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KoSh
03-23-2010, 08:16 AM
As some here know, I'm in the process of investing in my own home gym and I'm hoping to get it done sooner rather than later, but who knows at this point. Right now I'm stuck in a debate with myself.

I am going with a more expensive rack than I originally planned on and I don't have a very big budget. The rack will probably run me $900-1000 with shipping. My budget is around $3,000 at the moment.

Mats won't be more than $200. DBs will be about $800. A good bench will run me about $250. I have bands, need to buy chains (about $130)

That leaves me with around 600 and I still need a bar/plates. I'm actually hoping I can come in way under $3000, even though I know that's pretty cheap. But it's a goal.

I can get the plates and a bar from Dick's for $530 or so. The bar would only be a 500 lb rated bar. No name brand plates.

I was looking at the 500 lb Troy sets. The set comes with a 500 lb rated bar, (6) 45s, (2) 35s, (2) 25s, (4) 10s, (4) 5s, (2) 2.5... That would be like $630 w/ shipping included and a 10 yr warrantee.

I need two more 45s so that would run me an extra $116 or so.

The plates are 3 hole plates. They look pretty good. I'm completely confused as to what to do here. Anyone have a little guidance?

I don't have a ton of money so completely busting my budget isn't really an option...

Sean S
03-23-2010, 09:16 AM
If it were me, I would cut back on the DB's and buy a decent bar. A 500 lb. rated bar will be destroyed in almost no time if you use any weight at all for any of your exercises. Buy a good sturdy multi-purpose bar like a texas power bar. A good bar may be the most important investment you make. You can live without DB's for a while, but you're pretty much screwed if you bend your bar in a month or two.
I think any olympic plates that aren't hex shaped will be fine.

Travis Bell
03-23-2010, 09:37 AM
I got my DB's used for $475 40's up to 100's

Plates are also best bought used. You can buy more plates and spend less money. Craigslist is really good for this. Don't buy that crap from Dicks. It's overpriced and the bars suck

Take the money you'd have spent at Dicks and spend $250 on a Texas Power bar. Those Oly gym bars are garbage. They whip like crazy and often times the rings are different from bar to bar.

In my area, there were a ton of gyms going out of business when I was purchasing equipment. Great way to save some cash.

Don't spend money on stuff that isn't super necessary that it be nice. Some of my plates are rusty and dusty from some old guys garage, but my rack and bars are top notch.

I wouldn't sweat chains just yet either. Not a must and sometimes you can find them used at a scrapyard.

kmagnuss
03-23-2010, 09:39 AM
I've found 300+ lb weight sets on craigslist for under $100 all the time. The bar I'm sure won't work for you, but I bet you could come up with over 600 # of plates for $150 or so... plus you won't have to pay tax or shipping.

Weight is weight... if you dont' like how it looks you can always paint it.

Chris Smith
03-23-2010, 09:40 AM
Yeah spend some extra cash and get a good bar. You can get a Jesup bar pretty cheap still, and its a very durable bar. Check Jesupgym.com. As for the plates--try to find them used--brand new stuff costs out the ass. Even if you have to drive a couple hours away to pick them up, it would be well worth it. The stuff is out there--you just have to look, and have a little patience. It has taken me over 4 years to build a decent key club gym. Just bought pieces here and there--over time, I had enough to open it up.

BloodandThunder
03-23-2010, 09:57 AM
+25 on the good bar. I work out with the crappiest equipment you can imagine...yet with a good bar, you barely notice the difference. I'd recommend a Texas/Jesup bar (the training q-bar is pretty decent too), but I'd also get a piece of crap one for things like rack pulls where if u drop the bar with 5+ on it, you don't have to worry about murdering the bar. Either way, just make sure the knurling on the bar is decent.

Honestly, go on craigslist and other sites...you'd be surprised what you can find. If you live by a university, go check out their salvage centers. Often, they gut their fitness facilities to exchange new equipment for old. A certain university I attend has no iron weights on campus anymore, but were selling the perfectly good old ones at ridiculously old prices. Hell, send a call to some HS gyms or local gyms that are being bought by chains.

