How to Build a Plyometric Box


What You Need to Know

Cost: Around $20
Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Medium

This is one of the easiest DIY Garage Gym builds I have completed, and one of the most important. I know a lot of guys like to build their boxes in a slant (kind of like a pyramid with a flat top), but I prefer to keep my DIY projects easy. People build it that way so you don’t catch your shins on the box, and for plyometric purposes. That does make sense, but I jump higher than the box and land on top. I do not jump at an angle forward and just barley make it to the top…and neither should you. A rectangular box is good practice for keeping good form for a box jump.

Jump. Land. Full hip extension. Land.

Building it my way not only saves you a geometric-math-problem headache but it also gives you a 3 in 1 box!

Building a rectangular prism will give you three different sides to jump on that will be three different heights. This is great for different workouts and overall functionality.


Let’s build a Plyometric Box

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Piece of Plywood (I got the cheap plywood for flooring because it is tough. Get any plywood you want, so long as it is 3/4″ x 4ft x 8ft)
  • 1 box of  screws
  • 1 Bottle of Gorilla Wood Glue

First, you must answer this question:

What kind of box do YOU want/need??  I built mine with these dimensions:

L= 30″

I do wish I made the length more like 40″ because I like to do really high box jumps sometimes. That is why you need to determine what you can handle and what you would want. You can make it as tall or as short as you want.

Step 1: Lets start Cutting

You will need the following dimensions cut

  • 2x 30″ x 22.5″
  • 2x 30″ x 20″

Trickiest part of the project

  • 2x 18.5″ x 22.5″ (this cut will be the sides and will fit within the other pieces to make a streamline box.)

Step 2: Gluing and Screwing, what all DIY Projects need


Now, you have all your pieces just put them together. (Refer to the pic of the box above, it is pretty self explanatory.)

Anywhere wood will be touching wood put a thin line of Gorilla Wood Glue.

I recommend starting with the base and two sides all touching. This will give it immediate stability and you can let it dry as needed.

While putting it together, I would put a screw spaced about every 2-3 inches around the entire box. I tend to overkill things when building, but hey, if it falls apart you can only blame you so make it STURDY. Mine has withstood a lot of jumping and I have even used it as an apparatus for floor press with 250lbs. resting on it. Now you have built an item to add to your crossfit equipment arsenal.

Got the equipment. Have a program?

If you are making your own box, you may want a simple, effective and minimal equipment required program: One Man One Barbell: Highly Effective Strength Training…For the Other Guy!! Click the link, you won’t regret it.

Either way, the plyo box is just the beginning! Let me show you how to build an entire garage gym, on a budget, in two weeks in my free eBook:

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Check out my other equipment posts in the DIY Corner.

  • Johnny

    I’d like 16 x 20 x 24. What should my dimensions be? Thanks.

    • Jerred

      No problem. Pretty similar cuts actually. Just make sure you have the right size plywood. You will need:

      2 – 16″ x 24″
      2 – 16″ x 20″ 14.5×18.5
      2 – 18.5″ x 22.5″ 18.5×24

      My apologies to Johnny

      • Ryan

        I’d like to build a 16x20x24 box but your dimensions showed up weird. Should it be:

        • Jerred

          That looks right

  • chris walker

    Love the box instructions, just starting building my garage gym & wasn’t sure how easy/hard it was to build a box, think i will go for the same size as yours – perfect size, Off to my local hardware store on Sunday :)

    • Jerred

      That’s awesome! Let me know if you need any help or suggestions.

  • Johnny

    Just completed my box. Plan on jumping tomorrow. Thanks again Jerred!

    • Jerred

      So glad you got it all finished! Can’t see the pic though, says its a private page.

      • Johnny

        Check it out now!

        • Jerred

          Freaking AWESOME!! It looks very professional!

          • Johnny

            haha you wouldn’t say that if you saw it up close….it’s plenty strong though.

          • Jerred

            Lol yea I try to build all my equipment to withstand the apocalypse too.

  • Eric

    Jerred – I just built the plyo box, and it is solid as a rock!! It was easy to build, even for a guy who is as “handy” and a 10 year-old girl. I’m going to do the paralletts next. Can’t wait for the 2012 DIY projects!

    • Jerred

      Haha glad to hear it! Paralletts are super easy and very fun to use. Drawing up blueprints today for my next DIY. Can’t wait!!

  • Zac

    I just bought all the materials for the parraletes, box and I’m going build a pullup bar slash squat rack! Wish me luck and thx for your posts

    • Jerred

      That is freaking awesome! Let me know how it turns out.

