With bumper plate options more than covered across the Internet (here included), I figured it was time to tackle the options for standard weight plates, coated plates, and powerlifting discs. In this guide I’ll cover multiple styles, numerous brands, and offer up enough product examples for you to be able to evaluate any brand or style of plate you happen to stumble upon in your quest for iron.
Welcome to Garage-Gyms, your one stop resource for all things home and garage gyms. Here you’ll find tons of comprehensive, unbiased reviews including dozens of bar reviews, pricing guides for the most commonly purchased pieces of garage gym equipment, a large community taking part in productive discussion, inspiration & ideas for your gym, and so much more.
With decades of training experience and five years experience managing this site, I think you’ll find lots of useful and impartial information within these pages. Feel free to contribute with a comment or ask me a question directly. If you’d like to support the site, I welcome you to visit the Garage Gyms Store. Thanks, and enjoy the site!
I previously reviewed the Buddy Capps Texas Deadlift Bar back June of 2019, and I gave it a very positive review with zero hesitation. It is an amazing training implement put out by an impressive company.
Texas Power Bars (Capps Welding) is a highly experienced, reputable, and knowledgeable company that’s been in the business since the 1980’s, and the Texas Deadlift Bar is a high-performance deadlift bar that has phenomenal knurling; classy dual-roll pinned sleeves with recessed end caps; premium, oil-impregnated bronze bushings; and close to a dozen finish configurations. It truly is an end-game barbell.
This is a comprehensive review of the new Bells of Steel Open Trap Bar. In this review I will be addressing all of the specifications and dimensions of this new bar, and discussing all of its major features. I will even begin my briefly tackling a few of the reasons you may want to consider an open-ended trap bar over the more traditional hex bar.
This is a quick review of the Vulcan Strength 1-Basic Safety Squat Bar (SSB); an affordable yet fully-functional alternative to pretty much every other safety squat bar on the market.
Being offered for the low price of $209, the Vulcan 1-Basic Safety Squat Bar sports a 700-lb max capacity, true 50 mm sleeves (no axle collars needed), single-piece [stitched] vinyl pad (meaning no rotating/sliding pads), and shipping is even included in the already low price.
This is a review of the Rep Fitness AB-5200, a commercial-grade, adjustable ladder bench with not only all the standard features you’d expect from a commercial bench, but a number of very unique characteristics as well; things like grippy vinyl, improved mobility, an optional spotter platform, and more. The 5200 is also one of the only ladder benches (if not the only) that can be stored upright. And the price! It could not be more competitive.
To all you crazy wildcats out there, Fringe Sport has a bumper plate to match your ferocious side (or fierce side, if you prefer), the Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates.
Savage Bumper Plates are a new twist on Fringe’s top-tier, basic bumper plate. Sporting all of the same bells and whistles as Fringe’s Colored and Contrast Bumpers, Savage Bumper Plates are black bumpers with dense “tiger streaks of color” mixed in; which you must admit is pretty cool looking.
Did I not just review the PR-5000 Power Rack like last September? Why in the world am I doing it again! Is there nothing else I could be reviewing!
No I’m just kidding. That was the original PR-5000 Power Rack, and this is the PR-5000 V2 Power Rack, and boy oh boy is the new version all kinds of different than last year’s model, and all kinds of better!
Every holiday season I keep a list of all the important Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and this is that list. As the information on those sales becomes available I will update this article. I will also frequently have non-holiday sales listed here as well.
It’s been so long since I have reviewed a Fringe Sport product. I don’t know why that is, as I really do miss reading Peter’s extremely random product descriptions and trying to decipher and extract all the pertinent details from them, but I don’t have to miss it anymore because I am back with a much-needed Fringe Sport product review!
The newly redesigned Rogue Monster Utility Bench is finally here. That’s right; the beefiest, coolest looking utility bench to ever exist is no longer the most unwieldy bench around. The new 2.0 Monster Frame now has wheels and a handle, a tripod frame that makes setting of your feet less of an ordeal, and yes, it’s still available in the same six custom configurations.
In this review I will discuss the features, pros, and cons of the Monster Utility Bench 2.0 just as I normally would in a bench review. I will also give extra attention to how the Monster 2.0 compares to the Rep Fitness FB-5000; that ever-so-popular, extremely affordable, Fat Pad-compatible utility bench that beat the Monster 2.0 to market by over a year – the bench that has hundreds of 5-star reviews and no doubt finds a home in thousands of garage gyms.
It has been five years since the publication of my original weight bench shopping guide, and although I’ve managed to keep that article updated and current I thought it was time to start over. So here is version two.
A few months back I was looking to pick up a new trap bar for the gym. I wanted something basic, but not something cheap. I was willing to put some money into this new hex bar, but I wasn’t trying to see how many [mostly-unnecessary] bells & whistles I could cram into it and have to pay for. I simply wanted a new trap bar that had virtually no weight limitations, could be racked for shrugs, and was relatively easy to store; at least as far as hex bars go. I didn’t care about open-ended models, dual-handles, build-in jacks, etc.
This is a comprehensive review of the Body Solid Pro Clubline Lat & Mid Row Machine; an aggressively-priced, commercially-rated cable machine that allows one to perform both lat pulldowns and cable rows from the very same, surprisingly compact piece of equipment.
The SLM300G is exactly like the machines you used back in your global gym days. This is not a compromise machine with limitations or special needs; you can perform genuine, max effort, heavy lat pulldowns and rows, and all for a price the average garage gym owner can actually afford. At well under $2000 delivered this is by far the most accessible, commercial, dual-station lat tower on the market.
This is a comprehensive review of the Victory FT-5000, Rep Fitness’ take on one of (if not the most) versatile pieces of gym equipment available – the functional trainer.
For those of you who knew this review was coming and have been waiting patiently for me to complete it, I apologize for the longer than usual wait. I really wanted to be thorough with this review and that meant getting a lot of time on the FT-5000 before publishing anything. I also wanted a good amount of feedback from others who were using it in my gym. That too required slowing down the review process a little. A functional trainer is a major investment and I just wanted to detailed as possible with the content of this review.
This is a review for the Vulcan Absolute Stainless Steel Olympic Bar, easily one of the most impressive and attractive high-performance Olympic weightlifting bars on the market – and I don’t mean just among the few other stainless steel Olympic bars out there.
Priced at around $700; no small sum to be sure; the Absolute SS Oly is actually a lot of bar for the money. It has a high tensile strength stainless steel shaft; stainless steel sleeves that are just as resilient (and beautiful) as the shaft; high-performance German needle bearings; and an aggressive knurl that’s similar to what you’d find on a full competition bar.