How Big Should Your Package Be?

Back in the day, as in 2006ish, there were very few people doing functional fitness training and almost no companies that were manufacturing that style of equipment. If you wanted to partake (in what would become the revolution) you would scavenge craigslist for used dumbbells, make your own pull-up bar rig, and create bumper plates by setting old metal bench press plates inside used tires.

Today is much different. Everything your fitness heart desires (and many things you haven’t even imagined) can be found via the web, purchased, and delivered in under a week. The ease of finding and acquiring equipment is great, but also has it’s downfalls. It can be very easy to find your garage packed to the brim full of excess bumper plates or barbells that you don’t really need, or your gym members having to double or triple up during strength wods or metcons because of a lack of weight or bars.

To give prospective gym owners a better idea of what exactly they will need when starting up (whether it be in a garage, or in a 10,000 square foot warehouse), and to make investing a little more cost effective, we’ve put together several package options that are modifiable and customizable to fit the needs of just about anyone. Here are a few specific pointers to think about when figuring out exactly what your gym will need.

Garage Gym:

  • Barbell(s): You’ll probably only need one or two depending on if you are training with anyone else. Since you know that you’ll be the one training on it, and training on it a lot, investing a little more money and getting a quality barbell is something highly recommended.
  • Bumpers: Especially when you’re first starting out, between you and possibly one or two training partners, you won’t need more than 500lbs of weight. 45lb and 25lb bumpers are the most commonly used plates in WOD’s and strength training and should make up the bulk of your weight set. There is also a benefit to having 10lb bumper plates and of course at least one set of metal change plates (5lb’s and 2.5lb’s).

Small Gym/Single Class:

  • Barbells: For classes or a gym that will have 7-15 people working at once, if possible, everyone should have access to their own bar. This allows for everyone to be able to scale accordingly during workouts and also maximize the amount of time athletes are able to work on barbell skills per class. If it’s not possible the ratio should be 1 barbell for every 2 people. You should still do your best to invest in quality barbells but also understand that they will need to be able to stand up against the wear and tear of multiple people using them multiple times per day.
  • Bumpers: A good rule of thumb when thinking about how much weight to purchase for your gym is 500lbs per 4 people. During strength training it’s easy to have people pair or even triple up and very rarely will you find a group of athletes that all need more than 500lbs for any of the major lifts. During metcons or general workouts most athletes won’t be using more than possibly a pair of 45’s and 25’s for heavier barbell WOD’s which still leaves you with a little weight to spare. About ¾ of the bulk of your weight set should be made up of 45lb and 25lb bumpers while 10lb bumpers and metal change plates should comprise the last ¼.

Big Gym/Multiple Classes:

  • Read the above for small gyms and adjust your numbers according to class sizes and budget!

Questions about which barbell or bumper plates to get? Check out these videos!

Peter from FringeSport talks about what to look for in your next barbell.

Peter from FringeSport talks about what to look for in your next set of bumper plates.

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