As far as chains, go to a local marina or marine supplier. They often have the cheapest 5/8 chain. Otherwise, you can get a huge bucket of 3/8 and cut it to 5-6 ft lengths. Yes, you'll end up with double the amount of chain, but this is pretty cheap and as long as you have the room for it, it doesn't matter.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 10:10 AM
First off, thanks for all the suggestions.

The first thing I did was look on Craigslist for weights. Unfortunately, most of the weights being sold in my area for the last few months have been the standard weights, the ones with the small diameter hole.

I'm going to continue looking there.

I was battling myself on the 500 lb bar as well... Seeing how I'm starting to high box squat weights at about 500 lbs and I deadlift over that... It was definitely a concern of mine. I'll look into the jessup bars and such. I'm going to have to reowrk some numbers and figure out exactly how much I'm going to have to spend. I have to get my rack custom cut to fit my basement, so it'll be a 76" rack or so.

The DBs I'm going to probably not get on my own and just see if I can get a portion of those paid for for a birthday present or something (BDay is in September).

Still, I have the dilemma of weights, a bar and a bench.

If anyone has any bench suggestions I'm all ears. You guys are awesome, by the way.

tnathletics2b
03-23-2010, 10:12 AM
I bought 750 pounds of plates on Craigslist for $200 about 6 months ago. I looked for about 2 months, though, before I found them. Patience is key when it comes to used stuff.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 10:24 AM
Just checked Jessup Gym... 7 ft. Olympic Bar, 1500# test for $135 shipped? That's pretty cheap...

http://jesupgym.com/products.php?cid=12

475 lbs of weights would cost me $322.50 + shipping from there as well. We'll see what the shipping quote is, I just emailed them. I'm not going to rush into it as I'm still going to check out craigslist. But that place seems awesome. $.70 a pound for the plates.

And that's if I bought all the weights straight up, they have a 300 lb set that comes with a 700# test bar that I could use as a "beat up" bar for $219.95. It doesn't say what weights come with that set, however. My guess would be (2) 45s, (2) 35s, (2) 25s, (2) 10s, (4) 5s, (2) 2.5s...

So $219.95 + $203 (Six 45s, two 10s added), +135 = $557.95 + Shipping and I'm getting a 1500# bar, 700# bar, and 545 lbs of weight. That doesn't seem like a bad deal in the least.

Great suggestion on that site. Even if I had to pay a little extra than I wanted to there, that's still a GREAT deal.

Wee Dahrey
03-23-2010, 10:32 AM
$165 shipped i think but it's a very good bar. it was recommended to me by others & i love it.

StLRPh
03-23-2010, 10:34 AM
Kosh,

I'd call around and see if you can get a package deal from someone. You're spending a fair amount of cash and it definitely doesn't hurt to ask.

Some places to check out:
http://www.snpequipment.com/ - I got my Bench from Scott and its great. Good prices and reasonable shipping. Makes his own stuff and its top quality. Give him an email and I bet he'd work something out with you. He may also have more stuff than listed on the website.
http://www.roguefitness.com/ - they offer free shipping on some stuff. I've also heard you have a specific set of equipment that you want they'll work with you on a deal
http://www.ironwoodyfitness.com/ - they are having a sale on plates right now. good price and good plates
http://www.theg2scart.com/ - good prices and shipping

For a bar, get a good one. You'd bend a cheap bar within a month.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 10:46 AM
St, SnP is going to make my rack for me. Scott is great. Very thorough email responses as well. I'm looking into those other sites as well. I don't believe he offers plates, though. And since my basement has a low ceiling, I can't do package deals with alot of these places.

