How to Build the Ultimate Bodyweight Gym (Using Only PVC Pipe)

by A Manly Guest Contributor on March 21, 2013 · 58 comments

in Fitness, Health & Sports

pic1

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Todd Kuslikis.

Men strive for efficiency. We are creatures that look for ways of getting the maximum amount of benefit from the least amount of time invested. We look for the straightest path to achieve our goals. That’s why I am always confused why so many men wake up hours before work to fight traffic to get to the gym, elbow people while looking for a locker, and wait for others to get off exercise machines…Ugh! No thank you.

I prefer to stay at home and do a short and intense workout before heading off to work. But as I mentioned above, men care about efficiency AND results. We want the big biceps and chiseled chest and we know that doing a bunch of no-weight push ups and squats just ain’t gonna cut it. We need to do exercises that challenge our muscles in new ways and force them to fatigue in low rep ranges (which is the key to muscle growth).

If you don’t have the resources to shell out $1,000 for a Bowflex or other home gym system I have the perfect solution for you. A complete home gym made out of PVC. There is nothing manlier than building your own piece of fitness equipment.

I am going to lead you step-by-step through the process of creating your own PVC home gym. And it will cost you less than $150. Also at the end of the article I will give you a full 3-month routine that you can follow on your new PVC home gym. Stay tuned towards the bottom of the post as well for a video that shows how to do the various workouts, as well as vocal directions on building the gym.

You might be thinking to yourself, “I could never build something like that. The last thing I built was a mangled bird house in high school shop class and even a freezing bird in a hail storm wouldn’t step foot in it.” Let me tell you that I am much more like Tim Taylor than Bob Vila. I have never built a deck, fixed a leaky faucet, or even assembled a model airplane. If I can do it you can too.

What Equipment Do I Need?

pic3

This picture shows you everything you need. Bring the below list with you to Home Depot or your nearest hardware store and have them cut the PVC for you. Trust me when I say it will be a lot easier than doing it yourself and it won’t cost you anything extra.

Here is a full list of everything you need:

PVC Fittings (everything below is 1.5 inches wide)

  • Eight elbow pieces (one end needs to be male and the other female)

pic4

  • One cross piece

pic5

  • One connector piecepic6
  • 25 “T” section piecespic7


PVC Pipes (everything is 1.5 inches wide; if you weigh more than 180lbs, I recommend getting 2-inch-wide PVC pipes)

  • 10 1-foot PVC pipes
  • 1 1-foot 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 18 2-foot PVC pipes
  • 2 2-foot 3.5-inch PVC pipes
  • 6 4-foot PVC pipes
  • 1 4-foot 3-inch pipe
  • 2 4-foot 8.5-inch pipes
  • 1 5-foot 3.5-inch pipe

Other Important Materials

  • Rope (you’ll use this for hanging rings)

pic8

  • 2 1-inch-wide, 6-inch-long metal pipes (or you can use 6-inch PVC pipe pieces which is what I ended up using)

pic9

  • PVC Cement and Primer (You use this to chemically bond the pieces together. In the video near the bottom of this post, I’ll show you which pieces to bond together and which ones to keep separated so you can still transport the gym if you decide to put it in another room. Also, before you cement the pieces together make sure that you know how to put everything together properly.)

pic10

PVC Gym Blueprint Guide

pic11

How to Build Your PVC Home Gym

pic12

Step 1: Attach your two-foot pipes into a T section and elbow as shown above. This will be one side of the base of the gym. Make sure the opening of your T section is pointed up.

Step 2: Attach your T sections and 1 foot pipes on the left end as shown below. You are creating your parallel bars now.

Step 2: Attach a T sections and 1-foot pipe on the left end as shown. Also attach a 1-foot pipe into the T section you had already placed. You are creating your parallel bars now.

Step 3: Attach four T sections on top of the one foot sections. Make sure to pay attention to how they are attached. One set will be horizontal. The other set will be vertical but both will have openings toward each other.

