DIY Beast Mode Gear: How to Build Your Own Barbell

There have been loads of challenges dwelling for the previous six years as an American in Japan. First of all, discovering sneakers my dimension is a problem at greatest and rattling close to not possible at worst. Finding t-shirts that don’t choke me whereas not concurrently being lined in non-sensical (or not less than grammatically incorrect) English is one other. And let’s not even get into looking for an honest steak.


But I digress, this text is about do-it-yourself (DIY) beast mode gear. Almost a yr in the past, I began my very own health club in my city, and am the proud proprietor of one of many few Olympic-style weight units in the whole city (together with the three largest business gyms). When buying, nevertheless, costs reared their ugly heads. Weight units that will have price about 600 within the United States had been operating 100,000 yen right here in Japan (a couple of thousand American ) – earlier than delivery! I spent essentially the most I may afford and received one of the best set I may. Hey, heavy lifters are uncommon in Japan, and much more uncommon within the countryside. Almost all the things must be imported, and costs are at a premium.



Fast ahead to final month, and I used to be working my squats. I used to be very joyful to hit a private greatest (submit ACL surgical procedure) of 210 kilograms (about 463 kilos) once I seen that my bar, whereas not failing, had what I might name an extreme quantity of “flex” in it. Since this was my one and solely bar for the health club, tearing the rattling factor in half wouldn’t be a good suggestion. So, I went again into my documentation on the burden set and checked my bar capability. Open as much as the right web page, and skim “Recommended Max Weight: 200 kilograms.” Ooooops. Now, what do I do? I wish to go even heavier, but when I do, I would simply shear off the ends of my bar. Time to purchase a brand new bar it appeared.


Here, costs reared their ugly heads but once more. When I checked costs for a excessive capability bar, the most cost effective I may discover was over 50,000 yen (500 USD). A great high quality bar like an Ivanko bar was going to run over 100,000 yen (1000 USD). To be fairly trustworthy, I simply couldn’t afford the damned issues. So, as a former army officer who did his fair proportion of “MSU Ops” (Making Sh** Up Operations), I made a decision to DIY my new bar.


DIY barbell, build your own barbell, do it yourself barbell, building a barbell


The most necessary half, in fact, is the center of the bar, the core bar itself. After studying a sequence of extremely informative (and very often humorous) articles by Dr. Ken Leistner (no stranger to the DIY iron recreation himself), I knew I needed to get chilly rolled metal. In stepped the useful of us at Osaka Stainless Steel Company in Osaka, Japan. Working with their representatives, we determined ultimately on a 38mm diameter chilly rolled hardened metal bar at 250cm in size (about eight ft, so longer than your regular bar – it is the one on high within the picture). And it was actually worth too, solely a couple of hundred U.S. , together with supply.


I went with the larger diameter bar (38mm versus the usual 28mm bar) for a couple of causes. First off, whereas I knew the bar I used to be getting was cold-rolled, that was no assure it was as robust because the metal utilized in a high-quality business bar. Those additional millimeters of metal could possibly be helpful. Second, the additional diameter is also helpful as a grip help. While not a real fats bar within the 2-inch or larger class, let’s face it, that additional nearly half-inch continues to be going to problem the grip on deadlifts and different pulls.


DIY barbell, build your own barbell, do it yourself barbell, building a barbell

So, I had my “heart,” now I wanted the ending touches. A fast journey to an area ironmongery shop received me the pipes to go over the ends of my bar, a set of 50cm lengthy 1.5in diameter water pipes. With an internal diameter of 39mm and an outer diameter of 49mm, I couldn’t ask for a greater match if I had customized ordered the rattling issues. Since this bar is supposed for the ability lifts and never Olympic lifts, I didn’t want bushings or bearings or the rest like that, I may affix the pipes to the bar immediately with no rotation wanted.


Using a sequence of excessive power epoxies, I used to be capable of fasten the pipes to the ends of the bar with no points in any respect (whereas I might have liked to have welded them on, I’ve neither the talent nor the entry to a welding set). Using an previous set of screw-on collars to work as my internal collars and TA-DA! The BEAST is unleashed!


DIY barbell, build your own barbell, do it yourself barbell, building a barbell

I can inform you, up to now this factor is a rock on my again. Taking it out on squats was like having a useless straight laser line throughout my shoulders, even when totally loaded, and even once I tried to bounce the highest of some squats simply to see if I may get the bar to flex in any respect. As an added bonus, the additional bar width even felt a bit extra comfy on my shoulders, dispersing the burden a bit wider on the again muscle mass.


So, don’t despair if you’re in an analogous state of affairs. While I doubt few readers of this are going to search out themselves in a non-English talking international nation that doesn’t have a big heavy lifting neighborhood, you would possibly end up in a state of affairs the place your funds don’t fairly match the costs of commercially accessible tools, or delivery and different prices make do-it-yourself work helpful and worthwhile. If you do resolve to take the DIY plunge, listed here are a couple of suggestions I might share with you.


  1. Shop round. I checked over a dozen totally different sources (on-line and by way of phone) earlier than I settled on the bar that I bought.
  2. Research. Check the scale, thickness, and every other data you possibly can on the commercially accessible merchandise you are attempting to emulate or template off of. Even in case your construct is exclusive on account of your circumstances, discover out as a lot data as you possibly can.
  3. Overbuild. Unless you’re a grasp metalworker or fabricator, or you understand somebody who’s, your welds and supplies might not be as fool-proof because the business stuff. Let’s face it, York, Ivanko, and the remaining have stayed in enterprise doing what they do as a result of they construct great things and so they know methods to put it collectively. You’re not that good (but?). So, overbuild if you happen to can. If the commercial-grade rack you need has field partitions 2mm thick, get one thing 3mm thick if you happen to can. If you want one thing that may deal with 500 kilos, construct one thing that may deal with 750 kilos. It could be a bit costlier (hey, I may have constructed the BEAST for about three-quarters of the value I did if I had copied business measurements precisely) however the additional security issue helps me sleep higher at night time.
  4. Try it out. Put the factor by way of its paces, however do it slowly. Just since you would possibly wish to construct one thing that may take as much as 1000 kilos, don’t simply slap 1000 kilos on the factor first outing. Take it up slowly, and see what it might do.


In any case, I hope this encourages you as effectively to attempt to do your individual beast mode gear on your personal wants. Have you constructed any of your individual gear? What did you construct and what did you study within the course of? Please share within the feedback beneath.


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