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Suspension Training — DIY Suspension System

Written by shapeshifter

Suspension training is all the rage these days. But whether you’re using a TRX, portable gym rings, rope, or some variation of a pull up bar, getting started will set you back quite a few dollars just getting your rig set up — until now.

We propose a portable, improvised system of suspension training that you can assemble for less than ten bucks. We actually filmed ourselves buying the pieces of this improvised system at a dollar store in St Augustine, Florida, so you can see exactly how we found it and what it cost. All you need is a few cheap dog leashes and some plastic zip ties and you’re good to go.

But why do we think suspension training is so worthwhile? It’s got a unique ability to bust through plateaus and ramp up strength gains thanks to instability training.

Try moving from floor-based presses to rings, ropes or leashes and you’ll immediately see what we mean. A high level of skill with movements on a stable surface quickly fades away when you first attempt them on some kind of suspension training apparatus. Unleashed exploits this benefit of “instability training” to reap incredible gains in strength.

The instability of the leashes forces you to focus on achieving stability before you can perform any movement.  Focused concentration engages the nervous system throughout every second of the exercise, and THAT is what builds strength quickly. Suspension training taps into this like no other tool.

It also allows us to add a full complement of pulling movements to our Anywhere, Anytime training focus!

Here’s the video of us assembling this cheap and versatile DIY suspension gear. Get ready to “unleash” your full training potential…!

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30 Comments

  • Hi,

    I bought the Tacfit Rope-program during the launch a few weeks back, and read some comments about setting up the rope and that it would take time to alter the length of it between exercises.

    Would you say that this may be a better solution compared to a regular rope, or does the rope have other benefits, such as allowing for something wider to grip on to etc?

    With kind regards,

    /Per

    • Hi Per,
      Rope has some advantages. There are exercises you can do with it that you can’t do with the leashes. But the leashes are definitely easier to adjust and cheaper. You could adapt the TACFIT ROPE program to work with the leash system though.
      Cheers,
      Adam

    • Actually, you don’t… 🙂

      You can even tie a knot in your top leash and secure it using a solid door. Just put the knot on the other side of the door and close it towards you. Make sure the knot is big enough that it won’t slip through.

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Buddy, that looks awesome! How often do you train your core like that? Also, How many days a week will you work out? I’m always concerned about overtraining and then undertraining. Thanks.

    • Hi Shaun,

      I train pretty much every day at varying intensity levels. It’s actually pretty hard to overtrain. You really have to work at it… 🙂

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Very innovative! I noticed that the ‘clips’ you added to the handles of the long leashes didn’t provide for anything – they may even get in the way of the grip and rub the hand when doing pulls or pushes. Could you explain the purpose of the clips on the handles.

    Thanks. Awesome guys!

    • Yeah, we do use it. It allows you to loop that part of the system on itself so that you can shorten up your rig as much as possible. It’s great for modified pull-ups and even assistance on things like pistol squats.

      Just take the leash off the top adjustment strap, throw it over your anchor and attach the clip right onto the loop you put on your handle. Alternatively, you can use climbing clip which allows you to take it off when you aren’t using it.

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • I fastened ropes to my unfinished basement ceiling. I drilled a hole in a ceiling joist and put a short rope, tied into a loop through the holet. I then put another rope through the loop, so both ends of the rope hang down from the other rope. I tied loop-type knots every 8 inches, so I can choose the height by the loops I grab. One problem is that it’s hard hanging from rope loops, so I’m looking at some other kind of handle to attach to the loops.

      • Thanks. I can continue to just hold the ropes, but I am looking for some improvement. I was thinking of checking the local hardware store. Maybe some metal rings, something like gymnast’s rings would be good. An d a hook to attach it. I was also thinking of making something like you’re talking about by cutting a short piece of metal or PVC plastic pipe and cutting a slit down the side.

  • HI, Is there a text that I can read, as opposed to downloading adobe flash. I read their terms and agreements. Paragraph 7 refers to third parties being able to use my video cameera and microphone without asking. When I tried to opt out, via their Global Security option, it wouldn’t take. Thanks, Dave

  • Hey — loved the video– It looks simple, affordable, and usable — but I’m new to all of this exercise routine…. how would I actually use the set up in various kinds of exercise. Will you be have any more videos with exercise routines actually using the ropes?

    • Our current monthly program in Bodyweight Coach Inside Access is based on suspension training. We’ll see if we can film and put up a couple exercises on the blog in the next couple weeks if there’s enough interest.

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Hi guys. How much weight can you put on that thing? Your video does’t really show you putting a lot of weight and stress on the system. Just asking as I’m quite a heavy guy and I don’t want injuries. But thanks so much for the video. Probably will save me a lot of money.

    • Hi Andee,

      If you’re really heavy, I’d recommend using metal climbing clips instead of the tie wraps. The wraps are pretty strong (especially three of them together like we use here), but the metal clips would be even stronger and make it even easier to do adjustments to the gear.

      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Great idea and video presentation. Thanks for sharing. What you’ve done is sparked even more cost saving ideas to implement into my training programs.

    I’m assuming the rings you speak of can be purchased at a Home Depot etc. I’m still not 100% visualizing the description of the rings that you allude to. I have a couple of heavy clients and I’m 6’4″/250 so support is a pointed out previously. Is there a name for the metal rings/hooks you speak of?

    Thanks

    Tony

  • Carabiners – used for climbing. D-ring or oval shaped, with a “gate” that opens to you clip onto them. You can get cheaper, non-weight bearing ones at hardware/Home Depot-type stores now.

  • I read somewhere that you can get “doggie rings” at the pet store or WalMart that are really strong (they’re for wrestling with your dog) and supposedly they make great gymnast rings and only cost a few bucks. I ended up making a suspension set-up out of tie-down webbing looped over a beam in my bathroom, and I used old rubber parts we had lying around from a parted-out Solaflex for handles. Just looped the webbing through the side holes and knotted it, and made foot-loops that hang off it for when I need them. The rubber Solaflex parts are slotted so they make great handles. They flex open a bit but I’m assuming they’re pretty strong as they’re meant to be stretched against resistance. I love the set-up, it brought on a whole new kind of muscle soreness, so it must be doing something, right? To shorten up the leashes I just toss them over the beam one more round in opposite directions and voila! Haven’t used it outside yet but I should take it out in the yard and see what I can loop it over or around. Hmmmm….tree? Clothesline pole? Fencepost?

  • Oh man, are they stable? How much can the thin dog leashes hold? I’m still trying to find lashing straps here in Singapore but I just can’t find any…

    • The ones we picked up are super strong. The rig itself is as stable as any other suspension training setup (which is of course an “unstable surface” by nature). Give it a try… 🙂

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