CrossFit gyms, more commonly referred to as “the box,” are all significantly different from one another. For those of you not familiar with the term “box,” this simply refers to open space for human movement. Boxes near you may be in retail storefronts, basements, industrial parks, or even be completely outside. Many CrossFit Workouts of the Day (WODs) can take place with no equipment at all, however, if you want to get the most out of your CrossFit experience you will want to see some equipment within a box.
The Essential Equipment/Rigs
The largest structures you should immediately see are pull-up rigs, which usually double as squat racks. As your eyes glance around the room, you should see a variety of barbells, weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, boxes, and dumbbells. Rogue Fitness is the primary supplier of CrossFit equipment, and they make a great long-lasting product. While not a necessity, but definitely a plus, you should look for high ceilings. Your WODs will be limited if ceilings are not at least 12 feet high.
Now time to look for “luxury” items. Luxury items are pieces of equipment that are not needed on a regular basis, but items that will help mix up your training and provide even greater overall fitness results. Concept 2 Rowers/Ergs are usually a staple in most CrossFit boxes, but at their hefty price tag, they should definitely be considered a luxury item. Other luxury items are things you’d never see in a conventional gym, despite their usefulness in forging elite fitness. These pieces of equipment are:
- Large tires
- Atlas stones
- Push and pull sleds
- GHDs (Glute & Hamstring Developer)
- A peg board
- Climbing ropes
- Slosh pipes
- Parallel bars
- Monkey bars
- Gymnastics rings
We put gymnastic rings in the luxury category because they are easily stashed away when not in use, but as Coach Greg Glassman once said, “No training program is complete without the use of gymnastics rings.”
The hardest thing to understand in the beginning of your CrossFit journey is the community of a CrossFit box. This intangible asset is something that cannot be bought – this is where no two boxes are the same. You should be welcomed from day one at your CrossFit box. If you do not feel welcome then try another box, do not give up on CrossFit because one place was not a fit for you. Even if the next box is 20 minutes away, it’s worth it to find the box that fits you best. Ultimately it will be the community that helps get you fit and keeps you going; the box and its equipment are all secondary to that.