You’ve got your CrossFit coach’s certificate, and you’ve pulled together the savings or got yourself a business loan. So just what do you need to set yourself up a CrossFit box? This post will give you the basic list of facilities and equipment every CrossFit box should have.
1. A Box
Duh. First and foremost you need an appropriate space. CrossFit “boxes” are called just that because they are typically just big empty shells when they are first commandeered and they usually stay in a fairly raw state. Ideally you’ll want something ground-floor level (so your members can safely drop weights). You’ll want ample space (around 10 square feet workout space per member) and parking, and also somewhere with plenty of height – at least 12 feet high (the male wall ball target, plus a couple of feet clearance).
At a minimum you’ll need a toilet, plus a tap for drinking water. Changing rooms, showers and a kitchenette are reserved for the more established gyms. You also need good lighting and somewhere to plug in a sound system. Heating, though not essential, would help in the winter months.
Gym flooring is pretty specialty, and flooring for CrossFit especially so. You can’t just get away with lino. Find some proper rubber flooring and make sure you have enough to cover all of the training space. You can section off areas for stretching and a social/kitchenette area if you want with slightly different flooring. You can also put wooden lifting platforms in to make the Olympic lifts that much more stable, and even have a turf-style carpet area for prowler pushing.
4. A Rig
Probably one of the things that makes a CrossFit box stand out most from a standard gym area is a rig. Used for everything from stretching to pullups, it’s worth investing in. Some rigs are more sturdy than others, some the paint chips away leaving bare metal to grate the skin on your hands. Do your research and find one that you know will be big enough for your expected class numbers, and that is sturdy enough to last. Buy cheap, buy twice.
5. Bars and Plates
Now we’re really onto the fun stuff. You can’t really do CrossFit if you don’t have a bar. Make sure you get men’s (20kg, standard grip) and women’s (15kg, thinner grip) bars, plus a decent number of plates ranging from a minimum of 1.25kg right up to 25kg. You could invest in expensive equipment like Eleiko, but there are plenty of other brands who do good equipment suitable for most lifters. Don’t forget clips too – whether you go for plastic clips or metal coil ones is up to you – whatever’s suitable.
6. Racks and Benches
When working on push press, jerk, squats, etc. you don’t want to have to clean the bar up every time so some squat racks that can be put away when not needed are a must. Benches also come in handy for exercises like bench press, bench pulls, hip thrusters, etc., especially if your members want to try Linda.
Another key piece of CrossFit equipment is the good old kettlebell. Go as low as 4-8kg right up to 32kg and beyond. It’s horses for courses and some moves may dictate a lighter kettlebell than you think! 16kg, 24kg and 32kg cover most RX weights, but try to think about how many members might scale, especially in a new box.
8. Wall Balls and Boxes
Essential for a good WOD, you can buy varying weight balls. 6 and 9kg are the appropriate equivalent weights for the American lbs, but 5, 7 and 9kg are more common in the UK. Make sure you have clear lines painted on the walls too so your members have a target to aim for. Boxes are needed for box jumps. You don’t need to go fancy with these, and can even make them yourself if you have a good structure to work from – you need strong joints. Most boxes are 20 x 24 x 30 inches.
9. Gymnastics Rings and Ropes
For ring rows, muscle-ups and inversions. Wooden ones are the tradition, but most now are plastic. Make sure you have straps long enough to be adjusted from your rig. Rings can also be suspended from the ceiling. A manila rope can be suspended from the ceiling too. They come in varying weights, but a 1.5 inch thick one is standard for most boxes.
10. Ab Mats
To support your members’ backs while doing sit ups it’s a good idea to get some ab mats. They also double up as scale options or cushioning for handstand push ups too.
11. Cardio Equipment
The cardio machines of the devil. Rowers are surprisingly low on some people’s list of priorities, but they appear in WODs quite regularly, and are a great full body apparatus. A handful of Concept 2 machines would do. A small stock of speedropes are also a must for CrossFit, and relatively cheap too. Airdynes are another piece of equipment a lot of boxes have, and are a good alternative to running for those who can’t.
12. Bands, Rollers, Balls
Those dreaded mobility torture devices. You’ll want bands of varying strengths to assist pull ups as well as to aid stretching, plus foam rollers, lacrosse balls or tennis balls. All of these can be used for making that cool down all the more effective.
13. Chalk, Whiteboard, Dry-Wipe Pens
Chalk as in grip chalk – this will be one of those things you will get through like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s a highly valued item when it comes to pull ups and lifting. A whiteboard and dry-wipe pens are great for writing up the WOD and the day’s scores. Or you could go all fancy and get glass pens and write all over the windows!
14. A Timer Clock
Last but not least: the dreaded clock… it’s what we all live by when we’re in the box – whether it’s an EMOM, AMRAP or RFT, there’s a setting for the job. And when that beep beep beeeeep of 3-2-1 is heard, it’s game time.
Is there anything I’ve missed off of this list? What are your essentials for a good CrossFit box? I’d love to hear from you!
This is a sponsored post written for R-Tek Manufacturing Ltd, suppliers of Industrial and Commercial Flooring. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.