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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 05-05-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
Rick Morris
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regular bar for crossfit?

I have been slowly putting together my garage gym. I have 15lb, 25lb & 35lb dumbbells + rings on order.

I don't have much money to spend on bumpers and a barbell. I'm not very strong, so I probably won't need that much weight. It seems like the bar costs as much or more than the bumper plates, even looking at the cheapest sellers on e-bay etc.

Does anyone do Crossfit with a regular bar? Is it going to fall apart?

What's the cheapest route to go?

I have read some threads where users just bought a couple of bumpers and then use iron for the rest of the weights.


Do any of you just use dumbbells for everything? I have been doing okay on most workouts, but run into trouble when heavy lifting is required.

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
Scott Stevens
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

Define "cheap"? When it comes to barbells, you probably aren't going to find anyone around here to tell you to just get whatever is cheapest. If you're looking at a barbell (unless you find something on ebay), be prepared to spend $200 for a starter bar.

People do a lot of substitutions in their wods. Obviously dumbbells cant be subbed for everything, but if a WOD comes up and you can't do it...find another one to do.

Things like sandbags, plyo boxes and med balls can be made on the cheap and add variety - do a search on the forum for how-tos.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

A cheap bar (like one you get with a 300lb weight set at Dick's for $99.99) will break after you drop it from overhead a few times and will probably bend if you load it for heavy squats or deadlifts. They're just not made for impact or for getting whipped around like on clean and jerks. One like that may last a while for slow lifts if you're careful with it but don't take any chances throwing it around, even if it's with bumpers on a platform.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:58 PM   #4
Kris Murphy
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
A cheap bar (like one you get with a 300lb weight set at Dick's for $99.99) will break after you drop it from overhead a few times and will probably bend if you load it for heavy squats or deadlifts. They're just not made for impact or for getting whipped around like on clean and jerks. One like that may last a while for slow lifts if you're careful with it but don't take any chances throwing it around, even if it's with bumpers on a platform.

I'm going to have to disagree with that assessment. We use "regular" bars at our box and have only had 1 fall apart in a year. They get dropped regularly from the top of snatches and deadlifts, and dumped from squats..all with heavy weight on them. We expect our bars to take abuse, so if we lose one bar a year that costs $50 or less, I'm okay with that. As far as performance...I have yet to notice a difference in these and the $200+ bars. Sure, they might flex a bit when loaded with 300+, but that doesn't affect the lift.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:25 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

Even if you're "not very strong," you should buy at least your bodyweight in weights. You should get close to that for deadlifts and squats pretty quickly. I'm not very strong either, but only fell 10# short of my bodyweight on the first deadlift max I ever tried.

Katherine
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
Jason Jamora
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

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Originally Posted by Kris Murphy View Post
I'm going to have to disagree with that assessment. We use "regular" bars at our box and have only had 1 fall apart in a year. They get dropped regularly from the top of snatches and deadlifts, and dumped from squats..all with heavy weight on them. We expect our bars to take abuse, so if we lose one bar a year that costs $50 or less, I'm okay with that. As far as performance...I have yet to notice a difference in these and the $200+ bars. Sure, they might flex a bit when loaded with 300+, but that doesn't affect the lift.
Blasphemy!
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:33 PM   #7
Jared Ashley
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

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Originally Posted by Rick Morris View Post
I have been slowly putting together my garage gym. I have 15lb, 25lb & 35lb dumbbells + rings on order.

I don't have much money to spend on bumpers and a barbell. I'm not very strong, so I probably won't need that much weight. It seems like the bar costs as much or more than the bumper plates, even looking at the cheapest sellers on e-bay etc.

Does anyone do Crossfit with a regular bar? Is it going to fall apart?

What's the cheapest route to go?
I will politely disagree (to an extent) with those who say that you need to go out and spend $200+ on a "starter bar" because anything less will bend or break after a month.

I have been using a $50 7-foot standard (1-inch hole) bar I got on e-bay for a year and a half, and it is intact and unbent. I strength-bias my workouts, so it has been loaded to 200+ lbs for heavy squats and deadlifts many, many times. The highest I've loaded it so far is 315 lbs for deads and 265 for squats. I have even loaded it to 160 for cleans and 125 for thrusters.

