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Best Free Weight Racks 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2018
Best Free-Weight Racks of 2018
Many brands have introduced free-weight racks on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice. There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options.
There are dozens of choices for an free-weight racks these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples. There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this free-weight racks win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this free-weight racks come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made.
Why did this free-weight racks take third place?
I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
Free-Weight Racks Buyer’s Guide
These are adjustable, but feel more like a regular dumbbell. It may take longer to change the weight compared with the competition, but they top out at a whopping 34kg. If you use the available add-on kits you can take the weight up to 75kg, which is as exciting as it is unnecessary. £589, buy on ironmaster.co.uk
Opti Cast 20kg Dumbbell Set
This durable set of cast-iron weights is an absolute bargain at £31.99, and if 20kg of weight isn’t enough, you can get extra cast-iron plates from the Argos Opti range and pile them on up to a maximum of 35kg for each. £31.99, buy on argos.co.uk
TurnerMAX 30kg set
Fixed Rubber Dumbbells
Fixed Rubber dumbbells tend to best meet the needs of someone looking for a hard wearing, robust dumbbell for their commercial gym which will withstand the daily abuse of a busy facility. They would also make a great addition to a premium home gym because the quality and feel you get from these dumbbells is exceptional.
One of the main benefits of a rubber dumbbell over bare chrome or cast iron is that the rubber offers a protective outer coating that protects both the dumbbell, the storage stand and the surrounding lifting area. Scratches, chips and dents are easily noticeable on metal weights, but are far less common on rubber dumbbells. Rubber dumbbells also help to reduce noise when they are dropped by the user.
Rubber dumbbells tend to have more attractive, colourful designs and clearer numbering of weight denominations. They are also readily customisable so you can display a company or team logo on each end.
Fixed Hex Dumbbells
Hex Dumbbells are named after their unique shape. Thanks to their many facets, the dumbbells will not roll around once placed on the floor. This is a great advantage if you are switching between weights or exercises and are constantly picking them up and putting them down. They are also excellent for floor based circuits, such as dumbbell push-ups because of their added stability.
The Hex Dumbbell usually comes cheaper than a standard rubber or urethane dumbbell which makes it a great budget option. Next to this, the facets make them easy to store if you happen to be missing a rack.
Fixed Chrome Dumbbells
Metal dumbbells have been popular in the past and are often a cheaper alternative to more modern rubber or urethane dumbbells. Cast iron weights are often found in older, more old school gyms and are readily available for great value second hand. These also come in classic and ‘hex’ shapes and are strong, solid products which stand up to a heavy lifting environments, the risk of chips and scratches is still there.
You will see many gyms using steel, chrome plated dumbbells which are very stylish products. They are all made with toughened metals and anti chip chrome but they are not as robust as dumbbells coated in rubber or urethane. Having said that, for home gyms and facilities which don’t see enormous footfall through their free weights area chrome dumbbells can look great and deliver their function perfectly well.
Dumbbell Plate Sets
Another popular dumbbell solution for home users is a dumbbell set, consisting of small bar with plates which attach on either end. These are a very cost effective option for people looking for a range of weights and to save on space.
Plate sets will normally utilise a spinlock collar, which isn’t always the most secure method of fastening plates to the bar, but it is quick and easy to fasten and remove. Plate sets allow you to adjust the weight of the dumbbell by adding or removing weight plates to the bar, which normally come in weights between 0.5kg to 2.5kg. This kind of plate can’t normally be used on a barbell and is predominantly a home solution. It’s highly unusual for a commercial gym to use these as fixed dumbbells are a more convenient alternative. However, you can get Olympic sized dumbbell handles, which use larger collars and weights. The only issue with this is the handles are wide and restrict some movements. Fixed dumbbells allow you to be far more dynamic.
Many popular studio classes use light resistance work as part of their programme of activity. These are cheap to buy in large quantities and normally include a studio storage unit. They also tend to be colour coded by weight for easy identification during classes.
Studio dumbbells are fully coated; meaning the whole dumbbell (including the handle) is covered in a layer of textured rubber or neoprene to protect the product against the regular use and abuse it will be subject to. The full coating makes the dumbbells easier to grip especially during cardio-heavy group exercise classes. Studio dumbbells have an anti-roll shape, to ensure that during classes, equipment on the floor doesn’t cause a hazard.
