Straight to the Bar Archives : DIY

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Home-made gym equipment - instructions and demonstrations.

Building a Salmon Ladder

A Salmon Ladder is one of those things I'd almost forgotten about until I saw the ads for the television series Arrow, where he's putting one to work. I'd love to build one for the home gym here (or more likely, the backyard) - but how? There are a couple of basic approaches. I'll detail those in a minute, but first, a spot of history :

What is a Salmon Ladder? How Did It Come About?

Think of a Salmon Ladder as an extra challenging pull-up variation, with a little Kipping and Plyometrics thrown in. The video below will show you exactly what it is. As for the origin : as far as I can tell, the first time a Salmon Ladder was shown to the world was in competition 18 of Sasuke (shown in many countries as 'Ninja Warrior'); held in Spring 2007. The course was greatly modified following competition 17 (which was considered 'too easy' by some), and a number of new obstacles - notably the Salmon Ladder - were introduced. To give you a taste, here's the Salmon Ladder being tackled admirably in a later Sasuke competition (Sasuke 27) : As you can see, it's a fairly simple idea; though certainly a challenging obstacle. In fact, the first time it appeared in a Sasuke competition, only 50% of the competitors succeeded in negotiating it.

DIY : How to Build a Wrist Roller

Pipe Dream
Soon to be a wrist roller.
"How do I get my forearms bigger!?!" is a question I hear a lot at the gym and when I talk to clients who are unhappy with the size of their lower arms. What is the answer to the mysteriously huge forearms of the pros? The wrist roller! This is the easiest, most effective (in my opinion) exercises for building forearms like Popeye without all of that crazy canned spinach business (no disrespect towards Popeye of course!).

My Home Gym Story

I've been working out for quite some time now and have spent quite a bit of time in local gyms and commercial gyms when I've been away from home. The thing about commercial gyms and membership facilities is that they are not in the most convenient place you know, your home.

Vulcan Lever Attachment for Wrist Strength

Another brilliantly simple dose of DIY goodness from 'Mighty Joe' Musselwhite. Love it.


grips.jpgIf you love training grip, you'll really enjoy GripWalking.

DIY : How to Build Your Own Tire Sled

Matt explains how to make that superb strongman tool - the tire sled.

How to Build Your Own Sandbag

A DIY, hand-made sandbag
Here's one I made earlier.
In this superb article Derek explains exactly how to build your own sandbags. Good stuff.

Roman Chair Squat Device

Via Rob Russell : long-term readers may remember the superb DIY equipment skills of Pat Hodgson, and this is one of his many creations - a platform for Roman Chair / Sissy Squats. Nice one.

Connect the Goddamned Dots

Pop over and say hi to grip and DIY equipment enthusiast - and I suspect, Ministry fan - the enigmatic flagmonkey.

Blast from the Past : DIY Equipment II

We've seen a number of new DIY items since last year's roundup, and here are just a few of my favourites.

Homemade Tornado Ball Slam

Ross Enamait shows a home-made Tornado Ball in action. Good stuff.

DIY Plyo Boxes

A friend asked me this morning about instructions for home-made plyo boxes, and Today Fitness reminded me of a piece in the CrossFit Journal a couple of years ago. If you're looking to construct a couple for yourself, grab the free PDF. Superb.

The 'Hula Hoop'

Squatting circle
The 'Hula Hoop' squatting circle.

An early home-made version of the squatting circle (referred to as the 'Hula Hoop' by Joseph Hise) later marketed by Peary Rader as the 'Magic Circle'.

Swinging a 70lb Mace

MMA strength coach Kevin Wikse demonstrating a modified 70lb Mace. Nice one.

Squatting with Wooden Plates

More DIY squat goodness - this time using a few home-made plates. Nice one.

DIY Climbing Course

Love a spot of outdoor training? How's this for a low budget home-made climbing course. Love it.

Versatile 'Squat Stands'

Demonstrating the incredible versatility of a couple of steel drums, The Pound. Nice one.

DIY Strongman Yoke

Ready for some more DIY Equipment? Octogen shows how to build your own Strongman Yoke. Good stuff.

Wide Pommel

Via Gymnastics Coaching : an interesting piece of DIY gym equipment, a wide pommel.

DIY Gym Gear : Rings

Several ways to make your own 'rings' - Dan demonstrates his own version. Nice one.

DIY: How to Build an Olympic Weightlifting Platform

Completed Olympic Weightlifting platform
Homemade Lifting Platform. Love it.
This is an easy design for an eight-foot square platform that will stand up to your heavy weightlifting for a long time to come. Protect your floor, your weights, and your knees by lifting at home on a proper training platform.

TGIF : weekly round-up (WE Fri 27 Mar 09)

Karl Norberg
The Mighty Norseman Karl Norberg.
A great week here on Straight to the Bar. The highlights :

Raw Handles

Another DIY project joins the queue - this time it'll be a pair of handles like this. Good stuff.

Home-made Prowler

Continuing the DIY theme - how about a couple of home-made prowlers?

Napalm's Nightmare

Looking for a DIY project for the weekend? This is a great idea.