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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 04-05-2016, 08:06 AM   #1
Patrick Haggan
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Garage Gym Questions

Between work, kids, and life it is hard to find time to go to a box. Luckily I have a three car garage but only have two cars. I have been picking up equipment here and there. I have a CAP squat rack/pull up par. I had a craigslist bought barbell, i recently purchased a CAP Barbell Olympic Bar, 2-Inch, 1000-Pound Capacity, 7-Feet. I have a pair of Rogue 15 lbs HI Temps, and a pair of 25lbs CAP bumper plates. While I understand the CAP stuff may not be the best, I also have a toy (car) that gets most (all) of my spare money/attention.
My question is as follows. The craigslist bar I got was fine until I got my 25 lbs bumpers. Almost immediately the ends started to bend, this was after maybe a week of OLY lifting. I would use the 25's and 15's with other iron plates, 2.5, 5', 10's, since my max snatch is 135 and my max C&J is 190 I am not that critically worried about getting a set of 45's yet. I replaced it within the CAP barbell and within 2 weeks the same thing. Amazon is going to replace it free of charge which is a good thing. All this being said, is the culprit the bumper, which I have a hard time believing, or is it my garage floor?
I do not have a platform, I just use my garage floor. I have noticed that my 25's have zero, and I mean zero, bounce. Would building a platform cure this or am I doomed until I purchase a better quality bar? I read all the reviews and folks were using this bar for similar purposes. Crossfit, oly lifting etc.. I find my confidence lacking a bit when going for heavy lifts, i don't want to miss the lift a drop the bar only to damage it further.
I know this was a long winded post, but I thought I would throw the question to the community.

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Old 04-05-2016, 09:34 AM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

Two thoughts.

First building a platform, or simply laying down stall mats will help increase the life of all equipment if it is getting dropped from over head. Stall mats are very soft compared to concrete.

Second there is no way around buying a decent bar and bumper plates. A basic Rouge bar and Hi-temp plates will last 10 years in a garage setting and end your issues. There are a lot of place you can save money but bar and plates are not one.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:37 AM   #3
Christopher Morris
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

I agree with Brendan's comments. Get equipment that you feel confident using without damaging the equipment or your floor. For heavy efforts, you should be focused only on the lift without a hint of doubt about the equipment.

Zero bounce is preferred if you don't want to risk the bar bouncing into someone's ankle, or punching a hole in the drywall, etc.

I'd say it is most common in CrossFit gyms to have bumpers that bounce, dropping them on 3/4" rubber stall mats. You can do that all day and not worry about your concrete.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:43 PM   #4
Marshall Flagg
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

I will say zero bounce is horrible. Its ok if you have a bombproof platform but otherwise, some bounce is good. I destroyed my garage floor dropping Rogue HG bumpers on a three layer platform.

A good (I mean good) bar and good plates will always retain their value and last a long time. Of course, a regular old Rogue bar and Hi Temps are probably the way to go. There are plenty of other companies making a good all purpose bar too.

I imagine you don't skimp on your hobby car. Don't skimp on a bar. Bumpers to a lesser degree.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:16 AM   #5
Richard Colon
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

I've had a garage gym for well over 5 years now. Fully loaded with tons of people throwin' down in there. Some strong folk too, dropping 400+ on a missed Back Squat, etc. so I know your pains.

It's an easy fix as has already been said. 1st, get some stall mats. You can find them at any horse feed/supply store. Just get enough to cover the area where your bar is dropping/landing.

You don't need a platform.

2nd, buy a good bar. I've been fortunate enough to have some ok bars and a couple of decent/good bars. I've also recently (within the past year) lifted with Eleiko bars. Get a good bar and I mean a REALLY good bar. Look around the $300 - $500 range. I never realized its value until I started lifting with a good bar, even for non-Olympic stuff like Bench, Deadlift, Back Squat, etc.

