Need advice on racks

Discussion in 'Home Exercise Equipment' started by Ruthenian, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Ruthenian

    Ruthenian New Member

    A local fitness store is clearing out their Keys Fitness stuff and they have a half rack with high-low lat attachment and Smith System for about $1300 (like this without pec dec Keys Rack).  I have had my eye on this for awhile, but I can get a good power rack with a lat attachment for about $800 (even $450 for a Powerline).  I would like folks' input on how to go.  I know the bias will be to a power rack, so things to also think about:

    - I like the more open feel of the half rack
    - The Smith System is not an absolute need, but it might make it more likely that the wife and kids will lift.  It also makes some exercises handier (calf raises, rear shrugs, etc).  And I may need it some day when I get old!
    - The half rack has 8 plate horns for storage (small detail)

    On the other hand, there are lots of attachments and options available for a standard power rack.

    Note that a comparable system locally from someone like Parabody is a few hundred bucks more and the cheaper systems mostly look to be straight vertical or not have the free weight (non-Smith) catches.

    It really comes down to whether the Smith System attachment is worth having.  Lots of people hate them, others say having it has been helpful.  I suspect that it doesn't hurt to have it, just in case.  But this board is the most knowledgeable around.  Input?

    I already have a bench and weights.  I have looked at Craig's List and will try Play It Again Sports, too.
     
  2. stevejones

    stevejones New Member

    <div>
    (Ruthenian @ Dec. 06 2006,16:54)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">A local fitness store is clearing out their Keys Fitness stuff and they have a half rack with high-low lat attachment and Smith System for about $1300 (like this without pec dec Keys Rack).  I have had my eye on this for awhile, but I can get a good power rack with a lat attachment for about $800 (even $450 for a Powerline).  I would like folks' input on how to go.  I know the bias will be to a power rack, so things to also think about:

    - I like the more open feel of the half rack
    - The Smith System is not an absolute need, but it might make it more likely that the wife and kids will lift.  It also makes some exercises handier (calf raises, rear shrugs, etc).  And I may need it some day when I get old!
    - The half rack has 8 plate horns for storage (small detail)

    On the other hand, there are lots of attachments and options available for a standard power rack.

    Note that a comparable system locally from someone like Parabody is a few hundred bucks more and the cheaper systems mostly look to be straight vertical or not have the free weight (non-Smith) catches.

    It really comes down to whether the Smith System attachment is worth having.  Lots of people hate them, others say having it has been helpful.  I suspect that it doesn't hurt to have it, just in case.  But this board is the most knowledgeable around.  Input?

    I already have a bench and weights.  I have looked at Craig's List and will try Play It Again Sports, too.</div>
    My very opinionated comments:

    The smith machine deal is crap. Don't do it. Smith machine squats are a pain, because they restrict your squat &quot;groove&quot;, and when it comes to something like squats, everyone has a different one. So, it's a toss up on the smith. Your &quot;groove&quot; might like the smith, or it might hate it. I guess you could do squats using the gun rack and spotters, but I don't think that would be as reliable as doing squats in a power cage, maybe not..I've never done them using a gun rack thingamajig. You can also do pullups on the top of a powercage. How are you going to do pullups on that thing ? I hate pec decks, too susceptible to getting pec tears.

    Ok, that's my .02 based on what I need in MY little world
     
  3. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Yeah my strength and mass development has accelerated since I bought a power-rack. In a few months my quadriceps went from being my worst bodypart to being among one of my best! All because of barbell squats (parallel) in a power-cage. I can go as heavy as I need without a spotter since there are adjustable solid steel safety bars. Also I do pressing in the cage (again safety bars allow heavier lifts). And it has a built-in chin-up bar. Also I custom built a dipping platform from one-inch steel pipes and fittings for the cage.

    Seriously because of the power-rack (and max-stimulation training), my quads are exploding, I started doing something like 150 lb.s squats, now I am doing 280 lb.s for reps in only 4 months. It sounds crazy, but my quadriceps were so underdeveloped that they responded extremely well. I added 1.5&quot; to my thighs also in 4 months! and they look more defined than ever.
    -Buy the cage! [​IMG]
     
  4. Ruthenian

    Ruthenian New Member

    Tell us how you really feel, Steve! [​IMG]

    Seriously, you can use the lat bar to do pullups, but it is not nearly as secure as a fixed bar. And I wouldn't get the pec dec.  But I hear you.  I would only use the Smith for a limited number of exercises and have to ask myself if it is worth the added expense.