Travis Bell
03-23-2010, 10:49 AM
Craigslist is like Ebay, you have to check pretty consistently for awhile before you find exactly what you want

MarcusWild
03-23-2010, 10:49 AM
We have 3 of the jessup bars. They are a slightly larger diameter than a Texas power bar which annoys some people for benching. They are really good bars though. I'd skip the $800 dumbbells. Just buy dumbbell handles that you can load with weights. Keep your eyes out for gyms going out of business. It's happening with the economy, and they sell stuff cheap.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 11:03 AM
We have 3 of the jessup bars. They are a slightly larger diameter than a Texas power bar which annoys some people for benching. They are really good bars though. I'd skip the $800 dumbbells. Just buy dumbbell handles that you can load with weights. Keep your eyes out for gyms going out of business. It's happening with the economy, and they sell stuff cheap.

The DB handle idea crossed my mind... But aren't the DBs awkward to handle with bigger weights on them (25s, 35s, 45s)? I've never used them, so I'm not entirely sure how those bad boys work.

StLRPh
03-23-2010, 11:12 AM
The DB handle idea crossed my mind... But aren't the DBs awkward to handle with bigger weights on them (25s, 35s, 45s)? I've never used them, so I'm not entirely sure how those bad boys work.

I use mine with 25's and its a little big. Just get a lot of 10lb plates. :)

KoSh
03-23-2010, 11:15 AM
I use mine with 25's and its a little big. Just get a lot of 10lb plates. :)

Then I run out of space... I'll be working with weights up into the 100s. Definitely want to make sure that idea is feasible before I pull the trigger heh.

ehubbard
03-23-2010, 11:23 AM
The DB handle idea crossed my mind... But aren't the DBs awkward to handle with bigger weights on them (25s, 35s, 45s)? I've never used them, so I'm not entirely sure how those bad boys work.

At first it is a bit awkward but you get used to the dumbbell handles. You will need to get at least eight 10 lb plates and four (preferably eight) 25's to get decent weight on the dumbbell. Also, make sure that if you find weights on Craigslist that you are getting round plates (at least the 45's). I have some octagonal plates but at least they fit inside a round plate so that there are no issues deadlifting from the floor. How far are you from Elmira, NY? You may want to call New York Barbell and see if they have used plates. There is a NYBB store down here in Hicksville, where I got most of my plates for 50 cents a pound.

ehubbard
03-23-2010, 11:26 AM
Then I run out of space... I'll be working with weights up into the 100s. Definitely want to make sure that idea is feasible before I pull the trigger heh.

I can easily get mine to load up to 180. I have the DB handles from EFS. I wouldnt waste your money now on the dumbbells.

Also, if I were you I would scrap the dumbbell idea and get a back extension.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 11:31 AM
I use mine with 25's and its a little big. Just get a lot of 10lb plates. :)


I can easily get mine to load up to 180. I have the DB handles from EFS. I wouldnt waste your money now on the dumbbells.

Also, if I were you I would scrap the dumbbell idea and get a back extension.

Scrap it altogether, including the handles? I need some sort of dumbbells, heh. If everything goes as planned, I'd be spending a total of around $2,250. For now, that would be awesome. Then I can concentrate on extension and/or a GHR/Reverse Hyper as the next spending spree.

ehubbard
03-23-2010, 11:52 AM
No scrap the dumbbell set, get the handles, they are around $120 shipped I believe.

StLRPh
03-23-2010, 12:01 PM
If you're going the route of handles think about thick handles. Get a little grip work in while doing you're accessory lifts.

SELK
03-23-2010, 01:01 PM
I got all my equipment from a gym going under. 2000lbs of weight, rack, bench, weight trees and some other small stuff for $1500. It was all used but in good shape (it was a family fitness center haha). I highly recommend you look long and hard for something like this. I seem to come across a gym going under in my area every month or two. Ive bought a few other things as well (such as a better bar).

$1000 on a rack seems expensive if your budget is 3k. You can get a decent rack for a few hundred dollars. I see this rack for sale used all the time for very cheap:
http://www.afitnessequipment.com/afitnessequipment/html/media/P-PR.lg.jpg even new i bet its cheap.

