Do-It-Yourself Equipment & Proper Exercise Techniques
Here are some links to "how to" exercises videos/guides:
ExRX Exercise & Muscle Directory
- a lot of agility stuff and some dumbbells
- everything from kettlebells, olympic lifts, power lifts, gymnastics, etc.
- good bodybuilding type workouts for specific muscles
- bands, barbells, cables, machines med balls, strongman, rehab, sleds, grip, etc.
- kb's, bodyweight, different muscle groups, dumbbells, resistance bands, weightlifting
- different muscle groups, oly lifts, sprinting, plyometrics
- hand training
- hip mobility
- ankle mobility
- list of different mobility exercises
- you tube videos
- mobility drills for better vertical jump
feel free to make any additions
Last edited by Kobe Bryant; 07-02-2009 at 01:54 PM.
Some Do it Yourself Equipment here. Some are harder to make and take time and some are so very simple. Have a free day, or a lot of spare time? Many of these equipment are very cheap compared to how valuable they are for training. There is so much stuff out there but I'm posting the easier ones that I think anyone can make and enjoy. If I think of more, I'll add them to this thread.
-The boxes that say Highslide are actually PDF files that have more detailed info on construction
I just bought a military duffel bag online just like this one for like 12$ w/ shipping. You can buy heavy bags of sand from home depot or something and do the individual baggies like in the article. Otherwise, I used rubber mulch which is more expensive but I didn't use individual baggies. I just poured the stuff into the sand bag, cut the strap off. Duck taped that shit and go to work. You can also use wood chips if they are available in your area.
Hang a weight from a rope and roll the weight up and down. Work the hands forward and backward. This movement is one of the best forearm strengtheners available. You can attach the rope to a dumbbell handle or any wooden dolly (even a broom handle). Choose a thick handle for an even greater challenge.
Tire Repair Kit
Ball Air valve to let out air
Funnel to get the sand in
Home Made Dip Belt
Bulgarian Training Bag
Materials: long decking screws, 2 8′ 2×4s, sheet of plywood, thicker piece of wood for plank for feet (or use leftover plywood)
1. Cut a piece of plywood at a length of 4′ (this is factory width) and then cut the desired width
we used 31 in.
2. Cut an 8′ 2×4 in half so u have 2 4′ pieces.
3. Screw the 4′ 2×4 along the 4′ sides of the plywood. Make sure that the 2×4 is upright
screwed on the 2″ side.
4. Place the piece of wood used by your feet at the desired angle and then screw it into the upright 2×4s
5. Cut a piece of 2×4 to screw to the upright part of the angled plank for stability and strength.
6. Repeat on the other side
Find those exercise balls that are "anti-burst" and fill it with water instead of air with the included pump.
2 10 inch hex bolts
6 1/4 inch hose clamps
4 lawn mower tires
2 rolls of electric tape
(this is for 2 wheels)
A trip to Home Depot will be all that is necessary to locate the tools for this job. Each roller will require two 6-inch lawnmower tires, a 10-inch hex bolt (1/2 inch thick), duct tape, and a few hose clamps.
Secure one tire at each end of the hex bolt. Small hose clamps can be used to keep the wheels in place.
Next, wrap the handle with duct tape to increase its thickness. The standard ½ inch handle is too thin on its own. Duct tape is a quick fix to this problem.
More sophisticated techniques could certainly be used to increase handle thickness, but my low-tech solution is more than adequate.
My duct tape model may not be the most visually appealing, but it gets the job done. And lets not forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Thick Handle Dumbbells
Finding a tire to flip
The way I found my tire was to call around and look @ yellowpages for truck service centers. I found one maybe 20-30 minutes away and they had a huge junkyard of tires of all sizes from really huge 700+ LB ones to smaller 200-300lb ones. They told me the local high school team takes tires. The center has to pay to discard the tires so they are happy to give them away.
