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  1. #1
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    Default Home gym question

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    I’m getting ready to buy the essentials for a home gym. Any opinions on equipment companies are welcome. Going to be buying a power rack, barbell, weights, bench, platform and some kind of cardio piece for general warmup. Also, my floor is over a crawl space. I won’t be deadlifting tons of weight. Has anyone deadlifted over a crawl space before? Thanks

  2. #2
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    1) I've looked at a bunch of different companies and the rogue racks are the best value by far, if you're wanting new equipment. You may find some cheaper alternatives but the quality/strength won't be there.

    2) Also, I've always heard the SSC's say don't skimp on the bar. Rogue sells a B&R bar which was designed by Burgner and Rippetoe.

    3) If you're just wanting metal plates, keep an eye on craigslist

    4) They're is a great SS article on building your own platform

    5) Definitely listen to the last few barbell Logic podcasts. They had the guy from GarageGymReviews on... Lots of good content

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by samking7185 View Post
    1) I've looked at a bunch of different companies and the rogue racks are the best value by far, if you're wanting new equipment. You may find some cheaper alternatives but the quality/strength won't be there.

    2) Also, I've always heard the SSC's say don't skimp on the bar. Rogue sells a B&R bar which was designed by Burgner and Rippetoe.

    3) If you're just wanting metal plates, keep an eye on craigslist

    4) They're is a great SS article on building your own platform

    5) Definitely listen to the last few barbell Logic podcasts. They had the guy from GarageGymReviews on... Lots of good content
    Sam nailed this. All of it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareagle View Post
    I’m getting ready to buy the essentials for a home gym. Any opinions on equipment companies are welcome. Going to be buying a power rack, barbell, weights, bench, platform and some kind of cardio piece for general warmup. Also, my floor is over a crawl space. I won’t be deadlifting tons of weight. Has anyone deadlifted over a crawl space before? Thanks
    Rack: Rogue is hard to beat for just about any equipment. That said however I was on a budget when setting up a home gym and went with a Titan Fitness T-3 rack. It has worked out great and I am glad that I bought it instead of the Rogue R-3. It wasn't without issues though. The tubing and the welded on flanges are not square. It took a couple of hours to figure out where to put the parts and in what orientation to get everything working properly, it was like putting a puzzle together. If the unit isn't square the pin/pipe safeties will bind. If you are ok with tinkering around Titan is half the price plus free shipping.

    Barbell: Bite the bullet and get the Rogue B&R Bar. You will not regret the purchase. Otherwise waste money like I did and buy twice.

    Plates: Check Craigslist, yard sales, Wallmart online, Rogue iron plates. I am using bumpers from Dicks and am happy with them. They keep the noise down so that I don't give the wife a heart attack!

    The Floor: Fortunately I am on concrete but I still built a deadlift platform using 3/4" ply and horse stall mats. If you built a platform 3 layers thick and brace the floor from underneath you should be able to deadlift without a problem.

    Cardio: If I had to choose only one piece for cardio it would be a Concept 2 rower. There are a couple of them at my work gym. I plan on eventually getting one for home. Treadmills also work as would a bike, but for some reason I despise stationary bikes. A real bike however is great. A set or two of burpees, jumping jacks, or a jump rope are low budget alternatives and that's me!

  5. #5
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    May 2018
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    I have a Titan T3 rack that cost me about $450. I'm perfectly happy with it. Could save you a little cash. I think the Rogue equivalent is closer to $600 - $700.

    Get your smaller plates somewhere close by for quick access. I dropped a 2.5 lb weight on my garage floor on accident and it broke in half. Holding together with duct tape now. That being said, rubber coated plates can be your friend and may be worth the extra cost to help protect your investment.

    Absolutely don't skimp on the bar. Just from experience though, I've used the same Gold's Gym brand barbell for years; it was an el cheapo gift back when I was a teenager. It's never had this much weight on it, so I've been getting leery of it lately. I plan on going after the B&R eventually. Moral of the story is a cheaper bar can get you going for a while but a nicer bar is better for the long run.

