Improvised gym equipment

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#2
I am very impressed with the geometry of the Stamina Ab / Hyper Bench. I really wanted to buy it, but my apartment is too small.


It can be improvised by the in-stability ball. But it is not quite right, and I don't like in-stability. But I did learn the geometry and body mechanics from this video.


I went into Wile E. Coyote mode for a week. And I finally figured it out.

Because my apartment is so small, the bed is 18 inches from the wall, a path to the kitchen. That's exactly all I need. I put my feet against the wall, put a pillow on the edge of the bed for cushion (which happens to be just about waist high), and I did it. I improvised this machine/structure!

Now I can do back extension, oblique/side bend, and roman chair sit up!
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#3
This is the greatest gym equipment in the world (after free weights). I have the machine for over 25 years. The cable did snap and I ordered a replacement cable from another gym equipment vendor and it's better (commercial gym grade) than the poor quality original cable. The machine itself is an improvised equipment. It uses your body for weight and your body for levers! It is as versatile as you are! Genius. The maximum resistance capacity is 50% of your body weight (without additional bungee bands), which is all you need. This machine can do almost anything any other machine in the gym can do. You can switch the pull up bar to the bottom and do presses. This is a masterpiece.

 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#4
A door pull-up bar and a TRX (or cheaper clones). The pull up bar allows you to hang the TRX, and hang it on 2 points apart, the natural width of the distance between your limbs. And you've got it made.



 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#5
A in-stability ball can improvise a bench, and incline bench. It can withstand a ridiculous amount of weight, for something that weighs almost nothing, incredible!

 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#8
I think gym equipment themselves are imitations of the human body. Think about it. Every machine in the gym is like a wrestler who can only do 1 wrestling move. Instead of wrestling human vs human, you move from machine to machine to wrestle a different move. That's what tennis is to me, it's the human iso-metric (equal in measure) exercise machine (that no machine will ever ever match).

I'm going to write a treatise on exercise equipment. First, the whole bodybuilding / gym thing was re-invented by Joe Weider to sell gym equipment. Which took the focus away from using your body weight. It's kinda like a con. But I can over look that because his greatest invention is the Weider Total Bodyworks 5000, which is a body weight machine! One great thing Joe Weider/ the bodybuilding industry did is to break down the human machine and rebuilt part by part ala Henry Ford's assembly line. They reverse engineered the human body already. So all I have to do is to reverse engineer their reverse engineering and I get back to the human body! Here's a classic example of gym equipment vs. body weight.

push up vs. bench press

bench press
pro:
isolate the chest muscles by doing ½ the work of holding up your body weight and the barbell
can increase the weight incrementally

con:
isolate the chest muscles by doing ½ the work of holding up your body weight and the barbell
cost

push up
pro:
the whole body is connected, you do all the work. You are the bench, you are 4 points on the floor.
$0.00
can be done anywhere, not only inside a gym
can incrementally increase the weight at least 3 levels off the top of my head: elevated feet, feet on the floor, knee on the floor, which is all you need.

con:
none, unless you count the limitation of your body weight. In my opinion, the body is designed to carry its weight, not more. Dancers carry their weight, and lighter is always better.

On this line of thought I just invented something . . .
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#9
I'm reading The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body . . . ISBN-13: 978-0671243678. I'm not impressed by equipment and mass. I'm impressed by ingenuity and artistry. I see a picture of Frank Zane holding a broom stick for balance doing a calf raise on a calf block.

For the longest time, I couldn't mimic the lat machine; I didn't know about door pull up bars. The best I could do was use the balcony bars which were not high enough. Here's where the ingenuity lies. Instead of hanging off the ceiling, you can use a structure that push off the ground. That's what a house is, a structure that holds the roof up off the ground.

broom stick, TRX, pole dancing . . . hmm . . .

broom stick pull up!