Step 3: Attach T sections to the top of the one-foot sections. Make sure to pay attention to how they are attached. One set will be horizontal (left side). The other set will be vertical (right side). Both should have openings toward each other.

Step 4: Insert your two 4 foot 3 inch section as your cross bars as shown below.

Step 4: Insert your two 4-foot 8.5-inch sections as your cross bars.

Step 5: Insert two 1 foot sections on top of the T sections.

Step 5: Insert two 1-foot pipes into the T sections on the right side.

Step 6: Insert two T sections and two 2 foot pipes on top of the 1 foot pipes.

Step 6: Insert two T sections and two 2-foot pipes on top of the 1-foot pipes you just attached.

Step 7: Insert two T sections and two 2 foot sections on top of the lower 2 foot sections as shown below.

Step 7: Insert two more T sections and two more 2-foot sections on top of what you just attached.

pic19

Step 8: Start building the base for right side of the gym. Insert two 2-foot pipes into your T section (pointed up) and elbow piece as shown. Do this twice.

Step 9: Insert two 1 foot sections in the T openings.

Step 9: Insert 1-foot pipes into the T section openings.

Step 10: Insert two T sections so that the middle whole is facing each other.

Step 10: Insert two T sections so that the openings are facing each other.

Step 11: Insert one 1 foot PVC pipe into the top of the T sections.

Step 11: Insert 1-foot pipes into the top of the T sections.

Step 12: Insert a T section on top of the one foot PVC pipe and make sure the middle hole is facing inward. Then insert a 4 foot PVC pipe into the middle hole as a cross beam for your gym. Do this on both sides.

Step 12: Insert a T section on top of the one-foot PVC pipe you just attached and make sure the opening is facing towards the other side of the gym. Then insert a 4-foot pipe as a cross beam for your gym.

Step 13: Insert a two foot PVC pipe into the top of the T section and another T section on top of that. Make sure it is pointed inward.

Step 13: Insert a two-foot pipe into the top of the T section and another T section on top of that. Make sure it is pointed inward towards the other side of the gym.

Step 14: Place your next cross beam (4 foot PVC pipe) into both ends of the open T sections.

Step 14: Place your next cross beam (4-foot pipe) into the ends of the open T sections.

Step 15: Place your last 2 foot PVC pipes into your open T sections.

Step 15: Place your last 2-foot pipes into your open T sections.

Step 16: Insert your elbow joints so that they smaller openings are facing each other (Horizontal to your cross beams).

Step 16: Insert your elbow joints so that the smaller openings are facing inward and towards each other, perpendicular to the cross beams.

Step 17: Place your T sections so that the middle opening is facing horizontally from your elbow joints. This is critically important to get right so before you cement everything in place make sure you have this right.

Step 17: Attach T sections so that the middle opening is facing horizontally from your elbow joints. This is critically important to get right, so before you cement everything in place make sure you have this correct.

Step 18: Insert your last 4 foot PVC pipe sections into the open middle T section holes.

Step 18: Insert your last 4-foot PVC pipe sections into the T section openings.

Step 19: Insert your 4 foot 3 inch section into the open T section holes above the parallel bars.

Step 19: Insert your 4-foot 3-inch section into the open T section holes above the parallel bars.

Step 20: Insert your 1 foot 1 inch PVC pipe into the cross section on one end and the other end into your one connector piece.

Step 20: Insert your 1-foot 1-inch PVC pipe into the cross section. Attach the connector piece at the other end.

Step 21: Insert your 2 foot 3 1/2 inch PVC pipes on both sides of the cross section as shown below.

Step 21: Insert your 2-foot 3.5-inch pipes on both sides of the cross section as shown.

Step 22: Insert your 2 foot PVC pipe sections on both sides of your last open T sections and put another T section facing downward in between the 2 foot pipes.

Step 22: Insert your 2-foot sections on both sides of your last open T sections and put another T section facing downward in between the 2-foot pipes.

Step 23: Insert your 5 foot 3 1/2 inch PVC pipe vertically into the open T sections as shown below.

