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Backyard Exercise

Below is a video that shows a creative backyard exercise station. I first came across this video on my forum and I later posted it to Facebook.

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The Youtube description states that the entire exercise station was created from scrap materials.  I tip my hat to the man’s creativity and ability to construct an inexpensive home gym that is both challenging and fun.

Unfortunately, as soon as I shared this video, critics came out to highlight the faults of a home gym that was made from scraps.  I find it humorous that people will criticize something that they’ve never used.  It is even more comical when some of the critics would struggle to perform many of the exercises demonstrated within the video.

Personally, I have no idea what it feels like to train with this man’s invention.  I’m not here to judge.  All I see is a man who has created an inexpensive exercise station that allows for challenging home-based workouts.   What is wrong with that?   Why not commend his creativity and eagerness to train, rather than focusing on the possible limitations of a device that you’ve never used?

Contrary to what many believe, equipment does not guarantee anything.  Just look at all of the hardly used equipment that regularly shows up on Craiglist. People buy into the idea that an expensive tool will deliver results. Sorry folks, but it doesn’t work that way.  The human body can be challenged with almost anything (including  bodyweight). This is particularly true when discussing recreational athletes. I’m guessing that the man seen within this video isn’t training for a world-class competition. He’s exercising. That’s all. Why make such a big deal out of it?

It often seems that the Internet has provided too much information. Rather than investing their time in the gym, some folks are now more content to discuss training. They’d rather debate various styles than get their hands dirty in the gym (which is where you really learn). The same paralysis by analysis is often seen with nutrition. Those suffering from such paralysis can often be found micro-managing and scrutinizing every last morsel that finds its way to a fork or spoon.  They seem to believe that their ancestors sat around the camp fire calculating zones and nutrient ratios on the abacus.

Confucius once said,

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

I’m almost inclined to believe that he was talking about exercise and nutrition.  His words of wisdom certainly apply to both.  If you want to get in shape, steer clear of the complicated nonsense that clutters the web.  The real secret is to show up, remain consistent, and find ways to regularly challenge yourself.  Even one of the three will put you ahead of most of the world.  Showing up is more than half the battle.

In summary, the video above offers yet another example of how easy it is to exercise with a minimal investment in equipment.  You don’t need anything fancy to get in shape.  If you are willing and eager to put in the work, you’ll find a way to get it done.


For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below.  Those returning to the site will notice that the equipment archives are much easier to navigate now.  I’ve added some click-able links within to allow for easy browsing. Take a look…

Homemade Exercise Equipment Archives

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41 Comments so far

  1. Marco F January 4th, 2011 1:48 am

    very well put Ross……fuck the hater!

  2. Cian January 4th, 2011 1:52 am

    right on.

  3. Heath January 4th, 2011 2:05 am

    That just goes to prove. If you want it bad enough youll figure out a way to do it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. Rock On!

  4. John Sifferman January 4th, 2011 2:13 am

    Spot on, Ross. Spot on.

  5. Walter January 4th, 2011 3:25 am

    Hell, I want one. This looks useful as all get out.

  6. rick flair January 4th, 2011 5:32 am

    With all that money you save by not purchasing equipment, be sure to buy a tetanus shot.

  7. John January 4th, 2011 6:08 am

    Good words from you Ross!
    Expensive is not better no. Only for the people who sell it.
    I like this home made gym :D

  8. Walt January 4th, 2011 6:32 am

    For the amount of money (not to mention the huge amount of space that thing takes up) it costs to build that pivoting contraption, he would be way better off with an olympic wieght set. What he has basically amounts to a machine. he’s locked into on plane. He is not using his stabilizer muscles like he would be with free weights. Plus, he already has the seperate pullup station. And he hits like a girl. Ross’s gym is better.

  9. Craig January 4th, 2011 7:14 am

    @Walt: I like that you didn’t read the blog, shows good intellect. If you did read it, then I do apologise and commend you on an even better intellect.

