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Will Nuse 06-23-2006 06:05 PM

I finally made it to Corpus Christi and found a place with a garage for me to convert into the very beginnings of a home gym--it's sure taken me long enough.

That said, I'd like a little help from you folks since a lot of you are more experienced at this than I am. Also, if you've got any ideas for how to set a gym up without a ton of structural damage (I'm still renting) that would be ideal.

Dimensions of the garage are roughly 12' wide by 15' deep, with a 5" high, ~2' deep step at the back. The garage door is centered in the wall with a 2' offset on either side. The automatic garage door assembly drops 2' from the 9' ceiling, and its presence extends into the garage about from the door about 9'. Ceiling joists spaced 32" on center run across the width (parallel to the door) of the ceiling and are obviously hidden with drywall.

Right now I'm thinking about installing a Home Depot special pullup bar (about 5' long, 20" dropped from the ceiling) on the ceiling a few feet back from the side door and parallel to that wall, with a board backing. I'm also thinking about putting eye screws in for my rings in line with that bar for my rings, but that will require me to get an 8' board to take advantage of all the joists available. I'm probably being excessively conservative here, but it's just the engineer in me coming out... <grin>

The other option is to make a wall mounted bar and put it over the side door and kip through the door (which will be open anyway) but I don't like that option as much. Any ideas?

I'd also like to point out that I am a little nervous making something out of pipe and kipping on the sucker, even if I use some heavy duty lag screws (again the engineer nerves come out...). Anybody have any further ideas on how make this as safe as is reasonable? It'll probably just be me and maybe a couple of buddies using this.

Behind the pullup bar and rings area, either facing the back wall or the wall opposite the side door, is where I'm thinking I'm going to put my barbell and associated gear (once I get some more money, though--moving is expensive). I could also get some dumbells and put them along that wall.

Any more ideas any of you have would be great.

Jeff Belyeu 06-24-2006 12:27 AM

The Home Depot chin up bar works very well, in my opinion. Have had one in for a couple of months now. Mostly do dead hangs, but have done a fair amount of kipping. Thinking of putting a couple of 2x6s between a couple of the ceiling joists just to solidify it a little more, but that may be overkill and the engineer in me coming out. lol. About $30 in pipe.

A couple of plyo boxes made out of 5/8" or better plywood. About $20-$25 or so, depending on which plywood you get.

A set of PVC paralletes for < $10.

I bought a 12# medicine ball for around $30 before I saw the home made version here. Could make one out of a basketball and sand (not sure of weight - 20#?), I'm guessing for around $20.

Have some dumbbells, but no OLY bar and such yet, so don't have any numbers for you there, and those get a little more expensive, unless you get lucky on craigslist or something.

Good luck!

Jeff Belyeu 06-24-2006 12:29 AM

Oh, and welcome to TX!

Will Nuse 06-24-2006 09:12 AM

Jeff, thanks for the ideas. To be honest, I'd forgotten about the homemade medicine balls--thanks.

And thanks for welcoming me to Texas! I'm liking it so far.

Jason Steele 06-24-2006 02:22 PM

Peruse the yard sales, there is always some sloth selling their gym equipment, you can find a decent bar, etc. Go to the local tack shop and get a rubber mat or two (~$30 a piece), so when you drop the weight or yourself from a height you won't damage the floor. I learned the hard way on this one (thank goodness I own). Make some sandbags while you stockpile the cash, there are lots of things you can do with 20 dollars worth of sand and a couple of 8 dollar gym bags from Wal-mart.

Don Stevenson 06-26-2006 06:32 PM

Ebay is your friend!

I keep an eye on ebay each week and if i see something good i try to get it. So far i've got

$900 Ivanko bar - $150
$300 Squat racks - $120
$120 20kg plates - $55

Get free stuff, scrounge a keg, a couple of big rocks and a sand bag, Make a sled out of an old tyre etc

Will Nuse 06-26-2006 08:17 PM

I'm checking eBay right now. I can't even imagine what my property manager is going to think when my bumper plates show up sometime soon, much less any of this other stuff (big stuff gets dropped off at the main office).

I'm breaking my own rule on not running a search before asking, but is it hard to fill the keg? I had weird priorities in college and don't know much about kegs <grin>.

Good call on the rocks and I've been thinking a little about putting together a sandbag. I've got the stuff for a slamball now, so I'm going to put that together the weekend after I get back into town.

Don Stevenson 06-26-2006 08:41 PM

Emptying a keg is much easier than filling it because people are always willing to help!

Depending on the design you can fill them with one of three methods.

1. Cut a hole in the top, fill and then plug/weld

2. figure out how to dismantle the valve system and fill it through the top.

3. Easiest but slowest is to use a screwdriver to depress the rubber seal and then run water into the valve.

Now if you need to aquire a keg you can sometimes buy empties from distributors or you can hire one and not return it. You'll lose the deposit but thats what it's for.

Now to empty your keg in true CF fashion i suggest the following workout.

run 400m
10 thrusters 40kg
drink one glass beer


winner is the one who completes the most rounds before meeting pukie.

John Vernon 06-27-2006 08:49 AM

Don - You know how to party. Let's hang out sometime.

Will - I was looking at apartments in my area, no garage was a deal breaker btw, and made sure to tell the PM what kind of workouts I did. Most common reply, "Why?".

Will Nuse 06-27-2006 08:58 AM

Don, I don't think any of my friends are crazy enough to try that WO <grin>. Most of them think I'm nuts enough as it is for even being interested in this stuff, much less doing it. The keg is one thing I hadn't though about getting, and I'll look into it when I get back into town. Thanks for the advice on how to refill. Did you work your way up on the weight (i.e., fill 1/4 of the way, get used to it, fill 1/2 way, etc.)?

John, I just didn't tell my PM because I knew I was going to get the same reaction, and I figured it's better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission to modify the garage as req'd to hang a big pullup bar from the ceiling. My neighbors and the PM will figure out I'm crazy soon enough <grin>.

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