  • Zac

    Just got done with the box, it is ugly but everything fits. Thx for everything! I will post pix of my “home gym” when it is complete

    • Jerred

      Haha glad it is functional. You’re welcome! That would be awesome. Forum launching soon if you would like to post there! But here is good too.

  • John McCord

    Definitely recommend using something on the edges…

    see thread here.

    • Jerred

      Dang! That looks like it hurt. Safe jumping everyone. I may have do a follow up post on “making your box safe”. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Jennifer

    Hey! thanks for the awesome plans. Im thinking of building one but im worried, is it stable in the center and all around? im a female crossfitter weighing in at 140lbs but my husband is a hefty 275 muscle head. will this withstand his jumps? should we put anything in the center to brace it? dont want to see him jump through it. although that would be funny.

    • Jerred

      Thanks for checking it out. It is a pretty stable box. I weigh 180-190 depending on the week and don’t have any problems. Still far off from 275. I have had a buddy that weighed 225 use it in a work out and there didn’t seem to be any problems. However, I would recommend a support beam just to be safe. It would be an easy 1-2, 2×4’s added to the center about six inches apart. Let me know if you need clarifications. Thanks.

      • Jennifer

        awesome thanks for the advice. we are going to give these a try this weekend and see how it goes. wish us luck!

  • Laz

    hey jared thanks for the tip , but i would appreciated if you have any plans for a 40″ by 36″ by 30″. thanks

    • Jerred

      Hey Laz I think this is what you are looking for.

      If you are going for a

      L= 40″
      W= 36″
      H= 30″

      You will need the following: 2 – 40″ x 28.5″, 2 – 40″ x 36″, and 2 – 34.5″ x 28.5″

      Just double check to make sure it makes sense, but I think that is what you need.

      • Candsfitness

        hey jared,
        i made the box but had a few problems.
        i made the 40×28.5, 40×36, 34.5×28.5.
        the finethread did not work with the 3/4 in plywood as it would split. i ended up with 1″ 1/2 coarse thread drywall screws. the second problem came as the 34.5×28.5 does not fit streamline in the box.

        • Jerred

          Hey man sorry to hear some of the project didn’t work out for you. I have never built that size, so not sure if my math was wrong or what. Always double check my math lol. 

  • Dave

    I made one of these yesterday at 24x20x16. Awesome project! Thanks so much for this as well as all of your other posts.

    The materials cost me about $50 at my local Home Depot. More than your estimated $20 but way less than what it would’ve cost to buy one of these premade. Heck, $50 is about what some places want for shipping for their boxes. The extra cost was mostly due to my Home Depot not having lower grade plywoods available.

    I have enough experience with wood working to know that I’m horrible at it but this was pretty easy and came out rock solid. I did all of the cutting at home with a circular saw. It probably would’ve been done much faster and with better cuts to just have Home Depot do it. Lesson learned.

    There is one thing I am wondering about. Even at the smaller size, this box takes up a good amount of space in a garage. What bracing would be required to leave one side of the box open? This would allow the box to be flipped over and double as storage when not in use.

    • Jerred

      Thanks for checking it out! No problem! Glad it worked it out for you.

      Aw man that sucks. Yea they have really cheap plywood around here for like $10-$15. But, like you said, a sweet plyo box at $50 is still a great deal.

      Home depot is a valid option for cuts. It will add to your overall cost, but I guess there is a trade off.

      Interesting idea/question. While I have not done this, making my advice theoretical, if you were to leave one side open you could simply add 2x4s as the bracing on the open side. It will give you a pretty solid box still. It would be more like a box with wooden slats, but that would probably be the only way it would work. I would say, depending on weight 3 2×4’s would do the trick.

      • Dave

        One month later and my box is holding up rock solid. I actually used it the other day with bumper plates stacked on top to find my max box jump height. Ended up with 2×45, 2×35, and 1×15 before I ran out of ceiling height in my garage. That’s 175 lbs plus my body weight of 190 landing on top. The box held up 100% without a hint of stress or wobble — I was very cautious about checking stability with each additional plate. Awesome!

        • Jerred

          Dave, thanks for the comment! I am glad to hear that the box is working out for you. I have put 100’s of punds on my box for the same reason and no problems at all.

  • GymDavid

    On my way to get wood to build a 40in and a 30in. Cant wait to do this. Do you think the stability of the boxes has held up over time? I built one before and added a ton of 2×4 to create stability but it was heavier than hell. So thinking i may skip the 2×4’s this time, seems to be what a lot of people have dont, just curious about the stability..?

