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  • The equipment bible

    I want to say first and foremost, that I am just an entry level amateur strongman. This information is not from a professional of the sport. THIS INFORMATION IS FOR A BEGINNER LOOKING TO GET INTO THE SPORT.

    The main question on equipment is how far into strongman are you?

    The big leap from just gym training to strongman comes in the implements. I personally never touched an implement until my first competition. I felt that it would be a little un-practical to start buying/building my own equipment, to train for something I might not even like. Although this is probably a rare thing, since most guys say after their first competition they were hooked, myself included. So what do you do in this situation?

    I would suggest the following:
    Just enter your first competition (knowing you can at least handle the amounts of weight) and see if you like it. Once you know you are interested then you can start gathering equipment or training specifically for strength.

    Find some guys that already have some equipment or a gym that already has guys training. (This was a little harder for me considering the closest place was hours away). See if you can train with them and get use to the implements.

    See if the person holding the competition will let you come in the weeks leading up to the competition and test the implements. I'm not sure this happens every time, but I have seen in the past two competitions that there were "training weeks" leading up to the comp.

    One of those three examples will help you get ready for your first competition.

    Now once you got a competition under your belt, and you are thinking of perusing strongman further... Then equipment is going to be the next concern.

    Now depending on your means, the way you obtain or make equipment is going to be different. I didn't have a huge amount of means, so I sold some junk around the house and garage to make some money to buy equipment/supplies. I would suggest this, because it gets rid of old junk laying around and creates money towards your cause.

    I will base a lot of equipment issues off of my journey in getting equipment.

    I believe I started with around $350-$400, that I raised. I wanted to get as much as possible for my money, and since I started with zero equipment, I will try and explain what I got.

    Pulling/Dragging sled: There are many ways to accomplish this basic strongman discipline. My favorite is the wheelbarrow turned into a sled, but another member made one out of wood http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=24952 Which is also a good starting tool for equipment.

    So I bought about 20 feet of decent chain, which I had cut into 18feet and 2 feet pieces. I used the smaller chain for random things but the big chain was for the wheelbarrow. I took apart the wheelbarrow, which was very easy. Then I measured the front (the end that touches the ground when you dip out the wheelbarrow) of the sled and the sides. I marked the center of each and then went out about 3 inches on each side and drilled a hole big enough to put the chain through. This took some work, but it was accomplished. Next I just ran the chain in through the front holes and out the sides, then back to a heavy d-ring that I attached to a handle.

    Money Breakdown:
    ~$50 for the wheelbarrow
    ~$20 for chain and d rings
    ~$5 for a handle

    So for about 75 bucks I built a decent sled. I have pulled it on concrete many times and it is still in decent condition. I have had 500+lbs in it and it didn't fall apart. I have taken it into grass and run sprints, and have done many medleys with it. I would rate it as a good piece of equipment to condition yourself and also strengthen your legs and back.

    Push Sled:
    This idea came to me one night, and I just sort of ran with it. I don't feel that this is the best option for a push sled, but it is cheap and can be done to your pull sled.

    Supplies:
    Two 1 1/2 pipes, I believe somewhere in the ballpark of 3 feet long.
    Two 1 1/2 floor flanges
    Eight 5/16 bolts and matching lock washers
    * 4 carriage bolts with matching washers.
    Circular drill bit, I believe I got it almost 1 3/4 to fit the floor flange.
    1 2x4x* piece of wood

    I think I got a 2x4x10, it doesn't matter you just need two 2x4x2 pieces to line up on the 4 holes that are in your wheelbarrow from the original assembly. I had the left over bolts and washers, so I used that to go from the sled into the wood. The drill bit you will need will vary on the size of the bolts that are used. Before I bolted the pieces of wood to the sled, I marked where I wanted the vertical push handles to be, and used the circular drill bit to make a hole large enough to fit the floor flange securely. Then I took the 5/16 bolts and bolted it down to the piece of wood. Then I just took the pipes and screwed them into the floor flanges, then bolted the two assembly's to the sled.

