Respect the Rig

At your Box, could you put your athletes through a WOD without any equipment whatsoever? Sure, you could possibly have them do air squats, burpees, lunges and runs. Although that could arguably give athletes a great workout, where would you be without pull-ups, muscle ups or stationary squat and bench racks?

The rig has become a staple in the CrossFit community. In addition to the variations of pull-ups and muscle ups that a rig provides, it can also eliminate unnecessary pieces of equipment.

With a quality rig, you quickly provide your members with a squat rack, ring dip, ring row, pull-ups and muscle ups — add a bench and create a bench press rack.

While all these simple additions to your gym are great, how do you begin to evaluate a quality rig? Jason Khalipa, the founder of NorCal CrossFit, suggested that you focus on good stability, multiple functional attachments and different textured grips on bars.

When he’s looking to purchase a new rig, he’s focused on, “Its ability to work well in a class setting,” he said. In addition, “Good separation between athletes, essential add-ons [and] its ability to handle large amounts of moving members.”

Some Boxes have the opportunity to have custom-built rigs installed into their facilities, but that’s not the case for many. Khalipa said NorCal looks for stand-alone rigs that can provide open floor space.

“The rig is important,” said Khalipa. “However, there are bigger decisions to make. Focus on what pays the bills: barbells, bumpers, wall balls [and] dumbbells. You can get a lot done with those. Rigs and rowers can grow as your budget grows. You don’t want your entire gym to be a rig. Yeah, they look cool, but you need open floor space.”

It’s important that you purchase the rig that fits your Box. Like Khalipa said, a rig can be an essential add on. But, don’t limit your space for functional exercises because your rig takes up your entire Box.

You should have a rig in your facility if you can afford to do so. However, take the time to find the right rig for your Box.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.