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Box jumps are a staple in many CrossFit, conditioning, and functional training workouts, but the fear of missing a jump and bruising or scraping the shins is a concern of many athletes.
As someone who has banged up her shins falling off a wooden box from missing a box jump before, I share that fear. That’s why I only looked at foam plyo boxes when I decided to add a box to my home gym. I’ve been using the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box for a couple of years, and it’s one of my favorite items in my garage gym.
So is the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box worth it? The Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box is worth it for anyone who wants to do box jumps at home without worrying about falling and injuring their shins. It comes at a reasonable price point, is very durable, and is made out of a combination of wood and heavy-duty foam to boost its stability.
Before I purchased this box for my home gym, I used both wooden boxes and foam boxes from Rogue at my old CrossFit gym. I don’t find the Rep Fitness foam box to be quite as stable as a wood box, but I like it better than Rogue’s foam box.
In this article, I’ll discuss the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box in more detail and discuss its pros and cons. I’ll also review three key features of this box and provide a list of alternatives so you can determine if it will make a good addition to your home gym.
Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box: Overview
Even though it’s been in business since 2012, Rep Fitness is still somewhat of an up-and-coming brand in the home gym equipment space. However, it’s developing a solid reputation amongst athletes who want to transition from commercial gyms to training at home.
Rep Fitness sells nearly any piece of equipment you can think of to outfit a home gym, including plyo boxes like the the 3-in-1 soft plyo box. It’s available in three different sizes:
- Small – with options for 16, 18, or 20 inches
- Medium – with options for 16, 20, or 24 inches
- Large – with options for 20, 24, or 30 inches (this is the one I have)
The boxes weigh 28lbs, 34lbs, and 58lbs, respectively. These weights are comparable to the weights of many other foam plyo boxes on the market, including one of the foam boxes from Rogue.
This box has a wood interior that’s covered with heavy-duty foam. The wood adds some stability while the foam not only protects your shins if you miss a jump but is shock absorbent as well, making box jumps more comfortable for your feet and knees.
The box is covered with a replaceable, non-slip vinyl cover that has numbers on each side to indicate which height it’s at.
Rep Fitness also sells wood boxes and foam stackable boxes. The wood boxes also come with three different-sized heights, but the stackable boxes are equal heights on all sides.
The stackable boxes are an okay option if you know you’ll use the same box height for every workout. But they’re more ideal for athletes in sports where high vertical jumps are tested frequently or those who can jump higher than 30 inches.
In addition to box jumps and step ups, you can also use plyo boxes for box squats. Learn more about box squats in High Box Squat: 5 Reasons Why It Makes Sense.
Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box: Pros and Cons
The biggest benefit of Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box is its durability.
I am not gentle with this box at all. I drag it all over my garage, and I frequently bring it outside on my driveway for outdoor workouts when the weather is nice. After two years, there is some slight peeling in the corners, but there is no sign of ripping or other damage. I also haven’t noticed any sinking or loss of stiffness in the foam.
I also like that the foam is on the firmer side. When I used the Rogue soft plyo box in the past, I found the foam to be too soft for my liking. The foam on Rep Fitness’s soft box is firmer and doesn’t make me feel like I’m jumping on pillows.
The Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft box has a weight capacity of 400lbs. Having a high weight capacity is important because it means the box can handle the impact of repeated jumping, even from heavier athletes. It’s also a good thing if you’re on the heavier side and do a lot of weighted step-ups.
One thing to be aware of is that the box does have a tendency to wobble. I most frequently use it on the 20” side for box jumps, and if I land just a tiny bit off-center, I can feel the box shift a bit. I’ve fortunately never had it completely topple over, but you should be cautious if you jump on the 24” or 30” side.
The biggest con I can think of regarding the Rep FItness 3-in-1 soft plyo box is that it is much more expensive than the wood box. However, this is true of almost all foam plyo boxes regardless of the brand. The difference in price is due to the extra materials and time needed to manufacture the box.
Another drawback is that this particular box isn’t stackable. You could simply stack some plates on top of the box if you want to jump higher, but I question how sturdy it would be if you do that while it’s on the 24- or 30-inch side. If you practice a lot of vertical jumping at varying heights, you’ll benefit from a more stable stackable box set instead.
- Height measurements listed on each side
- Sturdy, non-compressible foam
- Available in three different sizes
- High weight capacity
- Replaceable, non-slip vinyl cover
- More expensive than wood boxes
- Isn’t stackable
- May wobble if you don’t land on it evenly
Box jumps are a great exercise to incorporate in a general physical preparedness (GPP) routine. Learn more about GPP training in GPP Workout For Powerlifters: What Is It? How To, Benefits.
Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box: Key Features and Benefits
There are three key features to the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box:
- Non-slip material
- Replaceable cover
- Inner wood core
The Rep Fitness cover is made out of rough, matte, anti-slip material. This is a distinguishing feature that other foam boxes on the market don’t have. On many of those boxes, the coverings are made out of a smoother, shinier, slippier material.
