Has anyone else been searching for weights online since the first lockdown? The funny thing is, I always anticipate the next lockdown coming as it will be all over the news. Why I do not look to improve my home workout equipment at the earliest opportunity I do not know. I always leave it until the absolute last minute and then panic when everything is sold out or overly priced. Recently I have become fed up with Argos telling me the items I want are not available. I have instead decided to take matters into my own hands and build my own DIY home gym. This is a squat rack, barbell and plates to go with it. Continue reading to find out exactly how I did it or skip to the video at the bottom!

DIY Home Gym Ingredients

I live in the UK and went to B&Q for all of the below.

  • 4’ x 4’ x 8ft plank of wood – cut this in half, into two
  • 2 buckets
  • Bags of quickset concrete – this will be needed to make the weighted plates and the rack so ensure you get enough to cover how much you will need. See my measurements below.
  • 4 light duty angle brackets 60x60x40mm LD60
  • 4 saucers for plant pots – this will be used for the weighted plate templates so get the size you would like and as many as you would like. You can reuse these but if you want to make them all at the same time buy more. See my measurements below.
  • Brushed ss tube 32 x 2438mm which is essentially a steel tube
  • FloPlast White Push-fit Straight Waste pipe Coupler (Dia)32mm – make sure the diameter will fit on the steel tube you buy

The below is also needed but I did not get these from B&Q.

  • Duct tape #11bestwaystocontrolspending – make sure it is one that will stick to concrete (a masking tape perhaps)
  • Water (obviously not from B&Q)
  • Screws and screwdriver – had these at home
  • Carrier bags

Specific Measurements

A 40cm saucer with 600ml of water ended up weighing around 5kg. The 30cm saucer with 250ml water weighed around 2.5kg. I would probably recommend getting 60cm saucers.

In terms of the quickset concrete, in my YouTube tutorial below I only used 2.5 20kg bags. This enabled me to make two 30cm plates, two 40cm plates and fill two buckets with concrete. I recommend more bags than this to make more, bigger plates.

DIY Home Gym Instructions

Honestly, there is nothing too complicated here but it can just be quite time consuming. You will need to put a few hours aside to get through all of this. I ended up making the squat rack and some plates on Saturday. On Sunday I made more plates and added the finishing touches to the rack and plates.

Good news, the barbell is literally the steel tube mentioned above so you do not need to do anything fancy here. If a barbell is all you needed, you can stop here and you are welcome. There are many different diameters sold so the choice is yours. The barbell is of course not like the 20kg barbells at the gym and probably only weighs a few kilograms.

Squat Rack

For the squat rack you will need the buckets, the wood, concrete, water and the angle brackets. If I showed you a picture you could probably figure it out but I will tell you anyway. Get a bucket and fill it with a flat layer of concrete to add height. You will need the concrete to set so put the water in and mix it all in. Once set, place the wood on top and fill concrete all around the wood to hold it in place. Again, water needs to be mixed in so it sets. Two angle brackets are then screwed in on top forming a U shape. This stops the barbell from falling off once placed on top. Repeat the above for the second bucket. That is it!

Weighted Plates

The weighted plates are not complicated to make but they do just take time. Follow the steps outlined below.

  1. You will need the saucer as the template. To make sure I could easily get the plates out once set, I put a carrier bag down in the plate. This is not needed but I wanted to avoid breaking the saucers so I could reuse these.
  2. Cut the carrier bag in half and lay this down in the plate. This is essential to making sure you can easily remove the concrete once set.
  3. Place the pipe coupler in the middle (estimaso the plate can slide onto the barbell once made. I did not measure this but estimated where the middle was. Make sure this does not move out of place when following the below steps. It is also a good idea to cut out more of a carrier bag and put this around the coupler. This will make this easy to remove once the concrete sets around it.
  4. Fill the saucer with the concrete. Do not worry about making this perfect just yet.
  5. Add water to the concrete to get it to set. Make sure you are measuring how much water you are putting in. This is so you can ensure to put in equal amounts of water into plates of the same size.
  6. Mix the water and concrete together. You will need to really mix this in and make sure the concrete sets all the way through.
  7. This step is where you really perfect the plate and make it all level. You can add more concrete if you need to.
  8. Let the plate set for the time specified by the quickset concrete.
  9. Pop it out!
  10. Cover it over with duct tape.

Note: I did not use scales when making the plates. However, if you measure the water and use the same size saucer, the weights should come out fairly similar.

Dumbbells

I did not actually make dumbbells but they would be fairly easy to make based on the above. Use a plant pot as a template and get the concrete to set. You will need to do this to two pots at a time and carefully fit in a short metal tube whilst the concrete is setting.

DIY Home Gym Total Cost

The B&Q order came to £89.40 and additional duct tape £4.60. Like I said, I only used 2.5 of the 5 quickset concrete bags. However, I will be buying 60cm saucers and will use this to make bigger plates. I will also need to get a couple more couplers as these got stuck to the concrete. Next time I will use carrier bags for these too!

YouTube Tutorial

If you are one who would rather watch a video outlining the above, press play!

I hope you enjoyed this blog and my first ever YouTube video. Feel free to like, comment, share and subscribe. If you have not already, join my journey. Next up is a lot of detail about my laser eye surgery.

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