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Old 03-05-2008, 05:27 AM   #1
Robert Pagliaro
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PVC Barbells

I have been contracted to do a boot camp at a local grammar school. I will have classes of 5 at a time. It will be held in a large open space so there is a lot I can do with it. However, the on site equipment will be limited so I will be bringing my own - kbs, dynamax balls, bands, powerblocks, parallettes, etc. All very portable.

My question lies with PVC bars for deads, presses, front/back squats, etc. I have read a lot on the site about using them for teaching, however I had the idea to fill them with sand or some other material to add weight and cap them off at the ends.

This may be a common practice so I am wondering if anybody has done this. If so, how effective are the bars? Will they be heavy enough?

Thank you
Rob
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:18 AM   #2
Larry A Henrikson
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Re: PVC Barbells

I believe there is an article on T-nation.com for water filled pvc pipes. The sloshing makes the stabilizer muscles work overtime. Have you considered sandbags? You can get some military style duffel bags or heavy laundry bags and drop in a few contractor bags full of sand. I have a 65lbs bag that I substitute for barbell squats. Logs are also another alternative.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:21 AM   #3
Chris Drewry
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Re: PVC Barbells

Your looking at 7-11 lbs depending on the type of sand you fill them with.

Play sand is heaviest.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
Adam Head
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Re: PVC Barbells

Throw some rebar in and then fill with sand for some more weight.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
Matt DeMinico
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Re: PVC Barbells

If you can get access to plutonium or depleted uranium...

Ok, maybe not nuclear materials... But in my experience, to get any weight to the bar, it has to be a somewhat larger than normal diameter (definitely larger than an olympic bar's grip diameter), and now the diameter of the pipe is rather annoying (even for me as an adult) to do any work with beyond just training very very basic movements.

You might try some old cheap used 1" barbells, maybe 10 or 15 lb versions, just to have a little weight to them.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:37 AM   #6
Robert Pagliaro
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Re: PVC Barbells

Thanks for the input all.

Matt, what diameter do you mind annoying. I was thinkinking 1.5 would be as large as I go that may allow for any weight. 2" seems way to big and 1.25" like I use for my parallettes doesn't seem like I would be able to get any weight worth doing.

Rob
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
Paul LaDuke
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Re: PVC Barbells

Robert,

I think most of your respondents didn't read your post very closely and didn't see the GRAMMAR SCHOOL part of the boot camp. When working with kids, keep it light and simple. 5' sections of 1" PVC filled with sand should work for most kids to teach them to squat.

Most kids today can't do push ups, sit ups or squats. Teach them the basics. Start with the front squat, teach them the back squat and then the overhead squat. Work them with simple movements that utilize a full range of motion, but most importantly KEEP IT FUN! If they don't have fun, they won't want to do it again and what have you gained?


Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS, USAW
Head Athletic Trainer/Strength Coach
Lower Dauphin School District
Hummelstown, PA
1 Timothy 4:8
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:33 AM   #8
Kim Layton
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Re: PVC Barbells

Thanks to Paul for re-emphasizing the "grammar school" in the original post! Coming from Canada I thought I had missed something. We call it Elementary School (thought it was the same as grammar school - I guess it is).

When I started reading what others were saying I was like ...man what is this superhuman grammar school they have in the states??? And how do they get kids to do so much? Maybe its a step away from University and people go there to learn all the stuff they never did at high school before they are allowed in to college.

At least now I know I'm not too crazy...
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:34 AM   #9
Kim Layton
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Re: PVC Barbells

And I definately concur with Paul's thoughts. Light and right!
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #10
Matt DeMinico
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Re: PVC Barbells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Pagliaro View Post
Thanks for the input all.

Matt, what diameter do you mind annoying. I was thinkinking 1.5 would be as large as I go that may allow for any weight. 2" seems way to big and 1.25" like I use for my parallettes doesn't seem like I would be able to get any weight worth doing.

Rob
Right, 1" or 1.25" is probably too small to get any real weight, and 1.25 - 1.5" is starting to get bigger than you want anyhow (I think anyhow).

If you can, I'd try to find some cheap (read CHEAP) regular barbells (not olympic ones) that weigh maybe 10, 15, 20 lbs, and use them.

And I know we're looking for light, but come on, we're talking TEN pounds, my four year old daughter can shoulder press 10 lbs for reps. Yes, start with empty PVC, but to learn to handle something with some weight, 10 lbs is fine for grade school kids.

Last edited by Matt DeMinico : 03-06-2008 at 09:42 AM.
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