Step 23: Insert your 5-foot 3.5-inch pipe vertically into the open T sections as shown.

Step 24: Cement in place and attach rings and duct tape for grip.

Step 24: Cement in place and attach rings and duct tape for grip. To see specifics of taping/cementing, jump to the 15-minute mark of the video below.

Full Video On How To Build The PVC Home Gym and 27 Exercises To Do On It

What Exercises Can I Do On The PVC Gym?

To learn how to do the below exercises, watch the video above.

Shoulder Exercises:

  • Handstands
  • Handstand Push Ups
  • Supported Iron Cross
  • L Sit To Half Handstand on Parallel Bars

Bicep Exercises:

  • Traditional Chin Ups
  • Close Grip Chin Ups
  • Wide Chin Ups
  • Pole Climbs

Tricep Exercises:

  • Dips
  • Hanging Dips
  • Parallel Bar Dips
  • Half Muscle Up

Ab Exercises:

  • Hanging Dragon Flag
  • L Sit
  • Reverse Ab Crunches
  • Oblique Crunches
  • Sit Ups

Back Exercises:

  • Traditional Pull Up
  • Wide Pull Up
  • Front Lever

Chest Exercises:

  • Parallel Bar Push Ups
  • Decline Push Up
  • Stretch Push Up

Leg Exercises:

  • Squats
  • Pistol Squats
  • One Legged Hops
  • Two Legged Hops

The 3-Month PVC Training Plan

Month 1 – The PVC Prince

This month will get you used to working out on PVC pipes. The exercises aren’t too advanced but you’ll see some major benefit when the week is over. Weeks 1-3 will be your active weeks and Week 4 will be an active recovery. This means that you will NOT do any type of weight training or bodyweight exercises. Use this week to jog, play tennis, swim, or any other activity you like to do. This is important! Don’t break this rule. Your exercise sessions will be 3 X per week. For example: Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs/Sat. Once you are done with Month 1, move on to Month 2.

Exercise Schedule

Week 1: 3 X Per Week
Week 2: 3 X Per Week
Week 3: 3 X Per Week
Week 4: Active Rest Period

Exercise Routine

Do each exercise until you reach full fatigue. Don’t rest in between sets. Beginners will only go through the cycle once. If you are more advanced you can go through it two or three times.

5 Upper Body Exercises

  • Handstand Holds
  • Decline Push Ups
  • Traditional Pull Ups
  • Traditional Chin Ups
  • Dips

2 Lower Body Exercises

  • Hindu Squats
  • Two Legged Hops

2 Core Exercises

  • Hanging Leg Lifts
  • L Sits (tuck your knees if you can’t get your legs out)

Month 2 – The PVC Conqueror

Month 2 is really intense. I hope you enjoyed your active recovery week; you will be glad you did it now that the plan is starting up again. You will be working out three times per week just like Month 1 but you will be adding some exercises to the plan. Again, this month you will get an active recovery week.

Exercise Schedule

Week 1: 3 X Per Week
Week 2: 3 X Per Week
Week 3: 3 X Per Week
Week 4: Active Rest Period

Exercise Routine

Do each exercise until you reach full fatigue. Don’t rest in between sets. Beginners will only go through the cycle once. If you are more advanced you can go through it two or three times.

7 Upper Body Exercises

  • Handstand Holds
  • Supported Iron Cross
  • Parallel Bar Push Ups
  • Decline Push Ups
  • Traditional Pull Ups
  • Traditional Chin Ups
  • Dips

4 Lower Body Exercises

  • Hindu Squats
  • Two Legged Hops
  • Pistol Squats
  • Falling Tower

3 Core Exercises

  • Hanging Leg Lifts
  • L Sits (tuck your knees if you can’t get your legs out)
  • Sit Ups

Month 3 – The PVC Master

This is where you become a PVC Master. You will be doing the below exercise routine 4 X per week. For example: Mon/Tues, Thurs/Fri. Make sure you get through all the exercises. Weeks 1-3 will again be the training weeks and Week 4 will be your active recovery.

