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Thread: Pimp My Home Gym - Equipment Reviews

  1. #1
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    Default Pimp My Home Gym - Equipment Reviews

    I've been posting up some product reviews as I've been piecing together my home gym, and now that I'm pretty much there I thought this would be a good time to put everything together in one thread. Hopefully this can be the start of an equipment guide for anyone else who's in the (fortunate) position of being able to put together their own training dungeon like myself.

    When you get called fat enough times by your mother in law, your wife doesn't get to complain about equipment purchases. I also plan on keeping this gear around for a long time, at least until my boys have moved out of the house.

    Those with gear, please add to the list. Questions/comments welcome from everyone except TurboD/TimeAttack, because you're just an idiot.

    Powertec PPR Power Rack
    Purchased new from GoMango Fitness with a standard 300lbs barbell and plate set.
    This is a solid power rack, includes pull up bar and dip handles. Hooks are easily adjustable and the skewer design allows for any configuration. Too short to allow for pressing inside, but if it was any bigger it wouldn't fit in my basement. A staple for any home gym. Optional lat tower.

    Olympic lifting platform
    plywood from Totem, stall mats from UFA
    I built this myself out of 3 sheets of 4'x8'x3/4" plywood and one 5'x7'x3/4" horse stall mat cut in half. Standard plans call for a 4' middle section with 2' rubber sides. Using the 5x7 gave me 2.5" of rubber on each side giving more room for error when dropping. I had the center piece ripped to 3' and used the left overs to fill in the platform surface at the back. I only went with 2 ply vs 3 ply as I have low ceilings in my basement and need all the overhead space I can get.

    Northern Lights FID Bench
    found on kijiji
    Simple, sturdy, I like the molded padding as there's less chance of tearing. It's a bit of a pain to move when flat since it doesn't lock in that position. Otherwise it is what it is.

    Rogue Bar
    bought new from Rogue and imported
    Snap ring construction, bad-ass black oxide coating, 28.5mm diameter, no center knurl and marks for both olympic and power lifting. No comparison to your run of the mill cheapy "olympic" bar, the collars actually spin! Fantastic for the quick lifts (cleans, snatches) with some flex/whip, and guaranteed for life against bending.

    Standard Cheap Olympic Bar
    meh. Currently mine lays on top of my power rack so I can use my chinning triangle.

    Tuff Stuff Plate Tree
    found on kijiji
    Picked this up used, not crazy about the design. I don't like the 6th peg on the floor in the back. I'd go with a 3 pegs/side one instead.

    Iron Plates
    some new, some on kijijji
    Not much to say about these. Find them used if you can.

    Rogue (Hi-Temp) Bumper Plates
    bought new from Rogue and imported
    I think these are the most durable bumpers on the market. Made from recycled rubber by a guy named Chuck, these have stainless steel inserts that can take a beating. Bounce is probably medium, I wouldn't mind a deader bounce as the bar tends to walk a bit with lighter loads. Only real con is the thickness. The 45# plates are FAT. Still need to make a plate rack for these. As it stands, they just occupy the deadspace at the rear on either side of my power rack.

    Iron Woody Fractional Plates
    bought new from Rogue and imported
    These things are retardedly pricey, but they're pretty. 2x0.25lb, 2x0.5lb, 2x0.75lb and 2x1lb for a total of 5lbs for microloading in increments of 0.5lbs. If I were to do it again, I'd go to Fastenal and find some 2" ID washers that are around 0.25lbs and save myself some money.

    Iron Woody Bands
    bought new from Iron Woody, shipped to my BIL in WA and brought back from vacation
    Great for assistance on pull/chin ups. I haven't used them for much else yet, but will be adding them for resistance on GHRs next.

    Rogue Rings
    bought new from Rogue, shipped to my BIL in WA and brought back from vacation
    Bomb proof, portable, metal rings. Just to add some variety to training and to really blast the core and stabilizers. Nothing quite as humbling as trying ring dips for the first time.