Websites with some really crazy ass equipment. Could be interesting if you have a lot of free time.
http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/shenandoah ... grunt.html
http://www.davedraper.com/pmwiki/pmwiki ... pmentIdeas
How much does all that sand cost for the sandbags?
Another thing you can do is go to Home Depot to buy a long thick chain to do wall sits from, assuming you have a dip belt.
I wonder if an exercise that can be done is strapping weight around your waist using a dip belt but doing it backwords and then crawling up a hill with the weight using your arms and legs kind of simulating to car pulling stuff that the world's strongest men do.
sand should probably costs only a couple dollars for a 50 lb bag. it's really cheap. I spent a total of ~$20 and I have an 80lb sandbag. I used rubber mulch though. It's like the stuff they use on playgrounds. People also talk about using wood pellets for sand bags too.
I see people giving away sand a lot on craigslist.
That sounds like a really good workout but you would probably need a sled to put the weight on unless the chain is really long and you are on grass. I've seen homemade sleds that people made from a wheel barrow and attached some wood/plastic or a cut in half snowboard so you can drag it along.
I'm going to be making this one pretty soon
Below are instructions to an isometric device that can be used for several exercises. Those familiar with Never Gymless or Infinite Intensity have seen other homemade isometric tools (along with research regarding isometrics). I built the tool below after writing these books. I am therefore adding this entry to the Post Purchase FAQ located within the forum. I will continue to expand this FAQ with regular updates.
Before discussing this particular tool, it’s worth nothing that I do not own stock in Home Depot. I have nothing to gain from anyone building anything. I realize that this tool may look a bit odd, particularly to those who are not familiar with isometrics.
I’ve made regular use of isometric training for several years however, and continue to reap excellent strength gains. Clearly, this tool is not the end all to isometric training, as there are countless other options. It is just one possible addition. It’s also worth noting that isometric training is not intended to replace your routine. It isn’t a replacement, but rather a useful addition to a well rounded program. I personally work with various forms of isometrics 3 or 4 days per week, and have been doing so for a long time (ie. years). I regularly vary exercises and methods, but do remain consistent with at least some form of isometric training (ex. static dynamic protocol, targeting sticking points, targeting multiple joint angles for a given exercise, static bodyweight exercises such as bridging, etc.).
Building The Tool
As for the specifics, I was fortunate to have the lumber and chain already, so only needed to purchase a few quick-links to finish it off. The complete parts list is provided below:
- 2′ x 4′ piece of 3/4″ plywood
- 6′ of 4″ x 4″ wood
- Three pieces of chain
- Three eye bolts
- Two handles
- Long deck screws
- Several Quick-link connectors
The instructions for building are self explanatory. I cut the 4″ x 4″ into two foot lengths. The middle piece will be used for one arm exercises. I then placed a 4″ x 4″ on each side of the center piece. I didn’t follow any precise measurements here. I built the tool based on the foot position that I would need. I stood on the plywood and marked off the appropriate width based on the stance that felt most comfortable. I did however ensure that I had enough room for cement blocks (which will be explained later in this entry). I set the 4″ x 4″ pieces with liquid nails, and then secured them with long deck screws (after the liquid nails had cured).
Each 4″ x 4″ has its own eye hook secured in the middle. Chain is connected to the eye hooks with a quick-link connector. I always make a point to use the strongest connectors that I can find. The eye hooks are rated at 350 pounds each. The chain and connectors are rated much higher.
I had an extra pair of playground ring handles available so used them as handles for this tool. Each handle has two quick-link connectors. The connector on the far right is similar to the carabiners used by climbers. I purchased these connectors at a local hardware store. They allow for quick adjustments.
I was fortunate to have the playground rings, but there are also homemade options available for handles. In the past, I’ve made handles by running chain through a small piece of reinforced PVC hose. I then connect the chain with a small quick-link to close the handle.
Visual Reference Points
Below, you can see how I have spray painted every 5th chain link. This is particularly useful when performing exercises with two chains. You don’t need to count out chain links on each side to ensure equal lengths. The painted chain serves as a quick visual reference.
