Congrats! You have your space and now you need to fill it.

As a new box owner this will certainly be the largest sum and most important money you spend to start out on the right foot. It is far too common that new box owners fall deep into debt with buying too much of the wrong equipment. There are certain things you must take into account; how much space do you have to fill and how many members do you expect to have.

As a brand-new affiliate, realistically you should expect to have about five people in each class. Choosing a conservative startup number will allow you to keep your costs down and grow with your membership. Gym equipment is now very easy to find. Many companies have very appealing start-up packages for you to purchase if you choose to go that route, or you can use these companies to piece together what you feel to be your most essential opening equipment. Here’s our take on equipment considerations:


Now that you have your space, you will need to decide whether you want stag racking or stand-alone racks. One option rarely used is Hybrid Athletics Yokes that double as squat stands/racks and a 2-inch pull up bar. This will allow you to maximize floor space while keeping costs down.

Barbells and Weights

You need to decide whether your programming will teach Olympic/Powerlifting or WOD’s only. Most often, box owners and programmers will instruct a skilled lift, followed by a WOD. If this is what you decide to do we recommend buying five female and five male bars. Bumper plates should include eight pairs of 45lbs, 4 pair of 35lbs, 10 pair of 25lbs, and an assortment of 10 and 5lb plates. Put the time into researching your preferred barbell and bumper plate. Stick with spring collars for a significant savings.


If you are in a warmer climate you can get away with not purchasing rowers immediately. For the Canadians and northern states, however, the necessity of rowers is inevitable. Generally, these are easier to purchase new as it is nearly impossible now to find a single rower (let alone a deal) in the resale markets. Budget for three rowers as you can always program your WOD’s in a Part A, Part B style to allow rowing in larger classes.

Medicine & Slam Balls

The next requirement will be medicine and slam balls. Do your research! There seems to be more poor quality than good quality balls out there. Spend the money on 4x 20lbs and 4x 14lbs a quality med ball. You will not regret it.

Jump Ropes

While they may seem like a simple piece of equipment, quality jump ropes can be invaluable for a new facility. If you’re short on rowers, or whether makes outside running difficult, jump rope is an easy way to meet your needs for aerobic conditioning. There are many companies out there that offer the traditional skipping rope, speed ropes or bearing ropes. With your members trying to learn double unders and doing hundreds of reps with your ropes, this is one piece of equipment that needs durability. The majority is of very poor quality and will not last you a month in regular classes. Check out Rx Ropes if you are looking for durability.


Another must have and important purchase is your kettlebell collection. Your female members on average will WOD with a 25-35lbs and males 45-55lbs. Four to five of each is usually a good amount to start with. Make sure, however, that your new kettlebells are not vinyl dipped.

The Extras

Everything else becomes less of a necessity on start-up. Stack up your bumper plates and use them as box jumps for maximum cost savings. It is very easy to sit in front of your computer and start clicking on all the latest gear. Don’t get pulled into the vortex of the marketing out there because the expenses will add up.

As your membership grows you will need to grow with it. The demographic within your box will allow you to accurately and efficiently purchase without over-spending.

This article was written by Luke Blakely, owner CrossFit Belleville in Ontario, Canada.