DIY: Home-Made Gym Equipment

Ready to build your own? Here's how.

Parts list
Parts list.
When it comes to the typical home gym, it's usually a matter of getting down to the basics. Have you ever considered expanding that setup a little with your own lifting platform? Climbing wall? Stones for Strongman training? To find out how to construct these and much, much more, read on:
Big Steel - Building a thick dumbbell handle Tom Black

Making wooden handles for your dumbbells. You'll find more great stuff on Tom's article page including notes on the construction of a plate-loading sledgehammer and a modified adjustable gripper.

Brian's Strength Training site

Equipment for Janda Sit-ups and other fun things.

Bryce's site

Everything from bars to a belt squatting setup.

Building a Lifting Platform (Ironmind)
Randall J. Strossen

Now all you need is a set of bumper plates.

Building Your Own Set of Atlas Stones
Jason F. Keen

Making stones using an old - but effective - recipe of plaster, cement and water. And a couple of inflatable balls. A similar article appears at Body Results.

Crossfit Forum - Equipment

Some good discussion on the ins and outs of equipment, both store-bought and home-made.

Edgewalls - How to Build a Home Climbing Wall

Construction of a bouldering/traverse wall.

Fred the Head

Plastic shopping bags, pipe, a tennis ball and of course lots and lots of duct tape.

Gruntbrain's Grotto

A forum for DIY gymrats everywhere.

Judo America

Building a spring loaded mat. Superb.

Lean & Hungry Fitness - GHR

If you've ever considered the idea of having your own Glute-Ham Raise, take a look at this. While you're there, check out the home-made slammable medicine ball (based on instructions [.pdf, 1.21mb] from Pierre Augé).

Mission Specific Industries

Free instructions for building squat stands and plyometric boxes.

PE Digest - articles

Some great articles here, including Make Your Own 200m Track [.pdf, 204kb]

Plans for a home-made squat rack
Bill McBride

What more could you want?

Olympic Bar Measurements

Want to know the exact dimensions of that bar you're about to transform? They're all here.

Old Dude's Garage Photo Page

Photos of various home-made equipment.

You Might Also Like...

Brilliant device. If your shoulders aren't quite as flexible as you'd like, grab The Rotater. Love it.
Already got one? Looking for something specific? Swing by the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

Highland Tools

How-to articles on construction of Hammers and Weight for Height/Distance equipment.

Joe Skopec - articles

Assorted DIY goodness including photographs of a home-made pulldown attachment and a Reverse Hyper bench for the rack.

Ross Enamait forum - Training Equipment

Some great ideas here (start in this thread). If you're hungry for more, take a look at his articles on constructing (and using) a waterball and a sandbag [.pdf, 344kb].

Scottish Heavy Athletics

Notes on the construction of various Highland Games equipment.

This to That

Excellent advice on joining materials to other materials.

Construction history of many items in the outdoor Toffe's Gym (which is in a superb forest setting, incidentally) including calf-training equipment, a heavy-duty bench and of course the power rack. Excellent stuff.

After reading those, it's time for a trip to the nearest hardware store. Plenty of fun things to experiment with.


Part II of this article is now online. And for a complete list, swing by the the DIY Equipment category. Some great ideas in there.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 37) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Facebook, the Daily 'Paper'; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

Like this? Check out :

From the Archives : DIY Gym Equipment.

There's something inherently satisfying about building things yourself.

70 of the Best : 7 Years of Straight to the Bar.

This site - Straight to the Bar - has been around for an incredible 7 years (the first post was on Jan 17th, 2004), and to say I'm grateful is a gross understatement.

Thank you.

Grrl's Valentine's Day Wishlist.

Time to get her what she really wants.

Grrls Mother's Day Fitness Wishlist.

Give her something to complement her indomitable strength.

DIY Equipment Ideas.

Stuck for ideas? Try these.

Setting Up A Home Gym.

Ready to get started? Great.

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :

blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.