Homemade strength training equipment
October 15, 2010 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Homemade strength training and other gym equipment.

A sampling:
- TRX system (suspension training)
- Lifting platform
- Plate loaded sledgehammer
- Power rack
- Squat stands
- Sandbag
- Bulgarian training bag
- Gymnastics rings
- Medicine ball
- Rice bucket (for grip training)
- Slosh pipe
- Weighted vest
- Grappling dummy
- Paralettes

Also, Crossfit's gym equipment procurement guide.
posted by AceRock (18 comments total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
Remember, don't make your power rack out of wood. For the same reason that you shouldn't drive a car out of wood.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:39 PM on October 15, 2010

In fact, that power rack is built out of wood.
posted by proj at 2:45 PM on October 15, 2010

I built a homemade squat rack with spotter bars out of Unistrut, and it was not worth it -- it wasn't adjustable, and it took up a lot of room. In retrospect, I should have put the money toward a gym membership or a used power rack from Craigslist (mine cost about $150, same as the wooden power rack above, but you can get a used power rack plus bar and weights for $300 if you're patient).

I'm just about ready to tear it down, actually... fortunately, I'll then have a bunch of Unistrut!
posted by vorfeed at 3:01 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

When you make those parallettes with PVC pipes, don't put the pipes in your station wagon with one end against the windshield. Then, a $20 pair of PVC pipe parallettes becomes $200 more expensive. Ask me how I know.

posted by phoebus at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

That grappling dummy is pretty awesome. I've been looking for a good home build for a striking dummy (more for targeting than power) and saw someone took a tennis ball, wrapped it in tons of empty plastic grocery bags and then wrapped the whole thing in duct tape in the shape of a head.
posted by yeloson at 3:57 PM on October 15, 2010

I made gymnastic rings using the instructions described here a few years ago. I still use them regularly. They're very similar to the ones in the above video.

The basic steps:

1. Take about 30" of PVC pipe with a diameter of an inch (adjust length and width to fit your desired size).
2. Duct tape one end of the PVC pipe. Pack it as tight with sand as you can, then tape the other end.
3. Bake the PVC pike in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
4. Using oven mitts, pull the PVC pipe out of the oven. It will droopy and pliable.
5. Wrap the PVC pipe around a paint can with a diameter of 8".
6. Let the PVC pipe cool.
7. Wrap the PVC pipe in a soft tape; I used plummer's tape.
8. Run a rope through the PVC pipe.
9. Use adjustable straps to hang your rings from your pull up bar or other suitable object. I used lashing straps intended for trucks.
posted by christonabike at 5:37 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

The furniture glides themselves were impressive. I've always joked that moving lumber around in my shop and humping desktops in the office were my workout - maybe I wasn't too far off.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2010

I think I'm going to make a slosh pipe, it sounds brilliant.

leotrotsky writes "Remember, don't make your power rack out of wood. For the same reason that you shouldn't drive a car out of wood."

Care to elaborate? There isn't anything inherently wrong with building a car out of wood; it's just cheaper to use steel stampings. And plenty of boats and even airplanes are constructed with substantial percentage of wood even today when the low volume doesn't make stampings economical.
posted by Mitheral at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sports car made of wood.
posted by Lexica at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2010

All these things belong in a Rocky montage.
posted by BurN_ at 12:24 AM on October 16, 2010

Car made out of wood
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:20 AM on October 16, 2010

Remember, don't make your power rack out of wood. For the same reason that you shouldn't drive a car out of wood.

Which is probably the same reason you shouldn't build your house, bridge, or roller coaster out of wood, right leotrotsky?

Because unless you make the appropriate sacrifices to the wood nymphs, you might get bad juju in your lifting.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:06 PM on October 16, 2010

Oh man, I am all over rigging up one of those DIY suspension rigs!

I'm sure TRX is well made. Still a 90% cost difference for an essentially identical result, and suddenly my wife's Yankee forebears reach up from a genetic level and take control of her.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:45 PM on October 17, 2010

What a great resource!
posted by carpenter at 1:56 PM on October 17, 2010

'everybody's too stupid'

How do you think crumple zones would work on a wooden car? Wood doesn't deform like metal, it splinters into little shards of impaling death.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:00 PM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I imagine it would work somewhat the same way composites in Formula 1 work. The real problem would be getting sufficient strength in sections desired to be non-deformable. One would probably want to supplement the wood with metal and plastics the same way modern cars are a mix of plastics, composites and metal.

At any rate I'm more interested (really I am, I'm not being snarky) why wood power racks are inherently bad. We make stuff like staircases, rigging cribbing, ladders, and retaining walls successfully out of wood. A power rack to my untrained eye doesn't seem to have to deal with any stresses that those structures don't.
posted by Mitheral at 2:26 PM on October 18, 2010

Clearly because crumple zones on a wood power rack wouldn't deform properly and would instead splinter and impale you to death. duh.
posted by AceRock at 3:07 PM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

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