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HES Student Raises the Bar for at-Home Fitness

During quarantine, Jakub Sciora combined the skills he learned in textiles engineering and health and exercise studies to create his own home workout equipment.

Jakub Sciora

By Eliza Barsanti

As the COVID-19 pandemic grew rapidly in mid-March, it became clear that peoples’ day-to-day lives would experience some change. One big change came in the realm of health and wellness, as amid quarantine, local gyms and fitness facilities were closed. Jakub Sciora ‘21 would not let this obstacle get in the way of his fitness goals, and decided to construct his own weight set at home.

Sciora combined skills he learned from the Health and Exercise Studies (HES) weight training course he took (HESF 237) and the skills he gained from his textiles engineering coursework to plan and execute the project. 

“Using the skills I learned from engineering and HESF 237 classes and drawing inspiration from previous designs I saw on Pinterest, I designed a 3D CAD model of what became a wooden weightlifting set very similar to a ‘power rack,’” Sciora explained.

Jakub Sciora's completed weight set
Jakub Sciora’s completed weight set

Sciora’s design features a rack suitable for all types of exercise such as a squat, bench press, and deadlift. The design’s weight rack is especially safe and sturdy, as he included a thick iron pipe as an adjustable spotter. He also built a wooden bench with an adjustable seat and back for flat bench press, incline, and military press. The entire set is portable and can be taken apart and easily transported in a car.

Sciora even poured his own concrete weight plates for the set’s barbell and adjustable dumbbells.

Sciora poured his own concrete to make dumbbells.

He reflected on several benefits of building the weight set instead of purchasing one, explaining that fitness gear in the age of COVID-19 tends to be overpriced due to high demand. He noted that, “the entire setup provided a quicker and cheaper alternative.” 

Ultimately, Sciora hopes that this project will inspire others to get creative and maintain their fitness goals while at home.

“I’m so pleased with the design turnout that I’m currently writing the plans to post on, which is a free, open-source website for DIY projects,” he said. “I truly believe this could be just the inspiration some people need right now to help them with the tough times during this COVID-19 quarantine period, and I’m happy to help others find happiness in pursuing a healthy level of physical fitness.”

Sciora’s story proves that there are plenty of ways to stay productive and continue living a healthy lifestyle during quarantine! If you’re interested in HES courses like the ones he used to create this project, visit the HES website to learn more.