The DIY Gym: 8 Pieces of Equipment That Will Get You Strong & Save You Money

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There’s
nothing manlier that working out in your garage. In fact, many men
have relinquished their useless globo gym’s memberships and
used that money to buy equipment for their own personal garage gyms.
This saves time, and instead of paying some jerk’s expensive
car payment, you keep the equipment.

Get a good
weight set, a bench, and hopefully a squat rack, and you’re
halfway there. There are several other components to the home gym
that make it even more functional and can help you take your fitness
to the next level. Below are 8 pieces of equipment that will increase
your manly strength and save you money in the long term.

Plyometric
boxes

Nothing builds
explosive strength like jumping on a plyo box. However, plyo boxes
from most fitness distributors are extremely expensive. The good
folks over at Crossfit (THE anti
globo-gym entity) have published plans on how to make your own boxes.
I’ve made two: one 18" high and one for my son at 14"
high. You can add this as a finishing exercise into any circuit
for a truly taxing lung and muscle burner.

Sandbags

Sandbags are
an extremely versatile piece of equipment. You can do cleans, carries,
snatches and strongman type loading with them. The best part is
they cost next to nothing to make. All you need are an old duffel
bag (preferably an army/navy rucksack), contractor’s bags,
and some pea gravel. Double-bag the pea gravel in the contractor’s
bags, and tape them up securely. Each smaller bag can be at the
weight you think is prudent for loading.

I have one
large Navy sea bag and I made 5 different 25 pound small sandbags
that fit into the large Navy bag so I can alter the weight as I
see fit.

Another great
exercise is to take your sandbag and some additional 45 pound plates
and load up your trusty wheelbarrow. Quickly walk 100", make
a quick turn and head back to the starting point. Who needs shrugs
when you got this exercise?

Lifting
Platform

If you’re
a fan of the Olympic lifts (and who isn’t) you need a lifting
platform. This is a handyman’s project and a little too complex
to detail here. I got my plans from Ironmind
Enterprises
. You can see them here.

Pulling
sled/tires

Pulling a sled
is one of the best exercises for increasing work capacity and general
physical preparedness. This piece of equipment will make good use
of your welding skills. It requires a length of 1.25 square steel
tubing (approx. 13" long), an 18"x24" piece of steel,
and a towing strap.

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the rest of the article

October
20, 2010

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