Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Kettlebell?

No problem. Make yourself a T-handle. Also known as a “Hungarian Core Blaster,” this piece of equipment will set you back just a few bucks and a trip to Home Depot. Just add weight plates and you have yourself a DIY kettlebell.

Tim Ferriss had this to say about T-handles in “The 4-Hour Body”:
I have 20 kettlebells of various sizes but still prize my T-handle, as it can be disassembled for travel and packed flat at a weight of less than five pounds. In addition to swings, it can be used for deadlifts, two-arm bent rows, curls, reverse curls, and more. For $10, five minutes of shopping, and less than five minutes of assembly, you have an entire gym.
Dave has the full assembly instructions, but here’s the quick-and-dirty:

Go to a hardware store and pick up the following:
  • One 3/4" diameter pipe “T” fitting
  • One 3/4"diameter X 12” long pipe nipple (a pipe threaded at both ends) for the vertical shaft (Note: if you’re short, get a shorter pipe)
  • Two 3/4" X 4” pipe nipples for the handles (Ferriss recommends using electrical or duct tape to cover the outside threads)
  • One 3/4"floor flange
  • Optional: A spring clamp to keep plates from shifting up / dropping down during swings.
Screw the pieces together as shown below.

And don’t be a dummy: Use a pipe wrench and some thread locker to be safe, and don't swing above chest-height. (If you really want to do overhead swings, it's best to get yourself an actual kettlebell, you cheap bastard.)

Also, replace your T-handle every few months. It'll cost you less than a cheap pizza.

(Bonus: You can also put together a D-handle for one-handed swings.)