If you have a general question not related to a specific project on this site post a comment below. If it is related to a specific project on this site post a comment on that project page.

I don't have tools, what should I do?

This is definitely something you need to consider. If you don't have any tools then obviously you'll  have to buy them in order to make this stuff. Unless, of course you can borrow them from a friend.  However, I try to avoid designs that require the use of fancy expensive tools. Almost everything can be  done with basic cheap hand tools. They take more time and effort to use, of course, but it is a cheap  option. Don't think that you need to go out and buy 100s of dollars worth of power tools. But if you  have nothing then yes you may have to spend 50 to 100 dollars to get some basic tools like a hand saw  for wood, a hack saw, a coping saw, a screwdriver, a tape measure, and a drill. In my opinion any man,  particularly if you own a home, should have most of that stuff anyway. But none of this is ever included in the estimated project cost, so keep that in mind.

Can't I just buy used equipment?

Absolutely. Check garage sales, check craigslist.org. I'm always on the lookout for used olympic  weights. If you can find inexpensive suitable used gear then by all means save the time and get it.  Inexpensive quality used gear is probably the best way to go. Saves lots of time and lots of money. But  that's only if you can find it in your area and that can be a big "if."

Your stuff is cool but I'm not skilled enough to make it.

That's not a question. The whole reason I write such detailed instructions is so that you don't say this. It's a double edged sword though. Explaining things in such detail also makes it seem really complicated, but that's not my intention. I just want to make sure I go through it step by step so that anyone can follow along regardless of skill level. The biggest obstacle is actually getting started. If you have no experience you won't feel confident but there's only one way that will ever change. That's your life lesson for the day.

Your stuff looks like it's gonna break and kill you one day.

Yeah, well, ya know that's just like uh, your opinion, man. It may look like that and perhaps one day it will no longer be suitable for the  amount of weight I lift. I might be cheap but I'm not stupid. This stuff is plenty strong to do what I  currently need it to do. I stress test it before I use it. And if it's the wood that's putting you off  let's not forget that the structure of your house is made of wood and you don't seem to have any problem  putting tons and tons of load on that.

In any case, safety is most important. If you build something and don't trust it then don't use it. If  there's indication that it's going to fail, stop using it. Always test it before you use it. I put hours  of thought into designing this stuff. I'm not just slapping something rickety together. Then I've tested  everything I use with hundreds of more lbs. than I can actually lift during general use. I am smart  about it, and you should be too.

So that's what I have to say about that. At least until the day my stuff breaks and kills me.

When are you going to do a project for ______________?

The short answer would be when I want to use it in my training and I have the money and space for it. Most of the things I want are already on the site. I already have all the basic stuff on this site to do barbell strength training and that is, in my opinion, the core of physical fitness. If you want to get strong all your really need is a barbell, a bench, and a rack. I have both those projects on the site in great detail and a barbell is something you just buy, not make. With those things you can do all the major lifts: deadlifts, squat, front squat, overhead press, bench press. And a myriad of smaller movements and assistance movements as well. And if you think that's not enough to get the average person really strong, then you obviously have never tried it. You don't need a multi-million dollar gym.

You haven't posted in a while, are you dead?

The probability of me being dead is relatively low, though not impossible. It's far more likely that I  am simply more or less pretty well set in terms of equipment right now. And as more projects get added to the site that will become even more true. I don't aim, as of now, to make and post every conceivable piece of equipment on this blog. I just wanted to share what I made because it benefited my training so much and I felt others could benefit from it as well.

You're stuff sucks. It's dangerous. And nobody should use it.

You are free to feel that way. I have been using the equipment on this site for many years now, and never has this equipment been the cause of even a minor injury. If you build it correctly and use it safely then it's safe. But I never claim that the stuff on this site is the best possible option. I never say or thought that everyone should do it. If you have the resources then there are great benefits to going to a commercial gym, if it has everything you need. I love training at home so I recommend that as well, and if you can afford good gear then by all means buy it.

The equipment on this site is just one option. In general I would recommend that people go out on day one and just buy high quality gear. But people don't do that. People aren't sure in the beginning. They don't know that weight training will work. And they're not sure if they will stick with it. So they don't want to go out and spend $300 on a barbell, $200 on weights, $600 on a rack. $200 on a bench. And some younger people simply don't have $1000 to do it even if they wanted to.