Studio dumbbells are usually sold in pairs and are a perfectly good home dumbbell solution if you are looking for very low weight denominations. Studio dumbbells typically range from 0.5kg – 10kg and for commercial purposes can normally be purchased in sets of between 40-50 pairs.
Dumbbell Racks & Storage
A sure fire way to irritate a gym manager is to leave the weights room with dumbbells and plates strewn across the floor, so to avoid this it’s important to have adequate storage and dumbbell rack facilities. Rubber, Urethane and cast iron dumbbells are normally racked on either horizontal or vertical stands. Horizontal racks will normally be able to hold 10-1pairs of dumbbells over either two or three tiers and upright racks can often hold a similar number. Studio dumbbell racks hold pairs of dumbbells in separate vertical slots for each weight.
PowerBlock is a company focusing on adjustable free weights, benches and other accessories for exercises that involve the use of free weights. Their adjustable dumbbells feature an unconventional construction and adjustment system, involving several sets of weight plates connected by metallic rods, which attach to the handle via a connector pin.
Back support positions
One negative feature in these comparisons was the range of back support positions. The PowerBlock gives you settings to choose from, while the other two benches give you 7.
If you need a decline setting, or want a more compact weight bench, we recommend the Body Solid PFID125X. Its 500 lb capacity is similar to the PowerBlock, and the leg brace means decline exercises are now an option.
It’s a competitive price range, featuring big name brands, such as Bowflex, Valor Fitness, XMark, Nautilus, and Body Solid. The Ironmaster Super Bench is also a popular bestseller.
Likewise, the Valor Fitness DD-FID bench has some excellent attachment options, high quality padding, and full range of positions. But its 650 lb capacity is still lower than many benches in this price range.
However, if this weight capacity supports years of future strength gains for you, then it could be the perfect choice.
Gold’s Gym is a name synonymous with bodybuilding. But their weight benches have never gained the same popularity as Bowflex or Body Solid.
Their bestseller is the XRS20 Weight Bench, with a steel tube frame and preacher curl pad for bicep exercises. You also benefit from a freestanding squat rack with adjustable safety spotters, which accompanies the workout bench.
Gold’s produce several other adjustable weight benches, including the XR 6.1, XR 6.0, and XR 5.They also produce an Olympic weight bench (XR10.1) and a Slant Bench (XR 5.9), which features a range of decline positions for ab workouts.
Although they only produce one workout bench, the Ironmaster Super Bench is a careful balance of strength and affordability.
The back support can be adjusted from decline to upright, and features heavy-duty padding for added comfort.
But what makes this weight bench special is the range of attachment options. You can buy a crunch sit-up attachment, dip handle attachment, preacher curl attachment, and even a hypercore attachment. This is useful for performing hyperextensions, to strengthen your core and lower back.
A chin-up attachment, leg curl attachment, and cable tower attachment are also available for added upper body exercises.
Marcy are perhaps best known for their MD-9010G Smith Machine, which also includes one of their multi-function weight benches.
Marcy have an excellent reputation for customer service and build quality. Their fitness equipment line includes folding weight benches, Olympic weight benches (MD-857), and even a bench with a pec fly attachment (MD-389).
When buying weight plates and bars for home use it’s crucial to understand the two different sizes they come in. Standard weight plates have a inch diameter hole in their centre therefore they are only compatible with standard bars, Olympic weight plates follow the same principle but they have a inch diameter centre hole so you can’t interchange between the two sizes. This is the only real way that they vary from a compatibility perspective, certain gyms and weight benches will be designed to take either standard or Olympic sizes so it’s important to make sure that you get the correct corresponding weights to match that specific piece of equipment.
We have a selection of packages in both standard and Olympic that consists of a series of weight plates and a barbell; these packages are perfect to combine with a bench that features a rack, just be careful to make sure that the length of the bar will be wide enough to fit onto the rack on the bench. We always try to provide a range of large and small plates so that you can interchange depending on what muscle group you’re training.
Barbells are great for pushing heavy weights because you use compound exercises that are perfect for exhausting larger muscle groups such as your chest or legs, the only downside is that you can struggle with isolation exercises for definition.