I like the non-slip vinyl covering on the Rep Fitness box a lot. It adds some stickiness to the box so your feet won’t slip when you land, which provides extra reassurance that you won’t fall. It also gives me the ability to use the box on various surfaces, whereas other foam plyo boxes with vinyl coverings can only be used on rubber gym flooring.
I’ve used the Rep Fitness box on both my cement garage floor and on my driveway without it slipping. I’ve also heard of people using it on tile floors without it slipping, though I’d recommend experimenting with this first before you attempt it in a workout. I also wouldn’t recommend using the box on carpet.
If you’re still concerned about falling when doing box jumps or don’t have an ideal surface on which to use your box, check out these 10 box jump alternatives.
While there’s not much you can do to completely rip or cut through the vinyl covering, Rep Fitness sells replaceable vinyl covers for all of its foam 3-in-1 boxes for an affordable price.
This isn’t something I’ve seen from other brands that sell foam plyo boxes, which is a huge disadvantage. If the cover rips, you’d have to replace the entire box. But if you get the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 foam box and the cover gets damaged, you can keep the box (assuming there’s no other structural damage to it) and just get a new cover at a low price.
Inner Wood Core
Some foam boxes on the market are made only of foam, which makes them very light weight and easy to tip over. The Rep Fitness soft plyo box is essentially a wood box covered in heavy-duty foam. The wood helps weigh the box down more and keeps it more stable when you land on it.
What Other Athletes Say About the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box
The general consensus is that the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box is durable, high-quality, and an ideal solution for protecting your shins during box jumps:
Other individuals like the box’s versatility and having the option to use different heights for different workouts:
Alternatives to the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box
If you prefer not to use a foam plyo box or the Rep Fitness plyo box is out of your budget, below are a couple of other options to consider.
As I mentioned earlier, I used Rogue’s wood box (specifically the Games box) at a CrossFit gym I used to belong to. The boxes were extremely durable, having stood up to near-daily use with multiple people using them each day.
I recommend this wood box for your home gym if you don’t want to spend the extra cash on a foam box and aren’t worried about falling.
This box is only available in one size that can stand at either 20, 24, or 30 inches high. It has cut-out handles on each side, making it easy to move around if you need to store it away when you’re not using it.
The RitFit 3-in-1 soft plyo box is a budget-friendly alternative to the Rep Fitness plyo box. It’s only available in two sizes (20”x18”x16” and 24”x20”x16”), but it boasts a non-slip surface and a 440lb weight capacity.
This box is made entirely of high-density foam, but it weighs 60lbs, so it’s solid and won’t tip over as long as you don’t land on the edge. Like the Rep Fitness box, it has a removable cover, but there is no replacement cover available for it.
Things to Consider When Buying a Plyo Box
There are three important things to consider when buying a plyo box:
- Box height
- Where you will use it
Wood and foam boxes are most common, but some brands sell steel boxes as well. Steel boxes are extremely durable, but they can really do some damage to your shins if you fall. They have smaller footprints, which can make them more attractive to those with small home gyms, but you usually have to buy different heights individually.
Wood boxes are stable and cost-effective, but they can also cut up your shins if you miss a landing. If you’re new to box jumps or you’re scarred (mentally and physically) from having fallen off a box in the past, a foam box is your best bet.
If you get a foam box, it’s also important to consider the firmness of the foam. Landing on soft foam may feel easier on your joints, but it can also feel like you’re jumping on pillows, which can throw off your balance and stability with each jump.
2. Box Height
Plyo boxes are available in varying heights, which can make it difficult to figure out which one to get.
When I purchased my Rep Fitness box, I went with the large size (30”x24”x20”). I have long legs and like landing box jumps with my feet in a wide stance, so I wanted a box with a larger surface area. If you’re like me, and/or you have experience doing box jumps and know you can jump high enough, I recommend getting a large-sized box.
I also recommend a large box for anyone who does compete or is planning on competing in CrossFit. The standard box jump heights are 20” for females and 24” for males, though some workouts will call for 24”box jumps for females and 30” box jumps for males.
If you’re short in stature, new to box jumps, or don’t compete in CrossFit, you may prefer to start with a smaller size. The shorter boxes may also be a better choice if you work out in a space with low ceilings. You’ll need enough room to be able to stand on the box without hitting your head.
3. Where You Will Use It
Some plyo boxes are only meant to be used on rubber gym flooring. If you’ll be using your box on a concrete garage floor or outside on pavement, you should look for one that specifies it’s safe for use on different types of surfaces.
Falling and cutting the shins is a common and legitimate fear of anyone who does a lot of box jumps. Using a foam plyo box can alleviate those concerns and help you get over your fear of box jumps. If you miss a landing, your ego might take a hit, but the worst you’ll walk away with physically is minor abrasions.
With its combination of solid wood and heavy-duty foam, the Rep Fitness 3-in-1 soft plyo box is a solid option. You’ll likely never have to replace it due to its high-quality construction and durability.
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About The Author
Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.