Ive used it and its fine. The hole spacing is a little big, but if its your gym you can put the rack on some plywood the fine tine it if needed.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 01:20 PM
As I've said, I don't have many options with the rack. My ceiling only allows for 78" and that's touching the boards at the top and with nothing underneath the rack.

The rack I'm going to have made will be cut to 76". It'll only be about $700, but the shipping will be expensive.

There aren't a ton of gyms in the area, but I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Jesup doesn't ship weights anyways, I just got a response via email on shipping costs. That blows.

Might have to get some Iron Woodys, but I don't like the weight increments. Oh well. They're cheap and beggars can't be choosers.

ehubbard
03-23-2010, 02:03 PM
As I've said, I don't have many options with the rack. My ceiling only allows for 78" and that's touching the boards at the top and with nothing underneath the rack.

The rack I'm going to have made will be cut to 76". It'll only be about $700, but the shipping will be expensive.

There aren't a ton of gyms in the area, but I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Jesup doesn't ship weights anyways, I just got a response via email on shipping costs. That blows.

Might have to get some Iron Woodys, but I don't like the weight increments. Oh well. They're cheap and beggars can't be choosers.

Elmira is 2 hours from Rochester. Call New York Barbell up and see if they have any used plates. Gas will run you 30 bucks and you can fit the plates in a car.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 02:09 PM
Elmira is 2 hours from Rochester. Call New York Barbell up and see if they have any used plates. Gas will run you 30 bucks and you can fit the plates in a car.

I talked to them previously and they said no. I'll try again.

C-Sobrino
03-23-2010, 02:45 PM
If I lived in the US and was purchasing equipment for my own home gym I would buy the following:

Rack and bench combo from Louie (~$1,500)
Capp Texas Power Bar from weightlifterswarehouse.com (~$300)
A pair of olympic dumbbell handles and some good collars (~150)
Buld your own wood and mats platform (~$100)

That would all add up to about $2,050 leaving $950 for used plates.

KoSh
03-23-2010, 03:03 PM
Again,

I can't buy most stock racks. My basement ceiling is only 78" tall to the beam.

MarcusWild
03-23-2010, 03:50 PM
If I lived in the US and was purchasing equipment for my own home gym I would buy the following:

Rack and bench combo from Louie (~$1,500)
Capp Texas Power Bar from weightlifterswarehouse.com (~$300)
A pair of olympic dumbbell handles and some good collars (~150)
Buld your own wood and mats platform (~$100)

That would all add up to about $2,050 leaving $950 for used plates.

Do NOT order from weight lifter's warehouse. My g/f ordered me a texas power bar for my birthday and it took 2 months to get it. That was after she called before ordering it and he said it'd arrive within 2 weeks. We got the complete run around of excuses and BS. He charged her right away for it. Weeks later he refunded the money because he said he wouldn't be able to get one. Then a few days later he charged her for it and shipped it. It was a mess.

Runty
03-23-2010, 08:58 PM
There is absolutely no reason you should be considering getting weights shipped. Total waste of money. The only weights that should ever be shipped is bumpers because they are so few and far between. Just wait for Craigslist, something will come up and it will save you literally hundreds of dollars if your purchasing several hundred pounds. A little tip I learned is try searching for misspelled words too. Wieghts, Olimpic, things like that. Craigslist is pretty informal and most people treat it as such, no spell check, etc.

KoSh
03-24-2010, 06:01 AM
That's a really good point about misspelled words. I'll get on that. Thanks man.

KoSh
03-24-2010, 08:56 AM
Ok, so... I can get my rack (with band pegs at the bottom), a sled and a bench for $1100... SHIPPED.

That frees some some major budget room... if I can find cheap weights I may be able to get this project in under $2 grand. OUTSTANDING! hahaha.

BloodandThunder
03-24-2010, 09:23 AM
Awesome you got a rack with band pegs at the bottom. Wait for a sale at elitefts and get some bands cheap.