The most versatile training tool you could ask for, dumbbells dish out a close to limitless expanse of exercises for you. They are ideal to put with an adjustable utility bench for upper body training but they’re plenty useful without too. Our adjustable dumbbells are your most cost effective option where you simply slide weight plates on and off a pair of dumbbell bars to tailor the weight to your needs; they don’t take up a lot of space and can easily be stored away making them perfect for home training.
If you’re looking for a full body workout then the Kettlebell is the tool for you, they’ve recently taken the fitness industry by storm exploding back into fashion and for good reason too. The unique design provides new realms of training possibilities that conventional weights simply can’t provide so if you’re looking to mix up your training and try something new then these come highly recommended.
Kettlebells are available like most weights in either vinyl or cast iron, the cast iron versions are a bit more expensive but worth paying the extra. The vinyl handles can really grate away at your hands making them uncomfortable and unpleasant to use.
Key features to look for
Despite their relatively simple design, modern weights benches can actually have a surprising amount of features. As this guide is designed for anyone looking to buy a bench for their own home gym, this includes attachment options, back support settings, and perhaps most importantly, safety features.
Confidence AB MASTER Pro Series AB Trainer
Where most ab benches are designed to be stationary, this is a bench that can be adjusted to create a range of motion that best suits your own physical ability.
Providing complete support for your lower back throughout the exercise, the padded back support follows your upper body through the complete 200 degree range of motion as you perform your sit ups and crunches.
The bar that arcs over the bench also performs a similar function to using an ab harness on a multi gym, creating added resistance which can be adjusted to suit your own personal strength level.
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Body Solid GDR363-RFWS Dumbbell Rack with Rubber Dumbbells
The product comes with a complete package of accessories that complements its use at home gym. The package includes set of dumbbells of different weights, a dumbbell rack to keep the weights organized once you are done with your exercise so it gives a tidy look to your gym area and a rubber mat which would maintain the polish of your floor intact. Unlike Cap Barbell PVC Coated Dumbbell Set, 200-Pounds this product builds stronger or more space efficient storage units.
The user safety is the core priority of the manufacturer. Heavy gauge steel is used in its manufacturing that is welded from all sides and is deburred both from inside and outside for user safety.
The most favorable feature of the product is that it takes the responsibility of any defects in material or its quality. Like every product, these dumbbells also have some pros and cons so let’s have a look at them.
The bench can adjust to two different positions when working out. Hence you will not slip as you exercise. The construction is the next best feature as this Bowflex model is constructed out of commercial quality steel which makes it a heavy duty bench which can handle heavy weight people. It has durable upholstery which is easy to wipe and clean after you exercise and a good base that offers great balance and stability.
Very easy to assemble the parts, and most people say that it took them at least 30 minutes.
This Marcy gym set is made of tubular steel frame that is powder coated for durability Has a multifunction utility bench with different positions Has an adjustable preacher curl pad with a detachable bicep curl bar for extended bicep workouts.
Some other things to consider include
The kind of training will determine the kind of bench to get. If you are a serious weight lifter, then get a product that has an adjustable rack so that the barbell can be held at arm’s length.
The weight bench is a good workout equipment that you can add in your home gym. Make sure that you consider the above features and which is best for you before buying one. Remember, purchase a bench that you will enjoy working out on.
Squat Rack is like an open design of power rack, instead of caging. Featuring a simple construction, it comprises of uprights and a catch bar to hold the barbell. Squat rack, as compared to the power racks, is somewhat smaller in size and might lack in safety features as well.
Some of them are provided with a pull-up bar for more functionality. They are cheaper in prices than the power racks. So if you are looking for an affordable piece of equipment to just perform squats, then a Squat Rack might be an option for you. If a squat rack has a wide design, you might be able to perform bench presses or lunges as well.
If you have very restricted space available to install a power rack, then a squat stand might be perfect for you. They are inexpensive as compared to the power rack, but most of them do not come with a pull-up bar or safety bars.
They might not provide much stability during workouts; hence, you need to be extremely careful while working with squat stands to avoid any accidents. If you are looking for a small footprint and smaller height of rack that fits with your room’s ceiling, then you might want to opt for a squat stand. It mostly allows you to perform squats; some of them might have a wide design for bench presses as well.
