Step-by-Step Guide





Disclaimer: This is just one of many ways you can build a plyo box, it may not be "the best" or the "the most sturdy" but it will be sufficient. This is not a copy of the Rogue Games Box, but it is similar (whomever is building the Rogue boxes has far more carpentry skills and tools than I do).

Plyo boxes are essential for CrossFit and I highly recommend having them in any garage gym. Similar boxes retail for upwards of $200 plus shipping. You can build your own for under $100! 

The box shown here is 20" x 24" x 30".


Step 1: Get Some Wood!



The easiest way to get some wood is to go to your local Home Depot or Home Hardware. They will usually even make the cuts for you. I used a 3/4" select plywood. If you don't care much about looks, you can go with the cheaper plywood.

There are different ways you can piece together the box, so the things I considered were:

  1. Which side will see the most action?
  2. Do I really trust these Home Hardware guys to make exact and straight cuts
  3. How sturdy should it be?
For myself, the 20" and 24" side will see the most action, so I wanted it to be secured by more than just the screws on the ends and I also considered those surface areas were larger.

I didn't trust the Home Hardware guys to make exact cuts so I wanted to keep the pieces to sizes that would be hard to screw up (although, keep in mind they still will screw it up).

Given the sizes, I wanted to add some extra support inside the box. The extra bracing also adds extra weight which is important when the box is standing tall. You don't want it to move.

So, here's the dimensions I used:

2 - 30" x 24" (Sides)
2 - 30" x 18.5" (Top and bottom)
3 - 22.5" x 18.5" (Two ends to have handles added, one cross brace)
1 - 28.5" x 18.5" (Cross brace)

This is how it fits together. This is a couple steps ahead but it gives you the idea.


Step 2: Cut the Handles and Cross Bracing


The handles should be placed in 2 of the 22.5" x 18.5" pieces.

Don't own a jig saw and a drill? No worries, call up a friend! Typically the wood store people don't do these cuts, unfortunately (but you can ask, maybe they will!) 

The handles are really optional but I highly recommend them. Mine are 1" x 5" and you can place them 3-4" from the top. If your friend also owns a router, it's nice to have smooth edges!

You can also drill holes and place rope handles if you fancy that.

A routered handle
For the cross-bracing I just simply cut a 3/4" slot into the middle of the two pieces and slid them together. This can be done with a jig saw.

Step 3: Screw the M F Together!

I went with a 2" drywall screw. The drywall threads were a little smaller than normal screws. I was just hoping it wouldn't cause any splitting. Apparently the Rogue boxes use pocket screws and all that jazz (which I would probably recommend if you know what you are doing, which I didn't).

No really easy way to do this. My advice would be to build the 20" x 24" frame, then place the cross bracing in and screw the large pieces on last. It would also help if you have a friend to help hold stuff, but not necessary.

I pre-drilled the holes first. I laid out my screws about 5" - 6" apart. I also glued the pieces with carpenters glue for some added assurance. I used a total of 60 screws, buy them in bulk, they're cheap.


Step 4: Fill the Holes

It's not necessary, but if you want a more aesthetically pleasing box it would be good to fill the holes with a natural color wood filler. After the filler is cured, you can go ahead and sand it smooth. 

The screw holes are filled here, but not sanded

Step 5: Add a Logo!

No box is complete without a logo. Make up something unique and meaningful to you. This is mine:

I like to call it a Badger Box. The silhouette is of myself doing a snatch.


To make the silhouette I just printed a picture and the letters and then cut it out with a knife. If you want to spend a couple dollars you can buy the letters. I just spray painted over the cut out. If you do this, be gentle with the spray paint, it's easy to go overboard!

Step 6: Try it Out!

If it doesn't fall apart, then proceed to step 7.


Step 7: Brag to Your Friends

Go tell your friends how much money you saved building your own box and how badass your carpentry skills are.


The total weight of the finished box should be around 55lbs.

Homemade Parallettes - PVC Parallettes

Click here to view the step-by-step guide for making your own, homemade, 3-sided, plyometric box.




Homemade PVC Parallettes

It's time to add something new to your plyometric workouts, gymnastic parallettes! PVC parallettes, or in this case ABS parallettes, are easy to make and extremely cost effective.


Homemade parallettes are an excellent complement to any garage crossfitter's gym or for crossfit workouts. Or, of course, for the aspiring gymnast or anyone wanting to build a stronger core. 

