|Projects Publications Resume Links Contact About Youtube Donate||
Upping my home gym options during the pandemic proved to be a bit of a challenge, but patience ultimately paid off. For years, my pre-pandemic solution was a pair of trail running shoes and a pull-up bar. Combined with bodyweight exercies, that is a very cost effective combination. But exercising during the pandemic quickly showed that more variety makes home workouts significantly more fun. I added a set of adjustable gymnastic rings to compliment my pull-up bar, which provided excellent bang for the buck.
I eventually wanted to add more variety and strength, but my space was extremely limited. That led me to look into kettlebells and dumbbells. After a very long search, I opted for Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells. They aren't the fastest-adjusting dumbbells on the market, but I think they are the most natural, the most versatile, and the most bomb proof. I like the all-metal construction and the upgradabilty.
Of the adjustable kettlebell options I found, the Ironmaster kettlebell handle was clearly the best option for me. It shares weight plates with the dumbbells. It is very compact when loaded up, much like a conventional kettlebell.
I managed to get lucky in the pandemic purchase lottery, so I purchased the 75 pound set with the stand. Quality. I tried a few different orientations for the stand in order to get the most efficient adjustments. Positioning with the dumbbells and stand perpendicular to the wall proved somewhat annoying. Leaning forward and out isn't the easiest way to handle heavy dumbbells. And trying to use the rear Quick-Lock into a blind hole up against the wall didn't make much sense.
I much prefer the stand and dumbbells oriented parallel to the wall. This requires picking up heavy dumbbells one at a time, but changing plates is significantly easier and faster. This orientation allows me to kneel and manipulate both sides of the dumbbells at the same time. But there is still a question of what to do with the Quick-Lock screws. Setting the screws down on the top surface may work for lighter weights, but surface area quickly decreases as weight increases. You can set the screws on the middle shelf, but access is tight and it is cumbersome with the longer screws. This is especially true when trying to do both sides at the same time.
3D printer to the rescue. I designed a small bracket that slides onto the top lip pretty securely. I designed this to be a tight fit on my unit, so YMMV. Here are the OpenSCAD source file and the corresponding STL file. I also glued on a little shim/wedge to perfectly take up the truss slop (SCAD, STL), since the bent sheet metal isn't perfectly square or uniform. A pair of these brackets makes storing the screws very quick and easy. The brackets also allow the middle shelf to be used for plates. If you prefer perpendicular dumbbell and stand orientation, you could easily move one of the brackets to the other side of the top.
3D printer to the rescue again. I designed a small block to prop up the kettlebell handle. This keeps the plate mating face at 90 degrees to the stand top, just like the dumbbells. This makes it easier to change kettlebell weights. Here are the OpenSCAD source file and the corresponding STL file.