Da Lair!

Where to even start… The beginning? The Dragons Lair is a spare bedroom, or at least that’s what it was, we needed a space to train in and to be honest we couldn’t afford a gym membership, so what was a spare room became the de-facto training space, over time, things changed, customised equipment began filling the space, the walls got a coat of paint and we gradually began to expand on the space to meet our requirements. The name came about following the mural we painted on the wall, it is our space to lock ourselves away from the world and pursue our limits. It is my favourite place to be.

Trojan vision 360 Multigym:
One of the few pieces we actually bought for the gym, it is probably the most underused piece of equipment in there, we got it on special about a year back and it really is a piece of garbage in our opinion. The cables are forever getting stuck, the pullies never work properly and ergonomically its actually just a stupid shape. The leg section is so stiff that you can’t even make it move on the lowest weight despite the constant amount of lubricant that have been applied to it. the only thing it ever gets used for is chest flies and tricep pulls, otherwise it’s pretty much a glorfied seat for the cat.
Bowflex Dumbells:
In addition to our normal weights We have a set of Adjustable Bowflex Weights; We love these because they are changeable with a click of the wrist which saves a lot of time changing weights in between sets. We’ve bought the lighter version which has a maximum weight of 52lbs. But you can get an increased size which can adjust up to 90lbs, we would love to have that increased size set, but they are pretty pricey so for now we’ll stick to our 52’s which have proven to be really great so far. They’re really good quality and seriously hard wearing, the only real complaint we have is that the weight is measured in Pounds, so we have to keep trying to figure out what they are in kgs and we’re mathematically really not smart.
The Shoulder press:
What originally started out as a dip station was converted into a seated shoulder press machine; after my first IFBB competition, we realized that my shoulders needed some serious work, so the Man Slave butchered the dip station which we no longer needed in order to make me a shoulder press machine, this was really helpful in starting to build my shoulders and now a new design is in the works for a standing version.

Shoulder Press MK1


Trojan Bench:
This is a Bench that we rescued from a scrap heap, it was actually in fairly good condition when we got it, but it’s really not a quality piece, which seems to be the case with trojan stuff all too often. To be honest it feels rickety and Although it has options in terms of how you can position it, it doesn’t inspire confidence when using it. I really feel like at any given moment it’s going to give in and just drop me and whatever weight I’m pushing on the gym floor. It’s one of those things which I feel like we need to either drastically reinforce or replace, but the truth it that for the effort it would take to reinforce this I might actually be better off just welding up a stronger one.hen especially when he’s sick. it has infrared panels which supposedly penetrate the skin better to help with joints and things.
The Frame:
The manslaves first piece of gear, the frame is what we first used when we started training, for pullups and hanging leg raises and situps, probably the most utlized bit of calisthenics equipment the Manslave added a flag pole later on for us to practice our human flags on, we still use it alot but have other equipment now to do similar exercises.

Using the frame together

Da Sauna:
We built this one following the need for physical therapy, the manslave needed it mostly for his rehab but it’s gotten a bit of use since then especially when he’s sick. it has infrared panels which supposedly penetrate the skin better to help with joints and things.

The Bosu Ball:
Never underestimate what you can do with a Bosu ball. That’s all I’m going to say. Dont beleive us, check out this article on different exercises that are possible, the sky really is the limit and you can make almost any exercise more chanllenging with this thing..

Concrete Weights:

Weights are expensive and the bigger they are the more they cost, we don’t always have money for massive weight plates so a large number of the weights in the Lair are actually made up of cement which we have either moulded and then rubber coated or simply poured into containers with holes bored through them. You would be amazed how effective they are and at the end of the day all a weight is, is something heavy. You can buy cement for R40.00 for a 40kg bag, which works out to a Rand per kilo. It really is the cheapest option for making homemade weights.

The Flat bench:

Now this on the other hand is a real piece of proper equipment, we rescued this from my brothers trash heap and it was pretty beat up when we got it, but even so, this is a proper well made quality peice, it was rusty and the bench cover had a bunch of tears and holes in it, but the frame itself is really strong. So we just cleaned off the rust and threw a new coat of paint on it, we could probably recover the whole thing but I think it adds to its charm. I welded on a couple of bars to help with Dips and with binks learning to do dragonflies but aside from that it’s really a great piece. The only thing I might do is weld some plates to the Feet to just make it a little more stable.

Arguably the most heavily used piece of equipment in the lair, Casanova is a Cactic Full Body Workout System; built by Cactic Fitness, geared towards home training or training in a limited space, we are able to do literally any workout we can think of on him, using different strength reistance bands Casanova can provide up to 500 Kgs of resistance in addition to being able to work as a squat rack or bench press machine for conventional training, he even has attachments to allow calisthenics training and flagging. Best off all he packs up against the wall into less than 15 cms of space which is great for keeping the gym clutter free. Casanova is without a doubt our favourite piece of equipment and Cactic Fitness are constanly updating him and asking for feedback to make their gear even better. We had a sit down with Cactic a few weeks back for an R and D feedback session and this week we received some revised equipment based on our chat with them.

Casanova The Cactic

Pull-Up Routine on Casanova

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