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Today’s blog entry wasn’t planned. I woke up to a nasty email from someone who questioned and criticized the durability of the homemade equipment I’ve demonstrated in past tutorials. A summarized version of his email was that homemade equipment is bound to break and should not be used by industry professionals.
Unfortunately, when I tried to respond, I received an error message that the destination email was not valid thus my message could not be delivered. Perhaps the email came from an equipment supplier who feels threatened by my homemade gear. Maybe he prefers to remain anonymous with his sarcastic tone and comments. It’s no surprise in today’s keyboard warrior world.
As for my response, I stated in the email that I do not have financial connections with any hardware stores. I don’t own stock in Home Depot and I don’t earn money by promoting homemade tools. And what may come as a surprise to some, I don’t enjoy the process of making homemade equipment. If the equipment won’t offer specific benefits and/or cost savings, I won’t waste my time.
I only make equipment if it is going to serve a particular purpose for me and those I train. I don’t randomly make things without rhyme or reason. Furthermore, it has been my experience that homemade gear often lasts longer than what I’ve seen with many commercial alternatives. It isn’t as if hardware stores sell parts that are more destined to break when compared to an exercise tool that is manufactured as inexpensively as possible by a large revenue driven business.
Clearly, your mileage may vary based on craftsmanship, parts used, etc., but to suggest that all homemade equipment is destined to break prematurely is just plain ridiculous. More than half of my gym is outfitted with equipment that I built myself.
Below is a picture from earlier today that shows my homemade dip/chinning belt comfortably holding 180 pounds. This is the same dip/chinning belt that I demonstrated over a year ago in a video tutorial (see here). This belt is used regularly week after week and is still as strong as ever. I couldn’t break the chain if I wanted to. You’d be hard pressed to find any commercially sold dip belt with chain that is anywhere near as thick.
About an hour after taking the photo from above, I had a 150 pound dumbbell break on me. The timing could not have been any better, although I was upset as this dumbbell has served me well over the years. Clearly, this was just a random case, but homemade gear is up 1-0 for the day against its commercial counterpart.
In summary, don’t knock something until you’ve tried it. There are plenty of homemade options that are as durable as anything you’ll find at the local sporting good store.
For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below:46 comments