    Sorinex FNGHD
    bought new from Rogue Canada, shipped down from Edmonton
    http://forums.beyond.ca/st/291598/sorinex-fnghd/

    Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells + Kettlebell Handle
    bought new from Exercise Direct, shipped to Calgary from Winnipeg
    http://forums.beyond.ca/st/283106/ir...ock-dumbbells/

    Concept II Model B Rower
    found on kijiji, upgrades purchased from C2, shipped to my BIL in WA and brought back from vacation
    Picked this up for a steal, replaced the batteries in the monitor, ordered upgrades from C2 (ergo handle, flex foot, wheels). I'm not huge on cardio so this fits the bill and budget nicely. The only reason I would have to upgrade is that with the Model C and up, the unit can be folded up for storage.

    Captains of Crush Grippers
    bought new from Iron Mind, shipped to Calgary
    Grip is not a strength of mine, so I picked up the Trainer, 1 and 1.5. Well reviewed for consistency in grippers and will make anything from sport mart or sport check child's play. Solid steel construction, knurling is a little harsh though and can tear up the fingers a bit. Need to work these into the program better. Oh, and they're all shiny and pretty too.

    Do Win Weighlifting Shoes
    bought new from Power Firm, shipped from Winnipeg
    http://forums.beyond.ca/st/274654/do...oes-in-canada/

    I think that's all the major stuff, I'll update as I think of it or buy it. Will add pics later as well and if there's demand I'll update with where to purchase too.
    Last edited by lint; 01-20-2010 at 04:33 PM.
    heloc that shit

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pimp My Home Gym - Equipment Reviews

    Are you going to train your boys to compete in the Summer Olympics? haha

    What are your thoughts on a half cage? My brother couldn't afford a full one but he did buy a half cage, with bar, bench and weights off of Kijiji for $500. Personally I don't press or squat inside the cage anymore but I haven't been pushing too heavily as you know lol


    Originally posted by lint


    Those with gear, please add to the list. Questions/comments welcome from everyone except TurboD/TimeAttack, because you're just an idiot.

    He's probably a chill guy in real life.

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    My home gym consists of this great bit of equipment:



    The Power Ball 9000

    Since I go to a commercial gym I don't need as elaborate gym as some people, but it's nice to keep those forearms in great shape.

    Features a string to pull start the unit and nice rubber grips on the side so it doesn't fly out of your hand and smash into the wall.

    Also includes a really cool blinking LED that lets you know when you're really pushing the limits of this unit.

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    I haven't built a home gym yet, but some things that I thought I would comment on. Just from what I have heard of other people building home gyms.

    Collars
    http://www.performbetter.com/detail....tegoryID_E_475

    Fractional Plates
    Plate Mates
    http://www.theplatemate.com

    Various other pieces of equipment
    Strength & Power - he does custom strength equipment if you require it. From bars to power racks to prowlers to the grappler.


    His subforum on ironaddicts.com


    His product brochure and he can customize pretty much everything for you (need to register to see link).

    Wrist Straps
    www.prowriststraps.com
    Don't bother with the girly straps that break on you.

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    Default Re: Re: Pimp My Home Gym - Equipment Reviews

    Originally posted by max_boost
    Are you going to train your boys to compete in the Summer Olympics? haha
    I'm going to provide them with the means to train to play sports, not the other way around. Strength just translates into just about anything.

    Originally posted by max_boost
    What are your thoughts on a half cage? My brother couldn't afford a full one but he did buy a half cage, with bar, bench and weights off of Kijiji for $500. Personally I don't press or squat inside the cage anymore but I haven't been pushing too heavily as you know lol
    A half cage is better than nothing but one key plus for the rack are the spotter bars. If the half cage doesn't have them, get him some work horses from HD, cheap safety measure. I only back squat and bench inside the rack myself.
    heloc that shit

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    Originally posted by Oz-
    I haven't built a home gym yet, but some things that I thought I would comment on. Just from what I have heard of other people building home gyms.

