5 Simple Tools to Build an Effective Outdoor Gym
Want to take your workouts outside? When it’s this nice outside, who doesn’t? Here are a few tools that you’ll need to build an effective outdoor gym. These suckers are all cheap, DIY projects!
Take your workouts outside
Training indoors can get monotonous and unless you have great air conditioning, the smell of your sweat and the people around can get you nauseous…yummy. At any rate, changing the environment of your workouts can lift morale and even provide that much-needed motivation to train on those dreaded days, where you just don’t feel like moving.
With summer upon us, outdoor activities and training outdoors in the shade or towards the evening can lift spirits.
Exercising under a clear sky, amidst some greenery and fresh air can inspire you to get in some grueling yet enjoyable workouts. Just think about it, at the very least you’ll have something worthwhile to look at between sets or while squeezing out the final reps of your set.
We guarantee you an outdoor gym is much more rewarding than staring at the wall or the next buff dude that walks into your gym.
Here are a few tools that you’ll need to build an effective outdoor gym. And, contrary to what you might be thinking, they’re all DIY (Do-it-yourself) projects that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
With a little effort, you can save a whole lot of money and set up an outdoor gym that’ll last you well into the future.
Let’s get started…
1. The Pull-up Bar
Pull-ups are the number 1 exercise for building a strong back, arms and core.
And, there is no limit to the variations that you can perform if you have a solid pull-up bar in your backyard.
While the simple door hang-up bar station is available pretty easily, there’s a limit to what you can do with you it plus there is always the fear that it might break off.
What you’re going to need to build this pull-up:
- For starters make sure you have space. You won’t need a lot, just enough for two wooden posts that will be about 5 feet apart.
- Two 5×5 Wooden posts, 10 feet long (longer or shorter, depending on your height)
- 33mm steel tube with welded brackets
- A bag of gravel
- 6-8 bags of ready mixed concrete
- Oxide paint for the bar to prevent it from rusting
- Drill with a 9-10mm drill bit
- Dig two holes that are 5 feet apart, roughly 3-4ft deep and about 10×10 thick.
- Pour some gravel in both holes to drain water and protect the wood from rot.
- Insert the post into both holes. You will need an extra pair of hands, so get some friends to join in. Get them to hold the posts in position. Check if the posts are the same height and use a level on the top surfaces of the posts to check if they’re on the same plane and level.
- Pour in the ready mixed concrete. Allow 1-2 days time for it to dry.
- Now for the bar. This part can be a little tricky, so be extra precise. Measure the distance between the posts where you want the bar. Get the bar made from your local welding shop or if you know how, complete the jointing process yourself.
- Make 3-4 inch holes in the post, the same length of the screws with your 9mm drill bit.
- Fix the bar in and tighten. You are now ready for some sick pull-ups and other awesome variations.
2. Tire and Sledge Hammer
This next one doesn’t require any effort regarding building at all on your part in your outdoor gym. All you’ll need is an old beat-up tire and a sledgehammer.
You can get the tire from your local tire yard or car mechanic. If you chat them up and they take a liking to your endeavor, you might even get it for free.
Otherwise, it shouldn’t cost you more than $10. The sledgehammer is available at almost every DIY store and will cost anywhere between 20$-40$.
3. Farmer’s Walk Bars
The farmer’s walk is an extremely effective exercise that builds strength and endurance. The exercise mimics the movement of a farmer carrying heavy loads to tend to his cattle.
To perform this exercise, you simply have to carry heavy loads in each hand for a good distance until you’re fatigued.
This move develops not only the arms and legs but also the core and the back. No wonder it’s one of the favorite exercises of all strength athletes around the world.
You can build these bars yourself, but you’re better off visiting your local bar welder and getting him to weld on two handles for your barbells. This way you can be sure they won’t break and fall on your feet.
4. The Infamous Sandbag
This is another favorite tool of most strength athletes as well as strongmen around the world.
These bags work much like kettlebells, but since they’re filled with sand that keeps shifting around when you move the bag, it adds an extra level of difficulty to the lifts and drills.
The sandbag is extremely simple to build. All you’ll need is a laundry bag or other similar bag, some tape, sand, and rope. All in all, including the sand, it shouldn’t cost you more than 20$-30$ – 5-8$ per 55 pounds of sand.
5. Run on the Road or a Nearby Hill
Ditch the fancy treadmill that costs more than a whole years gym membership and try running on the road for a change. If you don’t like the feel of concrete, find a nearby dirt road or part and do your running there. Not only is the fresh air and scenery more rewarding, but you’ll find it much more relaxing in the long run.
You can train for strength as well as endurance with the outdoor gym tools we have listed on top.
While this list is perfect for the weights and tools you will need, don’t forget about other aspects of an outdoor gym like a canopy to provide shade, setting up in an area that is flat stable ground and covering equipment from outside elements like rain and moisture.
Being outdoors has also proven to better mental health as well as general well-being.
So, get outside and a new and powerful dimension to your exercise.
Andrew is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout (aimworkout.com). As a passionate fitness professional and tri-athlete, there is literally no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep-sea diving, rock climbing and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.
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