My gym, homemade fitness...sled, db rack, bag stand, medicine ball, and more
I have been “redneck-engineering” my own ideas and inventions for years. I am in college and don’t have a great supply of cash so most of my equipment is discounted, used, or my favorite…homemade. I am here to thank all who have given me ideas and share to all my own.
My latest project has been a weight dragging sled.
This is the sled part…obviously. It is $7.66 at Wal-Mart. I modified it by drilling 1/4” holes at strong points throughout the lip of it. Then simply feeding 1/8” coated cable through the holes. This sled needed about 10’ of cable and that came to $2.80 at Lowes.
Above is where the sled and strap meet. This may look like overkill here as you could simply tie the strap to that handle but the sheer force of a 300# man pulling 165# on bumpy grass could exceed the limits of that plastic handle. The cable hardware came to $3.15. I simply feed the strap through a welded ring and quick-linked it to the cable loops. I could have used a cheaper pipe clamps or even a series of zip ties; however I also use the harness and strap to pull my car and the strap has to be easy/fast to remove. The shape of the strap end fits right on the front of my front frame mount on my Chrysler. It’s not as rough as it sounds…level parking lot good!!!
The cable distributes the weight nicely. I pulled my girlfriend and her 2 friends (roughly 420#...sorry girls!) with no problem…to the sled, not me…I didn’t go too far. The strap is a logging or tow strap found at Wholesale Auto Parts (local store, but Advanced Auto Parts has them too) for $14. That is a lot more than I wanted to spend but it came with 35’ of that nylon strap and I can use the extra for other things to come.
The harness is simply pipe insulation ($5.88). There are multiple kinds available…when choosing get one that is comfortable and will not chafe. This one is 6’ in length and was 2” inside diameter (enough to fold over the strap), and like most had the adhesive to stay in place. It is very easy to put on in multiple places, I prefer the behind the neck, under the armpit method. Face away from it and place it on the back of your neck and put your arms through it like a coat.
Above is the stitching that yes, I did. Thank you! First time sewing, I swear! Strong Nylon thread spool $1.12. It is to attach the end to the rest to enclose the harness area. Make sure you allow plenty of room for your legs when attaching. I made mine a little too long at about 16’ for the overall length of the strap. Too long is better than too short…<insert perverted comment here>. As for the weight, your training partner, sand bags, bricks, blocks, or my favorite heavy bags.
Easy, efficient and…
Weight Dumbbell Rack
I bought an old crappy weight bench with old school vinyl/concrete weights from a friend of mine for $10. It came with a good standard bar, adjustable dumbbell handles and 160# of old “plates”. I removed the board from the bench and bought some scrap angle iron ($2.50.)
After drilling holes in the iron where they would rest on the brackets the bench mounted to…I zip-tied them. I wanted to let them move a little and the constant racking and un-racking of dumbbells would have loosened almost any bolt/nut setup.
http://www.geocities.com/thetrinitygallery/100_0170.JPG Kinda dark picture
Wrist Roller/Forearm bar
Been done before in thousands of homemade gyms. Check links at bottom
This is a 2” PVC pipe ($2.25) cut at 16”, with a strong nylon rope ($.65) wrapped around it and clamped ($.34).
The rope makes a long loop and then is pipe clamped to itself to enclose it. Twist the ends twice and wrap them around the collars or threaded ends of adjustable dumbbells. More effective than farmers walk for BJJ work but not for building forearms.
Great way to work out soreness, look ‘em up! They are made from pool toys/FunNoodles. The first one is filled with foose balls and zip tied at the end to hold them in there. The second is simply a 1”D PVC pipe through it and the last is a metal dowel, best used like a rolling pin.
http://www.geocities.com/thetrinitygallery/100_0180.JPG < the same picture as above.
Stall mats at your local feed supply store are $40-ish. However I prefer free. Go to your local grocery stores and ask them for there old and used butcher/produce mats. They are supposed to be replaced every year in the meat department and you might get lucky.
I went to my local sporting goods store to their dodge ball display and looked for flattened balls. I managed to find one with a hole in it. I talked to the manager about marking it down and he said they can just throw them away and reclaim them on inventory or to be sold at cost (what they pay for them). Cost was 49cents on them…they were selling them for $6 (that is absurd markup).
I cut a small X over the hole and used a funnel to pour play sand into it. After it was about ľ full of sand I filled the rest with Great Stuff foam insulation. I duct taped it closed and let it sit for 24 hours. The foam filled the ball and hardened and even grew out of the ball. I trimmed the excess off with a knife and duct taped the area again. I then covered it in grip/athletic tape. It is best to do multiple ones or have more instant uses for the foam insulation because it is a one time use only product and there is A LOT in one can. I made 2 balls (giggle giggle), one weighing 12# and an old basketball made the same way that weighed 20#. The one in the picture is the twelve.
My Boxers Dream Setup.
2 Heavy Bag, 2 striking balls, pull up tower with leg raise and dip capabilities.
Okay, by boxers dream…I mean if dreams had a budget. The pull up tower was a Christmas Gift
Pipe clamped to the back of the pull up tower is a 4X4. The tower weighs over 100# and has a very broad base so stabilization on that side is fine.
On the top of the 4X4 is the 4x4 that is going across the width of my gym (16’). To hold it on there I used truss plates and then screwed 2x4 pieces over the connection. It is solid! The fan is mounted there and it barely moves when I hit the bags.
This is the 4x4 that is spanning the gym. I cut two 10’ PVC pipes lengthwise and screwed them to the wood to aid in the heavy bags sliding back and forth easier.
The heavy bags are hung with coated cables and clamps.
The other 4x4 is held with truss plates, 2x4s and pipe clamps due to the sheer movement of that side. It is not as stable as the other side that is connected to the pull-up tower.
This side is in 2 feet of concrete that I jack hammered up for stability.
For more support on the pull up tower side and for weight storage, I clamped some of these plate “things” (they were at Lowes, in the decking stuff, they are meant to hold a wooden banister for your deck railing) with a piece of PVC through it. The other black piece is a converter for standard to Olympic weights. I don’t have many Olympic weights nor want them so I normally have a stack of 10#ers on the thing.
Using pipe clamps once again, I attached steel rings to the bottom push up bars (which I never use). Attached to those are bungee cords.
Bungee cords with ghetto speed/striking balls on them. All I did was buy 2 dodge balls at WalMart and wrap them in black duct tape, then got 2 ‘S’ hooks and bent the end of them so they contour the shape of the ball and taped over the contact area in the opposite direction of the previous duct tape. Using the S hooks, I linked them to the bungees.
Across the top, 2 steel rings hold a bungee between them and the two sets of striking balls going down
I use this for everything from plyo boxes, to jumping platforms, to squat boxes, use them for doing rack pulls, step ups.
They are concrete blocks…and so much more.
Bailing wire is feed and wrapped through the blocks, then white duct tape is wrapped around them (to prevent chafing of the zip ties) then zip ties are ran through them. Believe me, they are very strong.
Pipe hangers used for bar storage.
Home made pad, used a board, bed foam from an old eggcrate style pad, some pleather/vinyl material and some staples.
Fat Guys Stabilization Ball. These things are used to take up room in the back of semi-trailers to prevent product shifting during transportation. They can only be used 3 times then the distribution center has to disregard them. If you ask for them, most DCs (distribution centers) will give them to you. This one is 6’ by 3’ and holds 3,000#s.
When buying equipment, you should ask the stores if they have any floor models or damaged ones that are discount. Most of the time some scratched paint and a tear in the padding is all it takes to get something 40% cheaper or so. Also talk to your local thrift shops, Good-Wills and Christian Social Services, many of them don’t know what to do with equipment or weights that they can’t move much less sell so if they have your name and number they can just get you to come get it. Numerous times I have been called to pick up plates that the employees could not lift; I have accumulated over 2,400#s of standard plates.
-...and any link in Built's or bearwolf's signature
Last edited by nddillon; 02-15-2008 at 08:30 PM.
Thats cool man!
Wow that's great work man!
How long did it take to make all of this?
Make Shift IF diet
My Training Experience
GET BODY SMART
CF WOD and Recomp...
"My fault. I was fiddling with the Gravitational Constant of the Universe again.
I've set it back - you might need to reboot, though..." -Built
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal--
nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude" - Thomas J
"Obsessed is what the lazy call the dedicated" - Slim Schaedle
I moved into one of our rental houses and enclosed the carport November of 06...it didn't take me long to actually do the work, but thinking of the cheapest way to do everything took awhile. I have literally spent hours in Lowes. The links at the bottom really helped too.
My next project is homemade adjustable kettlebells.
Last edited by nddillon; 02-15-2008 at 08:31 PM.
Sweet work man! Love the sled and medicine balls.
Is that all the equipment you have?
What tkinda bike is that with disc brake?
Your hand is massive
Why no crossfit rings hanging?
So whats next?
No, I have a ImpexMP12 -a rack with high, low and adjustable pulley, and an adjustble bench, a DP 530 - a high and low pulley machine (the rest of the machine was damaged in a house fire and my friend was going to throw it out, it takes up little to no room and is handy), a recumbent bike I found at a yard sale for $20, a stairstepper (auction $2), a row machine...that is kinda broken (auction $2), a NordicTrack (just waiting for the yard sale...also auction $2) and a Total Gym (bought off a friend for $30-used it for punching speed and inverted situps, my girl friend uses it for pullups...probably end up in yardsale in spring).
The bike hanging up is a Giant Rincon, the other bike with disc brakes is a Warrior 1.3.
I have a set of rings; however my gym is only 9.5' tall and this limits what you can do.
Next is...a adjustable kettlebell, a weighted vest to run with, a vest to do pull ups, dips and inverted rows with (the weights are starting to outgrow the backpack I currently use), a set of farmers walk bars and a homemade yoke.
did u think of all this urself/
I had seen the wrist roller before...other than that I just thought of how to make cheap alternatives to great fitness tools. Look through the links at the bottom of the second post for some more creative stuff.
yah. are a boxer or mma fighter?
Neither really, I trained Muay Thai, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling, Sambo and Judo all with differant people I worked out with. Never taken too serious. I love the training, the technique, the people involved and the sport just not the competition. Now that I am in clinicals I don't have the time; however I use them still to stay in shape.
I looked over your journal...you definately need to check out the fighttraining link...some really helpful and cool stuff on there.
Are you familiar with crossfit?
I made a very similar medicine ball out of one of my old basketballs. Wish I had thought of the foam to fill it out. I used hockey tape for the final wrap and a better grip. I have a few air pockets that I didn't work out all the way, but the thing already weighed over 23 pounds and I didn't want it to get too heavy for wall shots. Some really interesting ideas and they don't look too hard to make and big money savers.
You could always take the tape off and fill it with insulation, just when you do continue to rotate the ball otherwise the sand will settle you will have heavy spots throughout the ball.
Most everything I have done are from household, very obtainable objects unlike alot of the stuff on many do it yourself sites that require welding or actual skill of some sort.
Bad-ass dude. I too make a lot of my own **** for my gym in my garage. Definitely can relate. Keep the ideas going.
Last edited by Kiaran; 02-18-2008 at 03:07 PM.
32 yo - 5'6" - 170 lbs
USAPL Meet PRs (Raw @154 lbs): 347 SQ, 242 BP, 507 DL, 1096 TOTAL
Gym PRs: 370 SQ, 270 BP, 510 DL
The Riddle Of Iron - Kiaran's Garage Training Log
I have been wanting to hang a heavy bag for a while now I can't bolt it to the ceiling in my house and one of those stand are way to restrictive and expensive and I don't want anything quite as permenant as you have. May just get one of those waterbased bags.
Ever used one of those with a heavy base? I hate them, not too bad if you just punch one for a while but if you use kicks, elbows or knees the sheer power will knock them over. Go to a sporting good store and use one for 10 minutes...you will see what I mean if not, leave and go to craigslist.com and watch for a used one.
Where are you going to put the bag anyway? You should start looking for an old swing set! I used to use one for bags, rings, pull ups, and used two of the swings for my arms to do hanging leg raises. Found one for $30 at a yard sale!
Last edited by nddillon; 02-19-2008 at 08:40 AM.
Never thought of that, that would be much cheaper than building something! Thanks man! I know someone who has an old one and no more kids, I can probably get it for free.
No problem, hope it works out for ya
I want to find an old jungle gym...I think that would be awesome to have for training...or build an adult size one
Home made kettle bells:
various size ice creambuckets
Cement mix or quik-crete
Thick manilla rope OR bendable iron rods
Drill 2 holes in the side of your bucket.
Fill with quik crete
While the quik crete is soft shove the rope or rods (bent into a D shape) through the holes to simulate a handle.
You can weigh the cement down with lead shot if you want. I found these wicked circular shaped chunks of metal at home depot so i used them. I also have a set of rope KB handles too.You can take the bucket off with a kinfe or leave it on. I took mine off so i have chunks of concrete with metal circle thingys hanging out with tape all over them so they dont sratch you up. It's amazing what concrete can do.
^Yea, I saw that...kinda neat idea. I have been asking around for lead shot, lead tire weights and anything else VERY small and VERY heavy.
However I really wanted an adjustable kettlebell and I have found a way.
I am shocked no one else thought of this before, and I am very glad to share it.
Last edited by nddillon; 03-03-2008 at 09:23 PM.
I'm not sure what lead shot costs now days but if you search for reloading supplies you would have no trouble finding it in bulk bags. If you have any indoor ranges nearby you might ask what they do with the lead out of their backstops, most sell it scrap metal companies I believe but you might be able to get a deal to get lead from them.
I checked on lead shot at a local Ammo store. They said it is $50 for 25lbs.
They also said we don't have a real firing range within 80 miles...for some reason that seems hard to believe. The manager knew exactly what kettlebells were and said he used to have a couple and sold them at a yard sale a few years ago for next to nothing to a guy who was gonna use them as barn door weights...that sux! However he did recommend talking to the Community college welder teacher. He said they sweep up all their iron shavings at the end of each day and eventually take them to the dump.
Does anyone know of anything VERY heavy and VERY small to put into a concrete mix for homemade kettlebells???
Lead fishing weights. Ranges can be few and far between. The part of kentucky I live has loads of shooters but next to no commercial ranges. Everyone here shoots of private property.