There, I just invented it. It's actually a squat/pullup (because there is no machine to do ½ the work).
You squat all the way down, reach up as high as you can, grab the broomstick and pull yourself into a standing position. Pulling all the way down all the time in the cycle of the motion.
 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#10
con:
none, unless you count the limitation of your body weight. In my opinion, the body is designed to carry its weight, not more. Dancers carry their weight, and lighter is always better.
This is where I disagree. The body weight limitation is the biggest con of push ups. The body is definitely designed to carry more weight than it's own. Are you supposed to be able to carry a boulder? a log? What about a piece of furniture?
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#11
This is where I disagree. The body weight limitation is the biggest con of push ups. The body is definitely designed to carry more weight than it's own. Are you supposed to be able to carry a boulder? a log? What about a piece of furniture?
Hence the invention of the wheel. I don't have a car. I carry my groceries in a shopping cart. Speaking of which, it's story time.

In the movie Cinderella Man, James J. Braddock worked on the docks, as many (strong) men do. Hulk Hogan also worked on the docks carrying passengers luggages. Now luggages have wheels, even backpacks have wheels. Now shipping docks are mechanized with portable shipping containers. Strength is a relic of the past. Life truly is Revenge of the Nerds.
 
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Ramon

Hall of Fame
#13
Hence the invention of the wheel. I don't have a car. I carry my groceries in a shopping cart. Speaking of which, it's story time.

In the movie Cinderella Man, James J. Braddock worked on the docks, as many (strong) men do. Hulk Hogan also worked on the docks carrying passengers luggages. Now luggages have wheels, even backpacks have wheels. Strength is a relic of the past. Life truly is Revenge of the Nerds.
In other words, you have no problem with dependency on automation. Personally, when I get to be in my 70's and 80's I don't want to be dependent on wheelchairs and other assistance devices. I want to be able to get around on my own. Having a surplus of strength now and in the future will be paying me dividends when that time rolls around.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#14
In other words, you have no problem with dependency on automation. Personally, when I get to be in my 70's and 80's I don't want to be dependent on wheelchairs and other assistance devices. I want to be able to get around on my own. Having a surplus of strength now and in the future will be paying me dividends when that time rolls around.
I don't drive. I walk or bike, or take the bus. If you have a car, you are already in a wheel-chair.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#18
This is where I disagree. The body weight limitation is the biggest con of push ups. The body is definitely designed to carry more weight than it's own. Are you supposed to be able to carry a boulder? a log? What about a piece of furniture?
Sorry, The Wheel of Pain is fiction. Such a device would have been driven by horses, water power, or wind power.

 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#21
Air sofa.
Weight Capacity: 880 pounds
Weight: 26 pounds
Maybe that girl you have your eye on doesn't like inflatable furniture. She's moving to a new place and she needs 3 or 4 strong guys to help her move her heavy oak furniture. She may be returning the favor later. Are you the guy she can count on, or are you going to leave it to the "real men" to do the job. :)
 
#22
none, unless you count the limitation of your body weight. In my opinion, the body is designed to carry its weight, not more. Dancers carry their weight, and lighter is always better.
You're thinking of gymnastics. Instead of bench press, you do Planche (for example).

Problem with bodyweight for an adult just starting out, is that they are simply too heavy and too tall to do more advanced exercises (technically speaking, the leverage disadvantage is too great). If you started as a child and kept at it, you'd still be able to do these things as an adult. But near impossible if you start as an adult.

You can do "progressions". Start with something easy and in theory you end up doing a planche. But that's never going to actually happen for an adult (unless you are short and small). But for most people, the progressions will be enough of an exercise anyway. A planche is simply not necessary for an adult.

In your same quirky spirit, I actually used inspiration from the link below and use a counterweighting system to allow me to do:

-Handstand pushups on 1 foot parlettes
-Rope climb (arms only, no kipping)
-Side Lever
-Front Lever
-Planche
-Full muscleup (no kipping)
-Pistol
-V-up (this is like an L-seat, but you raise your legs straight up; perpendicular to the floor instead of parallel).

http://roughstrength.com/pulley-system-best-thing-happened-calisthenics/
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#24
Maybe that girl you have your eye on doesn't like inflatable furniture. She's moving to a new place and she needs 3 or 4 strong guys to help her move her heavy oak furniture. She may be returning the favor later. Are you the guy she can count on, or are you going to leave it to the "real men" to do the job. :)
You guys are too slow.

"Maybe he already has an inflatable girl with the inflatable couch."
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#26
. . . "real men" . . . :)
That is an interesting concept. Once my female roommate asked me to open a jar of jam. I put it under a faucet running hot water. She said, "What are you doing? I'm asking you to open it, not wash it!" I told her the heat will expand the metal and then you can open the jar with 2 fingers.