Exercise Schedule

Week 1: 4 X Per Week
Week 2: 4 X Per Week
Week 3: 4 X Per Week
Week 4: Active Rest Period

Exercise Routine

Do each exercise until you reach full fatigue. Don’t rest in between sets. Beginners will only go through the cycle once. If you are more advanced you can go through it two or three times.

9 Upper Body Exercises

  • Handstand Push Ups
  • L Sit To Half Handstand on Parallel Bars
  • Wide Chin Ups
  • Pole Climbs
  • Hanging Dips
  • Half Muscle Up
  • Front Lever
  • Wide Pull Up
  • Stretch Push Ups

4 Lower Body Exercises

  • Hindu Squats
  • Pistol Squats
  • Falling Tower
  • One Legged Hops

4 Core Exercises

  • Dragon Flag
  • L Sits (tuck your knees if you can’t get your legs out)
  • Reverse Ab Crunches
  • Oblique Crunches

______________________________

Todd Kuslikis is the founder of a popular body weight exercise blog called AShotofAdrenaline.net. He is also the creator of the The Complete Bodyweight Training System which can be downloaded for free from the site.

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Todd Kuslikis March 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hey Brett,

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of AoM and sharing my PVC Home Gym! I’m happy to answer any questions any of you manly PVCers have!

Todd

2 Hank March 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Wow, this is some awesome stuff. Thanks for putting in all the extra work to write this up Todd!

3 Kai March 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Hi, I know nothing of PVC pipes.

My question is, how much weight will they easily hold up? No chance of the PVC gym breaking while I’m exercising on it, right? I’m 80kg.

4 Andrew March 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Does the PVC hold up well to that much stress? It seems like it would be inclined to bend a bit.

5 Dave Covington March 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Excellent work! PVC pipe is one of my favorite project materials. One thing you gentlemen building this project will want to pay attention to is the T’s and crosses. Be sure you are getting standard T’s and not what is called a street or sanitary T. A Google search will show you the difference.

6 Alejandro March 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Hey Todd,
Very nice, hopefully I can find a place to build it. :-)
Great post!!!

7 Garrett March 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

It looks like it would be useful but if you know how to weld you could make pull up/dip bars and it would be much stronger (no flex).

8 Michael Morrison March 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I’m a good 245 lbs on a light day, I’m thinking not only the 2″ PVC but schedule 80 (thicker pipe) as well. Should hold up to anything less than getting hit by a car.

9 Richard March 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I would strongly advise building it out of ABS over PVC. In the event that the pipes break, it would not send eye piercing shrapnel flying in all directions.

10 Gio Sabal March 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Nice post Todd. Very inspiring. I’m 6’1 and 220, I’m afraid I might break the PVC pipes, and injure myself in the process, what kind of pipes would you suggest?

Would metal pipes do any better?

11 The Pencilneck March 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Awesome!

I designed and built a treadmill desk a couple of months ago, and this is the next project!

Woo!

12 David March 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Very nice project! I’d like to know the wall thickness (I guess it’s the same here, in Brazil, but I’d like to know if it’ll resist to my weight.

13 Robert R March 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

What a creative build, gym + erector = home gym. I still prefer heavy iron for size but this would be great for supplementing finishing and sculpting routines. I’d recommend you patent the idea and see if you can actually create an actual easy-to-build and cost effective home gym for those who prefer strength or circuit training.

14 neal March 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

this is a really cool idea. I wonder how the PVC would do if it was left outside on a patio or something exposed to the elements. And it seems it could double as a jungle gym type thing for the kids.

15 Ben March 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I’d like to echo the questions here about what kind of weight limit we’re talking about for a PVC setup like this. My household varies greatly in size, and I’d like to make sure I’m not spending the money for broken pieces of PVC.

16 sugapablo March 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I suppose it’s cool if you’re interested in a project, but, for only $100 more, you could by a quality dip/chin rack that’ll fit in your basement: http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/8130.html (I have no affiliation with that company, just like their stuff.)

