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CrossFit DIY: Pros and Cons

Sled push

Jerred's home made sled

It has been a little over two years since I decided to go the outdoor/garage gym route. However, as a newlywed fresh out of college, the budget was limited. But I didn’t let that stop me!

I have built just about everything in my garage to include: parallettes, power rack, weight rack, my own rings, plyometric box, wall ball, squat and bench press stands, and a prowler. I even figured out how to use a combination of these items for a reverse hyper and GHD. The only thing I didn’t let myself build was the barbell and bumper plates… but I thought about it!!

One thing you have to keep in mind, doing it all yourself comes with some pros and cons. So this week I thought I would give you a quick run down of some of those good and bad points of being a DIY CrossFit guy in case you’re planning on building your own garage gym:


Replacement Costs – I haven’t run into this one yet, but the guys at Rogue Fitness like to remind me that the replacement costs are coming.

No structured programming – DIY programming can also come with some cons. Make sure you know what you are doing before you start to program for yourself, or get someone else to do it. Sure you can do Main Site but there are times when you may need some specialized coaching for some movements.

Maintenance – Even though it is minimal, you still have to do it. Not something you would have to do if you were going to a gym.

Environment – If it is cold outside, you’re cold. If it is hot outside, you’re hot. In Texas, that means my garage can be 130 degrees on occasion…not fun!

Cleaning – Having a garage gym means you are the personal trainer, the trainee and the janitor. Its not bad but being able to walk into a box and just worry about the WOD is nice relief.


Money – This is the main appeal of being a DIY guy. You will save A LOT of money. For the price of one high-end power rack you could have an entire garage gym.

DIY programming – You can do whatever you want! No need to worry about how little or much you are doing. You can now train how you want to train.  I recently elected to become part of a team, Team RX Bound – Led by Katie Chasey, which helps me stay focused and effective.

Maintenance – The maintenance on DIY equipment is very minimal and easy to do.

Clothing – You can wear whatever you want! No joke, I have done squats in my underwear. I am not proud of that, but it has been done.

Schedule – Workout whenever you want. If you feel like you don’t have time for a rigorous training schedule, you will once you have a garage gym.

Being a DIY CrossFit guy all comes down to personal preference. Even most of the cons listed above aren’t really cons to me, because I absolutely love training in my garage and being a DIY guy.

Are you a CrossFit do it yourself guy/gal? Do you want to be? Let us know what your planning in the comments below.

  • I like the pro vs con layout! great article!

  • Nicholas Wheeler

    Doing squats in my underwear is a pretty darn regular occurrence in my home =D  I overheat real easily, I will start a wod fully dressed, as it goes on, I lose shoes/socks/shirt/shorts – normally in that order.

  • great article.  i go to a gym, but i have built some stuff that i use at home on occasion, and i can attest for the benefits both sides.

  • Erick

    Great article. I do both, during the week I WOD at CrossFit Disciples, and on the weekends I do it at home. I’m still buying things for my garage gym… it’s growing little by little.

    • I would love to do that! But, I need a garage to begin with.

  • I do not if everyone will agree, but another con will be the loss of the team environment… For some strange reason I perform alot better with the group as opposed to training by myself… This mught be a mental barrier I need to conquer..

    • I think it is partly mental, but a lot of truth to it as well. I feel I perform better with a team, but if someone posts a time for the same workout I am doing, I am just as motivated having a goal in mind as I am with a guy right next to me. 

  • the best and worst of both worlds = the affiliate owner.

  • The biggest Pro about training out of your garage is the travel time 🙂

  • Crossfitjeremy

    1 Con =  No community when your at home yourself, for me its hard to push myself.

    • I agree Jeremy. I always push that much harder at a box then I do when I train by myself. 

      • I’ve found the same thing. I’m amazed at any Elite athlete that trains on their own.

        • emma_nicole

          True Matt. If you look at Khalipa and Maddox you can see training with someone definitely works. 

          • Froning and Bailey also train out of the same place.

  • Love the home gym. My boyfriend and I often make our own WODS in our garage gym and/or outdoors with skipping ropes and park benches!

  • Gerardliddy

    I’m an 80/20 guy. 80% at the box and 20% at home. Sometimes life just gets in the way of making it to one of the classes so the Garage gets a workout..The only Con I have is from my neighbours, they are not always please with my choice of soundtrack…And slowly my gear is building up, but I would never give away the camaraderie I get from training with the great group of people that I have grown to know.

  • One other con.  No coaching.  If you have a problem with your form on a lift, or have problems progressing on a particular exercise, you are on your own.  When I was training myself, I must have had the worst form on my snatches, given how much I had to change with a bit of coaching.  

    • Good point David. When I do my workouts on my own only do basic metcons like muscle ups, kettlebells, burpees, pushups and box jumps etc. I leave snatch and all my o-lifting to when I’m at the box 

  • Johnnny

    Garage gyms all the way!!! Squatting in underwear =PRICELESS!! haha

  • jvhinson

    Nice article. I enjoy both of them, one thing that was always a con for me was when a mainsite workout prescribed ring dips, or rope climbs, of which I had neither. A friend of mine and I created to solve that problem. Check it out if your a DIY Crossfitter, We’d love to have you!

    • No thanks. You guys charge for DIY plyo box instructions…why?? I prefer the programming at Eo3Fit, OPT or something a little more complex.

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