That said, I have NEVER dropped this bar and never would unless I absolutely had to to avoid injury. For this reason, I am limited in my ability to go near failure on cleans, snatches, and jerks. This is not really a concern when these excercises come up in metcons, as you shouldn't be working the oly lifts to failure during a metcon anyway.

For anybody who is not interested in olympic weightlifting specifically, a 7-foot olympic (2-inch hole) barbell from Dicks or a garage sale is sufficient, and will probably allow you to get 300 lbs or so of iron for a couple hundred bucks. Do make sure you get the 2-inch hole, rather than making my mistake and getting a standard bar... when I eventually buy a decent bar I'm going to have to buy some new iron in addition to the bumpers.

If you are interested in oly lifting specifically then yes, you need to invest in a quality bar (Pendlay economy bar is $200ish and HD bar is $250ish) and bumper plates immediately. The same is true if you intend to abuse (read: drop) your bar.

Even if you think you might be interested in oly eventually, getting a cheaper bar may be fine for now... right now it'll let you put some money toward some other essential equipment and focus on learning the movements with low to medium weight. If you then later buy another bar, then you'll have 2 bars and a lot of weight, which is helpful for certain WOD's (think "Linda") or if you later want to start working out with a partner or significant other.

Re: dumbells, don't bother, IMO. Definately do not purchase individual weights, as they'll cost you more than a nice barbell set anyway. You can get the spin-lok handles and maybe 4 each of 10, 5, 2.5 and 1.25 lb plates and have everything you'll ever need. CF rarely uses DB's, although they can be handy if you want to do some supplemental unilateral/core/balance work like TGU's, windmills, 1-arm presses and OHS, ect.

Last edited by Jared Ashley : 05-05-2009 at 11:40 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:41 AM   #8
Tom Fetter
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

My whole first year of CF I used a 1" diameter bar. In fact, I used the piece of raw steel that comes with those godawful sets of vinyl-covered concrete weights. I took off the rotating aluminum sleeve, measured and taped the standard length between collars of an Oly bar, and used an inward-facing and outward-facing set of collars to hold the weights. The bar cost me a total of $5 at a garage sale. I bought 1" weights second hand, though when I needed to add large plates, I started buying iron Oly plates, as I knew I'd be changing over eventually. When I upgraded to a Pendlay bar, I kept enough 1" weights for a good set of dumbbells, and sold the rest for the same price per pound I'd spent originally. Two thicknesses of 3/4" ply glued together and cut to the standard OLY diameter served as "technique" plates for the Oly lifts - they're about #5 each.

The bar was obviously a 4th rate solution, but was never in any danger of breaking when dropped. For the fast lifts, leaving 1/8" of space between the tightened collar and the weights allowed the weights to rotate as easily as they would on the typical bar you'd see in a Globo-gym.

I bent the bar doing an SS cycle - not sure if the problem was #330 deadlifts, or coming out of the hole with #260 squats. But by then, I'd established that I was going to continue ... and invested in a Pendlay economy bar. 2 of them, eventually.

Putting away equipment after our regional CF GAmes qualifier, I noticed that one of the bars had come apart as a result of being dropped during the C&J workout. I don't know the make/model, but rest assured that bars do get stressed by dropping. I'd be well inclined to use whatever you can to get going, but to consider a bar designed to be dropped once you've proven to yourself that the investment is for the long term.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:58 AM   #9
Andy Poquette
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

I'm going to recommend hitting craigslist. If you're patient, you can find amazing deals.

I got a squat rack, 2 benches, 2 6x4 rubber mats, an olympic bar, and 65#'s of small plates for $380.

Links are WFS

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv...155951014.html

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac...148443134.html

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst...150370677.html
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Last edited by Andy Poquette : 05-06-2009 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
Brian Bedell
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Re: regular bar for crossfit?

Craigslist is your friend. I lift a lot of weight with the "CAP" bars I got on CL for very cheap. These are the types of bars you would buy at Sports Authority or something.

Deadlifted 410x5 last night, for example. Been using my two cheap bars for a year with regular cf use. I do have bumpers though, just 2x45 and 2x25's. Use iron for everything else.

Last edited by Brian Bedell : 05-06-2009 at 07:02 AM. Reason: typo
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