17 Ben March 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Decent idea…But 1.5″ PVC? I don’t think so. PVC gets brittle with age and temperature change, and it starts out pretty brittle to begin with, breaking into sharp pieces under stress. You put that much flex into it a year or two from now and it’s going to snap on you while doing a pull up. Not only are you going to hit the ground but you’ll end up spearing yourself with the broken shard left in your hand as your body weight suddenly releases and your arms spring back at you. At minimum I would use steel conduit that’s not going to flex and go brittle for all the horizontal bars.

18 Joe March 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Ok, the entire structure is warped in that picture.

The top bar is bending down and both sides are caving outward.

Todd, how long have you used this thing so far? Has it actually withstood the 3-month routine?

19 Bryan H March 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I’d reccommend using 2 in PVC… That 1.5 in is really bending under your weight. It may hold, but I feel like 2 in would be a lot safer.

Excellent gym though, I love DIY’s

20 Brian March 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Wow, this is cool! What I need though is a collapsible punching bag stand. One that I can take apart and store it in the basement when I’m not using it. Anyone know of a way to make one?

21 Michael March 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

As much as I love AoM, the skill and craftsmanship in the DIY projects featured here really play to the lowest common denominator. This one is a very creative idea, but trusting your personal safety to a brittle material that was never meant to handle bending loads is nuts. PVC pipe is made to contain liquids and gasses under pressure, not to flex repeatedly as you do chin-ups on it. Seriously, for UNLOADED 1.5″ sch. 40 PVC pipe, ASME recommends placing a support every 6 feet. That’s just to support the pipe’s own weight, and this hangs a 170(?) lb. man right in the center of the pipe. The pipe will fracture, and the cracks that you can’t even see will grow with every rep you do until the whole contraption comes down on top your head. Age and UV light will only make the pipes more brittle. Save yourself a trip to the ER by spending the extra money to build this with 3/4 steel pipe (not conduit), or by saving up to buy a power rack (which will still cost you less than a year at your gym).

22 Wesley March 22, 2013 at 2:08 am

What about putting wooden dowel rods in all the long areas? [The six foot risers, the four foot laterals, the dip bars, etc] Too much stress on joints?

23 Todd Kuslikis March 22, 2013 at 3:52 am

Hey guys,

Thanks for the compliments.

So to answer some of the questions:
I am 180 lbs and the 2 inch wide pvc holds me perfectly. Yes, there is a little give to it but I have had no trouble at all with potential breakage. One thing I did for the main cross beam (where the rope is connected is put a wooden dowel rod in there. It seems to give it less give and reassures me that it will definitely not break.

Now, I am certainly not a PVC expert and there are some excellent comments in here for other materials to use: metal, ABS (?? I’ll have to look this one up). You can of course use wider PVC such as 2 and a half inch or even 3 inch wide PVC.

@Neal – Not sure how it will do outside. I am wondering the same thing. Though in Michigan not sure we will ever get there! ;)

@Robert – I’ve had several people suggest the patent idea but prayed a lot about it and decided that this was meant to simply be given away.

@Ben – Great point. Do you know of anything I could “paint” on to it to make it stronger? I’m certainly not the “expert” builder here.

@Joe – Its been about 2 months since I’ve built it. I know it looks a little wobbly but give it a try. I was actually super surprised at how strong it was.

Todd

24 Todd Kuslikis March 22, 2013 at 4:14 am

Hey all,

Great questions and I appreciate the comments.

To answer the big question about weight restriction, in short, I don’t know. I’m 180 lbs and this one holds me up perfectly. Yes, there is a little give to it but after 2-3 months it still works perfectly. You can always use wider PVC or ABS (??? – I’ll have to research this one) for more reinforcement. Also, feel free to put a wooden dowel rod in the pipes. I think I forgot to mention that in the article but I did that in the main cross beam (the one with the ropes attached in it.) Seems like it helps prevent the give.