Below are a few exercise examples (certainly not a definitive list). As you’ll see, you can perform single arm exercises with the center 4″ x 4″ or you can perform two arm exercises by using the outer connections. You can quickly adjust the angle of each exercise by moving up or down the chain with your quick-link. I always make a point to target multiple joint angles.
It’s also worth nothing that this tool could be easily stored indoors. In the pictures below, it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the gym, hence my need to bundle up.
By standing on cement blocks, I can target a much lower point in the exercise.
I can also attach my handles directly to the eye hooks, rather than first connecting to the chain. Below, I stand on blocks and attach directly to the eye hooks, which puts me right at the bottom of the exercise.
Several upright pulls can also be performed with this tool. Below is one example.
And here is another with the handles turned inward.
Unilateral work is also available. I can simulate an upright row as seen below. I can then make quick adjustments to chain length to target different angles in the exercise. Strong chain allows for a maximal effort at every joint angle. It may look strange, but there is nothing strange about pulling with a max effort.
Overhead pressing is also ideal with this device. I use the outer chains for pressing exercises. Isometric pressing has certainly helped my overhead pressing ability (with weights). The chain allows me to put forth a maximal effort at every angle of the exercise. I often climb the chain with this exercise, meaning that I’ll move up one link at a time.
Two hand options are also available.
As you can see, countless conventional exercises can also be targeted with this simple device.
Spring Loaded Options
One modification that can be made to this tool is the addition of a tension coil spring. You can attach such a coil to your handle to add a small amount of “give” to the apparatus. A coil spring can be added to any of the movements seen above. You may wish to crimp the ends closed however to prevent the coil from coming undone. If this isn’t possible, pay attention to your connections to ensure that your handle doesn’t come flying off of the coil.
The coil seen below is rated for 350 pounds.
As you can see, a hard pull to the handle only generates a small stretch in the coil.
The coil certainly adds a dynamic feel to this tool. As for options, you can hold the extended position, or you can perform reps by pulling, and then releasing (continuing to alternate in this fashion).
Years ago, I found isometrics convenient when I had limited access to equipment. Yet even with all of the equipment that I own now, I still find isometrics to be extremely useful. I also find isometrics to be particularly useful as a parent to young children. I can put forth a maximal effort without making any noise. It may not sound like much, but when you have an infant who is sleeping, it’s nice to able to train close by without waking them out.
Old School References
For those interested in some old school references to isometric training, click any of the images below.
Please note that image of Bruce Lee (directly above) links to a book preview through Google Books. This link may not be available to certain viewers outside the US. The book title is The Art of Expressing The Human Body which was compiled by John Little.
I forgot, I made some fractional plates made out of bicycle inner tube and sand. Cost me $15 for (2) 1lb (2) .5lb and (2) .25lb. A set of fractional plates usually ships for $60 so it saved me some money.. These are good when you can't make 5 lb jumps and want to make more solid gains in strength. Inner tube is cheap @ wal-mart and 50lb bag of sand cost me $4. Here's the plans
From http://muscleandif.blogspot.com/ and rosstraining.com
A while back I made a how-to-video of how I made mini-weights. I plan on stretching the progression on my current program as long as possible before reaching a sticking point on the weights. These mini-weights come in very handy since I now can increase the load by 0.5kg per session if I want.
I made four 250 grams weights and four 500 grams. These along with my gyms 1.25 kg and 2.5kg plates gives me the variables in weight that I need.
I bought bicycle innertubes of two different size, cut off the valve, cut the tube in half, tied of one end, filled it with sand until I got my desired weight (used a small scale to weigh them), tied the other end, tied both ends togather and put some tape on.
The video explains the process in detail:
Below is a video tutorial that shows how to create inexpensive mini-weights that allow for slight increases in weight while lifting (thanks to Bj?rn for passing this idea along).
