If your goal is to get in better shape but you’re on a budget, don’t panic. Even though you want to tone up so you can both look and feel better about yourself, you can do so without breaking the bank.
In fact, many fitness enthusiasts are now making their own weights and other homemade gym equipment and it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Below are 11 DIY gym equipment ideas at home.
To start, take two jars with removable lids, which will be the ends of your dumbbells. Drill a large hole in the tops of both lids, then remove the lids.
Next mix up some cement and pour it into each of the jars. Place the lids back on the jars and while the cement is still soft, take a pipe that is the same diameter as the holes in the lids. This should be a long pipe with a screw-on removable piece on each end. As the cement is drying, take the removable tips and place each in one of the lids.
Once the cement is dry, you can connect the large pipe to the two removal pieces, which are now stuck in the dried cement. You are essentially looking at a pipe with heavy jars on each end. Next, just paint the jars and you’re all set to go.
DIY Dumbbell Storage Rack
You can make these weight racks different heights if you like. These instructions are for one rack only, which is essentially a shelf with two legs. You have to first determine the width of the shelf because that’s where your dumbbells will be stored.
The board can be as long as you want it to be. You’ll make two short “legs” for the board and put one on each end, then place the board on top of it and use screws to secure it.
You can make a second shelf that’s a little taller (just make the legs higher) and set it in the back of the first shelf so that you have two “steps” to place your dumbbells on. This is a great addition to your collection of homemade gym equipment.
This one is simpler than you might think. Take a basketball and make a slit at the very top. Take some one-inch PVC piping and cut it roughly 25 inches long for your handle.
Then bake it at 350° for five minutes to soften it up some. Place the piping in the basketball (it becomes your handle), then fill the basketball up with cement and let it sit for 24 hours.
Afterward, you use sports tape to close the slit at the top of the basketball and super-powered glue to tack down the two ends of the handle and the sides of the sports tape.
You can make your kettlebells any weight that you want.
Homemade Dip Machine
How to DIY Dip Station? You just need two items to make this equipment: PVC piping and either glue or PVC cement. We all know how dip machines look so first to decide how long and how high you want yours to be.
When you’re done, there will be a long pipe that is curved downwards towards the floor on each end and two “feet” on the two ends.
You can use a good strong glue to make sure that the pipes are stuck together well, or a PVC cement. If you use the cement, you should remember to use the primer first because this will make it stay together longer and be much safer each time you use it.
DIY Tire Drag
The tire drag is really a simple piece of equipment because you take an old tire, place something heavy on top of the tire, and then drag the tire around with either a tow strap or a climbing rope. You can use an old tire as long as it isn’t about to fall apart, and you can put just about anything on top of it -- a bag of sand, a keg filled with sand or something else heavy, etc.
And you can use something cheap as long as it’s heavy enough to be a challenge for you. You can use either tow straps or climbing rope to pull and drag the now-heavy weight of the tire, providing you with a great workout every time. One recommendation: if you’re really on a budget, choose the tow straps and not the climbing ropes because they’re much cheaper!
Sandbags are used for numerous types of workouts but you can make two sandbags for less than $25 with this simple method. For each sandbag, use a three-millimeter, 42-gallon, heavy-duty garbage bag, enough pea gravel (which is usually sold in bags of half a cubic foot each so you’ll want to buy at least one of them) to make the bag the weight that you want it, and some heavy-duty duct tape.
Just put some pea gravel into the bag, roll it up until it gets to be the shape you want it to be, then tape it up with your duct tape. This is super easy to do and if you buy two bags of pea gravel, you can easily make two sandbags to use.
Homemade Weight Vest
Weight vests enhance your workouts, thanks to the extra challenge that the weight provides you. If you want to make one yourself, here’s what you do. When it comes to homemade gym equipment, this is one of the most valuable because anyone can benefit from wearing it.
You start by purchasing a tactical vest or any vest that has pockets on the front and back. You buy two weight plates and cover them with cardboard.
Trace the plates on the cardboard and cut the shape out afterward, make a hole that matches the hole in the weights, then place the weight inside of the cardboard and tie them through the hole with zip ties.
This will prevent the weights from moving around too much in the vest. Afterward, you can simply slip the weights (that are now covered in cardboard) into the vest pockets.
DIY 3-in-1 Crossfit PLYO Box
Regarding the measurements, there are too many details to describe here but this is essentially a vertical box that is closed in on all sides. The finished size is usually 20” x 24” x 30” and it has handles on both of the smaller ends. It is made for jumping on top of when you’re exercising and it is basically an empty box made out of sturdy wood.
You can save yourself a lot of money if you do it yourself because instead of spending $125 or more for the box, you can make it for about $30 worth of plywood and a little of your time.
Homemade Power Rack
Out of all the homemade gym equipment, you can make yourself, you likely didn’t think that a power rack is something you can make at home but it is. Once again, you can save a lot of money by making it yourself out of wood instead of metal.
With your professional tools and a little know-how, you can easily end up with a power rack that is useful. Even though there are too many steps in the process to list here, you can easily research the task online and get the information you need.
DIY Gym Bench
To make this weight bench, the bench stand (the bottom part that sits on the floor) is made out of 2 x 4 pieces of wood, which are then painted black. The top part (the bench itself) is a piece of plywood with a thick piece of foam rubber -- memory foam is perfect -- on top, then you cover that with a black piece of industrial-strength vinyl.
You use a staple gun to staple the vinyl to the bench, pulling it tightly to make sure that it doesn’t get too loose. Once you start working, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier than it sounds.
Homemade Punching Bag
For this, you cut out one pant leg out of a pair of jeans; only use the leg part and nothing else. Turn the leg inside out, then tie off one end with thick cord. Turn the leg right side out, then place a PVC pipe in the middle of the leg. Start stuffing the leg by placing old clothes around the pipe and down into the bag, stuffing as many of them as possible in the bag.
Make sure that the bag is taut when you’re done. Then pour sand in the middle of the pipe and remove the pipe.
At this point, you will have clothes in the bag and sand all through the leg in the middle. Tie off the other end with strong cord and make sure that you leave extra cord to tie it up on a ceiling beam so you can use it.