4 DIY OCR Tools to Amp Up Your At-Home Gym

4 DIY OCR Tools to Amp Up Your At-Home Gym

Take your training to a new level with DIY Obstacle tips from the masterminds behind Spartan's obstacles. Get step-by-step instructions and a breakdown of materials to build your own equipment—and dominate OCR like a champ. 

Don't have an at-home gym, yet? If you're limited by space, time, and the tools needed to build one, these four DIY items are a no-brainer to supplement your workout. These objects, a.k.a. "trainers", are fun-to-make functional tools that will enhance your #BeUnbreakable workouts in as little as an afternoon.

DIY Gym Equipment to Train Up For Spartan Obstacles

The Slosh Pipe works your chest, shoulders, arms, and is perhaps one of the best non-traditional strengtheners for burpees. A Spliced-Eyed Rope helps you boost your stamina for the Rope Climb, and targets your arms, shoulders, forearms, back and abdominals—it's a Spartan classic, and only requires a rope and something high to hang it from. Take that same Spliced Rope and loop it around a tire, cinder block, or any other anchor. From here, practice your plate and tire drag to target your low back, quads, gluts, hip flexors and abdominal wall. (Hint: the three-strand weave will be one of your most useful training tools.) A Wrist-Roller Forearm Trainer builds essential strength in the (you guessed it!) forearms. From the Monkey Bars, to the Twister, Beater, Multi-rig, and Farmer's Carry, Spartan has many forearm-killers in its obstacle lineup, and the Wrist-Roller will help you prepare. The Atlas Stone, a tried-and-true classic "orb of pain", works the whole body while targeting the biceps, hips, hamstrings, and back. It's the perfect isometric strength trainer. Here are some quick steps on how to make each of these tools for yourself, so you can take your at-home OCR training to a whole new level. 

Related: How to Make a Spartan Spear for $15 Or Less

How to Make the Slosh Pipe

What you need:

Materials

   Large Slosh Pipe:

      - 1 - 8’x4” SCH40 (White) PVC Pipe

      - 2 - 4” SCH40 (White) PVC Cap 

      - 1 - PVC Primer 

      - 1 - PVC Glue

   Medium Slosh Pipe:

      - 1 - 6’x3” SCH40 (White) PVC Pipe

      - 2 - 3” SCH40 (White) PVC Cap

      - 1 - PVC Primer 

      - 1 - PVC Glue

Tools:

      *Saw (PVC saw, hacksaw, chop saw, oscillating saw—basically anything sharper than a butter knife to cut your main pipe to length. *NOTE: The hardware store will cut this to length for you for free, or a nominal fee.)

      *White spray paint to cover up primer and glue overage

      *Water line / Access to water

Step 1:

Acquire and layout the tools and materials needed to make your Slosh Pipe.

DIY at-home gym equipment

Step 2:

If pipe is not cut, measure and cut pipe to appropriate length 8’ for 4” pipe, 7’ for 3” pipe. Mark cut length with tape to ensure you are cutting a clean and straight line (this will ensure the best fit and seal when applying your caps to both ends).

Step 3:

Clean PVC fray from cut ends and apply part 1 (primer) of PVC glue set to the interior edge of caps and to outer 2” edge of PVC pipe.

Step 4:

Apply part 2 (glue) to one end of PVC and one cap directly over where part 1 (primer) was applied. Fit wet glued cap to pipe rotating cap as you connect to ensure glue is spread evenly across connection.

Step 5:

Let pipe and newly cured connection sit for 30 seconds to harden before adding water to pipe. After a 30 second period fill the pipe approximately ⅔ full with water. Then repeat Step 4 on the open end. *Note: It takes 15 minutes for PVC glue to harden to working strength and two hours total to fully cure. Touch up excess dye from primer with spray paint to match (white).

Step 6:

Ready for use. See how many reps you can press in a minute's time. Enjoy!

Related: 5 Hardest Spartan Obstacles—and How to Train for Them

How to Make a Spliced-Eyed Rope 

Adding a spliced eye not only looks amazing but has a serious purpose—by adding a knot to your three-strand rope is the easy and quick way to make a loop. In doing so, it reduces the breaking strength of a line by about 40% while a splice retains 95% of the rope's strength.

What you need:

Materials: 

      - 1 - 20’x1 to 2”, 3 Strand Rope Length (To yield a 17-18’ long rope end to end, use 1.5” diameter rope to mimic Spartan Standard)

      - 1 - Roll Electrical Tape (For whipping ends)

Tools:

      *Knife, razor blade to cut rope to length

      *Lighter or Torch to fuse cut rope ends (if applicable)

Step 1:

Acquire and layout the tools and materials needed to make your Spliced-Eyed Training Rope.

Step 2:

Measure out 8-12” from the end of your rope. Tape off at this point and unravel your three strands making three distinct ropes. Wrap these ends in tape as well. (We like to label our ends to make it easier to track the steps along the eyeing process).

Step 3:

To start, mark a point roughly 1’ from your unwoven edge and pull your rope open enough to feel your unraveled line through. This will give you a 6” loop when finishing the splicing process. These are the most important steps of the process. Make sure to follow your order as you will repeat this step a minimum of three times (three is the magic number that makes an eyed splice secure). Send your first rope strand #1 (black marked) through your separation ‘over/under’. With your second rope strand #2 (yellow marked) pull the rope adjacent to the left of the rope you just fed through and feed ‘under/over’. With your third rope strand #3 (yellow with red line marked) separate rope below your first rope and feed through ‘over/under’. Review your eyes starting points to ensure each rope end is weaving through and under a unique part of the rope.

