Click Here if you are unable to see the full content or animation of this eNewsletter  



     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2012 issue 11



DIY Fitness Equipment Tips

It's kind of bitter-sweet when I pull the visitor stats for my website each month.  I like to write or find articles for my newsletter that are interesting and answer questions that people are asking.  Some end up being trendy topics, while others are just bringing up content that has been around for a while that I re-circulate for awareness.

However, it still amazes me that the biggest draw that I get to my website comes from the "do-it-yourself" fitness equipment ideas!  When I look at the search strings used, it's always "how to make a kettlebell", "how to make a chinup bar", "how to make a slide board", etc... at the top of the list!  I guess I just didn't realize how many "do-it-yourselfers" like myself are out there J

That's fine by me... hey, based upon some emails that I've received, or comments on my YouTube videos, I guess that means that I'm helping some people to stay motivated, or at least save some money!  So for my do-it-yourself brethren out there, here are my top 10 tips on useful DIY materials...

  1. pool noodles - I've used them for a variety of padding needs. They are very cheap, yet functional just the same.  I'll cut a couple of 8 inch pieces, slice them down the middle, and then put them on the back of a few folding chairs to do dips.  I've used them for some quick padding on a bar for squats.  I've even used them as padding for some of my DIY equipment like this shin blaster.  Quick and easy to work with.

  2. pipe - threaded metal plumber pipe or plastic PVC pipe... there are limitless possibilities that I've used pipe for!  The steel threaded plumber's pipe is great for equipment where you need to support some weight (like the shinblaster above).  I've used it for kettlebells, dip bars, clubbells, chinup bars... with the various elbows and endcaps, they make some sturdy alternatives to store bought equipment.  PVC pipe is cheap and extremely easy to work with.  It's easy to cut into sections and fit in limitless configurations.  With PVC pipe I've made agility hurdles, and agility ladder, rope handles, body bars, slosh pipe, parallelettes... it's not as strong as the steel pipe, but much easier to fit into the application that you're working on.

  3. sand - most store bought weight plates are about $1 per pound.  A 50 pound bag of play sand will cost you about $3.50.  I LOVE to look for sand options for my workout equipment!  I have half a dozen sandbags in my gym at any given point in time.  I've also used sand in medicine balls, jugbells and body bars.  Sandbags themselves are probably one of my favorite pieces of gym equipment!

  4. basketballs - nothing fancy about a $4 rubber basketball at your local Walmart, but there are a ton of pushup variations that you can do on them!  Outside of that, I like to fill them with sand for a cheap medicine ball.  A full ball is about 25 pounds and costs a total of maybe $6 in materials...versus $60-ish at a store.

  5. plasti dip - I've tried baseball grip tape, medical tape, lacrosse stick tape... eventually all of these tapes get gunked up, out of place, or start rolling on me.  Finally I came across this "plasti dip" stuff at Home Depot and it worked perfectly!  It has a nice rubberized feel to it and the durability is unmatched.  I think a tube of it runs about $6 and it makes for a great grip feel for that metal pipe that you're using.

  6. wood - never underestimate the ability to build something out of wood!  Between my plyo jump boxes, outdoor multi-tower, slideboard, deadlift platform... if you have some basic ability around the work shop, you can certainly make some use of it in your gym.

  7. jugs - fill a gallon jug with sand, water, lead shot, whatever, and you have no excuses why you can't start doing dumbbell/kettlebell type exercises.

  8. tires - flip them, pull them, throw them, drag them, beat on them... used tires are typically FREE and offer endless ways to change up your outdoor workouts.
  9. rope - battling ropes, rope pulls, climbing ropes... all great exercises with large ropes.  But there are plenty of applications for small rope as well.  Cheap PVC handles, agility ladders, with a little creativity I'm sure that you can find something to do with it!

  10. furniture sliders - a 4 pack of "super sliders" will only run you about $10 but there are dozens of exercises that you can do with these simple tools.  Slider pushups, crunches, lunges, hamstring curls... a total body workout could easily be accomplished with a set of these.