    Now the sled works good on grass. I have put 100lbs in it, towards the back, and it worked good. There is just too much friction to push against concrete. The handles aren't as far apart as the prowler, and you can't push too high on the pipes or you will tip the sled, but it forces you to be low and really works the hips.

    Sandbag: I found military grade duffel bags to be the best quality. According to MilitaryMuscle, his bag weighs 310+ filled up, and I double bagged mine and really filled it up.

    So search ebay for these, I got two of them for about less then $25 shipped. http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=mil...sacat=0&bkBtn= I don't know if that link works, but I just searched military duffel bags and got a ton of listings.

    I don't know if I need to explain on how to fill it up with sand, but I just went into the backyard dug some holes and put the sand in the bag. Then I double bagged it, which was tough, then tied the top together There I have it, a 300+lb bag that I can carry around, throw in the sled, then drag it. Tell me you aren't getting stronger just by reading this.

    http://www.rosstraining.com/sandbagconstructionkit.pdf

    TIRE: There are many ways to get a tire, most of the time this will something you can obtain for free. I got a 600lb tire for free myself. I found going to craiglist.org and posting a "wanted" ad for old big tires. You will have to shift through some crap but maybe you will find one like I did. The other options are old tire/junk yards and shops.

    GOTO: http://rosstraining.com/blog/2008/09...-tire-to-flip/ - the link has a great article on finding tires.

    If all is lost, just spend time talking to people. I talked to a guy that said he knew somebody that had some, before I found one.

    The other type of tires you might want to pick up are smaller tractor tires for pulling, or smaller truck tires for making strongman bumper plates.

    Strongman Bumper Plates:
    There are many places to get some old tires with rims. I have at least 5 tire shops around me. Yet, I chose to place a request ad on craigslist.org

    I basically stated that I was in need of some old rims with tires, and they needed to be the same size, and hold air. I got at least 15 emails within 3-5 days with people that needed to get rid of some. I settled with a guy that delivered 4 tires with rims to my house for $50. I only needed two right now, but I have two spares in case something goes wrong, or if I want to make two more.

    So after you get your tires, the options for making them into weights, is kind of simple. You can weld a 2 inch floor flange, an old iron plate, bolt a 2 inch floor flange, or bolt an old iron plate. The rims I had didn't allow for much room.

    Supplies:
    2, 2inch floor flanges
    8 5/16 x 2 with matching nuts * the length will vary
    pack of 5/16 washers

    So I just took one floor flange and put it on the inside, then bolted it down with washers on each end, and some locktite to hold in the nuts. Was actually pretty simple and pretty cheap. I think altogether I paid $75 for 4 tires, which I turned 2 into bumper plates. Sure beats ~$180 for real bumper plates.

    Check out these links:
    http://www.straighttothebar.com/2007...bumper_pl.html
    http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f13/gh...h-baby-701643/
    also Adam2433 made some bumper plates and they look awesome. http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=40528

    Weights: This is a must if you want to lift, lol. There are many ways to get some weights. I started out by looking on craigslist.org I found numerous listings of "home gym" setups. Where a guy was selling a 300lb Olympic weight set, a bar, and a bench of some sort for around $140-190. Now for the money, ~260lbs of weight and a bar isn't too bad, plus you can always sell the bench if you don't want it to get more money. I was going to go with one of these deals, but I have an old friend that is a manager of a sporting goods store, that I used to work at. So needless to say I had a hook up. I spent the $140 that I was going to buy the "home gym" and got around 460lbs of free weight. Now since that day, I have gone back and bought over 380lbs of free weight to add to my collection, plus a flat/incline/decline bench and a weight tree to keep everything organized. Altogether I honestly feel that free weight will be one of the most costly things you will come across, unless you can find deals like I did.

    Farmers Walk: This is where I spent another large chunk of my money. I felt that farmers walk was an event that is a staple in strongman, so I wanted a decent pair of handles that I could use for a while.

    So if you want to buy farmers walks, I found mine on ebay, for about $150 shipped. I just searched farmers walk. If I knew of pitbull equipment I would of probably went with those, but they are just the same, just $20-30 cheaper.

    If you don't want to shell out the cash for this, you could make your own. It would take some welding skills, or you could find anything with a handle on it. This link: http://www.atomicathletic.com/articl...l.asp?ArtID=94 has some info on handles you can buy for regular db handles and seems like it could yield other exercises.

    Kegs: This was kind of hard for me, for some reason. I would suggest the two top places would be a brewery, or restaurant. My sponsor is an owner of a restaurant where they have draft beer, he gave me a keg for free. After I spent hours going to liquor stores and bars trying to get an empty. The other option is talk to young dudes around 18-20. They have keg parties all the time, just tell them you will buy an empty off of them.

    These links are going to explain in more then enough detail what it takes it takes to fill a keg.
    http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~work...rew/Sanke.html
    http://rosstraining.com/blog/2008/05...g-how-to-open/

    I have run into different measures of capping it once you fill it. Most get some type of plumbing cap and do that, or if it is water filled, I just put the original cap for the tap back on.

    Here are some keg basics, based on wikipedia.org and wiki.anwsers.com, THESE ARE APPROXIMATES!
    weight of empty 15.5 gallon keg = 29.7
    1 gallon of water weighs = 8.35
    1 gallon of dry sand weighs = 9.6
    1 gallon of concrete weighs = 17.97

    So then just do the math on how much you put into the keg. I filled one up to the top with water ((15.5 * 8.35) + 29.7) which gave me 159.125, so roughly 160lbs.

    *** After making a concrete keg, I suggest that you have some type of bucket that you can pour the concrete into the keg. I also suggest taping or blocking the sides of the keg, because the overflow will spill out. I also kept the same insert from the keg that I had to remove to fill the keg, I just cut it down and used it as a cap and put it back on.

    Oil Drum: My girlfriend's dad had some of these laying around his house, and I was given one. It isn't the really big 50 gallon ones, but it is big and and hard to handle. I filled it up with concrete and sand, but only about half way up. It is hard to carry. I'm sure these can be found at any auto shop, or old junk yard.

    LOG: I don't currently have a log. I have been offered some 4 foot pieces of telephone pole wood, but I'm currently holding out for a bigger piece. Anyway, most of the time a decent metal log will do. I have no idea how a metal log would be made, unless you have have welding skills. So I would probably purchase your log from:
    http://www.marunde-muscle.com/pitbull.html - pittbull
    http://www.elitefts.com - elitefts
    http://fatbars.com/ - or williams strength (official equipment)

    * The only difference in those would be the price.

    If you decide to go the actual log route, http://prowriststraps.com/inc/search...ss=log&n=44558 has true logs and handles, plate ends for making your own logs. as in this link: http://www.straighttothebar.com/2007...ngman_log.html

    *** I have purchased the pitbull 10" log and it works very well.

    Axle or "Fat Bar":
    I personally just bought an axle, I wanted the actual Apollon's axle and I wanted it to be a nice quality, so I bought it from williams strength.

    Now there are alternatives to just buying a $300 bar. I have heard of just taking some PVC pipe and sliding it over your regular Olympic bar, and then clamping the ends. I don't know how much I trust that with a lot of weight, but it is a simple and cheap way to get a thick bar.

    watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spiS9oAQw8w

    I also found an interesting piece of equipment: http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...d=114&pid=3181 Seems like it would work for deadlifts, and curls and such, but overhead press might be a problem.

    Atlas Stones: This is going to be a tricky one, I felt that getting stones before I had something to load them over, would be kind of useless. Although I was granted with a stone mold for a Christmas present from my girlfriend, lol. So I had a mold and only had to spend money on making the stones themselves.

    Molds:
    http://prowriststraps.com
    http://www.slatershardware.com/stonemolds.html
    * the former just sells the latter's.

    If you don't want to buy a mold, then this is where your communication skills come into place, and see if there is someone that would let you barrow, or "rent" a stone for a couple stones.