    Collars
    http://www.performbetter.com/detail....tegoryID_E_475
    I have a set of the lock-jaws as well. Great hold for slow lifts, only ok for quick lifts as the model I have don't have the lock pin and they will pop open from the dropping impact.
    heloc that shit

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    Default Re: Pimp My Home Gym - Equipment Reviews

    Originally posted by lint

    Those with gear, please add to the list. Questions/comments welcome from everyone except TurboD/TimeAttack, because you're just an idiot.
    Haha, good call.

    On a more serious note, that sounds like one badass gym to have in your house. I would love to have a setup like that, when I finally have my own house I will slowly try to put something like that together.

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    Lint,
    How tall is your basement ceiling - whats the height of the space you had between your floor and ceiling before you put the lifting platform in?

    Whats the thickness of the lifting platform with the mats and all?

    I should be able to fit a power rack in to my basement but Im wondering if theres anything else the limited height might hinder? Any thoughts?

    Would you do anything different if you were to start from scratch again?

    Edit: I appreciate all the local input here as theres a lot of forums on the net that are US based so its great to hear where people are sourcing their stuff locally or importing from into Calgary.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by urban.one
    Lint,
    How tall is your basement ceiling - whats the height of the space you had between your floor and ceiling before you put the lifting platform in?

    Whats the thickness of the lifting platform with the mats and all?

    I should be able to fit a power rack in to my basement but Im wondering if theres anything else the limited height might hinder? Any thoughts?

    Would you do anything different if you were to start from scratch again?

    Edit: I appreciate all the local input here as theres a lot of forums on the net that are US based so its great to hear where people are sourcing their stuff locally or importing from into Calgary.
    Typical older house built in the late 70's so I have right around 7' ceilings in my storage room (I think they're 7'2"-7'4" but I'd have to re-measure), unfinished ceiling. The PPR is 82" high, so 6'10". 2 layers of 3/4" ply so the total thickness is 1.5". Total height of rack on platform is just shy of 7', there is around 2-4" of clearance from the top of the rack to the joist.

    If I had unlimited funds, I'd break up my basement floor, lower it by 2' and repour, giving myself at least 9' to work with. In terms of gear, not really. I might have started out with a Rogue bar instead of the cheap bar, but since most of my gear has been purchased used I rarely lose money when I upgrade. And sometimes buying, trying and selling is the only way to really know what you're going to need and use.

    I started with the power rack, bar and plates. Used the stall mats for flooring until I built the platform. Then I looked for a bench and plate tree. I could have stopped here as this is pretty much all you need. Then I started wanting more stuff. Bumper plates, Rogue bar for quick lifts, fractional plates to microload, bands for assisted pullups, rings for dips. Found a better bench so I upgraded. Got a steal on the rower, upgraded parts. Found the roman chair. Along the way I'd find more iron, bars and dumbbells and I'd buy up packages and sell off the stuff that I didn't need. DBs took up too much room, so I got rid of them and went with the Ironmasters. Added the grippers. Finally added the GHD and got rid of the roman chair.
    Last edited by lint; 01-20-2010 at 04:33 PM.
    heloc that shit

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    Solid set up, good reviews too.

    Was curious about the rogue bar, by imported you got it before they had the Edmonton depot?

    Curious on the shipping.

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    yeah, I bought the bar and bumpers last feb abouts there. No other good options at the time as neither Rogue nor Garage Gym Store had Canadian locations yet. Pretty much rapage though, since they added a fee for canadian orders, then freight shipping, then brokerage. They still add a bit of a premium to some of the products in stock in edmonton, but some stuff is pretty good if you can pick up. I shipped the ghd down and it was more rapage, $95USD considering I had my iron master dbs shipped from winnipeg for $65CAD and that shipment weighed 2x what the ghd did.
    heloc that shit

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    Ironman Leverlock Adjustable dumb bells $380 from costco

    http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product....=1&topnav=&s=1

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    T-sled from Texas Strength Systems
    econo prowler clone, purchased new. Was originally going to bring it back with me during my holiday in the US, but a FedEx fuck up stopped that. But they did make up for it by eating the brokerage and additional shipping to deliver it to my door in Calgary

    Had them modify it to accept drop in bars like the econo prowler, but no replacement skis. Haven't weighed it, but my guess is around 40-50lbs. I should have said I'd paint it myself, because even with the bubble wrap, it's chipped and scratched. Doesn't really matter though, it's not meant to look pretty. I'll just repaint it at some point.