I would love to hear suggestions for different additions you could add on. I imagine creating some really large elaborate PVC gym with stations all over the place. I think that would be really cool!

25 Jon March 22, 2013 at 6:30 am

I work with PVC quite often at my work and there is no way that this would stand up to a rigorous training routine for very long

26 Ara Bedrossian March 22, 2013 at 6:37 am

I love this DIY stuff. And since I’ve moved over to multi-joint, simple exercises to keep functionally fit, instead of focusing on mirror muscles, I especially like this idea.
Cheers to you.

27 Garry March 22, 2013 at 6:38 am

Thanks Todd, an excellent idea. I personally hate going to the gym, it’s too much of a time investment. I’m happy with my power rack, but I can see how a custom home-made PVC version can provide you with more space to do more workouts.

When it comes to bodyweight workouts, there’s no limit to what you can do. All you need is a little creativity and you can replicate almost any exercise with weights or machines in the gym.

Bodyweight workouts have the added benefit that you become more agile and able to move your body. Great for survival and looking & feeling great.

28 Bob Powell March 22, 2013 at 6:51 am

The first picture is scary. The upper cross-bar is sagging. And the downward force is also pushing out the right vertical. I would use gas pipe instead of PVC pipe. More expensive, but won’t break.

29 Drew Spriggs March 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

Good idea and execution….but for the price/time you spend making this you could easily build yourself a DIY power rack for only slightly more (or just buy one) which will be infinitely more useful.

30 Chris Cowley March 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

I’m not sure about the patenting, but I would suggest putting under a “Copyleft” license. That way you can give it away, your “average Joe” can use it with no fear of re-percussions. However you are protected against someone stealing your idea, claiming it as their own and making a bunch of cash they have not earnt.

31 Andy Chance March 22, 2013 at 8:13 am

I like the design and appreciate the creativity; I’m not trying to take anything away from that. But I would like to see another DIY body weight gym from AoM that’s a little bit more sturdy.

32 Scott Sideleau March 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

At 6′ 4″ and 290-lbs, I’m pretty sure I would break this without trying.

33 David March 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

OMG! This is totally awesome! I wish I had thought of this years ago, it would have saved me a heck of a lot of money on equipment!

34 Lance Brumfield March 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

As an engineer (EIT, not licensed yet), I ran some quick numbers and I do not recommend PVC in 1.5″ or 2″. I would recommend steel pipe.

Cool idea though!

35 Ken March 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Looks pretty cool, but I am dubious on the durability of this contraption for some of the larger guys.

36 Native Son March 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Along with the previous replies, I’d caution against using PVC or thin wall conduit. Neither of those are designed to be weight-bearing, as evidenced by that big sag in the loaded pipe you see in the photo.
Cool DIY project, but a BIG guy using it is asking for serious trouble and injuries.

37 JB March 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

A little bit of flex is not a problem and is actually a good thing. The flexibility forces core and stabilizer muscles to work much harder and gives you an all around better workout – thus the popularity of gymnastics rings and the like.
That said PVC will break, likely in mid-rep, and you will get injured. It is truthfully only a matter of time. The ingenuity though is very impressive.

38 Todd Kuslikis March 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for the warnings. I will definitely keep you posted. I have reinforcement in the top bar which makes it a bit stronger. I think my next project will be to use metal but the only problem is diss-assembly when you want to move it.

39 Cervantes March 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

If your that concerned about PVC or ABS, why not try steel?
It’s way more expensive than PVC listed, but it’s steel..
T’s and elbows come in the same size in steel, and you can have the pipe cut and threaded in store as well.

40 avi March 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

you would like to see that todd-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC7q5m7qHD4

41 Paul Lion March 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Looks well constructed, but that bending (picture at the top) looks iffy.

Great DIY though.

42 ed March 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

You don’t need all that for a good home gym.A good pullup bar attached to a wall and some rope and handles cost way less.You could do just as many execises for upper body and for legs you only need to do pistol squats,jump rope and sprinting which require very litlle or no equipment.