    • Jerred

      It has held up great for me! No issues but I am the only one who uses it, generally, and I do not use it everyday. I think skipping the 2×4’s will be fine depending on how often you plan to use, and your weight. You are making a larger box so it would “give” a little more, but will probably stil be ok. Only disclaimer is I havent built that size or used that size, so I am not 100%.

  • Cedric

    there is another thing inside the box for support ? or just with the glue and the screws is okay?

    • Cedric

      my doubt is because i see the 30″ sides weaker than the other sides

      • Jerred

        If you read some of the comments above some people have put support on the inside because they didn’t trust it with their weight. At around 185 I have been using it for a long time and haven’t had any problems. So it depends on how much you weight and trust wood.

    • Jerred

      Just screws and glue :)

  • Jay F

    do you recommend a certain type of screws for it?

    • Jerred

      Fine-thread drywall screws or any wood screws will work just fine. I used the drywall.

  • Clifton

    I would like to build a 36 x 24 x 30 box or a 34 x 24 x 30 box. What should be the dimensions. When building the sides of the box should the shorter side be outside of the longer sides when joining the corners or it doesn’t matter. In addition I would like to put cross bracing on the inside of the box sense I am a heavier athlete. What should the dimension be for the inside cross bracing. I tried to figure out the dimensions myself but can’t figure them out. Thanks

    • Jerred

      Always double check my math before building anything lol!!

      If you are going for a

      L= 36″
      W= 24″
      H= 30″

      You will need the following: 2 – 36″ x 28.5″, 2 – 36″ x 24″, and 2 – 22.5″ x 28.5″

      If you are going for a

      L= 34″
      W= 24″
      H= 30″

      You will need the following: 2 – 34″ x 28.5″, 2 – 34″ x 24″, and 2 – 22.5″ x 28.5″

      The short piece should fit inside of the box the make it “edgeless”. As for the cross bracing…Sorry, I don’t know. I have never cross braced a box and since there are a lot of ways to actually do it, without being in on the project, I can’t give actual dimensions.

  • Clifton

    I forgot to ask about screws. What size screws would be best and allow me to avoid splitting the wood.

    • Jerred

      1 – 1/4 in. or 3.175 cm

  • Chris

    Hey Jerred,

    Built my own box tonight and it turned out awesome! Your dimensions and instructions were perfect, thanks so much for posting this. I went to home depot and picked up a solid piece of plywood for about $35, with the gorilla glue it was still under $40 as I had a box of screws at home already. They even cut the wood for me for free which saved me a bunch of time. Still way cheaper than ordering a pre-made one and much more satisfying to know that I built it myself.

    Can’t wait to start my next project once I decide what I want next.

    • Jerred

      Really cool Chris! Glad the box worked out for you!

      Let me know on what you decide on your next project or if I can help.

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  • Candsfitness

    Hey Jerred,

    I found better plans that might help people out who built the box that I did and didn’t work. {40x36x30-this did not work). the plans below are for 20x24x28. This was used in the crossfit 2010 games.

  • Candsfitness

    Hey Jerred,

    I found better plans that might help people out who built the box that I did and didn’t work. {40x36x30-this did not work). the plans below are for 20x24x28. This was used in the crossfit 2010 games.

  • Mack

    Good stuff

  • Julian

    How do you feel these would hold up in a commerical setting?

    • Jerred

      Hey Julian, never used them in a commercial setting so I cannot speak from experience. However, I think Dan at Main Line Fitness & Training has used the instructions to construct multiple for his gym. Maybe ask him how they are holding up. Here is his website:

  • Mikemadsen

    Excellent post, made a 24x20x16 tonight and it looks great.

    • Jerred


  • lifer4350

    Thanks for the plans just went to the store with the measurement and they cut to size for me. rouge fittness sell the same box here in australia for $270 mine cost about $90. Also im 6’3 about 235 pounds box held my weight without a problem.

    • Jerred

      Wow didn’t know that! $270 is crazy. I am glad this option worked out for you. 

  • Robert Parish

    Thanks for this – again faster sells the same box, basically for $200+. I made mine out of solid poplar for $37. Nice!

    • Jerred

      No problem! Glad I could help.

  • Jeff

    Great! I am going to try making one. I also want to make a 12″ “booster box” so that I not only can go 20, 24, or 30 inches high but also 32, 36, and 42 inches high. Do you think it’s safe to stack another box on top/bottom without having them slide and making me fall?

    If so, can you help me with dimensions for a booster box? I was thinking if it’s cheaper, just to put a 12″ sprinkler/irrigation box on top. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Jerred

      Personally, I am not a fan of stacking boxes and would not recommend it for anyone. I am not even a huge fan of stacking plates on my box, even though I do it from time to time.

