What you absolutely need when starting your garage gym is a matter of opinion. That’s why you should find the person with the best opinion!

Josh Bridges has appeared in 6 Crossfit Games, finishing three times in the top 10. He lives this stuff, and you can learn a thing for two from his training tips.

Let’s look at what he mentions in more detail…

Barbell Set

You can’t do much at all without weights.

Josh recommends the Ohio Bar or Operator Bar. The only real difference between these two is the Operator Bar comes exclusively in camo Cerakote color options.

Rogue Operator Bar with camo Cerakote designs
Sweet camo options for the Operator Bar

Josh mentions the Rogue “hand grenade” plates. He’s referring to the HG bumper plates.

The Echo plates are a bit thinner, the advantage being you can fit 585 lbs (6 45lb plates per side!) on an Ohio Bar, with room for collars. The HGs will max out at 405 lbs.

See the HG bumper and bar sets.

Rogue HG bumper and bar weight set


Rogue Y-1 Yoke

A yoke is a less well known piece of equipment. It’s a combination squat rack, sled, or for Zercher carries, plus other normal rack stuff like pull ups and dips (with the attachment).

Yokes haven’t caught on quite like squat racks, but people in the know do buy them, particularly if they’re interested in Zercher carries like Josh does.


An athlete carrying the Rogue sandbag

Sandbag cleans are kind of like a strongman stone lift, a wide awkward mass, but it’s much better for average folks because you can drop it around and push yourself to failure without damage to your feet or your stuff, and you can adjust the amount of sand as you get stronger.

Plus, you can do carries, holds, deadlifts, lots of movements. It’s nearly as versatile as a barbell, but for relatively lighter weights.

Josh says 150 lbs is good. Take that with a grain of salt. Josh is a top performing athlete and an absolute monster. 75-100 lbs is more likely the biggest you would want if you’re athletic, or less if you’re smaller or untrained.

Fan Bike

Rogue Echo Bike, one of the best fan bikes on the market

The Assault Bike is the well-known one, used in the Crossfit Games, and the first bike everyone thinks of. The chain is tried-and-true, but as with road bicycles, you have to lube the chain and keep it tight. This means checking it every couple weeks if you use it regularly.

The Echo Bike uses a belt-drive system. A belt is quieter and requires less maintenance. If you use it often, you will have to replace the belt after a year or two. That’s it.

Both bikes perform great. Because of the chain maintenance issue, I recommend the Echo Bike, and I assume that’s why Josh recommends it.


Rep Fitness rubber hex dumbbells

Yep, not kettlebells, believe it or not. Just good ol’ dumbbells.

If you have the room and budget for a set, Rep Fitness makes the best rubber coated dumbbells (see our review).

Josh didn’t mention adjustable dumbbells, if if that’s your thing, get the Ironmaster dumbbells. We compared the Ironmaster, PowerBlock and Bowflex dumbbells here.

Quick List: Where to Buy

Here’s what to get, as per Josh’s recommendations: