Man Caves: DIY Home Gym Equipment

Article Posted By: Jae Warren

of The Home Depot

Image of a home gym in a basement

Image via Home Gym Body Building

Anytime we decide to take up a new sport or activity, be it volcano bungee jumping or whale kayaking, most guys almost reflexively start to research all the latest, coolest gear we might need. The same thinking certainly holds true when we’re thinking about building a home gym. And we’re here to convince you that you don’t need a room full of expensive store-bought equipment to furnish your own personal workout space. Take a look at some terrific ideas for DIY home gym equipment that we found on the Internet.

You can build this home gym equipment using simple, manly materials such as plywood, galvanized pipe and, of course, duct tape. Never forget the duct tape.

Image of a DIY Plyometrics Box

Image via Instructables

Plyometrics, or jump training, is a type of exercise that involves quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power. Developed by Russian scientist Yuri Verkhoshanksy, Soviet Bloc athletes used this system to help them dominate track and field in the 1960s and ’70s. An observant U.S. coach took note of this bounding about, renamed it plyometrics, and began using the system to train his athletes.

Guys often ignore cardio training in favor of donning ever more muscle. Plyo boxes like these can be expensive to buy, but you can make one for your home gym relatively inexpensively. Instructables has some very well thought out instructions on how to build your own set of plyo boxes, including a materials list and diagrams.

The video above that we found on Cube Dwellers Fitness also shows you how to build a plyometrics box. With a little birch plywood, a rubber mat, some wood glue and drywall screws — and a lot of sweat — you can add some Olympic-like explosiveness to your workout routine.

Image of a DIY Dip Station made with galvanized pipe

Image via Body Rock

A dip station helps you build up your arms and chest, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on one. Body Rock has instructions on how to build the dip station you see above using simple galvanized pipes and fittings. They also have the how-to instructions for a version of this made from PVC pipe.

Image of a DIY Bulgarian Bag used for fitness training

Image via 15 Minutes Workout

The funny looking thing is called a Bulgarian bag, and Bulgarian bag training no joke. This all-in-one training tool was developed for Olympic Greco-Roman wrestlers, but you can fling one of these around to work legs, shoulders, core, back, biceps, triceps and forearms for a killer total body workout. The website 15 minutes workout explains how to make a Bulgarian bag yourself using a tire inner tube, some sand, zip ties and duct tape.

If you prefer your how-to instructions in video form, here’s an offering from Cube Dwellers Fitness on how to make a Bulgarian bag. In this case, you fill the inner tube with a 20 pound bag of rubber mulch and some small landscape rocks for added weight.

Woman using a slosh pipe to exercise

And just to show it isn’t just the man cave dwellers who can benefit from home gym equipment, we introduce you to Jess of the Girl Walks Into a Bar(bell) blog. She is carrying what might be the most deceptively gnarly piece of DIY home gym equipment you’ll see. It’s a slosh pipe.

Slosh pipes are filled about two-thirds full of water and capped at both ends. You might think a tube like that isn’t much to haul around, but when it has water sloshing around inside and you’re doing squats, lunges, curls or clean and jerks with it, your core will know different. The constantly shifting water inside the slosh pipe will force you to use stabilizer muscles you probably didn’t know you had just to stay upright.

Jess offers simple DIY instructions so you can make your own slosh pipe using PVC pipe and flexible end caps that she says came from her local Home Depot store.

Man Caves is an exploration of cool spaces guys have created for themselves: everything from living rooms and bedrooms, offices and workshops, and media and game rooms, to garages, outdoor grilling areas, gardens and more. We dispense tips on décor, equipment, storage and organization, as well as share ideas, know-how and product info to help you hook up your own manspace.