      • Jeff

        Thanks Jerred. I also feel weary about stacking boxes. I’ve seen too many accidents. Better yet I’ll stick to weighted vest 30″ box jumps.

  • Amber

    Thanks for the directions, is the box strong enough on it’s own for someone 220lbs? Or should it be reinforced with 2x4s?

    • Jerred

      If you look at @d291bda3938a17360191342271423c4e:disqus’s comment below, he says he is 6′ 3″ and 235 and had no problems.

  • Johan

    Hey Jerred. Thanks for the info and measurements! I was wondering if the box is strong enough on all 6 sizes, also the edgeless ones? Since, jumping on that side mean you would be jumping on the screw as support instead of wooden sides?

    • Jerred

      You’re welcome! Don’t forget about the glue – very strong and used liberally. In my experience with my box, it is strong on all sides.

      • Johan

        Ok thanks! Getting my plywood and screws tomorrow and will look for an extra strong glue :)

  • D.M

    Great site ! I was wondering if you might already has instructions for a box that is 14 x 18 x 22 . I need 1 that will work for my wife and I starting out, Thanks!

    • Jerred

      Hey man! I do not have the dimensions worked out for that size. However, if you follow the above instructions and make everything proportionally the same it will work out to whatever size you need.

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  • Christopher Blake

    Headed out to get my supplies for the box. Have already built the rings and the wallball. Have been using those for a couple months and are working great. Am 195 and started this @210 in April when my son was born. Will be adding bars and plates in future to start more lifting, but for now am just sticking to body weight and functional movements. Thanks for all the input and resources.

    • Jerred

      Thanks Chris! You are doing great!

      • Amy

        My niece is 4 and her parents do crossfit and she is abosolutely obsessed with it! Do you know of a place I can get directions to make a 6″ box ?

        • Jerred

          I don’t but you can just subtract the differences of these plans.

  • Patrick Wright

    Just made the box I weight 255# 6’5″ all side of the box work good for me! The 20 and 24″ side felt like the would give a little so I went from 4 screws to 8 on the long sides and now rock solid.. Thanks for sharing all the great DIY info…

    • Jerred

      No problem! Glad it worked out for you!

  • Alexander van Drempt

    Hi Jerred,

    Made the box for a friend off mine last weekend.
    He runs a gym in Holland

    I used cross braising to give is some extra strength.
    The dimensions came out a little different because i had to convert to the metric system, in the end it looks perfect!

    i added some photos so…

    Thanks for sharing all the great DIY info…

  • Chris Coffelt

    I was thinking about making one of these boxes, but thought it would be cool if one of the sides opened up like a cabinet door with hinges on the inside, so I could store kettlebells, or other equipment. Any ideas on how to build to something like that, and keep it strong and stable?

    • Jerred

      Someone else actually did that project. Maybe roll through the comments and see if it is still there. I think they just made a swinging door with a magnet closer and hinges on one side. They used 2×4’s to strengthen the opening.

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  • Matt L.

    Very nice plans, I am trying to calculate for a 12″x16″x20″ Admittedly I am math deficient, is this possible?

    • Jerred

      Hey man, sorry I don’t like to provide dimensions for anyone anymore. If you just plug the numbers in with the same dimensions above it should work.

  • bradley

    hey Jerred quick question. did you pre-drill holes for all the screws or just put the screws straight into the wood?

    • Jerred

      Straight into the wood!

  • joe

    the flooring plywood at my homedepot has the tongue and groove system. does the measurements go end to end or is there enough room to cut them off?

    • Jerred

      There should be enough room.

  • Rory Woods

    Hi Jerred,
    Great post! I have a bunch of scraps of 5/8″ plywood lying around – would you hesitate to use those?

    • Jerred

      Hard to say man. Plywood is cheap so maybe just get some.

  • Mike

    I guess I’m an idiot… but I cannot for the life of me get the boxes to be stable on all sides… they rock or wobble a little bit… Driving me nuts. Tips?

    • Jerred

      More screws and more glue!!

      • Mike

        can’t go wrong with more screws and glue!

    • Ben Kell

      I try to put my box on a thin mat (the rubber kinds that are designed to be placed under treadmills). There’s just enough cushion that it compensates for any little wobbles.

      • Mike

        yea, it’s not a huge deal but the perfectionist in me thinks it is.

