Fitness is a rather important aspect of any person’s life especially in your later years. However, gyms can be a real pain at times as it’s sometimes crowded, the facilities aren’t well maintained, or it’s just too darn expensive! Why spend all that time and money when you can just do the workouts in the comfort of your own home?
With a little know-how and some power tools, you can make your own DIY exercise equipment for yourself. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how to build your own squat rack for your home gym.
If you’ve been working out for quite some time, you know the benefits of a good squat session and the power rack is just the thing you need for your home gym.
There are plenty of benefits to building and having your own rack, but the biggest benefit here is it costs way less than buying one.
Who wants to spend $400 on a squat rack when you can spend less than half the price? On top of that, it’s just generally safer and it’ll help you go beyond your own limits. So, without further ado, here’s a quick guide on how to build your own squat rack without breaking the bank.
1. What you’ll need:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wood seems like a terrible idea for holding up weights. On the contrary however, wood is an excellent material you can use for the frame of your squat rack.
It has a lot of compression strength and it’s generally the more economical alternative to steel frames and tubes.
Enter Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wood seems like a terrible idea for holding up weights. On the contrary however, wood is an excellent material you can use for the frame of your squat rack.
It has a lot of compression strength and it’s generally the more economical alternative to steel frames and tubes. your text here…
- Electric drill w/ standard drill bit set
You’ll need an electric drill to drill in the holes for your squat rack. A standard drill bit set should have everything you need, however, you might want to use a spade bit as well for the holes in the legs. Be sure to use the one with a cord as it’s generally more powerful and a lot easier to use.
- Table saw or Hand saw
You can use a table saw to make things way easier and faster. Another benefit of the table saw is that you’ll have more precise and cleaner cuts. If you don’t already own a table saw however, you can also use a standard hand saw to cut the wood into the appropriate length.
- Ratchet and socket set
You’ll want to have a standard ratchet and socket set as well for securing your fixtures and bolts. You can also use a standard wrench set. The important thing is all your screws and bolts are secure as this will be supporting a lot of weight.
- C-clamps & grippers
You can use grippers and clamps to lock the pieces in place for more accurate drilling. It’ll also help a lot by making it so much easier to attach the pieces.
- Steel Plumbing Pipes
The steel plumbing pipes will be used as the fixtures for your squat rack. You’ll need several 3/4″ for your spotter and chinning bars.
Plumbing pipes are ideal for this setup as they’re sturdy, generally rust-resistant, and easily accessible. They’re also cut in the appropriate shapes already and their rigid surface is great for preventing any slipping and damage.
- Screws and washers
To attach the pieces and fixtures, you’ll need regular wood or drywall screws and bolts. You’ll also need washers to securely fit all the parts of your frame.
2. Building your squat rack
- Cutting the wood to size
The first step is to cut the wood into the appropriate measurements depending on where you’ll be setting it up. For this project, we’ll be using 80” frames.
Make sure that your cut is perfectly flat as it will have to be rigid and secure to support the weights. Generally, you can use the pre-cut side of the wood for the base to ensure that everything is level.
After cutting them to your desired length, you’ll want to attach two of them together with some drywall screws.
As this is your main support, you’ll want this to be really strong and durable. You can use your c-clamps or any other grips for this part of the project to make sure that the two pieces of the leg are at the same length.
Any inaccuracies can make the foundation weak and may cause you injury in the long run. A good practice would be to drill pilot holes in the wood to avoid any splitting or inaccuracies.
After cutting the wood for the legs, you’ll want to cut the supporting fixtures for the top and bottom of the squat rack.
The general measurements for the braces would be anywhere between 4-6 feet for the back and front and about 3-5 for the sides, depending on how far apart you want them to be.
These braces will also serve as part of the base of your power rack.Remember that the rack will be dependent on the clearance space of your room and that the measurement provided in this guide is just an example.
- Drilling the spotting bar and pull up bar holes
With your electric drill and standard drill bit set, you should have everything you need to make appropriate holes for your fixtures. First thing you have to do is to make sure you draw a pattern and mark the areas you plan on drilling.
Make sure that the adjacent holes are all equal and that they’re all centered for optimum strength. The amount of holes you drill for this part doesn’t really matter. Do what’s comfortable for you and for whomever else is going to use the rack.
You can drill pilot holes on both sides of each leg again to ensure that you don’t damage the wood and that your drilling is accurate. If you’re using a powerful drill, you’ll want to drill one side to the halfway point and then drill the rest of it from the back to prevent the wood from splitting.
After the legs are set, you should drill a hole in the top braces for your pullup bar as well (if you want one anyway). You can use the spade bit to make a large enough hole for the steel plumbing bars.
- Building the frame
Now that you have the legs and the braces ready, you can start putting everything together. Positing each of the legs to your desired distance and attach them securely with the braces that you cut out earlier.
Using bolts and screws, you can fasten them tight on both sides of the frame to ensure stability. A good way to go about this is to assemble each side separately as it will be easier to attach the pieces as well as transport them if needed.
Once you’ve constructed the base of the rack, you can attach the legs at your desired measurements.
Make sure however that both legs are perfectly adjacent on each side. You can use two pieces of wood at a 45 degree angle to support the structure by attaching it to the base and the bottom of the legs.
Once the legs are attached to the base, you can put the top braces in. This will essentially be the last step of the frame’s construction to ensure that everything is strong and rigid.
Attach the supporting braces at the top by starting with the sides and adding a supporting brace at the back and front to hold both sides together. You can use any wood screws you have as long as they’re the appropriate size.
You’re done with the frame! Check if all your measurements are accurate before moving on so you won’t have to redo anything.
- Attaching your fixtures
After the tedious part, you can start adding the added fixtures using steel pipes or any other fixture of your choice.
You can use a 1/2″ diameter pipe for the spotter rails and you can also use curved plumbing fittings to support your weights.
Make sure that the fixtures and pipes you buy are appropriate for the drills you put in earlier. Securely fasten them bolts and washers while using your ratchet set to make sure they won’t wear down the wood too much or slip off.
You can also add an optional pull up bar at the top for versatility!
You can also attach metal flat bars to the sides of the legs to prevent it from wearing out the wood. You can also coat the wood to make sure that it’s waterproof. Be careful however as too much can cause the wood’s structural integrity to diminish.
For more information, you can look at this video
This guide should be fairly simple to follow especially if you’ve had experience building furniture or any other kind of fixture. Overall, this project should only cost about $100-$150 which is a huge difference from buying a squat rack online or in sporting goods stores. Building your own is also great as it’s more customizable! It’s generally a better option for your home gym.
If this tutorial has helped enhance your home workouts, I encourage you to leave a comment or share this with your friends.