43 Alpha Male March 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I basically feel the same way Cervantes does- I would have used steel just for the sake of durability. Kickass though anyway man!

44 Nick March 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

This looks very unstable to me. I would post a disclaimer “Use at your own risk.” It might hold up for a bit, but there is a large risk of this failing and causing injuries. If you want to build something like this, it needs to be stronger. I would use galvanized pipe that is threaded at the ends and screws into the connectors. It is stronger and will not have the risk of failure.

I do not mean to be critical. The concept is great. But this system needs stronger materials to hold your body weight. That is a lot of stress to put on PVC. Using this, you are placing your faith in plastic and glue to hold your weight and prevent injury.

45 BE CAREFUL March 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Iron crosses are very dangerous. This is an awesome post and I use rings myself but read up on the prerequisites to doing an iron cross before attempting one. Otherwise, you can seriously injure your shoulders, elbows, and chest.

46 Chris March 27, 2013 at 6:51 am

The concept is cool, but the whole PVC thing makes me a little nervous. If you want to build your own custom gym, you can use metal fittings like Kee Klamp. Here’s a gym designed from them: http://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/blog/diy-freestanding-pull-up-station-and-workout-structure/

47 Patrick March 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Very creative. Although the PVC home gym doesn’t appeal to me, it’s cool to see all the exercises you found for it.

48 doc April 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Very creative and good backup for indoors but a traditional pullup bar with holes spaced from top to bottom and you can do most of the exercises shown and have more stability. Think goals, assessments, injuries etc. before following someone else’s preplanned workout program.

49 Raymond April 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Good article, but I would avoid PVC for this application.

PVC contains phthalates, which gives the plastic longevity and other properties. However, they leach out over time and enter the human body and bind to the estrogen receptor. Yes, estrogen. It is hormonally active and people who have had high exposure to phthalates develop gynecomastia, low testosterone and other feminine traits.

Phthalates are present in most plastics, but they are most notorious in PVC and vinyls. This usage, being in direct contact with it regularly with sweaty hands (moisture aids transfer), is not good for staying biologically, and consequently mentally (brain has androgen receptors) and emotionally manly.

+1 for steel

50 Cory April 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Tried making bodyweight stuff with pvc, it’s a horrible idea. Using wood as a base is a much better approach, or use post diggers and stick two 4×4′s straight into the ground and run a piece of pipe through.

51 Ann Boylene April 16, 2013 at 4:33 am

I loved reading in-fact watching the process of making your own home gym…I would definitely show this to my hubby to encourage him to do the same

52 MFPTondo April 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

I like the idea, but I, too, am concerned about PVC holding up over time. Rather, steel tubing could be used. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be joined either by welding, pipe fittings like the example here, or a combination of the two. It would hold up well outside, as long as it’s galvanized. Well-galvanized tubing will hold up through all sorts of weather. Here’s one source for such materials: http://www.kingmetals.com/Catalog/CatalogListing.aspx?CatalogId=C39&CatalogDetailId=286

53 Shawn September 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Could you tell me the size of foot print, so I know where I could build it in my house.
Thanks

54 Steve November 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Hi I am a very very large man, 350 lbs 22% body fat, 6 ft 1 and trying to get the Fat off to playing weight of 280lbs 12 years ago, now 39 years old. Do you have a recommendation on size of PVC Pipe for 350lbs?? I had thought about using metal pipes but I am not a welder and this PVC is great idea. Thanks, I am First time visitor to this site.

55 web site December 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

Ahaa, its fastidious conversation on the topic of this paragraph at this place at this web site, I have read all that,
so at this time me also commenting at this place.

56 MIke January 17, 2014 at 6:21 am

This is awesome. I had a chinup bar built once for me where a wooden dowling rod was used. It has held my weight (200-220lbs) for years. WHy not wooden rods and pvc connectors? I think that might work. Maybe pvc for the bottom.

57 Connor January 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm

It’s been a while:

How is it still holding up?

58 Karl March 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Would this hold the weight of a 280 lb. guy?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter