Author Topic: Home Gym Equipment  (Read 11245 times)

AlexUK

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Home Gym Equipment
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:11:58 AM »
Has anybody had any experience in completely DIY-ing home gym equipment?

I don't want to be paying 30-85/month for a gym membership, but I really want to get a bit fitter/bulkier. I'm starting a bodyweight fitness program soon (sort of P90X style) and am getting my eating inline for gaining weight - but I'm a little worried at some point there won't be enough resistance to push through some of the plateaus.

I used to hit the gym whilst at school/uni and made a half-decent amount of progress but haven't done much anything in the last few years. What I'm looking for mainly is cheap ways to find heavy things which I can do the following types of exercises with:

Squats
Deads
Bench
Rows

I have a doorframe pull up bar and a backpack which I can load with things to make it heavier - but have no idea where to start with cheap/accessible home-made equipment for the other exercises.

Any ideas?

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 07:14:00 AM »


http://homemadestrength.blogspot.ca/2011/05/strongest-bench-youll-never-buy.html
http://homemadestrength.blogspot.ca/2011/04/more-than-just-squat-stands.html
http://homemadestrength.blogspot.ca/2011/04/saw-horse-safety-stands_28.html

I was inspired by this guy's setup, and basically copied it (changing some of the designs how I wanted 'em) for my home gym.  Building the bench, squat stands, and then picking up adjustable saw horses to act as safeties will take you a couple weekends.  The ones that I built are significantly better than the cheap commercial ones I was using before.  I've had well over three hundred pounds on the squat stands, and at least 500 on the bench with no wobbling/creaking.  The adjustable safety stands work pretty well for me too . . . and I can raise mine all the way to the top for enough height to do weighted dips.

Here's the bench I built out of some scrap 2x4s and a piece of an old door (After sanding the door down, it was actually pretty comfortable so I just stuck a towel on it rather than go to all the effort to upholster it):





Cool thing about this setup is that it's easy to fold up/move out of the way when you don't want to use it any more.



It should be possible to pick up a barbell, dumbells, and some weight for cheap on craigslist.  Steel weights will last FOREVER and don't really drop too much value as they age, it's really worth getting a set.  That said . . .

If you don't want to get a weight set, then you're going to have to be pretty creative.  I'd look for some sandbags of differing weights to pick up/throw around.  Or maybe something like a beat to snot punching bag in the 80 - 120 lb range.  Lifting/putting it down will be awkward, but there are a lot of exercises you can improvise with that (cleans, overhead presses, bench presses, various lifts).  Wrap a couple belts around it if you need handles  Go down to the dump and pick up a bunch of strong buckets of various sizes with the steel handles.  You can fill these to various weights with concrete and use them kinda like dumbells for several exercises.  In the long run though, I think you'll find that getting a weight set is worth it.  It's just so much easier to slowly increment your weight and to perform a wide variety of exercises.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 07:25:28 AM by GuitarStv »

jpo

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 08:32:36 AM »
I'm starting a bodyweight fitness program soon (sort of P90X style)
...
the following types of exercises with:

Squats
Deads
Bench
Rows
Aren't these non-bodyweight fitness exercises? I suppose you could do bodyweight rows.

I hung some rings in my garage and started the progressions at FitLoop. Rings cost about $35 on Amazon (Nayoya).

AlexUK

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 08:39:43 AM »
@GuitarStv That set-up looks awesome, must be really satisfying using your own equipment too. Unfortunately, I will be in a small one bed flat as of the end of June so won't have space for a proper bench. Sandbag/punchbag idea could definitely work though...

@jpo I should have explained better, mainly what I'm after is ways to emulate the exercises without the big equipment. Squats for example I can hold things (possibly a sandbag as per GuitarStv's suggestion) whilst I do it, then throw it in the bottom of the wardrobe when I'm not using it. Bench and rows is the trickiest one at the moment, bar press-ups + weighted backpack, I'm not sure what else I can do. Rings would be great, but I doubt a landlord would allow me drilling their ceiling - and that's if the ceiling had something running through that could support it!

Thanks for the responses guys!

jpo

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 08:44:33 AM »
Rings would be great, but I doubt a landlord would allow me drilling their ceiling - and that's if the ceiling had something running through that could support it!
If you have a public park/school nearby with playground equipment you can do quite a bit on that.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 09:32:09 AM »
@GuitarStv That set-up looks awesome, must be really satisfying using your own equipment too. Unfortunately, I will be in a small one bed flat as of the end of June so won't have space for a proper bench. Sandbag/punchbag idea could definitely work though...