    Watch these first:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsLr23vWlHs - Don't do the insert like that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umEdKymek8Y

    Since the stones that I have made are from molds, I will go over some problems and techniques that I have come across.
    Use gorilla tape, it is a little more expensive but it holds like nothing I have ever seen. Once you have put your mold together, with an insert or not, make sure you tape your stone mold around the middle very good, concrete will leak out and form a rough center line if you don't.
    Make sure you spray some kind of silicone inside. A lot isn't necessary, just try to evenly spread it.
    Put a small hole on the bottom of the mold and run a decent fishing line into the mold to tie around your insert, if you are using one. A plain foam insert will float to the top every time. An insert with some re-bar will slightly float and move around. The best thing to do is tie it to the bottom of the mold and tape over the tiny hole and the insert will stay close to the center of the stone.
    Inserts are a pain in the ass, if you have it tied down and have it slightly weighted, it shouldn't be that bad.
    I would also suggest some type of concrete mixer, or one of the concrete mixing bags http://thecementsolution.com/ they are like $6.50 and they save a lot of time. It is hard to get the cement out of the bag and into a the mold, so you will have to use a bucket in between, but it is ten times better then mixing it in a bucket or barrel, etc.
    The tricky part is the top, or filling it up all the way. I haven't got this part down, but I suggest something that vibrates greatly, to help raise the air bubbles to the top and that way you can fill it up evenly.

    I have found the stone to take about 2 weeks to fully cure.

    This is an interesting way to make a stone, if you don't have a mold:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3YCh...eature=related 1 of 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPRjO...eature=related 2 of 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW-Q2...eature=related 3 of 3

    Loading platform: I just use my super yoke, to load the stone over the bar, but if you have a big flat bed truck, you could try that. You could load it onto a big oil drum, if you get one. You could buy some stone loading platforms, or make some. I made a temporary one in the backyard with thick posts dug into the ground and a simple wooden post connecting the two posts, giving me a height of about 49 inches.

    ** I might be getting the specs for a stone series platform, built with square pipe and wood.

    Yoke: This was another piece of equipment that I felt needed to be sound before I would attempt lifting it. So I bought the super yoke from pitbull. It is a great bang for your buck piece of equipment. It lower to load stones, it raises for different heights, and can be used for lot more then just walking with it on your back.

    Now apart from just buying one, you can make one with all pipe, pipe and wood, or pipe and chain.
    This is an old school way to put together a chain based yoke: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strongman18.htm and post number 7 on this: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_onli...ongman_at_home

    The chain yoke will give you stability training, but it will be hard to focus on overall speed.

    This is a quote from a convo I had on an easy alternative to a chain yoke:
    Buy two chains, I would do at least 10-12 feet long, make sure each is rated for at least 800+ pounds and buy two tough d-rings, they are rated in the 1000's. Then run the chain through the weights like you would do on a dip belt, then take the other end of the loop and loop it around your power bar. Do it for both sides, and there you go. You got weight hanging off each side. If you are worried about it falling off the sides of the bar, like sliding off, just put a 10 or something on and clamp it. Like you would do on a chain bench or something, or shit just put it on the inside of the collar. BUT, I do see a benefit from having more weight on your shoulder and also on the chains, working it from two points, more bang for your buck, and that should only cost you 20 bucks, lol
    Circus DB: I don't currently have one of these, but I do have some fat bar handles, that I have been putting weight on, it kind of sucks to be honest. I don't think I will ever just shell out $800 for the nice slater circus db, so there are some alternatives.

    check this out: http://www.marunde-muscle.com/forum/...d.php?p=317862
    if it doesn't work at least watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUGu7dM42Gk

    here is another way you could do it.
    http://www.slatershardware.com/steeltostone.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUGu7dM42Gk

    qty of 2 = 12"long x 12" diamiter pipes
    qty of 2 = 12"long circles 3/16" plate would work with a 2" hole in it.
    qty of 1 = 24" long 1-15/16" od cold rolled pipe
    qty of 1 = 5" long 3" od pipe

    Take the 3" OD pipe and center it onto the two round disks and then weld.

