Access to workout equipment has become an ongoing first world problem during the pandemic, with gyms closing down and online orders backed up for months. In a recent video, YouTube’s bodybuilding brothers Brandon and Hudson White, aka the Buff Dudes, responded to the shortage by simply making their own 65-pound dumbbells, using materials that cost no more than $25 (£19).
The day-long build only required two 27kg sacks of concrete, a few boards of 3/4 inch plywood, and a steel pipe for the handle. “This is a true DIY junkyard project,” said Brandon. “I mean, we’re pretty much finding anything that’s around and utilising it, which makes it cool but also not the prettiest.”
With a little help from their dad, Duke, who earlier this year made videos of his own showcasing how he constructed his own weight plates and half rack during the pandemic, the brothers designed their “Buff Blox.”
They were inspired by some steel “centre mass bells” they saw while on a trip to Mr. Olympia, which were spherical in shape and had a bar on the inside which worked as a handle. “We were thinking, how awesome would it be if we could make them out of concrete,” said Brandon. They end up opting for a cube shape instead of a sphere to make them slightly more straightforward to make.
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They started out by making a plywood cube mould, and then a smaller mould for the inner compartment, making space for where the hand will fit. After that, Duke secured the two boxes together using the 8-inch steel pipe. Then they filled the outer section of the mould with mixed concrete, levelled it, and left it to cure overnight.
16 hours later, it was a simple case of breaking away the outer wooden mould, and getting their pump on.
“The 10-inch boxes we made weighed in at about 65 pounds,” said Hudson. “That’s pretty damn heavy, so of course if you wanted smaller Buff Blox, you could always make an 8-inch box or even a 6-inch box, and then the great thing about that is you’ve got all kinds of varying weights for anything that you want to do.”
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