When I first read about the slosh pipe, I was not that impressed. I figured, how hard can it be to hold 30 or so lbs above my head? Well it turns out it is extremely hard! After making the pipe, I learned that the athletes I train generally have weak stability in their shoulders. The pipe is one of many ways to address and correct this weakness.
However, the problem was that the slosh pipe was always a constant weight. Whether the pipe was ½ or ¾ full of water I could not change the weight based on the athlete's abilities. Also, I try to get the most out of my limited gym space, so I did not want two or three large pipes taking up too much room. I read the slosh pipe article on T-nation, and set out to make my own with one simple variation to make it adjustable.
Slosh Pipe supplies.
Step 1 - Purchase supplies. Here is your shopping list to make an adjustable slosh pipe.
8 ft of 4 in PVC (could be 7 ft, could be 6" around, your choice. Also, they usually come in 10 ft lengths, but Home Depot or Lowes will cut them for you free)
1 - 4 in PVC Cap
1 - 4 in PVC Coupling
1 - 4 in PVC Plug
1 - 4 in Clean out (looks like a coupling, but one side is threaded to screw the plug in)
Thread Tape (prevents the cap from leaking)
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Glue one end.
Step 2 - Generously apply glue to one end of the PVC Pipe. Do the same to the cap and stick it on. Place that end against the ground to let the glue adhere. Most PVC glue takes 15 min to hold securely, 2 hours to cure completely.
Push the coupling on.
Step 3 - After waiting the 15 min, apply glue to the other end of the pipe. Push the coupling over the 4 in pipe until it stops.
Step 4 - Place glue on your last piece, then clean out, and push it into the coupling. Give it about 30-45 min to let all the glue dry.
Push it all way in.
Tape the cap.
Step 5 - Put the tape around the cap. It will be a pain since the tape is not sticky. Its job is to secure the thread on thread contact of the cap and the run-off so it will hold water. Fill the pipe to the desired weight. Limit yourself to no more than ¾ full so the water will have room to slosh around. Screw on the cap and you are done! Do not over tighten it since it is just plastic. ¼ turn past hand tight worked for me.
Now, whenever you want to add or subtract water, simply unscrew the cap and add water! This method will save time, money, and space over having multiple pipes. Additionally, this will solve the problem of addressing the different abilities of people you train, or what to do when you get stronger. The slosh pipe has proved to be a quality supplemental or finishing exercise in our program.
Joe Hashey is a CSCS through the NSCA, owner of Synergy Athletics and author of the superb Bull Strength manual. Take advantage of the Synergy Athletics Free Newsletter by signing up at the website. All subscribers get instructions on how make a 3 inch independently revolving thick bar, a free athlete training report, and an insight into Bull Strength!
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