitness facility manager is going to come tell you chalk isn’t allowed.
It’s cheap, but necessary. Just order some—either a bag or a few bricks—while you’re outfitting your CrossFit gym
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Lower Priority Equipment
The equipment on this list is stuff you should eventually get. You might not need it on day one, but having it will allow you to do pretty much every CrossFit WOD that comes your way.
Gym Floor Mats
Gym mats aren’t technically a need from day one, but they’re pretty close, especially if you’re using bumper plates on a bare garage floor.
You’ll preserve every single piece of equipment you have—including your weightlifting shoes—by getting good floor mats under your weightlifting equipment. This is probably the first thing you should pick up after you get the essentials.
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Flooring rolls are a solid option because they don’t come apart with use. This 3/8in option is plenty thick for your CrossFit needs and will keep all your gear safe.
5/8in Evolution Rubber Tiles
Slightly thicker, these tiles give you a better option if you have to break down your home gym from time to time. Or if you need custom lengths to create a floor for a uniquely shape home gym.
A CrossFit rowing machine is definitely an investment. It makes the priority list because you can substitute running for the foreseeable future. You’ll definitely want a CrossFit rack and good barbell/bumper plates first.
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The Concept 2 has long been the gold standard rowing machine at CrossFit gyms. So it goes for the home gym enthusiast, too. This machine is tested, comes with a great warranty, and may have financing options available so that it fits your budget.
Xebex Rower 2.0
The Xebex is similarly priced to the C2 Model 2. It’s another proven rowing machine that many CrossFit gyms opt for as well.
Wood is actually the preferred material for ring dips, muscle ups and L-Holds. Sweaty hands on plastic or metal can make gripping the rings difficult. A little chalk and wooden rings keep your hands right where you put them.
Rogue Gymnastic Wood Rings
These are the rings you see at the CrossFit games. They’re well priced for Rogue equipment. Might as well go with the best.
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You can save a few bucks here if you want. Highly rated and adjusted for almost 1500lbs of resistance, so they’re definitely good for CrossFit.
At some point, you’ll need to invest in a pair (or three) of dumbbells. It will be pricey, but no CrossFit garage gym is complete without them.
Some might argue that dumbbells are essential right away. True, dumbbells do come up in GPP programs pretty often and the CrossFit Open has incorporated them into workouts in the past. But you can substitute most dumbbell exercises for kettlebell or light barbell movements.
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These only go up to 50lbs, but they’re cheaper than Rogue’s version and cover all the bases you need. The best CrossFit dumbbells are rubber, hexagonal and made with good knurling to maintain grip during workouts. These check all those boxes.
For when you need heavier dumbbells down the road. They go up to 125lbs, so you can really get whatever you need.
Plyometric Box (Jump Box)
Box jumps, box step ups, and burpee step overs are all commonly seen in CrossFit programming. You can probably make due with a set of stairs or a sturdy bench for a while, but it’s safer and more effective to get yourself a good box.
Rogue Games Wooden Box
As sturdy as you’re going to get for a plyometric box. The only downside to this box is the amount of space it’ll take up in your home gym.
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If you’ve got a history of busting your shins on the wooden boxes, try this foam option instead. It’s slightly cheaper than Rogue’s foam box and still allows you to jump to 20, 24, and 30 inches.
Wall balls aren’t the most expensive piece of home gym gear. But this is another piece of equipment you shouldn’t skimp on. Cheap wall balls are notorious for breaking, spilling sand, and becoming lopsided with use.
Rogue Medicine Wall Ball
It might seem like we’ve got a crush on Rogue or something. But to some extent, we’re really just looking at what CrossFit gyms and asking why. This is one of the few medicine balls that doesn’t become lopsided or lumpy with excessive use. It’s worth the extra few dollars.
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If you just need a cheap wall ball for now, this is the way to go. It’s much cheaper, although you might need to upgrade down the road.
Bench presses don’t come up often in CrossFit. In fact, the Linda WOD is about the only time you can expect to see them. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a bench. Many CrossFitters supplement with bench presses to build upper body strength.
