About Exercise and COPD Part 3c - Building The Home Gym
Posted Sep 12 2008 7:18pm
In my last installment in this series on building a home gym, I talked about some strategies you can use to outfit your own home with some professional grade strength tools that can help you reach you fitness goals. We discussed calesthenics, bands and cables, Ironmaster etc.
At the end of the column, we came to the realization that some people might be looking to raise the bar a bit in terms of their home gym. Maybe they really want to build a home gym that is even better than their commercial gym up the street. In reality, this is much easy than you would think, but you are looking at spending $2000.00 and up. However, when it comes to spending that sort of cash, you really need to do your homework, or find someone who has already gone down that road. Lucky for you, I have been down that road several times.
Contrary to popular belief, one does not need row after row of selectorized weight machines in order to have a world class strength training room in their own home. Sure, it would be nice, but even if you had the money and the space, I see no need in going that direction. Clearly, you do need some specifically targeted tools that allow you to perform a myriad of exercises safely and I am going to offer some great suggestions that can give you a lifetime of lifting joy (whether you are a man or a woman).
The first thing I would like to strongly recommend is that you consider buying a Power Rack.
Now, I could go into a lengthy discussion of what a power rack looks like, what it is and what it does. But, as they say, a picture says a 1000 words. The above enclosed rack is built by Power-Lift USA, considered by many to be the Gold Standard strength training company that all other similar companies are trying to measure up to. However, there is a heavy price tag to be paid for tools from Power-Lift. The above combination, complete with the adjustable bench (which I consider to the best in the world) is around 8K dollars!!!!! OUCH!!!!
So, if you want strong equipment, but your budget is forcing you to shy away from the $3000.00+ price tag, there are some other options that I would strongly recommend.
Next, permit me to list a few links to some very good companies that specialize in, among other things, world class power racks:
Now I list these three companies in no order of importance, nor could I if I were asked to. The reason for that is because all three are superb, and each company has a distinct set of advantages and applications. For now, I would suggest you check out each site thoroughly. Comb through the pages of their stores and familiarize yourself with the tools they sell.
Power-Lift is world reknown for outfitting some of the most advanced strength training facilities in the world. Countless professional sports teams, colleges and even some high schools with deep pockets have used Power-Lift as their sole source for supplying their inventory needs. I know the people at Power-Lift and they are good people who offer tremendous customer support. And their power racks are simply unequalled.
The University of Virginia chose Power-Lift when outfitting the Frank McCue Center and I got the grand tour several weeks ago. I had the chance to get a hands on feel for Power-Lift tools and let me just say they are tops. Two other things that Power-Lift carries are Eusaka Barbell sets and lifting platforms. If you would like to save some time, download the official Power-Lift PDF catalog.
EliteFTS is another favorite of mine. I like EliteFTS because of the variety of tools they offer. You won’t just find weightlifting equipment there, but you will find belts, harnesses, grip tools and more at EliteFTS. In addition to designing and manufacturing their own tools, such as their power racks, EliteFTS is a dealer for several world class outfits (such as the Westside Barbell line of products).
As you browse their store, you will notice that EliteFTS sells a huge variety of things so take your time. Or, for a quick glimpse into EliteFTS check out this AWESOME photo essay of what a world-class home gym, jam-packed with EliteFTS, should look like. Photo Essay of the Home Gym
Finally, there is Ironmind. What can I say about Ironmind. Well, not enough, let’s put it that way. My own home gym, such as it is, has a lot of Ironmind equipment in it. I have enjoyed it for years and I can confidently say that Ironmind is one of the most innovative strength training companies in the world. Their equipment is unique in many ways, but one feature I really like is that almost all of their tools can be stored in a small space no bigger than a large billiard table.
Ironmind makes nearly all of their equipment, and their equipment is used by both men and women, some of whom are literally the strongest people on planet earth. I personally use their Vulcan Racks, Pillars of Power Safety Racks, Dipping Racks, Squat Belt, Neck Strap, Olympic Husky Handle Dumbbells and a few other items such as their grippers. Their tools are tough as hell and will last a lifetime, no matter how much abuse you throw at them. In addition, I think the prices are a bit easier to swallow. Check them out.
Assuming you have visited the above sites, you are no doubt beginning to get a feel for what a power rack/station is and does. Make no mistake about it, the power racks offered by the above companies are not the sort you will find at your local sporting goods store. These are professional grade tools. They will not buckle, bend or break. Your house could literally fall down around these racks and the racks would the only thing left standing. If you choose to go this route, do not make the mistake of going the cheap path to existence. You get what you pay for.
Am I recommending tools that are stronger and safer than you will ever need them to be? Yep. Is that the right thing to do? Yep. I am ever going to suggest something that isn’t overkill? Nope. Especially when it comes to your safety. I will always suggest tools that are the strongest tools money can buy. Period. If you want to get some inexpensive, flimsy bench/rack combo located next to the fishing/hunting department at your local sports store, then that is your choice. But I have a responsibility to make sure that I recommend they very best tools available, made by the best and most respected strength companies in the world. The companies listed above use the strongest, thickest steel and the best welds you will find anywhere resulting in sturdy, reliably stout racks and benches. You deserve no less than that.
OK, that about wraps it up for our home gym series. Our next series of columns will deal with strength training programs using some of the home gym concepts we have talked about this past week.