What you need

If you followed the guide to build your own homemade plyo box, then this build will be a breeze for you. You can build the homemade parallettes out of PVC or ABS. In this case, I used ABS because it was easier for me to find. I would recommend PVC if you can find it, but ABS will certainly do the trick for most of us out there.

  1. ABS or PVC 1 1/2 inch pipe
    1. 2 x 24 inch 
    2. 4 x 8 inch
    3. 8 x 5 inch
  2. 4 elbows
  3. 4 T-bars
  4. 8 end caps or connectors
  5. Primer and glue
If possible, just get your local PVC/ABS supplier to cut the pipe for you. If not, just be careful to make sure your cuts are fairly straight. There are some pretty cool pipe cutting mechanisms out there and if you have access to those I highly recommend.

It turns out that end caps are actually quite expensive. So, I just used connectors for the feet instead. 

Directions

Once the pipe is all cut, there isn't any really specific way to go about piecing it all together. The main thing is to just be sure to prime and glue the pieces according to the directions on the box. 

The glue will dry quick! So be sure that everything is fairly straight on first try. I recommend assembling on a flat surface to make this easier.

Total Investment

$35. Including the glue and primer.

Pictures

The primer and the glue that I used


Connectors. Cheaper than end caps. Doesn't fill the end but does the trick.


The ABS T-bar. When assembling make sure they are in the same direction because they aren't completely symmetrical.


An ABS elbow


The finished parallettes!

Time to test that box out

Click here to view the step-by-step guide for making your own, homemade, 3-sided, CrossFit plyo box.



Five rounds for time of:
40 Double-unders
30 Box jumps, 24 inch box
20 Kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood






Filthy 50 and Miagi

Click here to view the step-by-step guide for making your own, homemade, 3-sided, CrossFit plyo box.


If you're looking for a couple tough WODs that include some plyo box jumps, check these out!


Filthy 50


For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders




Miagi


For time:
50 DL (135#)
50 KBswing (1.5 poood)
50 Push up
50 Clean and Jerk (135#)
50 Pull Up
50 Tater (1.5 pood)
50 Box Jump
50 Wall Climb
50 Knees to Elbow
50 Double Under




Plyometric Training - Box Jump Variations

Click here to view the step-by-step guide for making your own, homemade, CrossFit plyo box

There are a number of various ways to use your new, 3-sided, homemade plyo box. Here is a video, courtesy of CrossFit.com, demonstrating some of the various movements (I've listed the movements below as well).




The various movements demonstrated in this video are:
  • Step up, step down
  • Jump up, step down
  • Jump up, jump down


For each of the variations the work is identical because the same mass is rising the same distance. However, power (work/time) increases as the cycle time decreases. 

You want to land in the squat position, weight back on the heels, especially for the higher boxes. 

Notice how this is a scalable exercise! Doesn't matter how old you are or what condition you are in, it's beneficial! 

Other Uses for Plyo Boxes - Box Squats

Click here to view the step-by-step guide for making your own, homemade, CrossFit plyo box


Typically plyo boxes are used for jumping on. However, you can use it for other purposes. My favorite is box squats.


Box squats are a sure way to work that posterior chain and ultimately increase your squat strength. You'll definitely notice a difference with your front squats, back squats, pistols (one-legged squats), and overall leg strength. Box squats will also improve pulling strength for certain olympic movements like the deadlift. By playing around with the height of the box you can also increase flexibility.


Box squatting is also a good technique to teach beginners how to squat properly. 


Typically, you want the box height to be just below parallel. I typically use a wider, powerlifting, kind of stance with my toes slightly pointed outward because I really like to work the posterior chain. You should feel it in and around the glutes. Remember to stay tight! Don't relax when you "sit".











CrossFit WODs using Plyo Boxes


For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 20 inch box
20 Double-unders
25 bench dips
20 Knees to elbows
30 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
30 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans, 35 pound dumbells
25 Back extensions
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball


Three rounds of:
24″ Box Jumps x 40
Ring Push-Ups x 30
Barbell RDL x 20 (1/2 Body-weight)
Pull-Ups x 10


30 reps, burpee-style , of:
Pull-Ups
Wall Balls (Men #14, Ladies #8)
Box Jumps


21, 15, and 9 reps of:
315 pound deadlift
30" box jump