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  1. #1
    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    Homemade Leg Press/Squat Machine

    Hi I started on a car forums, but realized that I should come to the correct forum if I wanted some advice on weight training.

    I train at home with free weights. My bench has an upper and lower pulley so I find that I can do most muscles groups quite well.......except legs.

    I don't have the courage to take my squats to failure, and my leg extension works but doesn't quite cut it.

    Anyways, the other day I asked if anyone had plans for a incline leg press machine? pretty tall request, right? Well, all I got was a dozen people telling me not to do it, that it was too dangerous, too complicated, too expensive...."don't waste your time"

    Hmmm.....is that what society has come to? are we too stupid to make our own equipment? are we fools with lots of money to spend on expensive equipment because we don't want to find a cheaper solution?

    Sorry, guys. The other day on the car forum someone was complaining about $6500 worth of repairs to his 5 year old car....I'm just have to draw a comparison here. I've never spent $6500 on repairs since I started driving 25 years ago. Obviously, there are too many people that pay $1200 for a brake job instead of doing it themselves for $60.

    sorry about the rant....back to the topic at hand.

    Is there anyone out there that has plans from a homemade leg press machine?
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  2. #2
    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    If I could find plans for something like this, I would borrow my dad's mig welder and go to it.
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    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    it looks a bit complicated, but I like that it uses steel plates instead of a cable to my lower pulley
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    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    quote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gErr0Yz4tFs

    this guy as an interesting way to build a leg press machine.

    this video is worth watching, he's using maybe 400lbs but he's doing so damn honest reps with it. I've seen jack#sses lift 2000 lbs but barely bend their knees.

    this guy is for real.
    Last edited by tyler883; 02-01-2009 at 09:50 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    The wooden gym of carlos de jesus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcwWoBcAxME

    very impressive, but you'll note that there isn't a leg press machine in there
    Last edited by tyler883; 02-01-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    Hi I started on a car forums, but realized that I should come to the correct forum if I wanted some advice on weight training.

    I train at home with free weights. My bench has an upper and lower pulley so I find that I can do most muscles groups quite well.......except legs.

    I don't have the courage to take my squats to failure, and my leg extension works but doesn't quite cut it.

    Anyways, the other day I asked if anyone had plans for a incline leg press machine? pretty tall request, right? Well, all I got was a dozen people telling me not to do it, that it was too dangerous, too complicated, too expensive...."don't waste your time"

    Hmmm.....is that what society has come to? are we too stupid to make our own equipment? are we fools with lots of money to spend on expensive equipment because we don't want to find a cheaper solution?

    Sorry, guys. The other day on the car forum someone was complaining about $6500 worth of repairs to his 5 year old car....I'm just have to draw a comparison here. I've never spent $6500 on repairs since I started driving 25 years ago. Obviously, there are too many people that pay $1200 for a brake job instead of doing it themselves for $60.

    sorry about the rant....back to the topic at hand.

    Is there anyone out there that has plans from a homemade leg press machine?

    5 posts to start your own thread? Seriously?

    Look there are some guys on here that do build their own stuff. I have seen some really cool stuff from Turboboy (probably better than retail stuff), tetsu designs his own stuff....but has someone else build it, and currently Animalfan is stripping down an old commercial pecdec to fab a belt squat machine. So it isn't unheard of.

    But there is a bit of a flaw in some of your plan. A leg press is going to have to have moving parts that glide against each other, unless you're building a leverage machine. This is going to require some sort of bushing or bearing and the more complicated the design gets, the more difficult its going to be to get and maintain the mechanism.

    Then you have the stability, comfort, and strength issue. I'm sure you know that this type of machine is going to be used with a lot of weight. Its really important that it be able to withstand that weight over time. Plus, when I'm using a machine, I want it to be as stable (no movement) as possible. This helps me have confidence in the machine and my safety. Finally, for obvious reasons, it needs to be comfortable.

    Now, I'm not trying to bash your dream. I think it would be cool if you came up with a homebrew leg press. I just think its going to be a bit more difficult than you think to come up with a useful and practical design. And it will be more expensive, which doesn't make it a loser either, because it would be cool to say you did it from scratch. I just think there's a reason a lot of people don't make their own.

    And to your analogy of car repair. Well, I don't do big repairs on my vehicle because I don't have any experience with motors....just isn't my thing. I'd screw something up and cause more hassles and cost for myself so I sub out that work to people I trust. I would never pay $1200 for a brake job either!

    Now home improvement....that's where I like to learn new stuff and save money. I'll tear anything up on my house.....seems to make more sense me!

    Anyway, I don't think its all bad to have other people do what you cannot. And with some of this equipment you can see why its not such a good idea to reinvent the wheel.

    Good luck with your project though. Have you thought about a vertical press? Seems like the design would be easier and have less reliance on gliding.....just gravity.
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  7. #7
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    You were origionally tjinging of something like this?

    http://newyorkbarbells.tv/91663.html

    It is a very complicated machine. It has to support a ton of weight and allow that weight to slide smoothly on rails, or in a channel.