    If you do go cheaper on the barbell, do not, under any circumstance, buy a CAP barbell brand. It's a pile of shit and will fall apart on you the minute you set it down with 135 lbs on it. Plus I'm pretty sure it didn't weigh 45 lbs.

    Not sure on your crawlspace question. Personally I would avoid it.

    Regarding the cardio equipment: do you live somewhere exceedingly cold for the majority of the year? If not, you may be able to skip that for a while and spend the money on other equipment. If yes, it can be a vital part of the warming up process.
    Last edited by Eric Schexnayder; 06-27-2018 at 12:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    Not sure on your crawlspace question. Personally I would avoid it.
    I think having the load spread out across a weightlifting platform would help with this. Residential building codes call 40 pounds/square foot, minimum.

    No guarantees though (<-- So you can't sue me haha)

  7. #7
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    Rack: I'd go with Rogue (R3 is the most popular) as others have suggested. Titan racks are essentially Rogue clones made in China. There have been a few reports of Titan hooks and strap safeties failing. Their fit and finish is also not very good. I would just get Rogue in your shoes.

    Bar: B&R 2.0 is a good bar. The knurling is grippy yet not too rough. The Rogue Ohio Power Bar is also a popular choice. It has more aggressive knurling than the B&R bar, which some prefer. It also comes in a stainless version, compared to bare steel only for the B&R. The stainless version is the best choice from a low maintenance standpoint, and might be a great idea if it will be exposed to a lot of humidity.

    Plates: If you need bumpers, main thing to consider is the width of each plate. The cheaper options are very wide (over 3 inches per 45lb plate), and might not allow you to load the desired weight on the bar, depending on how strong you are. The more expensive competition bumpers can be as narrow as 2 inches per 45lb plate.

    If you don't need bumpers, the main difference with metal plates is essentially precision of manufacturing. The cheapest metal plates can be of the wrong diameter, have loose holes and not sit tightly on the bar, and be of inaccurate weight (sometimes dramatically so). The nicest metal plates, arguably the competition plates such as those from Rogue, in contrast, are of a very consistent and accurate diameter, fit snug on the bar, and are calibrated to within grams of the specified weight. They are also the thinnest plates you can buy, which probably does not matter for most from a max capacity standpoint, but they produce the least amount of whip since they place their mass closest to the center of the bar. They also come in various colors, and everyone knows lifting colorful plates adds +50lb to all lifts.

    The other issue with plates is the ergonomics of loading. Some plates, such as the "six shooter" plates, essentially have handles built in and are really easy to load. Competition plates, in contrast, just have a small lip around the edges and are a bit more cumbersome to hold.

    Bench: If you just want a flat bench, get the Rogue Utility Bench. It is excellent.

    Cardio: What do you want out of it? If you just want a light warm-up, I don't think it matters much what you get. If you want a conditioning tool, I would get a rower or an assault bike since those allow you to do high intensity conditioning as well as steady state. Prowler is also good but it needs to be used outside.

    Platform: This is pretty standard. 2 layers of two 4x8 plywood sheets, one 4x8 sheet on top for the middle portion, and horse stall mats on the sides. You can find the exact details in various places on the web.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Cardio: What do you want out of it? If you just want a light warm-up, I don't think it matters much what you get. If you want a conditioning tool, I would get a rower or an assault bike since those allow you to do high intensity conditioning as well as steady state. Prowler is also good but it needs to be used outside.
    Coop from Garage Gym Reviews said the Rogue bike was cheaper and better than the air assault. He was on the Barbell Logic podcast if you'd like to hear what he said.

  9. #9
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    Go read this thread. Garage gyms

    All this and more has been discussed there. A wealth of great advice.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2018
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    starting strength coach development program
    Most of recommendations were already covered (rogue rack and bar, diy platform, etc.)
    The big thing I would recommend that hasn't been brought up is the Rep Fitness FB-5000 as a flat bench. It's got a single foot up from so it won't potentially get in the way of your feet when benching. Great pad. 17" height. Compatible with the Thompson Fat Pad if you ever feel like upgrading (though you won't need to). It's amongst the best flat benches on the market while having the perk of being one of the lower cost ones.

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