Today was the first time I was able to go out on the deck and do my workout with the chin up bar outside. I just love to work out in the afternoon sun, it is very calming, but at the same time very invigorating. Also, the chin up bar I have out there is higher and wider than the one indoors and so creates a much better range of motion for the chinups. It was RKC light day, so the workout was pretty quick, however I managed to develop a pain behind my shoulderblade which I assume is a part of nerve impingement in my neck. It comes and goes, just one more thing to deal with while I wait for my package to arrive. I got a note from Beachbody that my package had shipped and it should be here in 1 week. It’s very exciting, let me tell you!
At the end of last year, this is what the deck looked like. I don’t have big plans for it this year other than to try and extend the chin up bar on the left and secure it with something better than a chain nailed to the side of the decking. I am also going to be making a jump up box of 24″ since at various places around the deck I can go from 14″-10″ of height. Having a sturdy box will be great however I am not certain I won’t bang my head on the upper deck. Even if I do, the lower deck extends past the upper, I will just have to place the box away from the overhang. Those bars are yellow for clarity in the picture, in fact they are both black. One is a plumbing pipe, about 1.5″ thick. The other, longer one chained to the supports is the top pipe of a chain link fence which is at least 2.5″ thick giving me a grip workout at the same time.
Since I am committed to saving money as much as I am to getting fit I decided to make as much crossfit equipment as I could. It all started with the original chin up bar in my basement. It was for P90X when I first started out and was just a cheap metal round bar drilled through the door jamb.
It did the job but the door wasn’t ever really wide enough but the convenience couldn’t be beat. When the weather got warmer I decided I may do some of the workouts in the garage so I made a chin up bar out there too. It was made of the same type of metal bar, strung to the rafters high enough so that the garage door would open. That also meant it was high enough that I have to jump to get to it and can’t cheat at all!
As I completed the deck, I managed to work 2 chin up bars into the upper deck meaning the walkout from the basement where my gym is now had 2 built in bars. One was made from a plumbing fixture from Rona, the other was made from a fence railing which is bigger than ideal but means I get a great grip workout at the same time.
Fast forward to the late summer when I started to get into the Crossfit stuff and did some searching online for other DIY equipment. I found a great article on how to build a dip station and rather than build a single unit I built 2 separate stands that I can also use to jump over and do other movements with. In retrospect, they are slightly too tall and wobble a little too much but it’s also my weight that is the issue. Still, dip bars that can handle a 280lb man are pretty good!
Forward again to the latest development and I eventually grew tired of reading WODs with wallball so I decided to get hold of a basketball ($9 from walmart) and a bag of sand ($3 open bag special at Rona) and after fighting with a funnel for an hour ended up with a 26lb wallball. My plan is to buy some gymnastics rings to round out the collection and I should be good to go. Then a second olympic bar for the garage and I should be all set.
The last thing is a whiteboard. I do document everything I do but in the middle of a workout the last thing I want to do is thumb through papers to find what I need.
As a quick update (Dec 2011) I also have another rafter mounted chin up bar again mounted on the deck to the left in the picture. The benefit is that it is more solid, doesn’t move at all and has 3 hand positions so I can do all the hand switching I want without fear.