In Part 1, I showed how I made the platform for my home gym. Today, I’ll show you the assembly of the second and key piece: the squat rack.
I chose the Rogue Fitness HR-2 Half Rack as the epicenter for my gym (shown here with the weight storage pegs). This setup the closest to what I have at my gym in the city.
I’ve lifted at other gyms that have a full power cage and didn’t like them (pictured below). Strike one: the pin-and-pipe safety system is really cumbersome to adjust. Strike two, and probably the biggest gripe: I’m tall enough that when I overhead press, I whack the barbell against the top two support beams. Strike three, it’s nearly triple the price. You’re out!
The next most important piece of the set up is the barbell. For most of my lifting career, I’ve used a bare steel B&R bar, so that was my obvious choice.
Bare steel bars are known to be higher maintenance than chrome and zinc bars, but it’s the bar I’ve liked the most.
During the unboxing, I noticed a slight amount of oil on the bar. I believe this is part of the maintenance process, because being bare steel after all, it is prone to rust without proper care.
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle are the plates. For those I choice Fringe Sport’s colored bumper set.
I went back and forth between these, a few Rogue sets, and the Vulcan Alpha bumper set. I think the Vulcans look the coolest, but their long shipping time put them out of the running. I went with Fringe because my lifting parter, Jack, highly recommended their customer service, and I got exactly the set I wanted:
- 3 pairs of blue 45 lbs
- 1 pair of green 25 lbs
- 1 pair of gray 10 lbs
With more help from Keith (thanks again, Keith!), we had the full set together in about 2 hours.
After about 3 weeks of no lifting, I finally got back in the groove this morning with some overhead presses and power cleans.
It’ll take some getting used to, but I really do like all of my new equipment. I’ll definitely be spending lots of time with this stuff, and it’s important to be happy with it.
Here’s a short list of things I still want to do with the space
- Install new LED light bars
- Install clock + resettable timer on the wall for time between sets.
- Computer station for easier music selection
- Live stream workouts