I put in the time to make this site to help others. It's an option. Let those who want it take it and those who don't can leave it. Don't stress out and get offended over something on the internets. It's not good for your health. Use that energy to go lift instead.

- Carl


  1. Hey, i really like your site. I'm going to build a homemade power rack using some 2x4's and some thick metal pipes as the 'pins' - wish me luck!

  2. hey, do you ever plan on doing a pylo box?

    1. A plyo box is something I might do in the future. But I'm currently dealing with some personal stuff so I'm probably not going to be doing any projects for a little while.

  3. hi, i just happen to stumble on your DIY bench press. guess i can say for now is i do like it and want to try it out, but what i really want to know is how would i do incline/decline on that bench press. i would love to know so i can work those two parts. thank in advance.
    do reply back at this email. i may not see this page again as i may forget about it...

    1. The bench on this website is a modest flat bench. The design is simple and designed for one purpose: to be so strong it can withstand ten times more weight than you will ever dream of benching. It's probably more than ten times. And to be very cheap in accomplishing that task. Therefore, it's not adjustable for incline (and decline is dumb, but you didn't ask that). I personally wouldn't be comfortable making an adjustable bench out of wood or trying to modify my bench plans to be adjustable. I suppose you could make a fixed inclined bench but that would be a big piece of furniture to have around simply to do one assistance lift.

      I think incline is a great movement but it's not necessary. Overhead Press and flat Bench Press is just fine. But then again I train to be strong, so I'm no typical "bodybuilder". I personally think Strongman competitors are the best of the lifting sports since their focus is on strength that will have the most carry over to real life tasks. That's why I called it Homemade STRENGTH.

      I have no intention of designing an incline bench and thus I have no plans or ideas to give you.

  4. Hi Carl, I randomly came across your blog while I was doing a google search on how to make a homemade foam roller. I'm glad that I was curious enough to check out the rest of your blog because some of your DIY projects are amazing! It's so motivating and inspiring to know that a functional home gym can be made on a budget! Luckily I already have a bench and 300-lb barbell set, but thanks to your blog there's now a way to safely deadlift without destroying the floor and squat/bench without a spotter! Please promise that this blog never goes away or gets mysteriously shut down (am tempted right now to manually archive your tutorials just in case! hehe)

    Now I have something to keep me busy for the summer...thanks! Bookmarking this blog and suscribing to your youtube channel, many thanks!

    1. I'm glad you like it. I can promise that I will never shut the blog down, but since it's Blogger I suppose Google has more power in that respect. I do have the articles on my hard drive so if anything did ever happen they wouldn't be lost.

      Also, if you have the room, a half platform can be made with three sheets of plywood and some rubber matting (horse stall mats work well) and almost no construction time at all (just stack the plywood, put some screws down through the stack and put the rubber on top). That would be 8 foot by 4 feet and is great for the purpose of deadlifting.

    2. I built the squat rack and bench. They work great.

  5. Thank you for the designs. I built the squat rack and bench. I added the saw horses. It works great.

  6. Wow! I'm super impressed by the site you've put up and all the amazing gear! Are their certain bars you are a fan of and/or what companies do you rely on for gear you don't make?

    1. I don't buy stuff very often but Rogue Fitness is where I go when I do. The exception is if you want bands go to Elite FTS because they are cheaper.

      I'm not a bar connoisseur like some people. I have a Rogue Ohio Power Bar, love it, and thus see no need for anything else at the moment. i'm going to do a review of it at some point.

      I have rogue lifting shoes. I have an Elite FTS belt which I don't like but I don't care about belts enough to get something else so it does the job when I do rarely want to belt up. I have Elite FTS bands for mobility work. I got my iron plates used on Craigslist. That's all the equipment I have that I bought instead of making.

      My lifting straps are small seat belts out of an old child's car seat, and every other thing I have is a project on this site, I believe.

  7. Is there enough room to add a second lower tier for the squats. My wife is about 6inches shorter than me and I would like one just for her. Thanks!