Paint Can Apparatus

March 10, 2019
By: Randall Chapman

In the training portion of the blog I keep referring to the paint can apparatus and I thought I’d do a quick write up so people following would know what I’m talking about. The term “paint can” comes from when I used to own the climbing gym. I had built a training room downstairs with a bunch of different pieces of equipment. Rob Pizem was running a regular training program down there and he was always looking for different things to incorporate into his program. I was always trying to keep up with him and buy or build the equipment he needed. One day I walked down and he had the group using two, one-gallon paint cans to do an exercise where you start in plank position with your hands on the cans. You then swing your feet through between the cans into the pike position and back. I have no idea what the maneuver is really called but I’m pretty sure it’s an adaptation of a gymnastics routine on the parallel bars. Since then we’ve always called the workout “paint cans”.

Originally, I built three setts of these at different heights.  The shortest was the same height as the paint cans they started with, I want to say 8” tall. I also built them at 12” and 16”. The two taller sets broke over time because of leverage. I still had the short ones but I was too tall to use them for paint cans and they were way too short for other workouts, like dips. So, I cut them apart and made them taller.

To build them originally, I used 1-1/4” sch 40 pvc pipe and a bunch of fittings I bought from Lowes Depot. Each one required two T’s, two elbows, 4 couplers and a couple of feet of pipe. With the modification I decided to put another cross bar to eliminate the leverage that broke the other units and I would recommend doing the same if you build these. These ended up 14” tall which I think is the perfect height for me to use for other things as well as the paint can work out.

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