I retold that story to another lady.

Me: If you have 2 guys to choose from, 1 guy opens a jar with brute strength, or a guy who does it the way I do it, which would you choose?
Her: Let me think.
Me: Oh you're lying. You prefer the guy who uses brute strength.
Her: Yes.

Another time, at work, a guy asks me to open a jar. This guy is twice my size, all muscles. I use the foamy mouse pad to open the jar. The foamy mouse pad gives me a better grip and better mechanical advantage.

It's an interesting concept of what men and especially women consider what is a "real man".
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#28
Maybe that girl you have your eye on doesn't like inflatable furniture. She's moving to a new place and she needs 3 or 4 strong guys to help her move her heavy oak furniture. She may be returning the favor later. Are you the guy she can count on, or are you going to leave it to the "real men" to do the job. :)
Or maybe the thing that is inflated is the estimation of your worth in a technological world. Oh, touché! That's French (too-shay).
 

Ramon

Hall of Fame
#29
That is an interesting concept. Once my female roommate asked me to open a jar of jam. I put it under a faucet running hot water. She said, "What are you doing? I'm asking you to open it, not wash it!" I told her the heat will expand the mental and then you can open the jar with 2 fingers.

I retold that story to another lady.

Me: If you have 2 guys to choose from, 1 guy opens a jar with brute strength, or a guy who does it the way I do it, which would you choose?
Her: Let me think.
Me: Oh you're lying. You prefer the guy who uses brute strength.
Her: Yes.

Another time, at work, a guy asks me to open a jar. This guy is twice my size, all muscles. I use the foamy mouse pad to open the jar. The foamy mouse pad gives me a better grip and better mechanical advantage.

It's an interesting concept of what men and especially women consider what is a "real man".
Your story makes perfect sense. As much as they hate to admit it, girls don't go for brainy guys, or at least guys who outwardly express their intellect. I wasted the majority of my life trying to show women I was the thinking man type because I didn't have anything else to going for me. It was a waste of time. Most of them will go for the bad boys in a heartbeat. You will find exceptions but they are far and few. You'll maximize your chances by playing the strong, assertive, uninhibited guy who knows what he wants and gets it. That's what works with the 90%.
 
#30
You didn't understand what I was driving at. I'm not trying to make the exercises easy. There are many ways to do that, yes.

Gymnastics uses leverage disadvantage to it's advantage. It's a way of adding weight (among other things I won't get into). Think of a planche for example. Essentially, you are trying to balance a teeter-totter where the fulcrum is placed almost at one of the ends (your shoulders). This exercise would be trivial if your arms grew out of your waist (or wherever the middle point for weight distribution is). So in a "plank" for example, you keep your feet on the ground. Thus eliminating this leverage disadvantage (you are now a bench, not a teeter totter).

The advantage of the pulley system I referenced above is, that you eliminate "some" of the leverage disadvantage. But you have lots of flexibility on this based on how much you counterweight and where you "strap in". For the planche for example, if I attach the counterweight to my feet, that makes it really easy. Attach it to my head, and it doesn't really help at all. I attach it just below my waist. And of course you determine how much weight you use to counterweight with (just as you decide how much weight to put on the bar when you bench press).

On the other hand, just placing your feet on the ground eliminates all of the leverage disadvantage. And that's the problem with advanced bodyweight exercises. It's normally an "all or nothing" type proposition. Progressions are meant to move you along, but they don't turn out to be as effective as advertised (look at planche progressions sometime and you'll see there are "huge" leaps at some point, because there really isn't anything else you can do).

Do you get what I'm saying?

Don't be offended if I don't respond anymore. I don't want to spend all day arguing with you on this. I was just attempting to add to your thread and expand a bit on your point is all.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#33
One arm reverse cable fly.

https://www.jefit.com/exercises/1133/Cable-One-Arm-Reverse-Fly

I bought 2 yoga blocks, 3" x 6" x 9". I know how geometry works now. Body positioning is already invented in Yoga, I don't have to re-invent it.

Triangle pose on a block. Use a dumbbell for resistance (light weight, the fulcrum is at your shoulder, mechanical disadvantage. Also "open" movements are weaker than "close" movements ala triceps vs. biceps).