Step 4:

You will be repeating the steps prior until you weave each strand three times or more. Pull each rope strand tight into the rope splice and taped-off end.  Start with your rope strand #1 and weave back into main chord of rope by following the ‘over/under’ pattern. Do this for rope strand #2 and then rope strand #3. Repeat this process to finish.

Step 5:

Finish off your splicing ensuring that every rope strand passes through the main chord of the rope the same number of times (minimum of three). When this it done, it is not necessary to wrap your excess but this does give a cleaner and more durable look as well as protects the rope when using it for drags. With your electrical tape, wrap your excess and all exposed rope ends with electric tape (also called whipping).

Step 6:

Ready for use. Throw your rope over a tree limb, a floor joist, around a tire or weight. Get to training and enjoy!

How to Make a Wrist-Roller Forearm Trainer

What you need:

Materials:

      - 1 - 1”x 24” S40 Steel Pipe (Pipe can be any material in the 1”-2” diameter range)

      - 1 - 8 lb Mushroom Anchor (Any weight that challenges you that you can attach to a rope)

      - 1 - ¼” Nylon Anchor Line Rope With Snap Hook (Any rope strong enough to hold your desired weight)

   Tools:

      *Drill, ⅜-½” Metal Drill Bit

      *Knife, razor blade to cut rope to length

      * Lighter or torch to fuse cut rope ends

Step 1:

Acquire and layout the tools and materials needed to make your Wrist-Roller Forearm Trainer

Step 2:

Measure out the middle point of pipe and mark for drilling. Drill a slightly larger hole than rope, and clean (debur) drilled holes of metal shards and debris to prevent degradation of rope during use.

Step 3:

Cut rope to desired length (5’ is a good length for all heights) while maintaining the snap hook at the end for quick connection to variable weights. Fuse rope with torch or lighter at cut end to keep from fraying (you can also whip rope with electrical tape if fire is not a suitable option). Feed rope through the drilled hole in the center of the pipe and tie off (a bowline or overhand knot works well here).

Step 4:

Ready for use. Get to training, and enjoy!

Related: The Spartan Guide to Building a Simple (and Cheap) At-Home Gym

How to Make an Atlas Stone

What you need:

Materials:

      - 1 to 2 - 50 lb Bags of concrete 

      - 1 - Mixing trough, or a bucket to prep your concrete in

      - 1 - Vessel to create your atlas stone within, you can use an old sports ball, globe, light or something spherical and hollow that you are ok with sacrificing as a mold 

      - 1 - Mixing trowel or paint stick

      - 1 - Trowel, shovel, or cup to scoop mixed concrete

      - 1 - Funnel to insert concrete into mold

      - 1 - Pedestal to rest your sphere on when filling and curing to maintain shape while preventing rolling

Tools:

      *Razor knife for cutting a hole in your impromptu atlas mold

Figuring out the appropriate weight of an Atlas Stone for you:

Use this to know how much concrete you'll need to source: You could use the formula to figure out the volume of a sphere V= (4/3)πr^3 knowing a cubic inch of concrete is equal to 0.087 lb; or reference the following table to know what weight you'll get with what size mold. 

        *8” Diameter, approx. weight 23 lbs 

      *10”  Diameter, approx. weight 42 lbs  

      *12”  Diameter, approx. weight 72 lbs

      *13”  Diameter, approx. weight 100 lbs

      *14” Diameter, approx. weight 116 lbs

Step 1:

Acquire and layout the tools and materials needed to make your Atlas Stone—Spartan Standards are 12” for Women and 14” for Men.

Step 2:

Prep your mold and have it ready to pour your concrete, as you will want to move quickly as soon as water hits concrete. This is when concrete starts its curing process. Use your funnel spout as a guide when cutting your hole into your mold. Cut and remove excess mold and insert your funnel in preparation for the concrete pour.

Step 3:

Make sure to wear gloves as raw concrete on the skin can cause slight irritation and chemical burns. Start by emptying concrete into the mixing vessel (concrete trough), add 15% more water than the directions instruct, this will allow the concrete to more easily mix and work into your mold, doing this will add to your overall cure time but make the process considerably easier to tackle by oneself. Have extra water on standby as you may need to add more throughout the mixing process.

Step 4:

Use a trowel, putty knife, shovel or even a solo cup to scoop concrete through your funnel into your mold. You will need something to push your concrete through your funnel, in this case a stick was enough to get the concrete moving and into my mold. While filling my mold you should tap knock the exterior to ensure you are freeing any air bubbles from the side to ensure a solid and mac weight atlas stone. Fill mold to top and shape off excess concrete so not to leave a rough edge. Placing your mold on a bucket will allow for easy filling as well as maintain the shape of the sphere as the concrete begins to settle. As soon as this step is complete you'll want to let you concrete sit for approximately 24 hours before removing from your mold. *Note, you can sand and shape down rough edges while concrete is drying easily (24 hours into the curing process) if you have a rough edge.

Step 5: 

Remove your mold from your concrete and allow your newly formed concrete to cure for an additional 48 hrs before attempting use. Concrete can be usable after 48 hours but can take up 28 days to fully cure. Be cautious as when to use your Atlas Stone and know the larger the stone the longer it will take to cure. Ready for use. Get to training, and enjoy!

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