DIY Suspension Trainer | DIY Project

DIY_supension_trainerI thought it might be nice of me to offer some of the projects I make for other people to follow. Not everything I do is CNC related. That explains this first project, which is a DIY Suspension trainer. This is a type of exercise equipment, popularized by the company TRX. The basic concept is nylon webbing sewn together, which are used to do various bodyweight exercises. Now, I will say, the name-brand version of this is probably better made, but they are pricey. And I am cheap. So I decided to make my own. I should point out that this is not a thoroughly tested design. It is a design I came up with browsing other designs on the interwebs. I can’t say if it will hold you, I don’t claim it is safe, and I don’t recommend you do this at home. This is just a blurb about what I did, for me.

For materials, I got a pair of tie down straps, a ratchet strap, and two pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe (nipples), 6-inches long. Total cost, $14.26 at Home Depot. pipes straps_1 tie_down_strap

Step one: I took the tie down straps, and made a loop about long enough so the buckles would be past my arms (behind me) while doing push-up type motions. I cut the excess off, and used a butane lighter to fuse the ends where I cut the straps.  I fed the material through my pipe nipples, then pinned it together. I used my 1968 thrift store Singer sewing machine ($11.25, I kid you not) to sew a series of wide stitches, one about every inch and a half. I had seen other guides suggest just tying the  straps, but that lowers their load capacity.

Step two: I took the excess material, looped it through the PVC pipe handles, and sewed that several times. These form the foot loops. The final step, I just took the long strap part of the ratchet strap, snipped off the hook, and fed it into the buckles of the tie downs. I could have just gotten plain webbing at a fabric or camping store, but that would have been another trip. This part will be looped over a tree or whatever I can hang it from. I have an idea about making a shorter, knob on a strap thing that could be wedged into a door, but I haven’t done that yet.

And that’s it. Not too complicated, which is the whole idea behind this kind of trainer. It’s simple, portable, no muss no fuss.




The headline of this article is that China’s development of a possible stealth fighter (and an anti-carrier cruise missile) has caught the US off guard. I really don’t see why: the US has not put enough emphasis on engineering education and manufacturing in some time. Instead, we have allowed manufacturing jobs to dwindle and go overseas.
Economists, many of them anyway, say this is good for the US consumer, because it results in lower prices for goods. That may be true in some regards, but it also leaves us lacking in technical prowess. This country didn’t rise to prominence based on military might, at least not solely; it rose to prominence on technical innovation. We built the best stuff, simply put. But if we let our manufacturing continue to disappear, there won’t be any people left to design the best stuff. People who don’t know how to do anything hands on don’t design products; engineering takes knowing how things work, and you really only learn that, REALLY learn that, by doing.
I am not an unabashed military technology junkie, or might is right kind of guy; I’m just a realist. The wars of the future will continue to involve more and more military technology. As drones, robots, computers and the like take center stage, the country best likely to win is the one with not just the best soldiers, but the one with the best engineers. Right now, over 85% of the world’s engineers live in Asia.
This is not an article to bash China. China has every right to develop weapons to protect their interests, just as the US does. They have every right to develop their economy as they see fit, and in the most profitable way. We need to get our heads out of the sand and get back on the work that made America great, before we are just another page in the book of fallen empires. That’s just my view from the machine shop!