Ross Enamait

How to Make Your Own Suspension Trainer

(Note: Updates to the construction process can be found on the second half of this post.) Suspension trainers are a fantastic tool to add to your quiver of training options, especially during travel. They'll never replace the barbell for quality strength training, but they can certainly supplement your routine quite well by providing a myriad options for assistance work.

I've mentioned before how I love to pack a set in my bag, be it for travel or for outdoor workouts, as they take up roughly the same amount of luggage space as a pair of socks, and open up a number of exercise possibilities. However, the primary issue that most people have with them is they cost an outrageous amount of money to purchase from the commercial suppliers.

An easy option here is to simply make your own for a fraction of the cost and have it be just as effective. You can see my homemade model below:

Back in 2009, I filmed a quick video on how to make a great suspension trainer in a matter of minutes, and it didn't take long for it to become extremely popular.

It's actually kind of funny, as I had my sister film the video in my parents' backyard during Thanksgiving. My at-the-time girlfriend (now wife), Kelsey, was GA for a weight training course out in California; she was enrolled in a post-graduate Kinesiology program at the time, and a few of the kids in her weight lifting class wanted to know how I made my own set of suspension straps, as I had got together with a couple friends earlier that Fall to figure out how to build our own. So, I haphazardly threw together a video tutorial on how to make one for her students to watch.

With large thanks to Ross Enamait (of, the video quickly went viral as he found my video and posted it on his website. You can see his post HERE, where he discusses his experience using my video to make his own, and some of the tweaks he has personally made to make it even more excellent.

If I knew how often it would be looked at (currently it has over 247,000 views), I probably would have spiced up the video a bit, maybe by wearing a Speedo or something. Who knows. Either way, I'm really glad so many people have been aided by it.

Anyway, I realized I've never shared it here on SAPTstrength, so I thought it may be handy for some of you reading that want one in your equipment stash but don't want to spend the money buying it from a commercial supplier.

Here it is, in all of it's low-quality and wildlife-sounds-in-the-background glory:

A Few (Updated) Notes on Equipment and the Construction Process:

1) I now use straps with metal buckles, as they provide a much greater break strength. I personally purchased mine at REI, but Ross gave the great option of purchasing them over at as they deliver them to many parts of the world and you can easily adjust the length of the strap you want to purchase.

2) I no longer use ropes for the footstraps, but I use part of the actual utility strap to make the footloops; Ross had detailed this idea here. These are much more comfortable than rope for the feet, and also don't untie nearly as easily.

3) The video for how to tie the bowline knot can be found here: How to tie a Bowline Knot

4) Currently, my video has 792 "Likes" versus 11 "Dislikes." Evidently, eleven people in the world are incompetent when it comes to tying knots.

5) Be sure you sand down the edges of the PVC pipe, and/or place duct tape (or some sort of protective coating) over the edges as they (the PVC piping) will wear down the utility straps over time. You can kind of see how I did this in the picture below:

6) Ross has since added a few updates and suggestions on his website, which I think are brilliant and extremely helpful, HERE. He provides some other options for easy-to-make handles, on top of showing the difference between a single vs. double attachment model.

7) In case you don't know who Ross is, shame on you. Here's a fairly recent training compilation of his:


Hope the above tutorial was helpful!

Friday Musings: SAPT Heavy Planks, Matrix-Reloaded Med Ball Throws, Time-Out Apps, and More

1. As Ryan noted in an excellent post recently, we love weighted planks here at SAPT. Once you know to properly plank (here's a hint: if you're not shaking from creating total body tension, you're probably not doing it right), it's time to make them more challenging. One way to do this is adding external load, holding for :20 or so to improve maximal isometric strength of the trunk region. Here is Carson nailing a 265lb weighted plank in preparation for an upcoming powerlifting meet. I'm not positive, but think I saw his spleen shoot across the room halfway through the set.

2. Kieran has been doing Recoiled MB Overhead Throws as part of his most recent program. However, he took the "deliberately move through the thoracic rotation portion" coaching cue a bit too literally, to the point where he looks like Neo from the Matrix dodging bullets.

I then challenged him to see if he could "rainbow" the ball up straight into the throw. Needless to say, he pulled it off with style:


3. Recently I've been working to improve my jump roping skills. Unfortunately, I never really did too much jump roping growing up, so I decided to hone in on it as of late. I also wanted to see how well my HD camera would pick up fast-moving objects, so I filmed a recent jump rope session of mine.

Check it out below, as it turned out pretty well. I realize I may appear slightly akin to Ross (of RossTraining), but I think that's just the lighting messing with things.

Okay, maybe I was slightly fabricating the story. I actually did jump rope growing up.

Alright, seriously this sick is Ross? I'm continually amazed by his ability to master multiple physical qualities.

4. Another thing we love at SAPT are challenging pullup variations. Recently, Ryan Walls (the handy man of SAPT) put together a set of "Smitty Ball" pullup implements. Needless to say, they are simultaneously awesome and brutal. These will slowly be making their way into the programs for those I want to make hate life help improve both grip strength and, well, pullup strength. I also love the way they feel on the elbows as your wrists are allowed to rotate freely throughout the movement.

5. Working at a computer while sitting in chair is arguably the worst thing you can do for your body. Well, it's a toss-up between that and watching Jersey Shore, but you get my point.

Anyway, I recently downloaded an phenomenal app - via recommendation of Mike Robertson - called Time Out. This this is awesome! You set it to pop up at a specified interval (every 15 minutes, 50 minutes, etc.) to essentially remind yourself to stop killing yourself. Every time it pops up I reset my posture (pull my shoulders back, get out of forward head posture, etc.), get on the ground to do a few spidermans, or anything else that will help me to "open up." Here is a screen shot I just took of my computer:

I'm done. Have a great weekend everyone.