    Next slide the long 2" pipe through center and weld it to the metal disks.

    Then weld the two 12" pipes to the ends of the two round disks.
    Duck walk: Originally I used an old wrist roller and used the weight holder of that and attached it to my pull handle. It held up to 250lbs before it started to bend.

    Since then I have replaced that with a better implement http://rosstraining.com/blog/2008/12...demonstration/

    It cost around $20 for the floor flange, the nipples and the t fitting. I used bigger nipples for the handles, so I had could work my grip, and also wrapped it with duck tape to make them thicker. I used a thread-lock on all the threads besides the main one from the t-fitting so I could adjust the weight.

    * You can do a lot with this. You could also do power stairs. If you have stairs, or just build a piece of wood, and use that a step and just do reps.

    Car Pull: I have no knowledge on setting this up as of know. I do have a link to the harness I would use: http://ironmind-store.com/Draft-Hors...ductinfo/1222/

    Car Deadlift: At the moment I have no other way then buying an implement.

    Car Squat: At the moment I have no other way then buying an implement.

    Husafell Stone: I Have some pictures of a husafell stone specs. I haven't put it together yet and made it, will update.

    Now to do a basic recap of what I spent for what I got when I first started:
    drag sled: $75
    sandbag: $25
    farmers walk: $150
    weights: $140
    tire: free
    keg: free
    * big barrel: free
    * duck walk(t-bar): free, at the time.
    * stone mold: free
    So for ~$390 I had a good amount of equipment to start with, and I used this equipment for months before I started to get more equipment.

    Please feel free to add any information. This is just a beginning work in progress, as there has to be a lot more information out.

    Other Equipment Bibles:
    http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=157
    http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=24952
    http://crossfitweekendwarriors.typepad.com/homegym.htm

    Equipment Websites:
    http://fatbars.com/SM_Other.htm
    http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...lt.asp?cid=305
    http://www.atomicathletic.com/store/...categoryID=113
    http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/strongman.html
    http://www.prowriststraps.com/strongman_women
    http://www.slatershardware.com/StrengthArea.html
    http://www.marunde-muscle.com/pitbull.html or http://www.myspace.com/pitbullstrongmanequipment

    I do not directly endorse any of those websites.
    I do not take any profit from this article, it is for entertainment purposes only.
    Last edited by thetim; 10-07-2010, 01:00 AM. Reason: added stuff

  • #2
    great write up

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lockout View Post
      great write up
      thanks. I got a write up on strongman bumper plates and the push sled coming up, once I finish the plates.

      Comment


      • #4
        Push Sled:
        This idea came to me one night, and I just sort of ran with it. I don't feel that this is the best option for a push sled, but it is cheap and can be done to your pull sled.

        Supplies:
        Two 1 1/2 pipes, I believe somewhere in the ballpark of 3 feet long.
        Two 1 1/2 floor flanges
        Eight 5/16 bolts and matching lock washers
        * 4 carriage bolts with matching washers.
        Circular drill bit, I believe I got it almost 1 3/4 to fit the floor flange.
        1 2x4x* piece of wood

        I think I got a 2x4x10, it doesn't matter you just need two 2x4x2 pieces to line up on the 4 holes that are in your wheelbarrow from the original assembly. I had the left over bolts and washers, so I used that to go from the sled into the wood. The drill bit you will need will vary on the size of the bolts that are used. Before I bolted the pieces of wood to the sled, I marked where I wanted the vertical push handles to be, and used the circular drill bit to make a hole large enough to fit the floor flange securely. Then I took the 5/16 bolts and bolted it down to the piece of wood. Then I just took the pipes and screwed them into the floor flanges, then bolted the two assembly's to the sled.

        SEE ATTACHED PICTURE!

        Now the sled works good on grass. I have put 100lbs in it, towards the back, and it worked good. There is just too much friction to push against concrete. The handles aren't as far apart as the prowler, and you can't push too high on the pipes or you will tip the sled, but it forces you to be low and really works the hips.