  • Ben Kell

    I built this out of one sheet of plywood and a couple scraps that a friend had. It combines 4 heights- 36″, 30″, 24″ and 18″. It’s extremely sturdy and versatile and I (and my kids) LOVE IT! Total cost with glue, wood and screws about $40. Difficulty level Medium.

    • Skyler Winslow Stanley

      That is really cool! Would you mind responding with the dimensions and what I need to buy to make this? Having to pay for each one of those boxes can cost up to $400…

      • Jerred

        Dimensions and what you need to buy should be in the blog post.

    • Rory Connolly

      Can you send me on the dimensions of your plyo box. Thanks.

    • Mike McGoldrick

      Do you have any plans for this? Love it!

    • Jessica

      Do you have dimensions for this box? It would be perfect for my husband and I. Thank you!

      • Mike

        Any dimensions on this? Looks legit for me and my wife

    • Mark A Marshall

      would it be possible to get the dimensions of your box!!!

  • Philly

    Thanks, I just made the box. And it started to rain, but I was so excited to make it I keep going. Now I get to use it Tomo.

    • Jerred

      Awesome! Have fun!

  • Guest

    Can you email the dimensions of your plyo box. Thanks.

  • j

    has anyone experimented with maybe making the dimesions a little bigger. Im thinking 40 30 34. If so let me know how it worked out.

  • Collin C

    We had these at the gym I used to go to. Held up great, they were around for the 5 years I was. They carpeted the boxes and we pushed them against the carpeted floor or put a d-ball in the them for pushing across the wood floor. Building a simple 1″x1″ frame would add a ton of stability if you’re worried about durability.

  • Alan

    Box is awesome! Directions were easy to understand and follow, and this is coming from someone whos power tools quiver and hide at the site of me entering the shed. I was able to build it with only a few MINOR screw ups. No need to go out and spend hundreds on boxes now. Thanks for helping me save some cash!!!!!

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  • Shelly D

    My husband and I made a box for me this weekend! It’s not perfect, but good enough (and sturdy enough) to jump on for a long time!! Thanks!

    • Jerred

      Very cool!

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  • Nisal

    If i was going to make a 70cm x 80cm x 90cm how big should each piece be.

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  • Bart Black

    Hey Jerred, what do you mean in the “trickiest part of the project” by steamline box?

    • Jerred

      I mean to have a box with no edges, where pieces fit within one another.

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  • danny69

    You can use a router to trim all the edges on the box

    • danny69

      It will round out the edges

  • mac mcfarland

    how can this be cut out of 1 sheet of plywood? I went to homedepot with the measurements and they said it would have to be 3 sheet of plywood

    • Billy Williams

      Cut in 1/2 width wise you get 3 30 in out of one piece, and 1 30 in and 2 18.5 in out of the other. Then cut width to specs.

      • Phil

        Hey call me stupid but cut width wise? On its side or standing up? Thanks!

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  • Heidi

    Just made one this week for the boyfriend’s birthday! Thanks for the instructions!

    • Heidi


  • Brandon

    Just built one! I cut out handles on mine so my wife can easily maneuver it. I ended up having to make it out of maple plywood as it was the cheapest they had in 3/4″ so it ended up costing about $50. Still super cheap. I was able to get the guy at Lowes to cut all the parts for me there in the store, so if I hadn’t done the handles the whole thing might have taken an hour and only required a power drill. Great project. Thanks!

  • who922

    I built this one for my daughter for volleyball. I made it 20x25x30. I added extra bracing just for my own security. Thanks for the idea!!

  • David Ansley

    Thoughts on using 1/2″ flooring plywood instead? It’s close to half the cost of the 3/4″stuff. The scrap could be used to make cross braces to make up for it not being as thick. Just wondering what folks think of the idea. It would bring the project cost down to sub 20 bucks even with having to purchasing screws and glue if you didn’t already have them. If it would be strong enough that is.

  • Mario

    What do you think about using plastic beer cases with plywood as padding for plyo/jerk boxes? thanks

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  • Steve Hollis

    Just used your measurements and made a great box, thanks Oooohps Couldn’t see it had uploaded [Many Times, not sure how to get rid]

  • Guest

    Just Built one using your measurements, Cheers

  • Steve Hollis

    Just built one using your measurements, love it :-)

  • Erik

    Hey Jerred, i am not familiar with anything like this so i have a few questions. If i drive a screw up an edge, the wood kind of splits.. Do i need to drill a hole before? Using Oriented Strand Board 18mm thick with 4mm screws. Thanks!

    • Jerred

      Pre-drilling holes will always help!

  • Barry

    I recommend cutting a third “end” piece and putting it inside the box. Way more strength.

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