Sunday, December 05, 2004

My Home Gym

While I was taking a picture of my planche progress, I figured I'd snap a shot of my exercise equipment.

Hmm, seems a little hard to see, but I'll try and describe what's there.

The dumbbells in front with white handles are my thick handled adjustable dumbbells. The white is merely a section of PVC pipe I picked up from a hardware store and slipped over the existing handles. The thicker handle works the grip everytime you pick it up. I like to use these dbs for everything from one arm snatches to hammer curls.

To the left of the dumbbells is some blue ankle weights. Great for hanging leg raises. Since they have removable 1/2 pounds weights inside, I can even use the ankle weights for microloading various exercises.

The other piece of white behind the ankle weights is a piece of my very large parallettes (made from pvc pipe). They're hidden under the black sheet from my bed, but they're as long as my bed and about a foot high. Good for handstand pushups and such.

The center square of black is some compressed foam workout flooring I picked up. It's pretty cheap for a couple squares. Three squares sit there in the middle, while I've got a fourth one that I move around my floor depending on need.

Sitting on the black foam is different weight plates. I picked these up for a song at some yard sale awhile back. Never ever bother paying full price for weight plates. Someone is always selling their weight set somewhere. Honestly. It's a universal constant.

The white circle in the middle is my ab wheel. A piece of equipment that comes very cheap. Don't spend more than $10 for one, and I've even seen them as low as $5. It's a fantastic piece of equipment. After reading some work on the ab wheel by Brad Johnson, I've split the two wheels apart to make a mini-axle. Now I can grab the axle in the middle and do one are ab wheel work as well.

The grey chunk to the right of the ab wheel is one of my 40lb "block weights". You simply take a dumbbells (80lber in that case) and you hacksaw off the heads. You're left with a chunk of metal that you can hopefully pick up from the top with your hand. It's an amazing hand strengthener. I've got two 40 lbers (an 80 cut up) and two 25 lbers (a 50 cut up).

Small mirror behind the whole pile of things. Picked that up for free. It helps for planche training because I can look into it and see the height of my hips.

Above the mirror are my CoC grippers. They are some heavy-duty grippers that increase to some insane poundages. I've got the the trainer, #1 - #4 CoC grippers, as well as a Beef Builder Super Master, which is about a "2.5" on the CoC scale of grippers. I mashed the #2 a couple months ago, but put down the grippers for a bit to focus on the one arm chin. I hope to mash the #3 in the coming year.

Above the grippers on the wall is a shelf with various grip-related items. A powerball, some chinese therapy balls, some rubber bands to put around my fingers and open my hand (works the back of the hand), some pony spring clamps to work the thumb, some pumice stone to grind down callouses, and some decks of cards for tearing.

On the right in front, is a sledgehammer which is fantastic for levering. Check out Eric Godfrey's page regarding sledge hammer levering.

Behind that is an old whey protein container. I keep bent nails in it. A blue-lided tupperware container with chalk sits on top.

And behind that on the cinder block is a box of the nails I'm currently bending - 60d timber ties. I haven't gone on a serious bending streak for quite some time, but I can still "U" a timber tie.

On top of the timber ties is my set of rings from ring training. These things are great. Real easy to set up and I can even use them on my pullup bar at home.

Above that, where the floating softball resides, is a hanger with chains, stretch bands, jump rope, weight belt, and some towels. The softball (and a baseball out of view) have an eye hook drilled into them. I string some length of chain through some weight plates and hook the softball/baseball on the chain as a handle. Pick up the weights with the softball/baseball, voila, easy grip strengthener.

Out of view are a swiss exercise ball (the girlfriend picked it up, I like it though!), and a bucket of rice. Stick your hand in elbow-deep into the rice and stir it around with just the fist (break at the wrist) it'll burn your forearms up. There's also a wrist roller, and a piece of wood with a chain for working my pinch grip. And finally, I've got a small peg board like you use to have in elementary school. It's just waiting to be mounted.... maybe the next place I live!

Now here's a piece of invaluable equipment... my pull up bar.

I've got a couple towels drapped over it for towel chins, as well as a 12' piece of rope. By tying one end of the rope to some weight plates and grabbing the other side of the rope near the bar, I can work my assisted chins. If I pull too hard on the rope (for too much assistance) then the weights go up, my assisting hand goes down and I go nowhere.

When I say I'm "10lbs away" from a one arm chin, this is what I mean. One arm grabs the bar, the other grabs the rope with 10lbs on the other end. Simple, yet effective.

Oh boy, what a long post. But it gives you a look at what I've got in my tiny 10x10 room. My equipment hardly takes up 3 square feet of floor space. You can shape your home gym to what you need, but don't think it requires a separate wing onto your house. You can get a pretty darn good workout from just an adjustable dumbbell.


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