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Ryan Design - Custom Strength and Conditioning Equipment

"What do you want? Where do you want it? How much do you want to spend?"

Looking for custom equipment for your affiliate, weight room, or garage gym? Then I suggest you get familiar with Ryan Richard.

Ryan Richard is probably the single most important athlete in the history of the Champions Club. In fact, he was the first athlete - starting even before we called ourselves the Champions Club. Ryan began CrossFit in 2009 as a sophomore in high school. Over the years, Ryan has stuck it out with us through the breakup with the school and developed into our best CrossFit athlete and one of the best teenage CrossFitters in the country. But as the Champions Club progressed through a location change, we happened to stumble upon Ryan's most unique talent: building stuff.

"Stuff" is a very broad, general word. But it's really the only word that truly captures everything Ryan is capable of. In high school, he was a member of the school's national champion Robotics team (which I didn't even know was a thing) where he built miniature Wall-E's that rolled around and performed important tasks like throwing horseshoes around a target and shooting out free t shirts at football games. But his nerd side did not overshadow the fact that he put together all of the Rogue equipment we bought - GHD's, Pull-up rigs, squat racks, etc.

Our formerly-owned Infinity pull-up rig assembled by Rye Guy and still collecting dust at the school

Then when the Champions Club was forced to move out of the school and into our current warehouse location, we ran into a problem: the school kept our equipment and we had no money to buy from fitness suppliers. This is where Ryan's role changed from Best Beast Modes to Game-Changer.

Note: from here-on, any use of the word "we" when in the context of building stuff refers to Ryan doing all the work and me holding things for him

Over the course of the last two and a half years, Ryan Richard has literally built our gym - starting at the age of 17. First thing was pull-up bars. We loved the Original CrossFit HQ's setup, so I told Ryan I wanted to mimic that design. No problem.

Next, we realized that we needed more boxes. We were tight on cash, so I wanted the most cost-effective way to get as many boxes as possible. I suggested a design similar to Rogues Plyo boxes - except fitting two people instead of one. Ryan made 3 of them - two at 15"/20" and one at 20"/24" - while adding in a hinging top than can unscrew and open up for storage.

...and then a year later made another one and added padding and a lip to all four so they could serve as makeshift squat stands.

April 2013 saw Ryan make two important additions to the gym in prep for the summer. First was pull-up bars strategically positioned between two pillars...

...and parallel bars built off the model from the San Francisco CrossFit parking lot.

However, 2014 has seen Ryan's most impressive creative work come into display. First, we have our parallel bar/dip cage.

Perfect timing for our Mario Theme workout

Next, we have the most frustrating yet satisfying addition thus far. The night before Summer sessions started, we fulfilled our lifelong goal of having pull-up bars in our garage door. A full account of our ordeal can be seen in the post Band of Brothers.

Finally, our most creative piece of equipment is the double-sided 10-person GHD machine. As with our other stuff, this came out of necessity. I was getting annoyed with having to substitute GHD sit-ups and back extensions in the main site workouts. So I went to Ryan and asked him if it would be possible to make a GHD that fits multiple people. Ryan went online to look for something to base it off, but couldn't find anything even close. So he drew up his own design and we began to build. After two weekends of work, here's how it turned out.


Of course, it wasn't until after he finished ours that he figured out how to make it fully adjustable. The entire thing cost a little more than $400 to make. Most of the cost came from the foam and the upholstery. Ryan has also made a half-version of this design for two local high schools and bolted it into the wall and ground. We are trying to get the design patented, but it's proving to be more difficult and costly than expected. This process started in February when he first designed this model and has been ongoing. We shall see if it pans out. We will update this page as Ryan continues to build more stuff. Rumor has it he just finished a squat rack for Emma and her family.

It may not look like it, but Ryan is currently an Engineering student at Central Michigan University. Although he stays on campus, he is available on weekends to make stuff if given a heads up. Or you can stop by the gym to see his work first-hand. If you are interested, his contact information is listed below. When building stuff, Ryan doesn't just replicate what he sees in a fitness magazine. He begins by asking three simple questions:

What do you want?
Where do you want it?
How much do you want to spend?

This unique approach Ryan takes to his work allows for a lot of flexibility with both design and price. This is also where his creativity takes over - often leading to stronger products that take up much less space than a standard piece. Wood models are his specialty, but he also works with pipe, metal, and welding. Extra reinforcements are always installed to insure the product will last. In addition to strength & conditioning equipment, Ryan has also helped put in an addition to his parents' house and does maintenance work on cars. So contact Ryan with any questions or comments if interested

Ryan Richard


As you can tell, Ryan is all business