    A vertical on would be simpler.

    http://newyorkbarbells.tv/92066.html

    Personally if you don't already own one building a power rack would be the simplest of all. If even then you don't have the courage to go to muscle failure, then don't go one rep shy. You really won't be losing much in your training, no matter what the internet gurus say.
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  8. #8
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    Unless you are a welder and have access to cheap materials...it's a dumb idea to try to build your own leg press. You can get a good used one for $400-600.
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  9. #9
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    This link isn't working..can you post the proper link ?

    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    quote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gErr...feature=channel

    this guy as an interesting way to build a leg press machine.

    this video is worth watching, he's using maybe 400lbs but he's doing so damn honest reps with it. I've seen jack#sses lift 2000 lbs but barely bend their knees.

    this guy is for real.
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    This link isn't working..can you post the proper link ?

    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    The wooden gym of carlos de jesus.

    http://revver.com/video/1261020/tou...carlos-dejesus/

    very impressive, but you'll note that there isn't a leg press machine in there
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  11. #11
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    Hi I went back and fixed the broken links, but here they are agian. thanks for letting me know.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gErr0Yz4tFs

    the other website is no longer available but I found an alternate source from youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcwWoBcAxME
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  12. #12
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    Thanks guys, I knew that I have come to the right place, the vertical leg press idea has made things extremely simple. And, because safety is just as important to me as it is with you, I have come up with a basic design that does not place the weight precariously above me.

    Here's a basic drawing without the shoulder pads, or foot plate.




    Don't be worrying about the supports that I didn't include for the uprights. In my case, I have a squat rack that I'll be mounting this to. and the rack is already anchored to the floor and ceiling.

    I originally built this design with 4x4 fence posts, so please go ahead and have a good laugh. I have some extra rectangular pipe from a quad trailer that I built last summer. If I stay with steel, the hinge point will wear much better.
    Last edited by tyler883; 02-01-2009 at 10:21 AM.
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    The wooden gym of carlos de jesus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcwWoBcAxME

    very impressive, but you'll note that there isn't a leg press machine in there
    This guy is quite clever!
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  14. #14
    Registered User tyler883's Avatar
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    well, this is just a brainstorming idea of what to build. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Some improvements:
    - I could hang the lever on a cable so it doesn't have to be lowered to the floor between sets. It also makes everything a lot safer.

    - I dont think a single weight stack will be enough, maybe two would be better.

    - for the weights, I was thinking that a 5 gallon bucket of concrete with a metal pipe for addition plates. If I go for 2 buckets, that could be about 200lbs of steel plates that I wont have to buy. ie I'll only buy enough plates to adjust to a specific weight.

    - if I adjust the height of the hinge, this could work as a squat machine or a vertical leg press.
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    well, this is just a brainstorming idea of what to build. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Some improvements:
    - I could hang the lever on a cable so it doesn't have to be lowered to the floor between sets. It also makes everything a lot safer.

    - I dont think a single weight stack will be enough, maybe two would be better.

    - for the weights, I was thinking that a 5 gallon bucket of concrete with a metal pipe for addition plates. If I go for 2 buckets, that could be about 200lbs of steel plates that I wont have to buy. ie I'll only buy enough plates to adjust to a specific weight.

    - if I adjust the height of the hinge, this could work as a squat machine or a vertical leg press.

    I think its going to look great in your gym!

    How about scraps of metal in the buckets from a salvage yard? They could probably give them to you. I'm not not sure how to get the steel for the press for free though.

    Good luck
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    Thanks guys, I knew that I have come to the right place, the vertical leg press idea has made things extremely simple. And, because safety is just as important to me as it is with you, I have come up with a basic design that does not place the weight precariously above me.

    Here's a basic drawing without the shoulder pads, or foot plate.




    Don't be worrying about the supports that I didn't include for the uprights. In my case, I have a squat rack that I'll be mounting this to. and the rack is already anchored to the floor and ceiling.

    I originally built this design with 4x4 fence posts, so please go ahead and have a good laugh. I have some extra rectangular pipe from a quad trailer that I built last summer. If I stay with steel, the hinge point will wear much better.
    this would be the best idea for making your own, i'd think. you could make the hinge point adjustable to use for a leg press or a squat machine. if you've got a squat rack, you could just drill out the ends that are going to be the hinge and use it at different heights in your rack. for the moving parts, i'd stick with steel.

    if you have a squat rack, why are you scared to take your sets near failure? i realize some people train that way, and you train to failure, then i suppose it makes sense, but the safeties on your rack will prevent anything bad from happening.

    if you want to build it to have another exercise to do, i can't argue with that, variety keeps everything interesting. whatever you decide to do, good luck and be safe! post final plans, we can help make sure it'll be the best way to go.
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    one more thing- if you can make something like the guy on the youtube video (450x19) would be great, especially if you can make it detachable from your rack.
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  18. #18
    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post




    This is really nice, you should calculate the leverage let off though so you know what you are lifting.

    Also by using the safety sabers on your power rack the height will be easily adjustable, so with shoulder pads and handles this could double as a hack squat, standing calf and even a leverage shoulder or bp station. I thin there was a site with a similar design, I just can't remember where it was, Ironman mag maybe.


