I'm continuing down my path toward being a total recluse and am setting up a gym in the garage of my new house. Don't worry, I've searched and everything- this isn't a rehash of old threads.
My original plan was to get a power rack and an olympic bench that would do flat and incline. I also want dipping bars and a nice feeling chinup bar- I don't care for the straight knurled ones that are usually on power racks.The little leg extension/leg curl attachment isn't that important to me if it comes with an added price and reduced bench stability/functionality- although I guess I wouldn't mind having it as an option in the future if I wanted it.
At present, I'm debating between the standard powertec power rack (this one, minus the cable stuff: http://www.powertecfitness.com/power_rack_system.htm) and one of the racks from new york barbells- probably this one: (http://www.newyorkbarbells.tv/8510.html) because I like the chinning station and the dip bars are included. Maybe I'll add the cable stuff later, but I don't need or want it (or want to pay for it) now. I was leaning toward the Powertec because I like it in black, it's larger, and it's marginally cheaper, but the dip bars have a 400lb weight limit- I don't think that it's unreasonable to think that at some point Me + added dipping weight could exceed 400lbs- I'd hate to have that limitation built into something that I'm spending a chunk of cash on.
My original plan was to get a separate olympic bench, but again, due to the fact that the powertec bench has a max weight of 600lbs (I'm not there yet but if I'm dropping the $ then I don't really EVER want to grow out of this stuff- If I get to 225-250 and get my bench to the mid-300's that's pushing it) and the NYBB mega-bench costs as much to ship as it does to buy, I'm considering the option of buying a separate bench and just setting it inside the power rack (I'm leaning toward the NYBB super bench- rated for 1000lbs- it's cheaper than the powertec one, and although it doesn't have the leg attachment, it looks pretty sturdy). In my day of searching old posts, I read that El Pietro apparently didn't like this set up because the bench wasn't as stable and didn't allow for proper leg drive- I'll shell out the extra $150 for a full olympic bench rather than half-ass it if that setup would suck. It might be nice to have the safety bars as a pseudo-spotter as well, since I'll probably be working out alone most of the time.
So I guess my questions are:
Powertec or NYBB for quality/durability/value?
Appearance matters, but only minimally- functionality and quality are the most important. I want something solid that I can treat well and never have to replace.
Also, should I go for the full bench setup or will the stand-alone bench tucked inside the power rack work? If I go for the stand-alone, what are people's preferences? Unfortunately, I don't have a gym membership right now so I can't try this type of set up out- I may just get a day pass and see how it works for me.
I would like to have this stuff be the foundation of my workouts for a long time- and I'm willing to spend the extra cash if it's worth it, but I'm not really into the idea of throwing money away needlessly.
I'm hoping some of you vets (whose opinions I've come to really value) chime in here- I'd also like to hear any negatives that anyone has had with any of these, and if anyone has done any sort of A/B comparison/shootout, I'd love to hear about it.