Build a bench and make a fitted cover for it.  Then when you're not using it the bench can double as a coffee table.  :P

AlexUK

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 02:07:38 AM »
Build a bench and make a fitted cover for it.  Then when you're not using it the bench can double as a coffee table.  :P
Now that is a solid idea...

@jpo - once I've moved I'll scout around the are and see if there are any outdoor gyms, they seem to be popping up a fair bit at the moment, here's hoping.

FastStache

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 10:05:35 AM »
Depending on how serious you are, it might be best to get equipment rated for high weight capacity if you are handy with building things. I was into lifting heavy weights at one point and it's important to be safe especially if you are lifting by yourself like I was.

Example, I was squatting over 400 lbs and there was one occassion where the saw horses would have failed me horribly. Luckily I had a power rack and I stayed safe.

If you are someone looking to squat 135, etc. then by all means go with the saw horses.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 12:28:05 PM »
The saw horses that I use are rated to 1000 lbs static load.  I'll occasionally fail a squat or bench press . . . and it typically happens at the bottom of the movement.  If you're planning on dropping the weight from three feet on to the safeties, I don't think that the saw horses would help you . . . but provided you're not an idiot about using them, I think that they're a reasonable safety device.  They have easily held mid 300 lbs from my failures . . . and have carried more than 800 lbs when I was using them to do construction.

FastStache

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 02:11:31 PM »
I had the bar slip and roll down my back, but only one side. It would have hit the saw horses from the side and knocked them over. Then I would have been in trouble. So, 99% of any failure I had lifting the saw horses would have worked. I was competing in powerlifting when I was lifting like this and usually lifting alone. There are plans for wooden power racks on the net too.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 04:14:00 PM »
Fair enough.  I've seen some of the plans for wooden power racks and they looked pretty awesome.  If I had the space I'd have gone that direction.  The saw horses were a big step up in safety from my previous method of leaving the collars off the weights while benching so I could dump half the weight in the worst case!

gt7152b

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 06:47:15 AM »
I like dumbbells because they are more compact for storage (especially Powerblocks if you can find a good deal on them) and target more muscles since you have to work more to stabilize the weight. There are some great work out routines involving body weight and dumbbells in the P90X videos. You probably know someone that has these videos collecting dust. I have a cheap door frame pull up bar and foldable bench to complete my setup.

Koogie

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2014, 01:50:27 PM »
Can highly recommend this guys blog....  a boxing trainer by profession but hosts a lively and well read forum. 
A real character.

http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=157
Homemade Equipment Links
Categories

* Core Training
* Strength Training Equipment
* Grip Training
* Odd Object Training
* Medicine Balls
* Suspension Trainers
* Bodyweight and Gymnastic Based
* Sleds
* Combat Sports Equipment
* Online Timers
* Miscellaneous Equipment Ideas
* Additional Equipment Sites


AlexUK

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 02:03:38 AM »
Can highly recommend this guys blog....  a boxing trainer by profession but hosts a lively and well read forum. 
A real character.

http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=157
Homemade Equipment Links
Categories

* Core Training
* Strength Training Equipment
* Grip Training
* Odd Object Training
* Medicine Balls
* Suspension Trainers
* Bodyweight and Gymnastic Based
* Sleds
* Combat Sports Equipment
* Online Timers
* Miscellaneous Equipment Ideas
* Additional Equipment Sites

Awesome, thank you - I'll check this out tonight and see what ideas I can steal!

AllieVaulter

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 10:10:50 AM »
Sorry to necropost.  But I really want to be able to find the links to the homemade gym. 

DangleStash

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2015, 09:25:55 AM »
I would also look into getting some resistance bands if you don't have room for weights.  I have a set I got on Amazon for ~$30-$35 and it's very nice quality.

fitfrugalfab

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2015, 09:27:45 AM »
I bought a bench from amazon for about 40 bucks and several weights, ranging from 5lbs-30lbs. I also invested in some Beach Body workout DVDs. It's a bit costly up front but you will realize the savings in a year or so.

vhalros

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2015, 07:32:27 AM »
If you are interested in a power rack, Mark Rippetoe has the plans for the one he uses in his gym: http://startingstrength.com/site/equipment Even if you pay some one to weld it for you, you will still come out ahead vs. a gym membership.

