Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Revisiting Equipment Value

I wrote this original blog a few years ago, and thought that it might be time to revisit the topic.  I am going to go into a little more detail, as outfitting your gym is expensive, and will have an impact on how quickly you grow membership.

After you find a great place to train your athletes and sign the lease (check out our blog on location considerations), comes the next big decision.  What am I going to put in the gym? 

Now, not to be to obvious, you are going to need gear to program workouts and train your athletes.  What to get?  How much of each?  This is not intended to be an affiliate outfitting / buying guide, but just a few highlights on our thoughts at Hammerhead Strength Equipment when outfitting a new box.  By the way, this also pertains to a home / garage gym!

We do not want to talk you into or out of any piece of equipment.  We are not trainers, we do not program WODs, and would never tell you how to train your athletes.  But, what we do is try and get you the most value for your hard earned dollars. 

Let's start with the basics.

Pull up rig:  So much of this decision has to do with the layout of your space.  Will free standing or wall mounted give you the best utilization of the floor space.  Remember you need space for oly lifting, burpees, and all the other exercises that require open space.  Also, most rigs are expandable.  Buy only as much rig as you think you need, and plan for expansion as membership grows.

Barbells:  There are hundreds of brands, styles and different price points for barbells.  The prices can range from $99 to thousands of dollars.  It all depends on the shaft steel, bearing or bushing quality, and the individual characteristics of the bar.  You really have to decide what works for your training style.  If you will allow people to drop the barbells, you may not want to focus on the high quality action, or more expensive bars.  Or you may want a mixture of WOD bars and Olympic lifting bars. 

The ratio of men's to women's bars is important too.  You can start with a 1:1 ratio, and add more when you see the makeup of your classes.

Bumpers:  If you decide on virgin rubber or recycled rubber, with care either can last through the rigors of CrossFit.  We recommend about 160lbs per athlete, based on your expected class size.  This is a good starting point.  People may need to partner up on heavy dead lift day, but you can work around that.

Kettlebells:  so great for core strength.  We all know the Rx weights, but don't forget the intermediate sizes.  5lb increments allow people to make gains, without having to jump 10 to 15lb each time.  Obviously, you do not want to train on technique with too heavy a kettlebell.  Same goes for a run of dumbbells or medicine balls.  You will need the variety for your athletes

But, what about the more specialized pieces of equipment.  Most notably rowers and GHDs.  These are great, exhausting, and challenging pieces of equipment. 
Awesome movements for a workout that will really get your athletes fit.  But, think about how many bumpers and bars or kettle bells can get for the price of one rower or GHD?

 And, how many people are you expecting in your classes?  It can be challenging to program workouts for 10 people with only two rowers. 

There is a flip side to this discussion too.  If you are planning on taking on private training clients, then rowers and GHD are a GREAT tool.  You only need one for each private client.  As time and goes on, you can then slowly increase the numbers of each of these as you grow your athlete base.  Next thing you know, you have 15 rowers in your stable of equipment and can program with much more flexibility.

Again, we will NOT ever talk you out of a piece of equipment, as long as it is high quality and durable to stand up to the punishment of CrossFit and functional training (admit it, we have all dropped some piece of equipment at one time or another, well, not during Cindy).

We would love to hear your comments and perspective on getting the most bang for your buck.



Hammerhead Strength Equipment
Victor, NY