Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


DIY: Home-Made Gym Equipment
Posted By Scott Bird
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.

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.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter. A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.

And if you'd like to check out any of the stuff mentioned above (or in the comments), swing by Amazon. Huge assortment of fitness gear.


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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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