        Strongman Bumper Plates:
        There are many places to get some old tires with rims. I have at least 5 tire shops around me. Yet, I chose to place a request ad on craigslist.org

        I basically stated that I was in need of some old rims with tires, and they needed to be the same size, and hold air. I got at least 15 emails within 3-5 days with people that needed to get rid of some. I settled with a guy that delivered 4 tires with rims to my house for $50. I only needed two right now, but I have two spares in case something goes wrong, or if I want to make two more.

        So after you get your tires, the options for making them into weights, is kind of simple. You can weld a 2 inch floor flange, an old iron plate, bolt a 2 inch floor flange, or bolt an old iron plate. The rims I had didn't allow for much room.

        Supplies:
        2, 2inch floor flanges
        8 5/16 x 2 with matching nuts * the length will vary
        pack of 5/16 washers

        So I just took one floor flange and put it on the inside, then bolted it down with washers on each end, and some locktite to hold in the nuts. Was actually pretty simple and pretty cheap. I think altogether I paid $75 for 4 tires, which I turned 2 into bumper plates. Sure beats ~$180 for real bumper plates.

        SEE ATTACHED PICTURE!
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          sick write up man!!

          i like the bumper plate idea! you just load weights outsdie the tires and the metal never touches the ground right?
          Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Adam2433 View Post
            sick write up man!!

            i like the bumper plate idea! you just load weights outsdie the tires and the metal never touches the ground right?
            thanks man! yeah I don't know if you can see it, but I have a standard 45lb plate on the outside of the tire, and i dropped it from shoulder height, and it just bounced around no prob.

            Oh and I weighed the tire with rim, without air in it, at ~36.4
            So I don't know if the bolts and floor flange weighs that much, but I just treat it as a 35lb plate.

            If you made one with actual weighted plates, then you could make them heavier...
            Last edited by thetim; 04-22-2010, 06:27 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              and the floor flange fits just like a plate because an olympic bar end is 2" right?
              Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Adam2433 View Post
                and the floor flange fits just like a plate because an olympic bar end is 2" right?
                Yes. There is a little bit of gap, because the actual bar end is around 1 7/8 or 5/6 or something like that. But like I said I dropped it with 270lbs from my shoulder and it was fine. I don't know how that would transfer to an actual power bar, and dropping it. I would think the tiny bit of gap wouldn't chunk out the bar end though.

                The floor flange seemed like the more sturdier option for the poundage I want to use. I would think if you where more worried about your bar, drilling through some 2.5 or 5lb plates and bolting it like that would give you less movement.
                Last edited by thetim; 04-22-2010, 06:44 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  awesome idea. thanks man!
                  Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adam2433 View Post
                    awesome idea. thanks man!
                    thanks!

                    I got some other stuff I might put in here eventually, like making a box squat, calve raise platform, and some other misc. stuff I have put together since I started working out at my house.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      updated!

                      Added a link to Adam2433's tire bumper plates thread, added in a link to Fat Gripz - a cheap alternative to a fat bar, and also posted part of a convo I had with Adam2433 about a cheap way to make a chain yoke.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        added in some tips for a concrete filled keg, and also I purchased the pittbull steel log.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very Nice, thanks for taking the time to write all that up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sunlovinCO View Post
                            Very Nice, thanks for taking the time to write all that up.
                            no prob, it should be able to keep growing with more information...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I recently bought 2 new 3 inch Axels (purchased tires as well), 2 New Sets of Farmers, and a ton of used equipment from a retired strongman. I am in the process of making two sets of uprights for Keg Throwing. I will let you know how those come out. I am lucky that I can get Kegs as often as I like because my husband is friends with a manager at a very large brewery in town. We usually have 10 or so extra sitting around. Although I think I need 12 or 13 for my next show...

                              I am trying to get 2 sets of matching equipment for the shows here in Colorado. It is expensive but I am slowly getting there.

                              Comment

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