Also, I second the recommendation Ross Enamait's website. The guy is like the McGuyver of exercise equipment.

jacksonvasey

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2015, 07:42:43 PM »


and


TheBuddha

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2015, 10:11:56 PM »
You need little to no equipment for isometric exercises and they're very good for building muscle.

fullpampers

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2015, 02:42:00 PM »
I haven't tired any of this, but I stumbled upon EndOfThree and he seems like he has good DIY articles on building gym equipement.

http://www.endofthreefitness.com/diy-corner-garage-gym/

There is a free ebook somewhere in there where he guides you though a complete garage gym build.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2015, 05:41:42 AM »
You need little to no equipment for isometric exercises and they're very good for building muscle.

No they're not.  It's pretty difficult to build muscle with isometric exercises.  Since they're static, the strength that is built using the exercises is also very difficult to apply in the real world.  It's hard to ramp up difficulty.  You can partially overcome this by using dozens of dozens of complicated positions and poses, but it's quite a convoluted and roundabout way to do things.  For the vast majority people they will develop less strength overall and will develop it more slowly by performing isometric exercises than by doing weight training.  (Weight training is also surprisingly cheap . . . you need a couple hundred dollars of weight/bar, and maybe 100$ home built uprights and bench that'll last you forever.

TheBuddha

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2015, 12:15:45 PM »
You need little to no equipment for isometric exercises and they're very good for building muscle.

No they're not.  It's pretty difficult to build muscle with isometric exercises.  Since they're static, the strength that is built using the exercises is also very difficult to apply in the real world.  It's hard to ramp up difficulty.  You can partially overcome this by using dozens of dozens of complicated positions and poses, but it's quite a convoluted and roundabout way to do things.  For the vast majority people they will develop less strength overall and will develop it more slowly by performing isometric exercises than by doing weight training.  (Weight training is also surprisingly cheap . . . you need a couple hundred dollars of weight/bar, and maybe 100$ home built uprights and bench that'll last you forever.

My own experience contradicts what you say, so maybe it's just different for everyone.

eyePod

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2015, 11:00:09 AM »
I didn't really do DIY, but I spent ~650 on the whole setup. I have a bench that will last a life time, all metal plates (would love bumpers but I'm not dropping that dough) and a nice bar. The knurling is a little much but I'll get used to it at some point.

Got my 1 rep squat from 240 to 290 with one Strong Lifts session. Most likely, I could have squatted more like this but I never did it consistently.

Payback on the setup is ~7-8 months and I"m at home. I need to get back into it but need to clean out the garage and learn to lift without sleep since the baby sucks!

The best part is the valor squat rack. I am able to put it all off to the side since it is two individual stands. It also has a bench spot and safety thing at the bottom, so I can bench unassisted.

eyePod

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2015, 11:02:49 AM »
Here's the squat rack I got. Absolutely love it since I need the space to be free of materials normally.




http://amzn.to/1MP2GG3

Jeremy E.

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 11:11:36 AM »
Rather than build or buy new or find an alternative, I'd check craigslist for a used power rack, Olympic set, and bench. I live in a small town and after 2 months I folded and bought a new power rack for $300 (Titan Fitness). But I was still able to find a bench/Olympic set on craigslist for $180. However if you live in decent sized city you should never have to buy new. Most weight lifting equipment that I would buy never goes bad, but people keep buying new stuff, and people usually don't stick to lifting forever, so it should be very easy to find used equipment on craigslist.

jba302

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 03:04:10 PM »
I dumped a lot of money into a home gym, but I was powerlifting at the time and for some reason felt it warranted. It paid for itself ages ago though, so I have no complaints. Whatever you look into, don't skimp on the bar or bench. You can deal with weights that are off by measuring them and using micro plates, and your rack doesn't need to be able to handle a train hit (also 1" hole spacing is nice but not required by any means). A shitty bar and a shitty bench will ruin a workout.

Reader

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2015, 04:40:04 PM »
Can highly recommend this guys blog....  a boxing trainer by profession but hosts a lively and well read forum. 
A real character.

http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=157
Homemade Equipment Links
Categories

* Core Training
* Strength Training Equipment
* Grip Training
* Odd Object Training
* Medicine Balls
* Suspension Trainers
* Bodyweight and Gymnastic Based
* Sleds
* Combat Sports Equipment
* Online Timers
* Miscellaneous Equipment Ideas
* Additional Equipment Sites

Thanks Koogie for the link. Awesome ideas. I currently use a pullup bar which covers the back and abs, and a dip station for chest. the suspension trainer and ham-glute options are interesting, will be trying them out.

The Investing Hispster

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Re: Home Gym Equipment
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2018, 01:13:17 PM »
This thread is awesome. Posting to bookmark/remember