  10. Dantev January 4th, 2011 8:19 am

    Hi Ross,
    I’m glad that you wrote the above thing.
    Many of the folks I know (95% lazy ass people)will buy expensive equipment thinking that this will motivate them to train. I have a friend that even bought himself protein powder….and guess what? He’s never opened it.
    I have a gym at my friends not used garage. At first I wanted to buy all the fancy machines. Then I found your site and BodyRock and that changed my way of thinking. No more isolated workout. Just a punching bag (speed bag), kettlebels, medicine ball, pull up bar, roller (double, single is in the making thanks to your DIY Eq as well as sandbag) bodyweight excersises and HIIT training all along.
    If you WANT to train, if you have desire to push yourself you don’t need ANY equipment. You just need the consistency and knowledge……or have your books :)
    Happy new year
    and thanks Ross

  11. Tomislav January 4th, 2011 8:47 am

    Tetanus shots and machines locked into planes. Jeez. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Work hard boys–whatever plane you’re on. And wear gloves if dirt scares you.

  12. Yves January 4th, 2011 12:04 pm

    That’s a very inspiring video Ross. You should write a lot more in your posts (I know, it takes time…), you’re a really good writer. You have this way of writing that brings us back to the basics and real stuff when it comes to improving ourselves. Great read every time.

    P.S: Who gives a shit about training your stabilizers! Jumps on a freakin’ barrel every day and you won’t have any problems “stabilizing”! This guy has all my respect!

    Thanks Ross for this post.
    Happy new year and all the best to you and your family!

  13. Al Balko January 4th, 2011 12:09 pm

    I agree 100% with your comments. I give this guy all the credit in the world to think outside the box. I have been working out for 35 years and continually learn from others. The best part of Ross’s comments is the battle to “show up” for a workout and “do” the workout! Thanks again Ross. I have been on the site for a period of time now and have really enjoyed the site.

  14. Jim Arkus January 4th, 2011 1:32 pm

    I must have missed this when you posted it on Facebook, but this is cool! I really like that Olympic lift station thing, very creative.

  15. Adam-The Fitness Chronicle January 4th, 2011 3:43 pm

    I am pretty impressed with the engineering. I really liked the pull up handles. I’m wondering how hard it would be to train in 90 degree weather with humidity in the summer. Anyways, great video!

  16. Richard January 4th, 2011 4:27 pm

    I don’t care what anyone else says. That guy is awesome. For someone to put in the amount of time and effort to create that home gym is inspiring.

  17. Rory January 4th, 2011 4:32 pm

    Great stuff.

  18. David - Get Fit Get Lean January 4th, 2011 4:45 pm


    Nice video. Sometimes people think that the nicest equipment will produce the best results. If that was the case the people using the elliptical machines would have the best bodies – NOT!


  19. JonFrost January 4th, 2011 8:17 pm

    That’s awesome!!

  20. Leo January 5th, 2011 12:04 am

    I love his set up. I love homemade equipment. It’s always the person, not the tools.

  21. Eric January 5th, 2011 12:12 am

    Hi Ross,
    as always your article is very interesting. Just wanted to say that I have learned more reading your articles and watching your videos than I did in 5 years working out in a gym.

    Obrigado amigo


  22. Rick C January 5th, 2011 1:29 am

    As usual Ross you’re spot on! I think what you say about just showing up is the key; most don’t want to get their hands dirty, break a sweat, put forth extra effort, etc., etc. Unfortunately that’s not true just for workout/exercise, it applies to everyday life as well. Too bad so many miss it. Thanks for your site, I really enjoy what you offer!

  23. Cboog January 5th, 2011 3:46 am

    I swear that’s how my backyard gym would look. I’m not buying when I can use a hammer, nails and imagination.

  24. Paul January 5th, 2011 8:32 pm

    Nice video,
    just shows what a bit of imagination and innovative minds can create!
    Awesome, and I tip my hat to the guy who built it.
    Dedication for you right there!!
    Nice video ross, thanks

  25. peter yates January 5th, 2011 10:03 pm

    hi ross, firt of all let me congratulate you on you excellent site. you are an intelligent and well rounded young man who obviously thinks before he speaks. you also put your money where you mouth is. i am 60 and have been doing strength training and martial arts for 50 and 42 yrs respectively. i have trained all over the world with some wonderful people who trained with whatever was available often home made. all of them were strong, healthy and in fighting condition. most had not read any training books or courses. they just got in there and did the work. the young fellow in the video has got what it takes. more power to him. once again thanks for a worthwhile site. i especially enjoy the inspirational clips.
    in health and strength, peter.

