The War Machine!

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Rants

Someone has finally ripped off TRX.

Eh, they added a pulley to it.

I noticed this while browsing for some better barbell collars and  those were my first two thoughts. My third was that I could make one of those with a $50 bill and a half hour at an Army surplus store.

The original TRX was a great idea and continues to garner praise from many disciplines of sports and fitness. I think looking at the TRX site is evidence that a solid idea doesn’t need flashy marketing or suspended, rotating fitness models* to sell a product (not that suspended, rotating and attractive women a bad thing in general…). However, War Machine or TRX, $250 bucks is a steep price for what comes down to about the same amount of straps, buckles and cables as you’ll find on my $30 back pack.

I have several projects on the back burner. An Olympic lifting platform for the garage gym that I’ll need when the weather gets nasty and the back porch isn’t an option anymore. A redneck version of adjustable kettelbells. (is there anything 3/4 inch iron pipe can’t do?). Finally putting an end to Matthew McConaughey’s acting career. And a glute-ham raise or hyper-extension bench. But I think I’ll add a redneck suspension trainer to the list. I’ve been eyeballing TRXs with a great deal of envy for a few months now.

Let’s take a gander at The War Machine:

I've got chills!

From the looks of their site and promotional video, you’ve got a TRX, which is basically two straps in a Y configuration, but they use that pulley thing. There’s a pin that locks the pulley in place so that you can use it like a traditional TRX.

So the pulley is easy. They sell those at Home Depot. You could probably get a pulley rated to hold 500 pounds for under $10. Plastic coated cable is cheap and plenty strong and the hardware you need to attach things to the end of it isn’t too bad price wise.  I could have the pulley part knocked together in a couple of minutes. You don’t need the pin because we’ll be making a regular TRX too. I’ll mention here that I think it’s funny that they point out you can attach this thing to a pull up bar and use the pulley to hoist a kettlebell or resistance band up and down. The whole point of the original TRX was that you didn’t need to drag kettlebells and other equipment around with you.

Now you’ve got those handles. Those are going to be the tricky part. I’m thinking mountain bike grips would work for the handles, but they might be too small. The straps you’re going to have to sew.  On both the War Machine and TRX they have a short anchor that you can attach either the pulley or straps to. Then you have the straps themselves (remember we want both functions but we don’t have access to fancy pulleys). That’s a lot of sewing and hardware, but fortunately D-rings and buckles are pretty cheap at my local army surplus. I think the most expensive part will be the webbing.

There’s a few things I’m leaving out, like the door anchor, but i think I can come up with something snazzy in the $50 – 100 range that will hold my weight and then some. I’ll even go so far as to torture test it with 350. It might not be pretty, but it’ll get the job done.

Just don’t ask me to come up with a travel sack for it.


*See the video at the bottom of their page.

  1. […] andrew77 in Posts 0 As I walked through the local Home Despot today, scouting for parts for the Redneck Suspension Trainer and purchasing a new kitchen faucet, I was struck by an idea. Sports like Highland Games, Track and […]

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