If you're really trying to be stingy, try getting mats from a closing gym or off facebook. Then just get some 3/4" plywood and bolts to make a decent platform. Some 2x4's can make you some boards for benching and blocks for block pulls.

AdamBAG
03-24-2010, 09:42 AM
Scott builds fantastic equipment. He's built all kinds of stuff for us at BAG. I should have a rack he built for me in my garage some time next week.

As Kosh said, Scott will do custom jobs too, which you don't get from a lot of places.

KoSh
03-24-2010, 10:27 AM
Awesome you got a rack with band pegs at the bottom. Wait for a sale at elitefts and get some bands cheap.

If you're really trying to be stingy, try getting mats from a closing gym or off facebook. Then just get some 3/4" plywood and bolts to make a decent platform. Some 2x4's can make you some boards for benching and blocks for block pulls.

I have bands already. Monster Short Minis, Short Averages, minis and lights.

I could probably get some strongs and heavies, but for now I'd say I'm alright.

I'm just going to go with horse stall mats. $37 each. Get 4 of those. Won't even need a platform.Do it right from the floor.

Scott is the man at SnP.

KoSh
03-24-2010, 04:32 PM
Okay, so I've set my bar budget at around $250 (not including shipping)... May be willing to go a bit higher. You guys are great with this stuff so I'll throw it out there... What's a good, affordable Texas Power Bar? Even some slightly higher priced ones are okay to throw into the fray. Thanks again, guys.

I found this one: http://www.adamantbarbell.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=627

KoSh
03-24-2010, 04:39 PM
Okay, so I've set my bar budget at around $250 (not including shipping)... May be willing to go a bit higher. You guys are great with this stuff so I'll throw it out there... What's a good, affordable Texas Power Bar? Even some slightly higher priced ones are okay to throw into the fray. Thanks again, guys.

I found this one: http://www.adamantbarbell.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=627

As I typed this I was offered a texas bar from Scott for $60 cheaper. Heh. I may be able to afford the chains after all when this is all said and done.

KoSh
03-25-2010, 05:31 AM
Plate shopping sucks LOL!

Found a guy that is willing to give me 325 lbs of weight (2 45s, 2 35s, 4 25s, 4 10s, 4 5s, 2 2.5s) for $200... But I'd still need 6 more 45 lb plates. D'oh!

ehubbard
03-25-2010, 06:47 AM
You try Play It Again Sports yet?

KoSh
03-25-2010, 06:51 AM
You try Play It Again Sports yet?

Called them but there was no answer... Just kept ringing. Thanks for the reminder... Gotta call them back. Glad I post my every thought in this thread, you're helping me remember to do the stuff I forget to do. heh.

Thanks man! :)

ehubbard
03-25-2010, 07:07 AM
Called them but there was no answer... Just kept ringing. Thanks for the reminder... Gotta call them back. Glad I post my every thought in this thread, you're helping me remember to do the stuff I forget to do. heh.

Thanks man! :)

No problem! I remember not that long ago when I was buying my first house how excited I was to get this togther. I order my rack 2 months before closing because it was going to take 6 weeks to get here.

Now, I am full of ideas. You could also go down to local Dick's, Sports Authority, etc. and hit on one of the young ladies there and see if she can get you a "discount".

KoSh
03-25-2010, 08:25 AM
The 45 lb plates at Dick's are cheap... They're $.89 a pound. But is there alot of variation in the weight of them?

KoSh
03-30-2010, 06:16 AM
Got 610 pounds of weight, a beat up bar, and horse stall mats.

Power Rack (w/ Bottom Band Pegs), Bench, Sled, Texas Power Bar ordered.

Need to get Oly DB Handles still. I saw some at Dick's for $29.99, they were Fitness Gear brand. Does brand really matter all that much on these? I'm guessing it does somewhat as I don't want the handles to bend. Anyone have experience with those particular DB handles?

