Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Building Equipment for Your Gym Facility

Whether you are the owner of a CrossFit Box or building a workout area in your garage or basement, you have to make many decisions on equipment.  How do I get the most for my money?  How am I going to program WODs?  With these thoughts in mind, there are many types and brands of equipment (bars, bumpers, kettle bells, ect) that you may want and need for your facility.  

But, on some pieces of equipment, there are other factors.  Do you buy pre-fabricated equipment or do you make it yourself?  Two of the most common pieces of equipment that fall into this decision making process are the pull-up rack and the plyo box (chances are you will not forge a kettle bell or build a barbell!).

So, how do you decide.  Well, it starts with your personal abilities and equipment, or the skill and equipment of your friends and clients.  If you have the resources to do it yourself, then that may be the best option.  But, on these two pieces of equipment, there are considerations:

The Plyo Box
Although building your own equipment will save money, it won't save time.  And if you're not skilled enough, it might spell trouble.
Equipment - Buy or Build Your Own?

So, to build a plyo box all you need is plywood, a saw, tape measure and screws.  Sounds like it should be an easy task.  When you are first starting a gym, it sounds like a great way to save some cash.  Plywood is relatively cheap, right?  How long can it take to build a box?  Head to the hardware store, grab materials, take them home and begin fabrication.

Well, you may miss out on some of the features of a prefabricated box.  For example, you may not think about routed edges, multiple hand holds, and fabricating with a puzzle pattern for strength and ease of assembly. 

A quote from Jason Walsh of Iron Core CrossFit in Rochester, NY:  "My time is valuable.  By the time you pay for all of the materials and then spend hours building the boxes it doesn't make financial sense not to buy plyo boxes.  One box takes about 10-15 minutes to put together".  This is from a guy who has the skills and tools to do it himself! As your box gets busier, you will want to spend your valuable time developing your business and training clients and less time on fabrication.

The Pull Up Rig

This is a bigger job to take on.  Talk about specialized skills!  But again, if you have the skills and tools (or access to them), then by all means build your own rig.  But, again there are a few thing to think about. 

Expansion:  What do you do when you out grow your rig?  All of a sudden your class size is doubled, and you need more pull up stations.  If you have the time, get some steel and break out the welder.  For some, that is a piece of cake.  But, a rig like ours is infinitely expandable.  It is very simple to bolt on additional sections as needed. 

Attachments:  J-cups for squat stands, safety spotter arms, dip bars are all off the shelf and readily available with a simple phone call.  Not that these can't be fabricated to match a custom rig, but with expansion comes the need for more accessories.

In summary, we will never knock anybody who has the skill and desire to do fabrication of a plyo box or rig on their own.  We just wanted bring up a few things to consider.  You may have the time now, but as your box grows, think about what your time is worth to the business and your athletes.



Hammerhead Strength Equipment