DIY Barbell Weights

DIY Barbell Weights

This is a tutorial on how to build weights for at-home exercise. All project materials will be available in stores that are open during the stay-at-home order, such as Lowes or Home Depot.


With so many facilities being closed and closures of campuses, students are more likely now than ever before to become sedentary. As a result, remaining physically active should be a priority because it not only will keep students healthy but also combat the negative emotions many students will be feeling. The purpose of this project is to inspire creativity and promote different ways to stay active.



  • Concrete mix
  • Water
  • ¾ PVC pipe
  • Container
  • Metal rods or wiring (optional)


1) Cut your bucket to size

This will be the mold for the weight. Decide on a shape that works for you. THIS specific container was used in this tutorial and is a good size for 45lb weights. A good way to cut this is to drill a hole where you want your line, and then carve through with a knife or blade. 

2) Cut your pipe to size 

The bar I am using is a 1.0-inch diameter. Olympic sized bars are 2.0-inches in diameter. If you have access to a 3D Printer, I have molded a sleeve that will fit a 1.0-inch bar you can find here.

3) Set your pipe in the container

Put the bar in the center of the container. We do not want concrete to get in here because this will be the hole that the bar slides into. A good way to prevent concrete from setting inside the form is to pack the pipe with something. I found that cat litter worked well. 



4) Mix your cement

This cement only needs water to mix. Stir your cement and water until you get a thick consistency, or just follow the instructions on your bag. 

5) Add Support (Optional)

Fill your container halfway and add metal rods or metal fencing. This will reinforce the weights and add strength. I found a metal mesh and cut that with tin snips.

6) Fill your mold

Fill your container and let it dry. A trick to smooth the surface is to let the mix harden a bit, and then spin a flat metallic surface over the top to let the water and fine particles surface. I used a metal tin container that had a flat top.

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Angel Navarro
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