Homemade Diving Brick or Pool Weight

Many times I read of swimmers who practice treading while carrying a 10 pound weight to strengthen the legs. The 10 pound water pool weight is quite heavy in my opinion. Plenty of swimmers find treading already difficult as it is. Adding 10 pounds to your bodyweight, even in water, is certainly an added challenge.

I believe swimming with a pool weight is also a requirement of the Red Cross for someone wanting to become a lifeguard. A prerequisite is for an applicant to be able submerge to a depth of 7 ft, retrieve a 10 lb. weight from the pool floor and return to the surface. In addition to this, he should be able to tread water for 2 minutes using legs only while holding the pool weight above the head.

Pool Weight as a Training Aid

Treading with weight shouldn't be considered until you feel very comfortable with just your body in the water. If your comfortable treading with your hands in the water, then you can increase the difficulty by simply raising your palms out for a certain interval. Return the to the rest position with hands under to help you tread.

If thats easy for you, move towards getting your elbows out of the water then eventually work up to sticking them straight up in the air. Do intervals of hard tread and alternating rest for whatever amount of time you feel you can sustain. Work towards being able to do the workout with the rest position being just your palms out of the water.

When you're comfortable with all of the above, only then should you consider a pool weight or diving brick as a training aid. Believe me you will get one hell of a workout for your legs.

How to Make a Homemade Diving Brick

I suspect that traditionally, actual bricks were used as training aids for lifeguards or water rescuers. It's just a guess of course, pools then didn't always have the floor tiles they use today. Or maybe training was conducted in open bodies of water like lakes or rivers.

Commercial diving bricks today are coated with rubber or a similar material. This is for ease of handling and to protect the swimming pool's tiles. The cost is upwards of $30.

Here's how you can make your own homemade diving brick.


  • 5 lb. weight plates - 2 pcs. (or 4 pcs of 2.5 lb. weight plates)
  • Insulated Copper Wire - Solid strand #16, 2 ft. long,
  • EVA foam tile - 2 pcs.
  • Rectangular shaped nylon bag with zipper opening - 1 pc.


  1. Get a couple of 5 lb. weight plates. You could also use 4 2.5 lb. weight plates. Have an insulated solid strand wire ready. (shown below as the red-colored coated wire).

  2. Neatly and tightly tie the two weight plates together with the wire as shown in the photo below. The stiffness of the thick wire and the tight binding ensures the weight plates stay in place and won't overlap each other.

  3. Cut up some foam tiles (colored purple below) so they can become cushion inside the nylon bag. Be sure to have cut foam on all sides and ends of the nylon bag. The foam will cushion the weight plates so they don't damage the pool floor when the bag is dropped.

  4. Put the bound plates inside the foam-sided bag. Preferably, the weight plates and the foam will be snug while inside the bag.

  5. Here's the zipped up bag with the weight plates inside and ready for the pool.

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