The Rules of Extra Equipment Care


Boxes are full of equipment, and your athletes put in a lot of hours using the pieces. Therefore, making sure it lasts as long as possible is of the utmost importance.

The rules of caring for dumbbells and bumper plates are pretty straightforward. It’s the extra pieces of equipment — wall/medicine balls, jump ropes and elastic bands — that don’t necessarily have a handle-with-care protocol.

Jake Maslin, the owner of CrossFit Code Red in Hillsboro, Oregon, said his Coaches explain the gym rules at the beginning of each class. “Since new people are always coming through the doors, we usually start every class with some form of announcements, what we call a ‘Gym Rule Announcement,’ and we just have a list of all the things we’ve seen in use,” he said.

A common gym rule pertains to jump ropes and where to use them. “Don’t jump with the jump ropes on cement surfaces because it will tear up the bottom of the ropes,” said Maslin. “If we see it happen, we just say, ‘Hey, try to jump on the rubber mats instead of the cement so it doesn’t wear out the ropes.’”

CrossFit Max Effort in Las Vegas hangs ropes up according to size so they’re easy to keep untangled. Coach Elissa Morello said organization is the easiest way to entice members to take care of the equipment. “Make sure you have an organized way to keep all of your equipment,” she said. “If your members come into your Box and see everything neat and clean and kept up, they’ll follow that. If they see things thrown around and left on the ground, they’ll do that too.“

Max Effort has been using the same wall and medicine balls for more than two years, and none of them have ripped nor torn. With seven classes a day, averaging 20 members a class, they definitely get used, but not abused, according to Morello.

Similarly, Code Red has never replaced balls. “We’ve had some Dynamax balls for about four years now and we’ve put those things through the wringer and never had to replace one of them,” said Maslin.

To preserve wall balls and medicine balls, he suggested using each as they’re intended. “A wall ball is meant for a wall ball, not a slam ball, not a medicine bag or running it outside through the rain,” said Maslin.

The most often replaced equipment for both Boxes is elastic bands. Max Effort fixes fraying bands as much as possible, but after about a year of use, they’re ready to be taken out of rotation.

Code Red keeps elastic bands in a box and asks that members untie any knots they tied for their workout. “If we find there’s a bunch of knots in them, people leave the knots and then they get used and the places where the knots are tied end up breaking,” said Morello.

As with jump ropes, elastic bands can also fray when used on an abrasive surface, so Maslin also asks that members refrain from using the bands on concrete or cement.

CrossFit equipment is costly, but with rules and organization, replacement can be minimized.

Kayla Boyd is an intern for Peake Media. She can be reached at