CrossFit is one of the world's most popular fitness disciplines. Developed by Greg Glassman in Santa Cruz, California almost twenty years ago, it borrows from a number of different fitness regimes including aerobic exercise, gymnastics, calisthenics, running and weightlifting.
CrossFit's popularity continues to rise, with the CrossFit Games widly recognised as one of the fastest-growing of all spectator sports in the USA. Here in Australia, there are thousands of gyms offering CrossFit classes and even more fitness fans creating their own workouts in gyms at home. The key to CrossFit’s success lies in its scalability depending on ability, a well-rounded and effective workout and the freedom to work out both at the gym and at home.
Things to Consider
No matter whether you're a complete newcomer to CrossFit or a seasoned pro who’s been practising the discipline for years, this buying guide will help you choose the right equipment for your needs. We’ve got recommendations for professional CrossFit studios and health clubs as well as suggestions for home gym must-haves.
Look for Variety
CrossFit incorporates a number of different exercises, giving a well-rounded and often intensive workout which is easily tailored to different levels and abilities. If you’re offering CrossFit classes or setting up a dedicated CrossFit studio, you’ll need a range of equipment which caters to a host of different activities.
In a home gym where space is more limited, multi-purpose kit is a life saver and will help you get your workout in without having to rent your own gym-sized facility to house it all. Look for a variety of equipment so you can mix up classes and workouts as needed.
Choose Build Quality
The dream CrossFit gym is one which allows for scalability as your own abilities develop. This makes the quality of your gym equipment paramount. CrossFit workouts are so popular because they give results – a fact which makes them fairly high intensity.
Your CrossFit equipment needs to be up to the task and that means looking for good quality, sturdy pieces of kit from respected manufacturers. Opting for cheaper gear is a false economy, especially in a public gym where bikes, rigs and plyo-boxes must be able to withstand heavy use.
Low quality, low cost equipment will start showing signs of wear and tear long before you're ready to fork out for a replacement. This is just as true if buying for a home gym as it is when purchasing equipment for a commercial gym space.
The sheer variety of equipment available for CrossFit workouts means it can end up taking up a lot of floor space. Opt for easily storable items where possible, and when building a commercial gym space, be aware of the role your layout and use of space plays in making the gym a pleasant place for your customers to work out.
Don't be Intimidated
Getting your equipment selection right can be particularly tricky when you’re attempting to create a home gym, but it's important not to be intimidated. Focus on the exercises you intend to complete and work from there.
If you’re buying for a commercial gym, try and provide as much variety as possible within reason without leaving the space too cramped. Consider what a typical class or CrossFit workout entails and then do an audit of your existing equipment. Because CrossFit borrows from a number of different disciplines, it may be that you already have some machines that could be integrated. Once you have identified gaps, build your list of pieces to invest in.
Flex Equipment Top Picks
We've made finding the right CrossFit kit simple, and with these top picks you'll soon be well on your way to developing your dream fitness set-up.
The ArmorTech HD Dog Sled is the ideal choice for commercial gyms as well as strength and conditioning studios thanks to its heavy duty construction.
Constructed with solid materials for optimum durability, it is designed to withstand the harshest of training environments and stand up to everyday use. The sled is suited to all kinds of terrain and includes a multitude of grip functions to provide a variety of workout options. The Sled weighs 35kgs but additional weights can be added thanks to multiple loading stages.
Versatile, sturdy and built to last it has a smooth, consistent motion and stylish black oxide finish.
- Heavy duty steel construction
- Weight of Sled: 35KG
- Easily removable centre sleeves for extra weight
- Two Easily Adjustable Weight loading poles Included
- Vertical, Upper/Lower Handle Placements
- Black powder coated finish
- Weight training exercises
- Push/Pull exercises
The real power behind the Airmill Airbike comes from the user rather than the machine, making it ultra-adaptive and the perfect choice for a CrossFit workout. The air resistance increases the harder the user pedals, pushes and pulls, meaning it delivers a perfectly customised workout every time.
The bike provides a full body, high calorie burning workout by activating muscles in the arms, back, legs and chest as well as helping to strengthen the core. This bike is competition ready and fully adjustable with a four-way seat, easy transport and storage and a heavy duty 104lb steel frame, making it an ideal choice for commercial studios. It can be quickly set up for different users with a four-way adjustable seat and quickly programmable functions.
The on-board console makes it easy to track progress and session performance, measuring distance, watts, speed, and calories burned.
- Ultra-durable and robust steel frame with heavy base for intense use
- Resistance controlled by the user
- Measures distance, watts, speed, and calories burned
- Easy to assemble, transport and store
- Large, clear console
- Rubber dipped handles, four-way adjustable seat, peg attachment foot rests and toe cup
- Full body workout
- Core strengthening
- Activating muscles in the arms, chest, back, legs
- Great for commercial gyms and CrossFit studios
Suitable for home gyms and commercial environments alike, the Armortech 3-in-1 plyometric box offers three easy to use orientations of 50-60-75cm. Its heavy-duty construction uses dense foam for comfort and durability, soft inserts for injury prevention and a non-slip design for safety. It’s suited to high-frequency workouts and easily adjustable when in use – just rotate to swap to the desired height.
- Non-slip design
- Easy to use with three orientations
- Safer alternative steel or wooden construction
- Available in three different heights for scalability
- Suitable for home gym and commercial use
- Box jumps
- Step training
- Great for building leg power
- Use to increase vertical jump prowess
of Crossfit related training regimens. These highly versatile Armourtech V2 Balls are suitable for real heavy-duty work like wall throws and floor slams.
Similar to medicine balls, with a little imagination a full workout routine can be formed around just this single piece of equipment. Everything from shoulder carries, weighted squats, throws and a huge range of core exercises. The soft nature of the Armortech wall balls makes them far safer and easier to catch and control rather than smaller rubber balls.
Available in 4kg, 6kg, 10kg and 12kg weight.
- Heavy Duty soft vinyl shell covering
- Durable, reinforced seam construction
- Ball maintains size and keep shape throughout heavy use
- Core training routines
- Throwing & Slamming
- Squats, presses and weighted carries
The key to building a functional CrossFit-ready gym – whether at home or commercially – is in choosing equipment which is multi-functional. As CrossFit borrows from a number of other disciplines, the sheer range of equipment available is vast. While size and space is a consideration at home, durability and versatility is of paramount importance in commercial gyms, CrossFit and conditioning studios.
Products such as the Armortech 3-in-1 Foam Plyo Box and V2 Wall Ball lend themselves equally to home gyms and busier spaces. The Airmill Airbike is a slightly more premium item though again works perfectly for individual home use and a in a commercial setting or studio. The dog sled, however popular, does require the right amount of space and surface to make the most of. So ultimately it will come down to the space available. What’s clear though is that it doesn’t have to take huge resource to put together a very comprehensive Crossfit training area in your home or small studio space. Another reason the sport and training style is increasingly popular globally.