    I wonder about the gun racks, too, and would need to try them before buying.  However, I do like the concept of multiple racking points in case of emergency, so added hooks with a power rack appeals to me.

    Sci, I saw your comments on parallel squats earlier and will probably ask a question on this in the training forum.

    Thanks for the input!

    Locally I really only have Parabody to choose from.  On the web, York Barbell has a great selection of power racks with nice accessories.  Anyone have experience with these? [​IMG]
     
  5. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Scientific Muscle: as an emergency post to a freind&gt; after hundreds of posts in here in favor of ATG, why are you risking your knees with parallels? I say drop some weight if needed, and get down low, bro! You're gonna have trouble sooner or later when the weight comes up. Just because they feel okay now doesn't mean anything.
    JMO.
     
  6. Sonny

    Sonny New Member

    I believe I have everything I need to do a safe and effective workout.
    The power rack is the only way to go for bench press, but for the legs I prefer the hack squat/leg press machine. There are not many (if any) exercises I can’t do with what I have.
    I have all Body Solid equipment from Fitness Warehouse. I'm not a great fan of Key's.
    It comes with a life time guarantee and if I ever have a part go bad or even a cushion tears they will send me another in a couple of days with no questions asked .
    I love all my equipment. And the cost isn’t all that bad for what you get.
    Let me not forget my most favored piece . The Hot Tub..Ahhh !

    Here is a pic of my home gym.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Thanks for the advice my friend.
    Well, I actually started doing ATG squats but had to stop because my knees hurt when fully flexed and under pressure. I have a torn meniscus in my right knee(cartilage in knee) and my surgeon told me to refrain from any exercise where my knee is fully flexed and I am putting weight on it. The weird part was most of the pain was in my left healthy knee! Since stopping ATG squats, my knees have been totally healthy and feel good. Maybe I am the exception to the rule. I will listen to my orthopedic surgeon above a bunch of bodybuilders...sorry.
    Most problems with parallel squatting come from poor form/squatting explosively. I go down easy and controlled, when I get close to parallel I slow down and ease slowly from the negative portion of the squat to the positive lift. The main problem with parallel squats is that guys quickly slam the lowering motion instantly into the lifitng motion, kind of like throwing your manual transmission from reverse into 1st gear, while you are still rolling backwards! It jolts the knee tendons with excessive force. Also wrapping the knees tightly like some power-lifters do can help with strength, but it is also extremely dangerous to put pressure on the tendons like that!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    WoW, Nice gym Sonny! I have ALMOST all that, except the hack squat machine, that must have cost a pretty penny!
     
  9. Sonny

    Sonny New Member

    I have two screwed up meniscus; they were flattened out and frayed on the edges from doing heavy squats for many years.
    The edges looked like the edge of a flag that had been blown in the wind to long
    The doc went in and cut a big portion of them out. Hence! The Hack squat machine.
    This machine allows you to get a hard leg workout with no where near the stress on the knees compared to the other conventional exercises.
    I also have a bad shoulder, which happen when a dumb bell got away from me when doing BP flies and hyper extended it  . So I got the cable cross over. It allows me to do the flies with a lot less worry. And as such I can get a better work out.
    I have other horror stories, but that’s another day.

    Sonny
     
  10. Sonny

    Sonny New Member

    Would you believe it!
    I was reading the local newspaper and found the hack squat machine for $500 with 500lb’s of steel all like brand new. What was interesting was the old dude I got if from was Mr. America in 1970.
    I got the cable crossover on eBay for $150.
    All the rest of the equipment, I sold my stupid BowFlex and took the money and bought new.
    I find all kind of Body Solid equipment in the newspaper regularly.
    Last week I found a Body-Solid G6B Home Gym which if bought new would cost $1800 or more, the guy had it advertised for $700 I got him down to $500.
    I have nowhere to put it so I gave it to my son as a Christmas present.
    If a person takes their time and not be in a hurry some of this good equipment will pass their way. A lot of people buy exercise equipment only to have it become a big expensive
    piece of furniture that they will never use and that’s where you will find the deals.
    You just got to know what good equipment is. And for me it is Body Solid.
    I probably don’t have $2500 tied up in it all .
    See Ya
    Sonny
     
  11. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I'm jealous of anyone with a crossover machine! I wouldn't have the room if I had the deal.
    Hey, did you ever post a pic?
    Couldn't find one for Jake or O&amp;G either. I like to keep track of us older lifters to see what I'm up against...as if there were any 'against' to it.
     