  26. Jimmy January 6th, 2011 8:11 am

    Spot on again, Ross. I love this line:

    The real secret is to show up, remain consistent, and find ways to regularly challenge yourself. Even one of the three will put you ahead of most of the world.

    That’s exactly how complicated training is, no more. If you’re not already doing all 3, no equipment will ever do the job.

  27. Check the links… | Pure Spontaneity January 6th, 2011 1:59 pm

    [...] Backyard exercise. [...]

  28. Robert223 January 6th, 2011 4:58 pm

    Very good Article!

  29. Stan Martin January 6th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Great video – the more I watch it the more I like this guy’s ideas. Looks like it is working for him – I wouldn’t start any crap with him. Only someone miles away and hidden by the internet would say “he hits like a girl.”

  30. bklynfirefighter January 9th, 2011 3:37 pm

    Damn right Ross !

  31. Randy January 9th, 2011 10:35 pm

    What are the principles of training? Challenge yourself (more weight, more reps, shorter time, different drills), be consistent, be innovative. Has this guy met those? Absolutely! and in a creative way! He has my respect.

  32. Jethro January 10th, 2011 9:00 pm

    When I first clicked on this video I thought, Holy shit, this kids got some great ideas, and I wish I’d thought of that. Then to later read that people are critisizing it. I kind of sratched my head. Sort of goes against the idea of being willing to go to any length. Dave Tate put it best in his book Under the bar when he said “It doesn’t matter how much you can lift but how you lift up others.” What a great way to live. Yours in strength, Jethro from Maine.

  33. bosszeroboss January 12th, 2011 6:00 pm

    Wow, that’s a very unique weight machine that guy has built!

  34. nunh January 14th, 2011 2:50 pm

    That was excellent – very inspiring!

    Nice article – I love your ideas and appreciate you passing them along. Will be buying all of your books!

  35. Robert Mefford January 14th, 2011 11:56 pm

    That is a really cool idea! I’m going to build one too.I constantly tinker with homemade gadgets and I think this one would be fun. The guy looked like he was having a great time and enjoying your workouts is what is all about.

  36. Personal Training in Vancouver January 15th, 2011 12:46 am

    Holy Crap Dude, Your crazy!!! Thats Is So fricken Cool !!! Love the Monster !!!
    Thats SO NUTZ how the H did you think of that? You should market it … a few guys could use it ! do you use it to train others?

  37. Craig January 16th, 2011 6:48 am

    Right on Ross. Less analysis and criticism and more action will go a long way in this world. Lots of ways to get variety in the workouts as you so ably demonstrate. Nike had it right – just do it.

  38. Rob January 16th, 2011 9:17 pm

    I can see some people criticising the fixed motion that the pivot forces on the lifts, but he has built himself all the equipment that he needs and looks fit and strong to me, so top marks to that man!

  39. Scott August 22nd, 2011 8:53 am

    I’ve gotta say, I’m loving his snatch’s and cleans. That is a genius and cheap creation. Even so he’s still getting the same sort of effects from doing it properly on a platform with a real bar. True Genius, Much respect for this guy.

    People who criticise this only do it because they’re obviously too scared to try different types and ways of training. Try something new!

  40. Jared September 3rd, 2011 5:25 pm

    nice article and good conversation. Creativity that leads to personal betterment is outside the realm of criticism……its simply beyond it. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It works. This guy’s invention leaves me wanting to take a turn at it.

  41. echoee November 9th, 2011 7:04 pm

    It seems that he can do almost everything in his tiny backyard. That olympic lift that he built is just amazing, considering that you can probably replicate that thing using an electric drill, a hacksaw, woods, and some metal poles, and screws. Look simple but very effective.

    His creativity is just as impressive as his determination.

    Very inspirational.

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