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!
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.
I get asked time and time and time again about the various trap bar options out there, so I figured that it was finally time to put something together for those of you who who happen to be in the market. Here it is! My [long overdue] hex and trap bar shopping guide.
I hope that this guide helps you zero in on the best trap bar for you. With any luck, you will find not only the products that you’re currently considering already in this guide, but maybe even a couple of new options that you didn’t already know about.
This is a quick review of the Rep Fitness FB-4000; a lightweight version of Rep’s infamous FB-5000 Competition Bench.
In this review I get straight to the point about the FB-4000. I’ll go over the specifications and features, discuss any of those features that warrant discussion, and then I’ll dive right into a comparison between the FB-4000 Lite Comp Bench and the FB-5000 Competition Bench.
It’s finally here! My review of the Buddy Capps Texas Deadlift Bar!
This review took a little longer to finish than I had originally planned. I tend to do so many barbell reviews that when a couple of non-barbell review opportunities came up (the Body Solid Leg Curl / Leg Extension and the Rep Fitness HR-5000), I jumped on them – putting this one on the back burner. For those of you who have been patiently waiting to read this review, I apologize for making you wait (but I thank you for hanging in there!)
I love leg curls. Not only do I love leg curls but my programming prescribes them on a fairly regular basis; a couple times a weeks sometimes (Hybrid Performance Powerlifting; for any of you wondering.) To put that another way, I want and need to be able to do leg curls in my garage gym.
Between Rogue, Spud Inc, and all the smaller equipment manufacturers, there appears to be no shortage of tricep straps, ropes, and grips to choose from. There are products made from actual rope, leather, nylon, and even plastic. There is also no shortage of ways to add a pulley system to your garage gym these days. Between the new Rogue Slinger, the Spud Inc Econo Pulley, leverage systems like those from Body Solid or Powertec, and even a full blown lat/row tower, it’s quite common for garage gym owners to need these attachments.
About the time I was wrapping up my review for the Rep Fitness AB-5000 Zero Gap Bench back in December, Rep released the ever-so-popular FB-5000 Competition Bench in all the same colors that the AB-5000 was being offered in. In addition to there now being five color choices rather than just the one, there were some obvious changes made to the frame that looked promising as well.
Vulcan Strength currently offers three different power bars; the Elite Power Bar, the Vulcan Absolute Power Bar, and the Stainless Steel Absolute Power Bar. All three of these power bars are what I would consider to be premium pieces of equipment, and while they certainly do have their share of similarities (as the majority of mainstream power bars do), they’re all very unique indeed; each rivaling a great many of today’s most popular power bars.
So what makes these three Vulcan power bars different? and which of them; if any of them; is the best option for you and/or your gym?
It’s almost time for the second annual Garage Gym Competition. For those of you who don’t know, the Garage Gym Competition is a virtual powerlifting meet organized by Mr. Joe Gray of Gray Matter Lifting. Last year’s Garage Gym Competition was very successful, so the list of sponsors has grown significantly, and the quantity and quality of the prizes has also seen an improvement this year.
There has never been a better time to be in the market for an adjustable bench. For the first time ever we, as small gym owners, actually have multiple options when it comes to finding an affordable, durable, feature-heavy adjustable bench. No longer are we forced to choose between the cheap budget benches from the chain stores and the commercial benches that cost too much. Matter of fact, we have just enough in the way of bench options right now to make the process of choosing a little daunting; which I suppose is a much better problem to have than no good, affordable options at all!