T Nation

Homemade chains


Guys, I need your help on how much of chains (length) for certain poundage for bench and squat (westside way). Home Depot or Lowe have those galvanized chains and I want to buy them but i'm not sure about the length. I'm stuck paying for the wedding stuff so i can't really afford the real stuff. I'm also considering making my own homemade reverse hyper made out of steel pipes! Same thing for Glute ham raise but it's a bit more tricky and me and my twin brother are putting our heads together on how to build GHR w/ bench. it's the adjustable foot part that gives us the most trouble. I might have an idea but I dunno if it'll work well.



Home Depot sells chains that are no way near thick enough for what you are trying to do, unless you triple or quadruple them up. By them, it is cheaper to buy a set from Elitefts. I actually did make a set from Home Depot for myself, and use them for clients on the upper end of the ranges Louie recommends...so I use a set of thick chains, and a set of thinner Home Depot chains....

The length you want is longer than double the range your shoulders travel when you squat, plus about 10-12 inches or so. This way, you hang the chain by a caribiner right in the middle of the chain, so it hags doubled up....plus about 5 or 6 inches lie on the floor.

Like I said, unless you have a good reason to buy a lighter set, then it is cheaper to just shell our the 90 bucks or so ( inclusding shipping) for the ones at elite. BTW- when you get a set from elite, you will know where your money went...they are sweet.... and then it is just up to you to use them correctly.

By the time you get 3 or 4, 5' chains X 2 (3-4 per side), it is just cheaper... I promise...

You might even be able to get them for less somewhere else, I just give Dave and Louie the business because of all the knowledge they have shared... remember, if it wasn't for guys like them, you wouldn't even understand the stimulus they provide...

Lil' Coach H


Lil Coach H

Thanks. You're right about the size. Home Depot didn't have them. I guess i could try to find a place that have them, who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky. I'm not in a hurry to get one right now. It all depends on if my gym will allow them or not. They already banned the use of aerobic step for box squat so getting a box squat is more of a priority than chains at the moment. I wonder how heavy that adjustable box squat is from elitefs is?

LT, CSCS (yes Certified strength and conditioning specialist). I know one or 2 thing about strength training! :wink:


Well I am in the UK but I shopped around on the net for industrial chain manufacturers. Search for this heading and also lifting chains. I found galvanised steel 5/8" chain for $4 a metre, which weighs 5kg a metre (found this by asking the vendor and checked it when it arrived). So I bought 6m of the stuff. I can use them for bench and squat. 10kg for bench and 15kg for squat with the excess on the floor.
Attach them with 1/4" support chains and adjust the length of the support chain until you have the right load of 5/8" chain at lock out with all the chain on the floor at the bottom of the movement. Check this with a tape measure. The 5/8" chain should be hung from the middle so it is doubled over. On bench I have 0.5m per side of 5/8" at lock out, which is actually a 1m per side as it is doubled over which is 5kg a side, 10kg total. Simple!

Being in the US you should have no problems sourcing suitable chain at the right price.


Don't buy a box, make one! Couldn't be simpler.


If you find a farm supply store you will be able to find chains almost 5/8 like westside uses. Just double them up. The store will cut whatever length you want, mine are 5 feet each.


i got my chains at an industrial chain and strap supply place. buy the lowest grade since you're only gonna be using it for weight. for two five foot lengths of 5/8" it cost me about 45 bucks tax and all. the 1/4" support chains and snaps i got at home depot for another 10 bucks or so. they work perfectly.


What boondoc said. Grab the yellow pages and find an industrial chain and cable (rigging) store. Tell them you want proof coil. That's the grade chain you need. Five foot lengths are perfect, then get yourself (2) 7 foot lead chains in a much lighter grade. They will have this at the rigging store, too. Lastly, if you want, we bought "d" rings to attach the work chain to the lead chain. I think they were semi-trailer tie down rings. They accomodate four 7/8 chains. I think I have @ $160 into one set 5/8 and three sets 7/8, lead chains and all. Call a couple shops because you may get lucky and find a shop with the end of a barrel (chain usually ships in barrels) that they will let go cheap. Tell them what you want it for, they will probably get a kick out of it and be accomodating. Again, you want either 5/8 or 7/8 proof coil. I would buy a set of each to start. Good luck.


I mispoke. You want 1/2" and 5/8" proof coil.


Like the other guys said look for an industrial supply place in your area thats where i got mine.The chains at elite fitness are good but the shipping cost will kill you.