  12. Sonny

    Sonny New Member

    I did post one a while back.
    Here is one which is a little less than a year ago.
    I’ve gotten bigger since then in my arms and chest.
    54 this January 6’1 ,230 lb’s and to go along with it ……good-looking!
    What more could a woman want?
    I would look better if I could get my BF down a bit .
    At this age all I want to do is maintain what I have and if I gain some (any at all) then I’ll be happy.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ruthenian

    Ruthenian New Member

    I gotta say, that is a nice set-up Sonny.  I have about a 8x12 space in my garage and don't think I will be getting quite so elaborate.  Impressive, though!

    I'm pretty much backing away from the half rack-Smith setup, so I'm actively looking at the power racks and will check Body Solid out.
     
  14. Sonny

    Sonny New Member

    Here is an example of what I find in newspapers.
    This is in today’s paper .If I had room I would get it.
    Especially with the lifetime guarantee.


    WORKOUT STATION complete by Body Solid, like new, 5hrs use, $475. Call for details 386-454-5684 Web ID: 58070

    Sonny
     
  15. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Now I remember that picture Sonny! Good work bro. Ya 'ol fart! My BF was about the same; I'm on day 8 of a cut.

    Ruth: Bodysolid is good rockin' stuff; I posted the good and bad about my freeweight lever machine in the home gym threads, you might want to read it. I also understand by what Sonny says that they've gotten better at part replacement. I just hope they got an actual sober adult  to do some new drawings for their parts manual. What a mess that was!
     
  16. stevejones

    stevejones New Member

    Here is some of my stuff:

    You don't have to spend alot of money on stuff, just be sure what you're buying is sturdy.  Try to buy used stuff.  My power rack and squat rack look like junk, but I've had over 800 lbs on each one of them and they don't even budge.  

    power rack/squat rack/bench
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ruthenian

    Ruthenian New Member

    Whoa, Steve, that looks like a professional club!  No wonder your are so strong! Well, that and a lot of hard work.  [​IMG]

    Does anybody have any feedback on Bodycraft?  BodyCraft  Their power cage has a cable cross over attachment -- it is not on my &quot;must have&quot; list, but it is always nice to have such options in the future if you can get them.

    For that matter, Yukon Fitness has a cross-over attachment that looks like it could be adapted to just about any power rack with a lat attachment.  Yukon Attachment
     
  18. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Holy Sh!T Steve!  Nice Gym!  I knew it was yours when I saw about 1000 lb.s of olympic plates stacked on your tree! [​IMG] Not many guys will ever need that much weight in their lives.  For now I only have about 450 lb.s of plates, plenty for me at least for this year!
    I would like to see some physique pics from you...I know you are in the middle of cutting and you think your ass is the size of a honda civic, [​IMG]  but based on your avatar and on your lifting record, I would bet you have one badass physique.

    Well, since this thread has turned into a home-gym gallery, I will show off mine.
    Hex dumbells-from 5 lb.s to 90 lb.s + platemates, magentic increments.  Power-rack, olympic barbell and plates up to ~450 lb.s.  Home-made, removable, steel dipping platform set-up in the rack.  Dipping belt and chain, power-hooks hanging on my chin-up bar, and an awesome body-solid adjustable bench with 15 different angles! Goes from 90 degrees all the way down to flat and decline.  About half the stuff I bought used, and half I bought new, probably have about $2000 into it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. stevejones

    stevejones New Member

    I live in a small town so the 2 gyms here are crap.  I decided to lease the basement of a business downtown and start my own gym.  It's really not nice enough to get any business, but I've worked out some paperwork with some of the guys around  here and they show up from time to time and work out for free.  I don't like working out alone, it's hard to stay motivated sometimes.  

    I built that incline bench myself, and also the power rack.  I had a guy help me with the squat rack and preacher bench.  I didn't trust my welding skills enough with those things.  My 'machine station' I bought on ebay.  Drove a bobtail all the way to Texas (from Colorado) to pick it up.  It's cheap stuff, but it works for me.  Everything you see in that gym totals less than $2k

    You guys have some nice power racks there.  

    Ruth--Bodycraft has an excellent reputation.  I don't know about Yukon.  Haven't heard too much about them.
     
  20. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Nice stuff guys! I don't think I want to show my stuff ever again! I thought Steve's was a local gym!
     

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