    Interesting how even Carlo the god of wooden weight machines has and requires a metal power rack. I'm surprised.
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    [QUOTE=tyler883;282424001]Hi I went back and fixed the broken links, but here they are agian. thanks for letting me know.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gErr0Yz4tFs

    QUOTE]


    The wood gym is nice but I like the other guy who made the legpress
    and attached it to his rack. Being you have a rack already I would go that route. Something where you can flip it out of the way so you still have access to you rack.


    Thanks for fixing the links..I enjoyed watching them.
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    Originally Posted by animalfan View Post

    if you have a squat rack, why are you scared to take your sets near failure? i realize some people train that way, and you train to failure, then i suppose it makes sense, but the safeties on your rack will prevent anything bad from happening.
    I must have been misleading when I used the word "rack". I had hoped that it would be considered different that using the word "cage". My mistake, I'm sorry, I should have used a few more words, and I would have avoided all this typing.

    Oh well, i gives me an excuse to post a pic of my bench.

    I was think of mounting my uprights just behind the front frame on my bench. If my bench was heavier, I'd just modify the steel that I have, but I think its wiser to add more strength.

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    On second thought you can get a extra safety saber and attached
    2 iron pipes which have a hole at each end so you can slide them on the safety sabers . Then just put collars on each side of the pipes to hold them in place and you have your leverage arms which will glide up and down with no friction.

    In the middle of the leverage pipes attached another pipe (Looking like a H now ) across the pipes . Attached a T coupling to the middle of this pipe and then attached another pipe which will be facing down which you can attached weights too. On top of the H will be the safety sabers which will allow you to move up n down.



    Then at the end of the 2 pipes that are attached to the safety sabers you can attached some kind of plate that you can detach so you can put on some shoulder pad attachment.

    You can do a lot with pipes and couplings and buy them at home depot in all
    sizes.
    Last edited by Bluerain; 02-01-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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    You can see why I mounted the rack to the floor and ceiling. This system works for me, but it wasn't built as strong as I would have built it.
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    Just read your post above me and see you don't have a rack so ignore my post above.
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    Originally Posted by Bluerain View Post
    On second thought you can get a extra safety saber and attached
    2 iron pipes which have a hole at each end so you can slide them on the safety sabers . Then just put collars on each side of the pipes to hold them in place and you have your leverage arms which will glide up and down with no friction.

    In the middle of the leverage pipes attached another pipe (Looking like a H now ) across the pipes . Attached a coupling to the middle of this pipe and then attached another pipe which will be facing down which you can attached weights too. On top of the H will be the safety sabers which will allow you to move up n down.



    Then at the end of the 2 pipes that are attached to the safety sabers you can attached some kind of plate that you can detach so you can put on some shoulder pad attachment.

    You can do a lot with pipes and couplings and buy them at home depot in all
    sizes.
    I really like the idea of making a safety saber out of some pipe and using the saber as my pivot point. Even without bearings, this would spin quite well. But, I might want to use some cooking spray to keep the parts from squeeking ( I use cooking spray instead of grease because it will wash out of my clothes easier if I touch it.)
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    Originally Posted by Bluerain View Post
    Just read your post above me and see you don't have a rack so ignore my post above.
    On the contrary, your knowledge of racks'cages has already outdated my drawings.

    Do you think I could mount angle iron behind my existing frame, and use a saber?
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    Originally Posted by tyler883 View Post
    On the contrary, your knowledge of racks'cages has already outdated my drawings.

    Do you think I could mount angle iron behind my existing frame, and use a saber?
    How about leaving your existing frame alone and just build a mini rack out of iron pipes then add on the leg leverage thingy.


    If not try making a hole on each upright on your existing frame then attached a pipe on each side coming out from behind it . Then attach a pipe across these 2 pipes so now it looks like this |_| Then attach 2 upright pipes to the floor for support....now remember this part of the frame will not move it's just so you can start building the lever arms onto it using more pipes and couplings.
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    Are those existing holes on the top of each upright on this ?

    If yes most likely they are 1 " in diameter and pipes can be found easy in that size at home depot.

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    Like this, Bluerain?



    (I just used paint to scratch out the idea)
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    Originally Posted by Bluerain View Post
    Are those existing holes on the top of each upright on this ?

    If yes most likely they are 1 " in diameter and pipes can be found easy in that size at home depot.

    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, the top pins are moveable and can be placed in the other holes that you noted.

    I also have some spotter bars attached to the front that allow my bench press to touch my chest, but not my neck. It for safety, and it allows me to crawl out from under it when I manage to pin myself to the bench.

    Edit: I've also replaced the bench with a stand alone bench that is more expensive than my original purchase of this system
    Last edited by tyler883; 02-01-2009 at 12:08 PM.
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    Here's an old photo of my system. the only thing that has changed is it was turned 45 degrees into the corner, and then mounted to the ceiling and floor.



    Edit: I reasized the picture so it didn't run off the screen
    Last edited by tyler883; 02-01-2009 at 12:16 PM.
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