Homemade Low Budget Gym




Introduction: Homemade Low Budget Gym

I guess most of us is stuck home with no possibility to go to gym and this will last for a bit.

Even though many training options are available, the dilemma of many is how to get heavier weights at home.

People around the web are using bottle of water and so on for example.

My biggest dilemma was if it was worth investing such an amount of money to get at least a decent amount of weights to train home.

And considering the market prices of weights, let's say I would have wanted to get a decent barbell and a total of 150 kg weights, this would have costed:

- 1 x Barbell = 150€ (https://www.lacertosus.com/it/161-bilanciere-olimp...)

- 6 x 25kg bumper = 6 x 87€ (https://www.lacertosus.com/it/931-raw-bumper-plate...)= 522€

- Additional clamps and so on

For a total of about 700€.

I didn't want to spend this amount of money for something I wouldn't have kept as soon as gym would reopen, so I can up with this homemade idea. And it's working quite well.


What is needed:

- 1 x Barbell = 150€ (https://www.lacertosus.com/it/161-bilanciere-olimp...)

- 6 x Cement mortar bags 25kg = 6 x 2.5€ ( https://www.leroymerlin.it/catalogo/malte-da-murat...) = 15€

- Garbage plastic bags = 2€

- 3 x Duct tape = 3 x 5€ =15€

- 10m rope = 5€

- 100gr PETG filament = 3€

Total price = 190€

Step 1: Weights Preparation

Wrap and secure the mortar bag.

First wrap each one in a garbage bag (thick one) and after that fully cover with duct tape keeping it very tight.

You want it to be a solid block feeling almost like a rock.

I had some fun with also adding some writings.

You can also choose different sized bags but pick always something less thick than 15cm in order not to have stacking issues on the barbell.

Step 2: Hinge Design and Verification

I wanted something solid to hold the weights on the barbell, but at the same time taking small amount of space and being quick to make and practical to use.

I designed this simple part with:

- Inner diameter 51mm to fit the 50mm barbell ending

- 2 slots for the rope. 1 Would have been enough but 2 helped me with rope distribution (see later).

Make a quick calculation of the component, applying the proper load.

In this case I applied 30kg weight (taking a big of margin) and stresses where quite low compared to PETG limit properties, even considering an adequate safety factor to take into account fatigue (repetitive lifting with different accelerations).

Also perform calculation considering it as a shell since you are not going to print it with 100% infill.

Step 3: Print the Hinge

Print the designed part as mentioned with PETG.

Infill of 10% is enough considering the margin saw on the stress analysis.

Orient the hinge on the plate in such a way to the stress occurs parallel to the joint printing lines (most resistant direction). 3D printed objects resistance is strongly dependent on the printing orientation for obvious reasons.

Step 4: Secure the Hinge to the Weights

Once printed, secure the part to the weights by using ropes and duct tape.

Distribute the rope turns appropriately so when the bad is lifted, it stays well balanced in the center.

Apply the tape very tight to avoid rope movements.

Again this should look as a single solid block at the end.

Step 5: Insert, Lift and Have Fun!

At this point you are ready with your cheap, functional, homemade weight kit.

Load as much as you need (3 bags per side will fit ok, so it's a total of 150kg without barbell) and enjoy the training!

You can easily slide the weights in/out depending on the need and enjoy training with heavy weights on a budget even in your apartment during quarantine.

Oh, they work also as bumpers so you want make much noise or damage the floor!

If you need exactly the same hinge design or support in creating something similar, just write me :)

Have fun!

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    10 months ago

    Do you still have the STL file? I'd love to give this a try.


    1 year ago

    Clever way to make some cheap barbell weights. I would imagine that if you want lighter sizes you could just pour however much mix you want into a heavy duty trash bag and wrap it similarly... for those of us who cant handle 25kg/55lb increments


    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah right, the important is to keep the bags as thin as possible to have enough space for stacking


    1 year ago

    Ha! I love the "weights"