    Closest comparison I can make is hitting the sled during football practice. Lungs burn, can't catch your breath and legs suddenly feel like jello. I'm going to stick with lighter weights and sprints. I've been pushing it across my cul de sac, paced out to ~30yrds. Neighbors haven't complained yet

    heloc that shit

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    Originally posted by lint
    T-sled from Texas Strength Systems
    econo prowler clone, purchased new. Was originally going to bring it back with me during my holiday in the US, but a FedEx fuck up stopped that. But they did make up for it by eating the brokerage and additional shipping to deliver it to my door in Calgary

    Had them modify it to accept drop in bars like the econo prowler, but no replacement skis. Haven't weighed it, but my guess is around 40-50lbs. I should have said I'd paint it myself, because even with the bubble wrap, it's chipped and scratched. Doesn't really matter though, it's not meant to look pretty. I'll just repaint it at some point.

    Closest comparison I can make is hitting the sled during football practice. Lungs burn, can't catch your breath and legs suddenly feel like jello. I'm going to stick with lighter weights and sprints. I've been pushing it across my cul de sac, paced out to ~30yrds. Neighbors haven't complained yet


    They prob see all the gym equipment going into your house, i wouldnt complain either haha. That northern light bench is pretty slick but yeah not a fan of the flat position at all with how its held up. You should grab a parachute belt to for running they are sweet. Do you have a dip/pullup belt yet?
    Im in the process of doing this all that I am missing is the cage because I am waiting on some rubber for the floor. Would you recommend the cage you bought?

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    I've got a dip belt, cheap one from fitness depot I believe that does the job.

    as for the rack, I think it's hard to beat for the price since it includes the dip handles. personally I like the skewers as it allows me to configure the cage how I want. I don't like pop pins, too in flexible for my tastes. what I don't like about it is the pullup handles. I would prefer a simple straight bar with a full center section.
    heloc that shit

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    So I've been doing some hobby fabricating and completed my first 3 projects. A prowler, a dragging sled and farmer's walk handles. Overbuilt compared to specs I could find online, but that's fine by me since the materials were relatively cheap.

    Farmer's walk handles are 5' x 2"OD x 3/16" thick pipe, with 1 1/4" x 3/16" handles welded on via 1/4" connectors. They also have 2" ID stop collars that I welded on after I took these pics.


    The prowler is welded solid, frame is 2"x2"x3/16" square tubing, the skids are 9"x4"x1/4" flat stock, front handles are 1 1/4", uprights are the same 2" OD pipe I used on the farmer's walk handles. The sled was made with the left over material, hence why it looks like a baby prowler. The loading pin is about 6.5" and it has a ring on the front to attach a caribeaner.


    I'm really happy with the way everything turned out. grinding off millscale sucks ass though
    heloc that shit

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    Those farmers handles look solid, let me know if you thinking about making another set

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    Originally posted by kutt3r
    Those farmers handles look solid, let me know if you thinking about making another set
    I can make you a set. I just need to pick up some more 2" tube. I'll post up the details specs on the handles tonight and if you're good with them, I can get it done in the next couple of weeks when I have a chance to get to the shop.

    Famers Walk Handles:
    the grips are 1 1/4" OD, 6.5" long and they sit about 6" above the bar. Total length is 60", space between the collars is 30" and there is 15" on either end to load plates.
    Last edited by lint; 05-25-2011 at 07:23 AM.
    heloc that shit

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