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Bryan Edge 04-13-2006 09:16 AM

Hey gang -- I just finished moving into my new house -- which just happens to have... a 720 square foot attached, lighted, heated, finished "shop".

My plan is to convert the entire shop to my own personal dojo and workout space. I'm guestimating 2/3 of the space will be "dojo" floor and 1/3 will be used for a treadmill and workout equipment (as time and finances allow... I'm a long ways from a fully functional home crossfit gym).

Anyway, now that I've got the space, I'm looking for suggestions on how much space to plan for a treadmill, lifting rack, rower, etc. Does 1/3 of 720sf sound like enough? I plan on building plyo boxes and making some cheap home stuff, but I want to be able to do deadlifts and the like as well. I probably won't build a lifting platform initially, and the weights and bar(s) will come later due to costs.

Also -- any suggestions as to the type of floor to put in -- either for the dojo or the workout area? The shop is currently all on concrete. I believe the ceiling is 9'.

Thanks for any/all suggestions.

Did I mention the hot tub outside? :-)

-P. Bryan Edge-Salois

Jason Billows 04-13-2006 10:13 AM

Bryan, sounds like you should convert it all into a Crossfit vacation getaway. Nice.

If I were you I'd make a list of equipment for your dream gym. Things you'd like to have say 3 years down the road. Find out the dimensions of each and make little cutouts to scale. Then draw a scale map of the workshop, lay the cutouts down onto the map and start moving things around. You'll probably find a layout that works well for the space naturally.

Things to keep in mind are how easy you can transition from one piece of equipment to the next. So many of the CF workouts have you jumping from one exercise to the next that you'd want to give that some thought.

One layout that may prove to be very versatile is to have all of the equpment on the perimiter with your dojo mats in the middle.

You'll want something like stall mats for flooring in the areas where you'll be dropping weights. In other areas where you may have a treadmill or C2 you may not need anything. I'm not to sure if the vibrations from using the equipment on concrete would add to the wear and tear.

Have fun setting the gym up.

John Seiler 04-13-2006 11:18 AM

I'm not much help with the layout, but your equipment choices concern me. IMO, the weights should come before the treadmill and the rower (assuming you don't already own them.) If you go with rubber bumper plates you can forgo the platform if need be. A quality barbell is the best single piece of equipment you can own. With proper care, it will probably outlast your lifting career. More importantly, strength is the foundation of everything we do and the barbell is the best single tool for developing it. Endurance only matters if you have enough strength to perform an activity in the first place. You can get all the cardio you really need with weights and running outside.

Best of luck. I'm terribly envious of all that space!

Lincoln Brigham 04-13-2006 11:36 AM

Ditch the treadmill! Ditch the treadmill! Ditch the treadmill!

They take up too much space, take up too much money, need too much maintenance and provide too little benefit. Go running outside instead or get a Concept 2 rowing machine, which takes up less space, is cheaper, and provides a better all-body workout. Or just sell the treadmill for a better barbell with bumper plates.

I'd cover the floor with as much rubber horse stall mats as possible.

Garrett Smith 04-13-2006 12:17 PM

I totally agree with Lincoln.

My wife won't let me get rid of the darn treadmill. What a waste of 15 square feet that thing is.

I may be picking up my rubber floor mats this weekend, 6 4x6 mats worth. 144 square feet. I looked at the area this would cover by marking it off with my wife's 6' OL bar. That's a lot of space (my gym is in a smallish 2-car garage), 720 square feet is a TON of room, plenty to do nearly whatever you want with room to spare. Heck, CF Southwest is doing their thing in ~900 square feet!

Bryan Edge 04-13-2006 12:41 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I like the idea of doing a scale drawing and playing around with it. I think I'll do precisely that! I ultimatelty want to have a good squat rack/cage/dip/pullup station and of course the appropriate weights (bumpers, dumbells, etc).

Right now the shop is still filled with all our crap from moving in. We're working on that. :-) And it will be 3 months before I can begin to afford ANYTHING. We're financially wiped right now.

Here's a little more info:

My Wwife likes the treadmill -- and she wants us to eventually upgrade it to a club-quality model ($ouch$). Our current treadmill is decent enough, and folds up against a wall at least. I like running outside, but it poses other problems (whether, cars, etc) and sometimes it's nice to just sprint/run without worrying about running into someone or someone running you over. (On the flipside, there are great hills throughout my neighborhood...)

The order in which I listed equipment has no real bearing on what comes first. Cost and desire will ultimately determine that, although the rower is kind of high on my list. When I can't get to for the WOD or to the gym where I have access to weights, I like to do rowing/running circuits with pushups, situps, back extensions, squats and the like mixed in.

Presently I've got the treadmill, a good weight vest with up to 50LBs weight (courtesy of [url=][/url]), some parallettes (at which I thoroughly suck), and some 20LB dumbells and an assortment of wrist and ankle weights (which I don't really use).

In the near future, I plan to make a cheap medicine ball (b-ball with sand) and some plyo boxes.

Of course, my ultimate goal is to not require a gym membership anymore in about 2-3 years because I'll have my own fully funtional Crossfit gym at home!

John Seiler 04-13-2006 12:53 PM

If you don't already, keep a daily eye on Craig's List. There are some great equipment deals to be had.

Jeremy Jones 04-13-2006 01:23 PM

Many women prefer running on a 'Hamsterwheel' because it affords them privacy and security (especially when running at night).

Try to sell her on the benefits of the C2 rower instead. Off the top of my head:

Low impact (doesn't endanger knees)
Better workout
Better health benefit
Takes up less space
More fun to use

With that aside, you sound like you are on your way to quite a nice Home Gym / Dojo. I know I am envious.

David Wood 04-13-2006 02:05 PM

Re: the treadmill: I agree, but the (imperfect) workout that someone will actually do is infinitely better than a (perfect) workout they won't do.

Pick your battles, guys.

Brian McCarrie 04-13-2006 02:59 PM

You could probably add a pullup bar for very little expense. That might be the first thing I would do. Then add weights and the rower. Throw in a plyo box and a med ball and you're good to go!

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