I know, I know... there are plenty of other things that I could add to this list (towels for grip, floor wax on slideboards, etc...) but I did say "top 10" J  Just a quick list of things to chew on if you're someone that likes to make stuff, or if you're looking to save a few bucks.  You can view a full list of the plans that I have posted at my budgetbody equipment link.  Enjoy! 



USA Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Suspended Unstable Lunge


Stability training goes in and out of popularity at times.  Equipment like wobble boards and BOSU balls were extremely popular last year, and still retain a decent following.  This suspended exercise is an example of a challenging forward lunge that can work all of your leg muscles with an emphasis on the hip flexors.  You can start by using your hands to stabilize yourself with the exercise and eventually work up to the "look Mom, no hands" version ; )


Target:  legs and butt (quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals)

Description:  Start in a standing position with one foot firmly planted on the ground, and the other on a loop or wrung of the suspension strap.  Slowly slide your front foot forward while keeping your back leg straight.  Getting your front knee to a 90 degree angle is a good target, before tightening up and returning back to the starting position.  Repeat for desired reps.

There's an App for That

I was interested in human anatomy and the muscle system even before I started studying for my personal training certification.  I sure wish that I had this app back then!  It is an extremely easy to use and informative app that really provides a solid reference with perfect visuals for all the major muscles and their functions.

Learn Muscles: Anatomy Quiz and Reference

A great reference, testing and education tool.  Includes 141 beautiful muscle images with name, action, origin, insertion and comments, plus audio pronunciation guide, a quiz maker, an action viewer and 6 short videos to create a rich learning experience.

Muscle Images:  Major muscles, both deep and superficial with all important information and comments, plus the ability to add your own notes.

Audio:  Pronunciation guide for each muscle.

Quiz Maker:  Create your own multiple choice quiz on the name, action, origin, or insertion.  Focus on the leg, arm, torso, or head.  480 total questions.  If you get it wrong, the app shows the correct muscle image and speaks the name.

Action Viewer:  37 joint action animations with the muscles that do the action, plus comments on the mechanics of each joint.

Videos:  6 embedded videos explaining the function of the hip, shoulder, back and face muscles, as well as fascia and the nervous system (20 minutes total)

Expand the app with .99 in-app purchase (which I did) that adds seven 3D models that you control, with the ability to move down through the layers as you spin the models.

This is a robust application that is a great teaching and learning tool for students, educators and healthcare practitioners wanting to study or teach the muscular system.  The iTunes Store price is currently $2.99 (plus the .99 optional 3D model pack).

It's Go Time!

I'm like a big kid.  Not because I like my toys (which I do) but because Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate and prepare for.  I had the yard all done and ready to go and then we get this Frankenstorm named Sandy that has to crash the party and ruin everything!  No major damage here, but it certainly took all the fun out of the trick-or-treating and the decor L.  Still, we were lucky... my thoughts and prayers go out to all those thousands of people that lost so much.

Having said that, we still have a bucket of candy here if anybody wants some!  My daughter loves dressing up and trick-or-treating and usually comes home with quite a stash.  However, the funny thing is that we still have Halloween candy left over from last year!  We might have a piece or 2 once in a while, but I can honestly say that we don't over indulge in a candy binge.  It's just not worth it... well, sometimes it is J

Keep in mind all... we just started the dangerous time of the year... the eating/drinking holiday trifecta that is Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas... 4 of them if you count New Years Eve!  It's ok to cheat a little here and there, but try to limit it to family gatherings and special events.  Don't start (or continue) any bad habits that you'll regret come June!

For prior issues of this eNewsletter, to subscribe, or unsubscribe, please visit the following link -->

Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"It's always too early to quit."
- Norman Vincent Peale

youtube of the month --> Road Bike Party
Who would have thought that a video about a guy on a road bike would be so AMAZING?! | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware