If you want to lift weights at home, it can be a bit expensive to buy yourself a weight bench, an exercise machine, and a set of dumbbells and barbells. A set of dumbbells alone will cost you upwards of $150, and the weight machines start at $600. If you don’t want to go hunting through garage sales, you can just make your own simple workout gear at home. It’s fairly easy to do, and you’ll have good weights that you can use any time you want.
Bottle Weights – If you want to make a few cheap weights, fill some soda bottles with sand or pennies. You’ll find that the large 2.5lt bottles will make great weights when they are full, and you can get up to 10 pounds per bottle if you use the right material. Sand is usually a lot lighter, but coins will make your weight a lot heavier. It can be hard to grip the weights if you’re doing active exercises, but they’ll be perfect for exercises like dumbbell flies.
Can Weights – Got some old cans that you can turn into weights? That survival food that has been sitting in your pantry for years can finally be used. A large can will contain about 2 quarts of liquid or food, but they will weigh as much as 5 pounds. They’re great for doing simple exercises like side raises, and you can even use them for raised pushups. They can be a good base for your feet or hands, and they’re found in just about every home.
Jugs – Got a few dozen milk jugs that you are planning to throw away? You can turn them into nifty weights very easily, and all you have to do is fill them with sand. Get at least a dozen jugs, and make sure they are all filled with sand. Take a long piece of rebar, and thread it through the jug handles. Use a plumber’s wrench to prevent the jugs from falling off the ends of the rebar, and use the weight to do squats, deadlifts, and other exercises that require a barbell. The more jugs you have, the more weight you’ll have to use.
PVC Weights –If you want to actually build some simple dumbbells, you can use PVC as the bar. Cut a 16 inch length of 1″ or 2″ PVC pipe, and fill it with Quik-crete. Once the concrete has dried, insert one end of the bar into a soup can filled with concrete to form one half of the dumbbell. Once that side has dried, simply flip the weight over and insert the other end into another concrete-filled soup can.