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JSully
12-01-2009, 02:40 PM
I'm getting a squat rack for my garage. Looking into benches now.


Would you get a flat bench to put in the squat rack for benching, or would you rather just get a flat barbell bench separate?

Woud there be any benefit to getting an actual bench apparatus vs a flat bench to put in the rack?

Isaac Wilkins
12-01-2009, 02:44 PM
Depends on your space. A stand-alone bench is going to be a little more solid and will always be centered under racks.

A mobile bench (a good one) is great for most people. I'd recommend one that is pretty heavy. You don't want it moving around under you and if you have any leg drive you'd be surprised how much they can. That being said for the longest time Will and I did our benching on an old cheap Gold's Gym bench that he'd picked up from CraigsList. That includes shirted benching well over 400. I'm sure he's picked up something better by now.

JSully
12-01-2009, 02:48 PM
Space isn't an issue... but would you rather use the space for a standalone bench, or a plate loaded lat pulldown/low row machine?

Also, I typically train alone. I'm leaning towards a portable bench so that I will have safety pins when heavy benching.

Thoughts?

Isaac Wilkins
12-01-2009, 02:51 PM
Space isn't an issue... but would you rather use the space for a standalone bench, or a plate loaded lat pulldown/low row machine?

Also, I typically train alone. I'm leaning towards a portable bench so that I will have safety pins when heavy benching.

Thoughts?

I think that the portable bench gives you a ton more options. I was actually going to add that if you go with the stand-alone bench you'll probably still end up buying a portable for rack lockouts and that type of stuff.

I'd definitely rather have a pulldown/row machine and a portable bench than a basically one-use fixed bench.

And the safety thing is a definite.

rbtrout
12-01-2009, 02:52 PM
If I were to set up a home gym, I'd probably have 2 benches (if I could afford it) - a mobile bench and a larger, more sturdy one.

Beverly McD.
12-01-2009, 02:56 PM
You may want to get a pair of safety-straps (or chains) to hang from the cage for squats. With no spotter they would probably be a good investment. We have them on our monolift even though we generally have enough good spotters. They've come in handy a time or two LOL.

MarcusWild
12-01-2009, 03:37 PM
Are you going to have many people training with you? When we were in my garage, we had a Forza and a flat bench to put in the power rack. I was trying to increase how many people were training with us though.

JSully
12-01-2009, 03:41 PM
I train alone mostly. Every once in a while I'll be graced with a lifting partner, lol..

Thanks for the info everyone.

Cmanuel
12-01-2009, 04:31 PM
If space/money wasnt a factor, i'd pimp my garage with this
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=114&pid=431

Along with a good rack. Redundant? Maybe. Cool? Heck ya

But, I think as long as you invest in a good portable bench, take accurate measurements to center it, mark where the bench is, you will be just fine. In reality, when the time comes to build my dream garage gym, i'll probably do the rack/portable combo to save money for other equipment like a GHR or pulldown.

Oh and make sure you take pictures of your setup so i can waste more time at work today by dreaming haha.

JSully
12-01-2009, 04:39 PM
meh, the pulldown isn't a row combo so I'm not going to get it. I'll hold off for now. Going to dump the rest of my $500 budget into weight..

JK1
12-01-2009, 04:46 PM
We just have 'portable' dumbell benches in the gym. I don't want someone smashed because we don't have enough spotters and the dumbell bench gives alot more versatility. I'd take the extra money and spend it on weights and bars.

Brian999
12-01-2009, 05:06 PM
Yeah it sure adds up. This thread should help: http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129269

JSully
12-02-2009, 08:09 AM
We just have 'portable' dumbell benches in the gym. I don't want someone smashed because we don't have enough spotters and the dumbell bench gives alot more versatility. I'd take the extra money and spend it on weights and bars.

This is what I ended up doing. I got a Champion squat rack, powder coated black with twist pins. A flat bench, an incline bench, an old school 1200lb bar and 2 100lb plates for $180..

My budget was $500.. now I've got $320 to spend on weights at our local used sports store..

Thanks for the input everyone.

WillKuenzel
12-02-2009, 08:54 AM
I've since bought a cheap flat bench and when we go heavy we slide it right into the power rack (where we can set the safety bars) and use it like it were a db flat bench. We can do bench outside of the rack but more often we don't. It fits up to the power rack, we just adjust the j-hooks down to where we need it to bench. It's long enough that we have plenty of room, length wise, and can safely do anything heavy without fear of stability of some cheaper db flat benches.

Here's a pretty stupid video that shows what we do now (if you see).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQnoti2RBMs

Don't ask what we're doing, cause I don't know. We were just goofing off.

JSully
12-02-2009, 09:36 AM
Those weight releasers look fun.. I see what you mean though, nice setup.

Tom Mutaffis
12-02-2009, 09:46 AM
I have a BodySolid adjustable bench and it works well for home gym applications. Versatile, solid, and not too expensive.

This is the one that I have and I believe I paid around $200-225. http://www.bigfitness.com/bosoflindebe.html

You may also want to keep an eye on craigslist/ebay/play-it-again for used commercial grade benches.

Runty
02-03-2010, 08:09 PM
Wow, great news. I'm actually about to buy a bench this week and was looking at getting that exact model Tom. Glad to hear it's got your recommendation, especially seeing as the weights you move and you yourself are bigger than I'll probably ever be. It seemed like it was one of the very few FID benches that seemed to be sturdy with no wobbling when not at the rock bottom position too. 1000lbs rating and lifetime guarantee don't hurt either.

ehopkins932
02-04-2010, 12:57 PM
Also, the free-spotter from shermworks.com is something to consider for ME bench work. I have one and it works well. I dont use it for squatting though.

JSully
02-04-2010, 01:14 PM
Glad to hear it's got your recommendation, especially seeing as the weights you move and you yourself are bigger than I'll probably ever be.
don't sell yourself short bro.. if you think like that, it'll surely be true..

the sky's the limit..


no offense Tom, just don't like to see people talking down about themselves.

Robert Crawford
02-04-2010, 01:46 PM
Space isn't an issue... but would you rather use the space for a standalone bench, or a plate loaded lat pulldown/low row machine?

Also, I typically train alone. I'm leaning towards a portable bench so that I will have safety pins when heavy benching.

Thoughts?

Buy your power rack from Elite FTS. They've thought of everything. I've used two power racks for the past 35 years. I wish I could indulge myself and buy a new power rack from Elite FTS. I've been lusting for one.

Don't waste space and money on a plate-loaded lat machine. You can attach bands to a power rack and do everything that you could do with a fancy, expensive plate-loaded lat machine. Heck, lots of power racks allow you to run a pully across the top of the rack so that you can use your weight plates on a basket if you want to row with plates.

Robert Crawford
Whitefish Bay, WI

Runty
02-07-2010, 11:31 PM
don't sell yourself short bro.. if you think like that, it'll surely be true..

the sky's the limit..


no offense Tom, just don't like to see people talking down about themselves.

Yeah, wasn't trying to sell myself short, just seems like a long way till I'm where he is. I plan on getting huge once again, but after smashing my patella up last summer and losing a bunch of weight it just seems like a long grind again. Plus I'm naturally skinny so weight loss is a major bummer but being back on squats 3x a week and whole milk feels awesome.