The following article is not going to discuss the proven benefits of training with a thick barbell or dumbbell handle. The benefits have been shown to conclusively increase strength as well as grip strength. In this article we will be discussing exactly how to make a barbell thicker without buying a new barbell. We will briefly discuss how to make dumbbell handles thicker as well.
If you have one of those old 7 foot Olympic bars you can simply wrap a heavy tape going all the way around the barbell, youíre then going to need to slide another 5-foot heavy steel pipe over the 7-foot Olympic barbell. Make sure that you leave room for plates on each of the rotating sleeves. Itís important to note that once this conversion has been done it will be permanent.
If you have access to a welding torch, there are other options where you could purchase several different sizes of a steel pipe and then weld them together. It might sound far too permanent a fitting but if you are serious about increasing your strength and your power that you can generate, then you will know that itís the only way to get the strength gains as quickly as possible.
The second option is to take a 1-1/2" x 6 foot galvanized pipe with an OD of 1 7/8"; a typical Olympic barbell center hole is 1-15/16". This leaves you a clearance of 5/16", which is acceptable because it will allow the Olympic weights on the bar to spin when doing a curling movement or a snatch, the same as a rotating end of any standard Olympic bar.
Itís a good idea to also add hockey stick tape which will increase the overall thickness of your pipe by another 2". If you purchase a 6 foot galvanized pipe to sleeve onto an old 7-foot Olympic barbell on Craigslist, you should cut the 6-foot pipe down so that it can fit between both rotating ends of your old Olympic barbell. A simple piece of 1-inch foam will keep your galvanized pipe from shifting around the Olympic bar.
If you do decide to sleeve any Olympic bar, you'll be able to get the increased benefit of rotating ends. This will be able to put a lot less pressure on your wrists when doing a movement like power cleans or snatches. It will also help a lot when doing a simple curling movement.
The same thing can be done using dumbbells using simple PVC tape to make fat bar dumbbells. Cut your PVC 4-3/4" long and measure the distance of the rotating ends of the Olympic dumbbell handles. You then need to cut the PVC tape about 1/8" less than this measurement, which will allow the weighted ends of the dumbbells to rotate after the thick handle has been installed.
For more great build your own exercise equipment ideas checkout Fast & Easy Home Gym Plans
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