Logo 1 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2

TUMBLEWEED HANDYMAN CORNER

 
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...EXERCISE & FITNESS
(click image to enlarge)

 
Morning exercise

 

 

     This is my morning exercise room. I know it looks like a bed, but you have to exercise your imagination as well as your muscles.
    I use the five pound weights to do body twists and butterflys while laying on the bed (I can get on the floor, but getting off it is more exercise than I want at my age). Then, still holding the weights over my head I do a hundred stomach crunches (not full sit-ups, my hernia won't allow that, not to speak of my back).
    The Thighmaster I bought at a thrift store brand new for two bucks. I do 80 pect squeezes with it (squeezing the Thighmaster in front of my chest).
    The springs I've been using for well over 40 years now and they're still going strong, stronger than I am. I have another heavier set that I rarely use, which again I think cost two dollars. With them I exercise the biceps (curls), triceps (behind my head), and shoulders. They make for a nice little workout all their own.
    I planned on doing some running in place exercises, but the squirrels living under the trailer registered a formal complaint.
   

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My gym

 

 
    A panoramic view of my gymnasium. Impressive, is it not? I was concerned that Gold's Gym might be concerned that I was going to go into competition with them. They said they weren't worried as long as I didn't advertise too heavily. So don't tell anyone about my gym. I don't want to have to tangle with any of those big body builders. I might have to hurt one of them.

    My shed has a four foot overhang over a four foot porch. That's quite a bit of luxury for a simple storage shed. It rains a lot where I live, and some of me sticks out into the rain when it comes down heavy. I had a garden type canopy that I never used. I set it up as you see here and covered it with a tarp. I had to reinforce the cover with lots of pipe and lathe strips because the rain would cause the tarp to droop. Once we had heavy snow, 6 inches in fact. That ruined a lot my my plants, brought down trees, and caused my tarp to drop until it leaks. But it stood up to all that weight. I thought I would have a mess that next morning. I did, but not in my gym.

 


Exercycle

 


 
   When the weather is to bad to ride I use this exercycle I bought at a yard sale for 10 dollars. The seat was far too low and couldn't adjust any higher than my knees. I found a piece of 1 inch lead pipe and it adapted perfectly to the machine.
    The handlebars work independent of the peddles. I like this for several reasons. For one, in the evening when I do my serious exercises I do about 5 minutes of rowing standing in front of the handlebars, pushing against the shock absorber it uses for resistance. This gives my pects a workout without using weights in a supine position.

 

 


Handlebars

 


    This is my Universal gym. I have an appointment with the owner of Gold's gym where he's going to check out my design. I hope he doesn't steal my idea.

    The bike handlebars I'm using here are perfect for the job. I hold on to the grips when I do the lat pull-downs so my arms are more widespread. I do about 20 or so of them. I used a "U" bolt for a connection, then I taped a piece of foam over the bolts that stuck through the bars. This prevents the bolts from hitting my head. The hook toward the top of the picture is where I connect the bars to do the pull-downs, then I go to my knees to give the distance required.

    The way it's hooked up in this picture is the setup I use for working on the triceps. I just push down on the bar for about 15 reps. A straight bar is hard, if not fatal to my bad wrist, so the contour of the bar is perfect for giving me a natural grip.

    Against the wall you can see where I fastened a good size board into which I connected a pulley. I used swivels at the connection because the weights, which you'll see later, tend to make the rope twist and do mean things to my setup. The swivels prevent this from happening.

    Above the can of paint is a hook. When I'm not using the bars I hook the rope in this hook to keep it from flopping around and bumping into me and other delicate things.

 


Pully

 

 

  

    A closer look at the pulley and swivel.

 


Pully 2

 

 

    And another still. Ignore the paint can, it has nothing to do with the gym.

 


Top pully

 


    The top pulley.

    I was more cautious with this pulley since it would be handling a lot of weight, and if it was to come loose it could cause me much pain and grief. I bolted two hooks they use on truck beds for tie-downs, this way keeping the hook close to the rafter and having less leverage with which to bend the bolt. I then tied the pulley to the hook so it wouldn't come loose if it received a sudden moment of slack.

    Poor doesn't have to be synonymous with stupid or careless. I can't afford doctor bills.

    You may wonder what a pen is doing tied to this rope. When I connected the rope I found it was too long. I first tied the rope in knots to take up the slack, but that didn't suffice. So I used this pen to take up even more slack. Also, I knew if I was to make the rope too short by accident, the chances of unknotting the rope was slim once it had received force. By using the pen, if I had to remove some knots, all I had to do was pull out the pen and the knot would automatically have slack.

    I have two pulleys hanging from the rafter, one on each side. The second pulley was designed for another rope, connected to the handlebars through a pulley I fastened to the floor. This I used for doing curls. The two ropes caused problems because they would wind around one another, causing lots of problems. Besides, working with that much weight was causing me problems with my hernia and my back. Now I just use single weights, doing one arm at a time.

 


Weights

 

    The weights.
    In order to make this assembly functional and alterable, I used eye bolts that I ran through a turnbuckle with a large disk like a washer on the bottom that lifts the weights. I wanted as little sticking past weights on the bottom as possible for obvious reasons.
    Under the weights I lay a piece of foam insulation. This gives a place for the weights to rest, and it's much quieter when the weights strike the floor. I'm sure the neighbors appreciate that.
    On the wall behind the weights you can see where the weights have scrapped when they swing when lifted. Actually the weights lift rather straight, but occasionally they will take to dancing a little.
    Between the weights and the dumbbells you can see that the pulley I installed is still there, just not functioning.



 


Bike

 

    This of course is my main form of transportation and exercise. This is the same bike as in the picture introducing this section. I removed the yellow paint and sprayed it blue, my favorite color. I used 6 coats of paint and 6 coats of clear lacquer. It came out very well if I do say so myself. I don't ride this bike very much because it's grown past my ability to mount it properly. As you can see the seat is low, not low for me, but for the bike. When I bought the bike I was an inch and a half taller, meaning my legs were longer and I could straddle the top bar. But times change, but the bike didn't. I don't expect to have any kids in the future, being 73 now (how old was Abraham?). But the idea of coming down hard on the top of that crossbar is enough to give me second thoughts about riding that bike.
    For you bike buffs, this is a 1961 Schwinn Paramount with touring angles. It's served me well and I've got a lot of heavy duty miles on it, and it's still as good as new.



 

New bike

 
    This is the bike I use now. It's my fair-weather bike, meaning I have another more substantial bike, much like it with fatter tires and the like, that I ride in foul weather. Love this bike. I guess it's the junior model because it fits me perfectly. It's designed for urban riding, college kids and working stiffs. I'm neither of these, but I guess the bike doesn't realize this and gives me good service anyway.




 
 

 


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