Warning to fitness fans of the dangers of using 'homemade' equipment

Monday, 1st June 2020, 6:30 pm
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 6:32 pm

Desperate fitness fans have been warned against buying home-made weights and gym equipment during the lockdown.

With gyms closed many have been forced to work out from home but experts from TheMoneyPig.com have warned that home made concrete weights and wooden benches for sale online could lead to serious injuries.

Many fitness fans have been sharing hacks on social media about how to make their own home gym set up including benches and weights.

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The market in second hand gym apparatus has gone through the roof with even high priced equipment quickly being snapped up.

Google trends data shows there has been a huge spike in recent weeks for people looking for gym equipment to maintain their fitness programmes during lockdown.

Some gym enthusiasts have been making their own weights bench, dumbbells and barbells from wood, metal or other heavy substances.

Others have been sharing tips on how to make weights from concrete left to set and dry in plastic buckets.

Some people have started offering concrete weights for sale online along with items such as dumbbells made from car brake disks.

But experts from TheMoneyPig.com have warned that while professional gym equipment is subject to rigorous safety tests, home-made gear could easily fail under pressure.

With many seasoned gym goers lifting 100kg and above, it is feared that serious accidents could happen when DIY weights are lifted above the head.

Home-made benches fashioned from wood have to bear the weight of the lifter in addition to the heavy weights being lifted and could also easily collapse if not carefully constructed with safety in mind.

A spokesman from TheMoneyPig.com said he had seen examples on social media of people selling weights cobbled together from car disc brakes and other parts.

He said: “With fitness equipment hard to come by and prices sky high it can be tempting to save money by buying home made weights.

“But we question how safe some of the equipment currently for sale on platforms such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace really are.

“Heavy dumbbells and barbells made with concrete filled buckets present an obvious danger to those using them.

“A lot of people out there are very desperate to maintain their fitness programmes.

“Some may have spent years building their strength and fitness so it’s entirely understandable that they want to hang on to their gains.

“But they need to be aware that making their own gym equipment, particularly heavy weights, is fraught with danger.

“They cannot be sure that a home-made handle won’t suddenly snap when a weight is above their head.

“But if a dumbbell weighting, say, 20 kilograms were to fall on their skull it could cause very serious injury or even death.

“We have also seen people sharing instructions on how to build their own wooden weight bench and rack.

“Again this could be a money saving option at the moment but we are concerned that unless it is put together by a skilled joiner, then it could easily be unsound.

“Such an item may be asked to bear weights up to 200 kilograms or even more and a simple loose screw could result in disaster.

“Therefore we are urging caution and just asking everyone to be extra careful when buying or making their own gym equipment.”

And there was an added warning that parents should ensure their teenagers are also using safe equipment to work out at home.

The spokesman continued: “It’s not just serious gym goers who are using DIY equipment.

“We are also concerned that weights made from car disc brakes and other improvised materials are being sold to young people online.”

He urged exercisers to avoid home-made equipment altogether and instead use body weight exercises and simple materials such as resistance bands until the online fitness stores were able to offer professional stock.

He said: “We do understand that many people are desperate for exercise but we worry that weights fashioned from concrete and recycled car disc brakes present an accident waiting to happen.

“It’s always better to find other ways to exercise which won’t risk serious injury or worse.”