Published: 2/16/2022By Jillian Warren
When the pandemic began, my husband and I took it as the push we needed to get started on an outdoor gym in our backyard. Although we were aware that this was in no way a cheap project, we couldn’t help but consider all of the benefits. From the simple convenience of not having to drive anywhere to no monthly dues, it truly seemed like the way to go. Not to mention, working out whenever we wanted? Sign us up!
We used to go to a CrossFit box for a couple years so we had a pretty good idea of what we felt was necessary and what just wouldn’t get used. I suggest starting out with items that you know will be useful to your fitness journey from the get-go so that each workout feels efficient. With that in mind, I’ll let you know what we set up in our gym space to hopefully give you an idea of how little you may actually need to begin this worthwhile venture.
1. Olympic Barbell and Plates
If you are looking to perform CrossFit-style workouts, there’s just no way around it: you’re going to need an Olympic barbell. This, along with plates, will most likely be the largest investment in your gym. Starting off with a barbell will give you a solid chance at versatility while taking the time to build out the rest of your gym. It’s like they say, “Go big or go home,” or more accurately in this situation, “Go big at home.”
And, if you like to lift heavy, it’s crucial that you have not only someone watching you but also a lifting belt! They provide extreme support to your abdomen and lower back so that you can get the most out of your lifts.
My personal favorite gym equipment is the kettlebell. I could do kettlebell swings and goblet squats for every workout which is why this is my go-to. I generally use a 26 or 35-pound kettlebell – and that’s it. Some people may want more options, but I have discovered that any more would just take up space in our shed and not really be utilized.
3. Jump Rope
When you want to get your blood pumping with a quick cardio workout, using a CrossFit jump rope will get you there. Double unders really warm my body up and get my mind in the game. There’s not much else you can do with one, other than single jumps, but I find this little piece to be a staple in our home gym.
4. Wall Ball
When I really want to ruin my day, I like to add a few wall ball movements into the mix. While they aren’t as torturous as good ol’ burpees, they really make me feel the burn – in all the right ways.
5. Slam Ball
Because we were wanting to add variation to our workouts, we felt that a slam ball would be a perfect, yet simple, addition. Of course, you don’t always have to throw this guy down, there are more gentle uses while exercising with a slam ball. If I want to really enhance my sit-up game, I will grab a 20-pound slam ball for a little sit-up and reach action.
While all or some of these items may not be particularly right for your gym, this is what we found worked for us. You may even want to start yours off with different pieces like a jump box or a rowing machine. Whatever you decide, it’s important to note that this may be an ongoing project, since building a gym can be a pricey endeavor. Enjoy each new addition as it comes and soon you’ll get to create fun and unique WODs for your own pleasure.
Also, if you’re looking for a few tips for maintaining your home gym, we’ve some ideas here.
What workout equipment would be the most important for your gym?
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Bee Tee Dubs (BTW).
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