If you’re really strapped for cash, you can also do step-ups on your bench until you get a plyo-box. Just remember that’s going to wear down your bench even faster. Make sure it’s sturdy before jumping on it.
Rogue Flat Utility Bench
There isn’t much need for an adjustable bench in CrossFit, which might actually help you save a few bucks. Flat benches tend to be cheaper. This Rogue Model is comfortable, durable, and has great grips on the bottom to help keep it in place while you lift.
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This cheaper option will get the job done for any CrossFitter. It comes with a 600lb rating and a 2-year factory warranty.
Here are the final pieces to add when you build a CrossFit home gym.
They’ll enable you to do pretty much any workout and allow you to get really specific when crafting your training program and CrossFit goals.
Exercises on the glute-ham developer (GHD) come up fairly often, but many CrossFit boxes don’t program GHD sit-ups in metcon-style workouts (due to the perceived risk of rhabdomyolysis).
While you’ll definitely want to get yourself a glute-ham developer for CrossFit eventually, you’ll probably wind up using it mostly for assistance work. So this is a place you can probably save a few bucks if you’re strapped for cash.
Rogue Abram GHD 2.0
Rogue’s Abram 2.0 is sturdy and easy to adjust. It’s certainly not the cheapest option, nor the most space-saving, but you’re guaranteed to have a solid piece of equipment in your home gym for a very long time.
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A fraction of the price, the CAP Roman Chair is good if you think you’ll mostly be doing GHD sit ups and back extensions (or reverse hypers) as part of your assistance workouts.
The AirBike is becoming more and more a staple of CrossFit workouts. We suggest getting yourself a rower first—but adding one of these to your home or garage gym can really take your training (and cardio) to the next level.
Rogue Echo Assault Bike
The new gold standard of AirBikes. Get ready to get your butt kicked on this thing. It’s expensive, but it’s sturdy as can be. Your cardio performance during WODs will thank you.
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Coming in a little cheaper than the Echo, there’s a lot to like about the original Assault bike. For one, it’s one of the only other models that’s going to accurately count calories for you during workouts.
Garage Gym Fan
Depending on the climate you live in, a garage gym fan could be a want, a need, or even a must. A good industrial fan will help circulate air and keep chalk from settling on your equipment.
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This fan meets all your home gym needs for a reasonable price. It’s built to last, so you won’t have to replace it for years.
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The benefit of this cheaper home gym fan is that it can be mounted or standalone. If you’re working on limited space, a mounted fan will free up room for other CrossFit gear.
Rope climbs come up every so often. They’re a good gymnastics skill to add to your arsenal or develop as your skill level improves.
But it’s also a piece of gear you can wait a while to get. In the meantime, you can always sub pull-ups with a towel.
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This rope tops our list due to price and because it’s suitable for indoor and outdoor gyms. Using an indoor rope outside will destroy your rope and could be potentially dangerous for climbers if it gets wet or even picks up moisture.
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This indoor rope is affordable and comes in 3 different lengths. 10 feet is the standard for most CrossFit workouts, but you’ll have some flexibility depending on your space.
Nylon Weightlifting Belt
Weight Lifting belts can actually help your lifting numbers go up. When you brace your core against a belt using the valsalva maneuver, your abs and lower back have something to contract against. This strengthens your midline and can help you lift bigger weights over tim.
Rogue USA Nylon Lifting Belt
Many CrossFitters use this belt. It’s easy to slip on and off during a workout but strong enough to make a difference during big lifts.
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A good starter belt that’s about half the price of the Rogue option. Comes in plenty of sizes.
Starting to really turn into a firebreather? Well, your version of RX’D workouts is going to call for a 20 or 40-lb weight vest from time to time. Bad weight vests can turn your workout into a total disaster, so be sure to get a good one.
Rogue Plate Carrier
The weight vest used at the CrossFit Games, this vest uses USA Cast Plates to provide additional resistance. It’s very heavy duty and you’ll never have to worry bout sandbags breaking on the vest.
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This weight vest is an intriguing option due to it’s cheaper cost, smaller size (big weight vests can make it hard to breathe during a workout like Murph) and adjustability. Solid iron 3lb bits can increase the weight of this thing to 60lbs.