I’ve seen wooden gyms before. I’ve even seen gym equipment repurposed into ATV wheels. But this is the first time I’ve seen a gym made completely from nothing but junk.

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It’s been done countless times by many different people, but Hudson, Brandon, and Duke White of B.U.F.F. Dudes (Better Understanding of Food and Fitness) are three of the few who actually get into the creation process of their scrap-made gym.

The “gym” they created is a basic setup consisting of two weighted barbells, a couple of dumbbells, a squat rack, and a gym bench. It isn’t much, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in simplicity and character.

So what junk makes up each of those pieces of gym equipment?


junk gym

The base of this heavy piece of gym equipment is made by fitting a rusted metal bar with metal plates. The inner plates serve as collars that stop the “weights” from moving when you’re pumping iron, which is a very important thing to have when the stuff you’re lifting doesn’t exactly follow safety regulations.

junk gym

Four giant tractor wheels serve as weighted plates, with two wheels on each side of the first barbell. Once the wheels are in place, Duke White adds the outer plates, which are just custom pieces of plywood fitted with bolts that go through the lug holes of the wheels. Just to make the entire thing more secure, he welds all the pieces in place.

They make a second barbell as well, only this time with one wheel on both sides of the metal bar.


junk gym

The smaller brother of the barbell, these dumbbells, are made by affixing some old brake rotors to short metal bars. Similar to how he connected the “weights” of the barbell, Duke uses custom plywood pieces to keep the brake rotors in place while adding bolts through the wheel hubs. Using some square metal pieces affixed to each side of the brake rotors, he welds everything into place, as well.

Squat Rack

junk gym

While you aren’t meant to lift it, the squat rack is an important piece of gym equipment as it provides you with extra support when lifting a barbell. This particular squat rack is made by welding what looks like an old roll cage with multiple pieces of cut pipe.

junk gym

To get the squat rack to support the barbells, Duke welds some flat bars which serve as risers that keep the barbell from rolling off.

junk gym

With two barbells, two dumbbells, and a squat rack completed, the trio can start pumping iron! As Brandon mentions, you have to be crazy to lift any of this stuff without any gloves on, as the scrap is so old and rusted you could get tetanus just by looking at it.

It’s a wonder the rusted metal can even hold the weight of four tractor tires without breaking into pieces. But thanks to Duke’s DIY know-how, it looks like all the equipment is holding for the moment.

junk gym

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more dangerous, they actually repurpose an old car seat as a workout bench and proceed to bench press the two-wheeled barbell. Even with the car seat belt on, you can see how this is just an accident waiting to happen since there is virtually no back support whatsoever.

Still, the setup works! If you have a death wish and don’t have the money for a gym subscription or proper equipment, you could try your hand at making this DIY junk gym. Otherwise, just stick to lifting real weights.

The B.U.F.F. Dudes are all about fitness and finding new and interesting ways to stay healthy. You can check out their webpage for their routines, blogs, and merch, or you can visit their YouTube channel where they get weird with all things fitness-related.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.