And do the reverse with the top hand holding a TRX, or rope, and do a one arm cable fly.

Your body is the structure, all you have to do is change the path of gravity (relative to your body).

The yoga block lifts the weight off the floor.

Wile E. Coyote is burning the midnight oil.

 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#34
I have this equipment for awhile. I played with it a little bit. I figured out its strength, weaknesses, and what it's best for.

It's strong point is that it is an arm exerciser using your legs as weight. Because 4 limbs are moving, you are also getting a cardio work out, believe me! It's tertiary strong point is helping little bit with flexibility.

This one is the best equipment.

This demonstrate the variations.

On the floor there a 4 positions. Face up, face down. Head at the edge of the pizza slice, head at the center of the pizza slice. At least 2 more positions. Sitting on a ball/chair, standing.

Wile E. Coyote has already figured it out. I'll go to The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body . . . ISBN-13: 978-0671243678. Copy every arm exercises and figure out the geometry of the mechanism. When I'm done, I'll put this on 3 x 5 cards so you can use Avery Index Cards to print them out. I'll put it on DropBox.

Wile E. Coyote is my childhood hero.

Addendum 1. Also, this can be an isometric exercise mechanism for 2 opposing limbs (not 4 limbs at once).

Addendum 2. Therefore it can be used to exercise the legs, countering the other leg.

Addendum 3. I have to organize everything in Excel. Head up, head down, head at 90°, head at acute angle, sitting on chair (need a stable structure), standing.

Addendum 4. A standing platform is better than a lying platform. This depends on the angle of the pull or push.

Addendum 5. Kicking forward is better than kicking backward. In the backward motion, the knee is bent, there is no mechanical disadvantage to take advantage of. When kicking forward, the knee is locked forcing you to pull the weight.

Addendum 6. I have to rate the exercise as weak or strong so I can better understand the geometry.

Addendum 7. The 2 pulleys must be even or the weight distribution will be way lopsided, even for a small difference. It is the balance point. Best to to wrap the 2 anchor points around a couple of times.

Addendum 8. Hand handle on the plastic. Foot handle on the rope.

Addendum 9. As a cardio equipment, it is best to do the exercises alternately.

Addendum 10. Draw the stick figure in pencil. Draw the rope in red pencil.

Addendum 11. I like this! It's web-like, Byzantine, complex. It fits my chess playing, Wile E. Coyote nature.

Addendum 12. Wear socks for cushion.

Addendum 13. "Frog legs" is better than "Mountain legs". The motion is more 3D.

Addendum 14. "Frog legs" vs "straight legs" will switch gear on the mechanical disadvantage.

Addendum 15. Because of geometry, some exercises can only be done half-bodied.

Addendum 16.This was inspired by The FIRM DVD Classic 'Vol. 3 Aerobic Weight Training' by Anna Benson with Sandahl Bergman (ASIN: B001HKJ0UI). I bought 7 of the Firm DVDs for $40 off of Craigslist. For those who do not know, Sandahl Bergman was a professional dancer. She starred in All That Jazz and Conan the Barbarian (1982). In my humble opinion, she is superior to Arnold Schwarzenegger. She has an exercise video on YouTube.

Addendum 17. In the book The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body Through Weight Training for Men and Women, using the 2 pulleys contraption, almost every "masculine" arm movement has a complementary "feminine" leg movement. For example in the second video above at 0:47 it's the iron cross / locust pose (salabhasana) combo.

Addendum 18. I will use the balcony of my apartment for the low and medium anchor. For the high anchor, I'll use the door pullup bar. And I will need a yoga mat.

Addendum 19. Isometrics (1 pulley) is better for correct form. The form is not compromised by the opposing limb. For legs, the form is better, and in addition you get flexibility because the limb is stretching the limb.

Addendum 20. I'm designing everything. 4 limbs and 2 limbs (1 pulley) isometric.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#35

This concept has been around for awhile. It's genius has not been realized until now; until a Wile E. Coyote is born.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#37
I came with 43 iso-metric pulley exercises. That's a lot. That' 43 primary exercises with 43 auxiliary exercises for cardio. That's 43 x 2 = 86.

With other exercises such as wrist curls, you have to use dumbbells.