Many home based lifters have nothing smaller than 5 pound plates. The use of mini-weights can come in handy when looking to make slight increases (before you are ready for a full 5 or 10 pound jump). In the past, I?ve also used 1 pound wrist weights. I happened to have several old wrist and ankle weights in the gym. The homemade option seen in the video above is a much more cost effective approach however (if you do not already own the wrist weights).
dunno what happened to t-handle pic but here it is
got my dumbbells ready. I'll post some pics when I get some weights for them..
Planning on making two ab wheels for each hand and isometrics tool next.
Then turn my extra spinlock dumbbell handles into thick grip, and a water ball ;]
- One or Two black or 3/4" galvanized steel bars ~$4-5 each for 18" handles like mine
- One or Two Tennis grip handles/baseball grip/tennis grip tape ~$1-3
- 4 or 8 Hose clamps (Jubilee Clips) ~$2/pair
For less than $10 each, you can get nice, long dumbbell handles to start lifting.
*Note: Some cheaper quality plates don't fit these pipes, so make sure you test either the pipe or the plates before purchasing
Of course you need to have or buy standard 1" plates but you can use the plates on both the dumbbells and the t-handle.
You got any diy methods for making a cheap but reliable squat rack?
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Here's my set up:
Cost me under $20 for both racks.. I got a couple long ass 2x4s and got it cut to my measurements.. I got 2 5 gallon buckets on sale for $3. Then 60 lb concrete bags for about 4 bucks each.. Already had the screws
I made mine with a bench press part.. Pretty self explanatory.
Get some 2x4's and measure what height you want the rack.. Probably the same height of your scapula or clavicle..
Then measure the back 2x4 a lot higher so you have some kind of backboard to run into (you obviously don't want to run into it exactly but it helps rack the bar back on), the 2nd 2x4 as the height you want the bar to stay, and the 3rd anterior 2x4 to be 1.5 inches higher than the 2nd..
4th to be bench press and 5th to be 1.5 inch higher than bench press..
Then get a whole bunch of wood or dry wall screws and drill them in. Nail them one by one on top of each other.
Then grab two 5 gallon buckets and 2 60 lb bags of concrete
Position wooden 2x4 racks inside 5 gallon bucket..
Mix concrete with water and pour into 5 gallon bucket while someone else holds the 2x4's in position..
I was staining my platform anyway, so my squat racks are stained and have a nice dark color =)
With 60 lbs of concrete in each rack, I wouldn't be hesistant to put around 300 lbs but it's obviously not the best solution.
I'm happy with it
Last edited by Kobe Bryant; 11-05-2009 at 12:31 PM.
You don't want to go too heavy unless you have a spotting mechanism.. Or bumper plates like I do where you can bail on the lift
At home depot, you can buy metal adjustable sawhorses that are rated 1200 lbs each.. They cost 25$ each and you'll need two of them.. They adjust in height too.. I'm planning to get a pair when I get some spare cash There is some holes where you can put a bolt, so that the bar doesn't fall off as well
Did you try making any of this stuff cdub? The T-handle and dumbbells are really good and super easy to make
I made a water ball. It was pretty tight. It really helped out the forearms just carrying it. I didn't get to use it too much since I moved away from home in August. It was cool for the time being though.
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Ive been searching for a good epillitical machine, but have only found those crappy cheap ones that dont work. I would like to buy a gym quality one, new or secondhand, or even rent one. Does anyone know where one can be bought? or rented. A friend told me that golds gym sells all their used gym equipment online, but he doesnt know the address.
craigslist.com or ebay would be your best bet. precor is probably the best brand. be patient and look for a good deal
Originally Posted by Jeogmada73
I made the double wheels today. Super simple to make. Total cost was about $25
They are in the middle of the pic. next to them on the top left are the homemade db's which cost less than 10$ a pair.
Last edited by Kobe Bryant; 04-05-2010 at 02:18 AM.
are you still using that thing man. I wanna make one soon
Originally Posted by CDub73