If you are doing Cleans, Snatch and their power variations, get a good bar - period. As my Olympic coach told me, the difference between an Eleiko bar (well duh) and a Sports Authority bar is night and day and he demonstrated the rotation, spin, this and that - the things that occur on the turnover into a Power Clean. He explained how NEW lifters no longer complained of wrist problems and really minimized their chance of shoulder/wrist injury just because they went from a $145 bar to a $400 bar.

Imagine the MRI, co-pay, PT and surgery cost if you hurt yourself.

Now, of course $hit happens and the bar can't prevent everything but it's the first thing you touch and it's the main component and relationship between your body (hands, shoulders, back, wrists, etc.) and the weight. I think you get the point by now.

As for plates, just get some decent bumpers, Hi-Temp or anything with 4 - 5 star reviews (on Rogue, Again Faster, Pendlay, Muscle Driver, etc, Craiglist, etc.) is just fine. Plates/Bumpers are no where near as important as the bar.

And yes, I know I talked Eleiko and no you don't need a bar of that quality. Its overkill if you aren't elite Chinese and Russian lifter type. That's just like buying a $6,000 road bike to ride around your neighborhood. Tour de France guys know, but you wouldn't.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:53 AM   #6
Michael Cook
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

Agree with what the other posters have said. You can buy a good, quality bar from Rogue for a reasonable price. Their Echo bar is $195, the Ohio bar is $282. They have lots of different options for bars. Stall mats are about $50 each from your local livestock supply place.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:08 PM   #7
Christopher Morris
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Flagg View Post
I will say zero bounce is horrible. Its ok if you have a bombproof platform but otherwise, some bounce is good. I destroyed my garage floor dropping Rogue HG bumpers on a three layer platform.
With zero bounce most of the kinetic energy in the plates + barbell is transferred to the floor on first impact. There is more risk of damaging the floor with low bounce plates. A platform (or at least mats) spreads out the force and limits the risk of damage.

Using plates that bounce means the kinetic energy is transferred to the floor in several small increments (one smaller force for each bounce), so the risk of damaging the floor is decreased.

Serious Olympic lifters that use low bounce competition plates train and compete on platforms.

The bounce of your plates and your flooring conditions should be considered together.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
Kevin Bowman
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Flagg View Post
I will say zero bounce is horrible. Its ok if you have a bombproof platform but otherwise, some bounce is good. I destroyed my garage floor dropping Rogue HG bumpers on a three layer platform.

A good (I mean good) bar and good plates will always retain their value and last a long time. Of course, a regular old Rogue bar and Hi Temps are probably the way to go. There are plenty of other companies making a good all purpose bar too.
Hoping I don't have the same issue when I move. only one layer of stall mats.
Thinking about getting hi-temps next to offset the HGs.

What did you do differently the next time around?
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:19 PM   #9
Marshall Flagg
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

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Originally Posted by Kevin Bowman View Post
Hoping I don't have the same issue when I move. only one layer of stall mats.
Thinking about getting hi-temps next to offset the HGs.

What did you do differently the next time around?
I did a quick fix on my floor and beefed up my platform to another layer of plywood-up to four layers.

I rebulit my platform again because I wanted an 8x10 platform so I could keep my jerk block on it and still lift without moving them around too much.

Now my platform is five total layers not including the stall mats underneath it which I never had prior and was the most effective fix.

It is overkill for sure but I just kept grabbing a new couple sheets of ply and rebuilding what I had. I don't glue the sheets, just screws
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:19 AM   #10
David Lai
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Re: Garage Gym Questions

My .02 having had a garage gym for almost 3 years is to get some stall mats, as others have said. Huge difference in noise and confidence in dropping your valuables.

But as for the bending, I agree with the others, the bar is essential. If you're concerned about cost, you can always keep an eye on here or CL or wherever, but keep your eyes peeled for a good one like Rogue, Again Faster, Fringe Sports, Eleiko, etc. Personally I love the Ohio Bar.

On bumpers, I prefer the "softness" of the hi-temps, but most of my bumpers are HGs and none of them have damaged or bent any of our bars.
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