Then I went into Wile E. Coyote mode. Wait a minute. Sit on a chair. Put your arm on your thigh. Palm facing up, wrist bent 90° pointing towards the ground. Use the other hand for resistance, placing finger over fingers perpendicularly. Do a wrist curl.

Advantages.

Mechanical disadvantage.
Greater range of motions.
The fingers are also working not just the wrist.
The auxiliary resisting hand and its connection to the shoulder.
zero cost.

Addendum. Best done at 45°. At 45° you are never at rest.

The same with reverse wrist curl.

I used to do leg extensions with a rope loop. Lie on your back. Leg up 90°. Loop around both legs. The working leg is carrying the other leg. Full range of motion. I abandoned this when I bought the Weider Total Bodyworks 5000 decades ago. I also abandoned doing leg (hamstring) curl by using a chair and have 2 arms in a dip position and feet on the chair (I independently invented it, it's not that hard). That's better too because you are working 4 limbs at a time.

I did it! It! I have solved the Riddle of Steel! Joe Weider (and men like him) invented Mr. Olympia and whole fitness industry, to sell equipments (and "supplements" etc.). Joe Weider invented Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men, ISBN-13: 978-0671531638, ½ of the exercises in the book is body weight exercises.

With a TRX, 2 pulleys, and your body is all you need. I just thought of another off the top of my head. Bicep curl. Use a jump rope. Make a loop. Step on the jump rope. Use your arm to pull your leg up. No weight needed. And you are stepping in place as an auxiliary exercise.

I have solved the Riddle of Steel [Conan the Barbarian (1982)]. "Flesh is stronger than steel!"
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#38


Turn one of your hand upside down. Grip your hands by the finger tips. Curl your hands into each other. Switch hands.

Advantage:

Full range of motion of the fingers. The fingers articulate as they curl in. And you work both hands at the same time.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#39


Pinch your index finger and thumb together. Use the other hand to pinch that at the nails. Open and close. Switch fingers, both hands. Switch hands.

Advantage.

Full range of motion.
Works each finger individually.
Open and close.
Both hands working at the same time.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#40
Here's all of Joe Weider's equipments, on 10 VHS tapes. I'm going to try to replace them with body weight exercises one by one.


Or more correctly, I'll see which one I cannot do; since most of them can be done.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#43
Pull ups can be done with your feet on a chair, taking ½ your body weight off.
But what if you want to do pull-up with more than your body-weight?

"pig pull-up"
0:45

Disadvantage:

The pig doesn't always go with your plan.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#46
This one is the best equipment.
This equipment can be improved upon using parts you can buy off the shelf. All these parts I have at home, while trying to Wile E. stuff.

stronger steel cable
gym cables that can attach to carabiners, and thus all sorts of attachments.
metal pulley instead of plastic pulley
better hand grip
better foot grip
independent cables for greater range of motion
independent cables that can re-attach

The reason is even though the Weider Total Body Works 5000 is a superb machine (practically perfect) for resistance training; it can only exercise part by part, ala Henry Ford's assembly line. And it does ½ the work for you being a structure.

Essentially I'm trying to replicate the Weider Total Body Works using the body as the structure.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#47
Essentially I'm trying to replicate the Weider Total Body Works using the body as the structure.

Such a thing already exists, or you can easily combine parts together. Hmm. Working 4 limbs is fantastic, but it can't be done for everything. Fundamentally for something to move, something must stand, like a compass, like the solar system.

I will invent a whole system for 1 pulley weight bearing steel cables, TRX + a cable machine.
 

LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#48
Crawling is the best, as animals do, on 4 points. Crawl: forward, backward, left right, clockwise, counter clockwise. Then x 2 by flipping your body into facing up. Flip your body over like a coin. That's 14 different moves there.

I call it 4 points (limbs) exercises.
 
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LGQ7

Hall of Fame
#49


The Maxi Climber uses a lot of ingenious concepts.

body for weight
4 points
pulley, isometric
very simple structure

I have 10 exercises on it, front and back. Front is more legs, back is more arms.
front and back
overhand and underhand
high bar, middle bar

That's at least 2³ = 8 possibilities.

One big drawback: a fixed line of motion that will mess you up. That's how I got the machine for ½ price. I use it sparingly between weight training.
 
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