I work as a personal trainer at a commercial gym (Crunch) in downtown San Francisco. As any of you who work or have worked in a commercial gym know...it's got it's limitations. You are bound by the equipment at hand. Your recommendations for equipment go as far as whats on the corporate list (i.e. tubing from Big 5, med-balls up to 12 lbs., power bars just heavy enough to do pinkie finger curls with, etc.) If you want a glute ham raise or rubber bumper plates for O-lifting, then your time will be better spent waiting for the second coming of Christ. At least we have one power rack, but I might as well piss on it and mark my territory to keep the other trainers from doing Bosu ball squats in it.
However, to quote Plato, "Necessity is the mother of invention."
I recently had the idea to hold a little in-house strongman competition. Now, to tell you the truth I actually have a small "stash" of equipment I keep in the trainer's office. My stash includes kettlebells from 16kg-40kg, power rings, a safety squat bar, chains, and some other necessities. So between the equipment in my stash and regular commercial gym equipment, I was able to put together a series of events for this strongman competition that somewhat resembled events held in the World's Strongest Man competition. Of course I had to tone it down a bit....I'm dealing with average gym members who love bench pressing and e-z bar curls, but couldn't squat or deadlift to save their own lives.
Anyway, when the event rolled it only drew a group of 5 competitors, but when the competition was in full swing we had a crowd of about 10 watching and it sounded more like 30 with all the screaming and cheering (especially for the 155 lb. guy who took almost a full minute to drag 400 lbs. hooked up to a three tier plate holder across the gym).
Also, if anyone has any ideas for events or exercises that could be done in strongman style, then I'd love to trade ideas with you.