In this early article from the CrossFit Journal Coach Greg Glassman discussed how garages could be transformed into gyms. This classic article inspired many CrossFitters to do just that.
Your average neighborhood health club or gym is predicated on a low to minimum wage, skill-less staff supervising hapless members. The idea is to fill the space with machines, staff it with high school kids and let Muscle and Fitness provide the technical guidance. The predominant model in commercial facilities is the bodybuilding model: all machines and isolation work.
When you look at the sea of worthless machines that make up a commercial facility, the idea of developing a garage gym may seem daunting. Just remember, we’re building strength and conditioning facility, not a bodybuilding gym. The garage gym tradition is revered and respected. The number of athletes training in garages, barns, and abandoned buildings is legion. Many of these are world dominant in their sport.
You’ll want an Olympic Bar and Olympic Bumper Plate holder. The bar holders that hold the bars on end take up little space. If you only had a bar and a place to do pull-ups you could do an acceptable variant of the CrossFit Program. With this minimal amount of equipment you could do deadlifts, squats, push-press, push-ups, cleans, and pull-ups. A squat rack would be next on the priority list. Also desirable are benches, dumbbells, kettlebells, jump ropes and a C2 rower.
If your budget is seriously limited, make what you can. If you’ve the skill (or know someone with the talents) much of our equipment can be fabricated for less. Failing that, shop around. Buy used. Gym equipment goes for pennies on the dollar at garage sales.