Also:

What should I use for a box? Building my own would probably be the most efficient cost wise, but just seeing if anyone of you have any ideas.

gmen5681
03-30-2010, 07:21 AM
http://tsampa.org/training/blog/archives/2005/08/

just build your own.

KoSh
03-30-2010, 07:32 AM
That thing looks like it weighs 95 lbs. Outstanding.

ehubbard
03-30-2010, 07:43 AM
That thing looks like it weighs 95 lbs. Outstanding.

If you want something lighter, more convenient to use and just as effective, you can get 3/4 inch thick 2x2 plywood squares and use those instead of more wood on the top. I made two boxes that are 6.25 inches thick with 2x6 and the plywood tops. I wouldnt use the design I just mentioned to do block pulls though.

KoSh
03-30-2010, 08:20 AM
Here's what I was thinking...

Get a 2x4x8 board and cut it down into the following:

1- 24" piece
2-22.5" pieces
1- 21" piece

Form a box with those pieces. With these dimensions the box should form to 24x24"

The height will be 3.5".

Take a piece of 3/4" plywood and lay it on top. The 3/4" plywood is actually a tad under 3/4" in thickness, but you'd get a box height of roughly 4.25".

That's one box.

Make three more to the exact same dimensions.

Now I have 4 seperate boxes.

If I pile one on top of another I now have a 8.5" box. Add another and it's a 12.75" box and another would be an 17" box. Any time I add a layer I add a layer of matting to avoid having the boxes slip around.

Which all seems like its very similar to the concept you said, except after two boxes (12.5" box) you would just add more 3/4" playwood squares to the top.

That actually seems like it would be a cheaper solution.

What lengths did you cut the lumber into to create the boxes?

ehubbard
03-30-2010, 08:54 AM
You need a cross piece to support the structure of the box. I cut two pieces to 24 inches as my outer pieces and formed the core of the box with an H bracket made of three 21 inch pieces. Similar to the pictire but my crossbar runs the other way. I am no carpenter though

KoSh
03-30-2010, 09:00 AM
That's not a bad idea, either.

simpler, too.

2- 24" pieces
3-21" pieces.

If I did 2 boxes I'd need:

3- 2x6x8'
5 (or so)- 3/4"x2x2 pieces of CDX ply
Some kind of matting to slip underneath the boxes (or small carpet squares)

Ermantroudt
03-31-2010, 08:44 AM
Huge Bump for the Jesup Bar-it is stiffer than the Texas Bar!

I attached a pic of my box.

johnnyo_99
03-31-2010, 09:15 PM
Do NOT order from weight lifter's warehouse. My g/f ordered me a texas power bar for my birthday and it took 2 months to get it. That was after she called before ordering it and he said it'd arrive within 2 weeks. We got the complete run around of excuses and BS. He charged her right away for it. Weeks later he refunded the money because he said he wouldn't be able to get one. Then a few days later he charged her for it and shipped it. It was a mess.

i actually had a very good experience from paul at weightlifters warehouse. the texas power bar they sell is THE best and a great price. Cap barbell in arlington makes the bars and the same bars used in all USAPL compititions. my $0.02

MarcusWild
03-31-2010, 11:28 PM
i actually had a very good experience from paul at weightlifters warehouse. the texas power bar they sell is THE best and a great price. Cap barbell in arlington makes the bars and the same bars used in all USAPL compititions. my $0.02

Bill Ennis is the guy that owns the company. I don't think he has anyone that works for him. He always answers if you call. I'm not sure who Paul is.

Cmanuel
07-03-2010, 05:24 PM
Im bumping this thread because it has provided a lot of info for me as i prepare to build a home gym.

Quick question: what bar did you go with and how do you like it?

KoSh
07-04-2010, 07:22 AM
I got a bar from Scott are Strength and Power. He can't sell them outright, they need to be packaged with other goods, or at least they did.

It's a great bar. Send Scott an email. See if he can sell the individually.