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Should you build a CrossFit Garage gym or join an affiliate?

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That is a tough question, and it really is up to a bunch of factors such as money, proximity to an affiliate in your area, your desire to self learn, your ability to motivate yourself, your handiness and space requirements. To help you in your decision-making, I’ve come up with a simple scoring system that should give you a direction to lean towards. Before I began my build I used a simple pros and cons list to come up with my decision, but this should be easier. Answer the questions honestly and you should get a pretty quick idea as whether you should build or join. Please add up your score below and use my scoring chart to guide your decision.


Please use the following scale 0 being the lowest and 10 the highest.

That is a tough question, and it really is up to a bunch of factors such as money, proximity to an affiliate in your area, your desire to self learn, your ability to motivate yourself, your handiness and space requirements. To help you in your decision-making, I’ve come up with a simple scoring system that should give you a direction to lean towards. Before I began my build I used a simple pros and cons list to come up with my decision, but this should be easier. Answer the questions honestly and you should get a pretty quick idea as whether you should build or join. Please add up your score below and use my scoring chart to guide your decision.


Please use the following scale 0 being the lowest and 10 the highest.

 

  1. Do you have ample space for a gym? A CrossFit garage gym will require a bare minimum of 100 SF, That is the size of a standard sized bedroom in a house. If you have 100 SF of available space or lower give yourself a score of 0. If you have more space, give yourself 1 point for every additional 100 SF you have. (I have seen people use less space than this, but I doubt it is comfortable.)
    Max 10 points
  2. Ceiling height? Score yourself a zero for 5 feet or lower. Add two points for every foot over 6 feet. Max here is 10 points.
  3. Are you handy? If you can’t hang a picture frame without hurting yourself give yourself a zero. A five would be the standard do it yourself home owner, 10 would be the Bob Villa type.
  4. Do you have an affiliate close by? If you have an affiliate within 5 miles you get a zero. For every five miles it is away from your home give yourself a point, up to a maximum of 10 points.
  5. Can you self motivate? If you have every fitness gadget on the market and each is either covered in dust or brand new, you might have a problem motivating yourself. So starting at a 10 subtract 1 for every year (From current) you’ve not seen the inside of a gym, done steady cardio or had a daily fitness plan. Minimum here is 0 points.
  6. Do you have a workout partner? Some of the exercises in CrossFit can be difficult. It helps to have a set of eyes to ensure your performing the movements correctly.
    Give yourself a 0 if you have no one, and a 10 if you have someone to workout with daily. (If you have been to an affiliate for any length of time or have been to a CrossFit certification course and still don’t have a workout partner give yourself a seven.)
  7. What is your spending ability? If you need to buy equipment it could set you back a few thousand dollars for the basics. Yes you can build equipment and substitute exercises, but you ain’t gonna build a rower etc…this guide is for those who are looking to build and outfit a fully functional gym. If you have zero spending ability give yourself a zero and give 2 points for each $1000 you can spend. If you have the ability to sell stuff to make cash, or are able to use credit cards, count that as well. Max here is 10 points.

 

So count up your score and look below for how you did.

 

Max score 70

 

0 - 20 - Look for an affiliate, or seriously consider it. If you live far outside an area that is close to an affiliate, make a day of it and visit one. Affiliates are highly trained and meeting them will let you know if CrossFit is right for you. No use getting equipment you’ll never use.

20 - 40 - I applaud your enthusiasm. While you are not a prime candidate for a home gym, with the right motivation you can realize your dreams. I suggest finding someone who is active in CrossFit and asking for advice. You should also plan a trip to your nearest affiliate or at least get heavily involved in the CrossFit Forums. The folks who have been doing this for years are a wealth of information.
40 - 60 – So you’re pretty fit, healthy and handy and don’t want to give your money away when you could purchase for yourself. Good for you, but you need a little more info before you jump in. I suggest visiting crossfit.com and scouring their site and affiliate sites to educate yourself a bit more. If you’ve never tried CrossFit before, it can be overwhelming. Once you think your ready to buy and build, go for it. One more thing, save up and get your level 1 Cert to ensure you and your workout partner have the movements down.


60 - 70 - What are you waiting for? Get ordering your equipment and clearing a space for your new gym. Go and get your level 1 Cert after you’ve been at it enough to try all your new toys. The Cert will ensure your up to par on everything, heck you might even go for the level 2 soon after. Good luck with your gym!

This is meant only as a guide. I have no idea as to your individual situation, and ultimately the decision is up to you. Anyway, I have found that once someone makes up their mind they usually go through with whatever they decided anyway. I do have one recommendation though. If you scored low please at least visit the crossfit.com forums and ask a few more questions before you get to buying equipment. The visit could save you a few bucks on equipment and lead you towards the proper exercise techniques. Nothing will stop your fitness goals quicker than a visit to an E.R. should you hurt yourself.


*Note - Being able to comment on crossfit.com’s forum requires registration and account activation by a moderator. It should only take a few hours to get yor authentication.


See you in the hills.
Lance

 

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