Valor Fitness BD-Power Squat Stand
Valor Fitness BD-Squat Stand showcases a robustly designed construction with tubular Uprights that are 42.7” long. For your extreme security while performing squats, this squat stand comes with fully adjustable bar supports and two 5” long chrome-plated safety catch bars. The base of this squat stand is completely adjustable, so that you can enlarge its footprint for increased stability.
Maximum weight capacity of the Valor BD-is about 500 lbs. At the bottom section, storage pegs can be used to store weight plates, most importantlythey are provided to add extra stability to the equipment while you work out. BD-has been designed with ample amount of height, thus users that are up to feet long can efficiently and safely workout on this unit.
If you are low on budget for purchasing a complete squat rack or have limited space for placing the equipment, then you might want to opt for this Valor BD-squat stand.
As name suggests, it is like a half and open design of a power rack. They are more stable and sturdy as compared to the squat rack and squat stands. Most of them come with storage pegs on both sides to add more stability and weight to the equipment. Footprint of the half rack is somewhat same as that of a power rack, unlike a squat rack or squat stand that have smaller footprints.
You might want to consider purchasing half rack if there is a limited space available for its installation. It is much shorter in height and inexpensive as compared to the power racks. You can easily carry out squats, bench presses (incline/decline/flat), etc. and most of them also come with a pull-up bar.
Cap Barbell Deluxe Power Rack
Constructed from heavy-duty steel, the CAP Barbell Deluxe Power Rack comprises of a combined 12-gauge and 14-gauge thickness of main frame. For greater durability, this half rack is treated with 3-step powder-coated finishing.
The tubular seams are all welded together for better stability and control of the unit. For your maximum protection, the power rack has been incorporated with amply long safety catch bars. These safety bars have ABS sleeve for better protection against scratches during removal or stacking of weight bar.
For added stability, there are storage pegs provided on both the sides. This will prevent the unit from twisting, especially while using resistance bands. There are tiny anchor points provided at the bottom of the rack where you can tie up the resistance band with the weight bar.
This is generally used for adding extra resistance to your workout for more intense results. A pull-up bar provided on the top and spacious design between the uprights makes it easy for you to use an adjustable weight bench between them for multi-functional use. Maximum weight capacity of the safety bars and pull-up bar is about 300 lbs. Hence, this half rack is much recommended formoderate weightlifters, but not pros.
Accessories should go with Power Rack
The power rack can be accompanied by more equipment so you can meet your objectives. In an effort to effectively exercise at home despite owning a power rack, it is advisable that you also include other exercise equipment. Below are the best accessories that will boost your power rack workout routines.
Barbells are designed to help increase strength. Although they are small in size, they come with weights that you lift to exercise your muscles. Barbell bars are therefore the difference between the two weights.
Barbells are adjustable in a manner that you can increase or reduce the size of the barbell bar to suit your set objectives. Lifting can be done either with your hand, hands or feet. They are easily portable and efficient.
A power rack will help you target your upper section of the body including the chest, triceps and the shoulders just as the name suggests. You have the option of either standing or sitting to exercise with a power rack.
These are the main exercises that were designed to work with every great power rack. There are however other exercises such as dips, deadlift and pull ups and many more. You can read more in this article about Top Power Rack Exercises
The easy side dial switch is quick and easy.
It’s also reliable, allowing you to make your change in just a few seconds.
You also get a handy tray to house the set and keep everything together.
The handle grips of the Bowflex 55feature tapered sides to enhance the feel along with a non-slip palm grip to prevent your hand from sliding around.
As the original designer of the selectorized adjustable dumbbell system, Bowflex are the most trusted and reliable supplier on the market.
Ironmaster 75lb QuickLock
The Ironmaster 75lb Quicklock adjustable dumbbell system is the fastest change system that we have come across, as well as being among the most reliable.
This set provides up to times as many pounds of weight as many other systems on the market.
They go up in increments of 2.pounds, giving you a wide range of selection options.
This set comes with a full cabinet to allow you to securely and smartly store the weights.
A heavy duty construction makes this a very durable, hard wearing set that will handle whatever punishment you throw at it.
It features a welded steel core, along with chrome plated handles that are extremely comfortable and highly grippable.
Nautilus Universal PowerPak 445
The Nautilus Universal PowerPak 44allows you to change weights in increments from to 4pounds.
It comes with a plastic workout stand, manual and workout guide.
The system uses a knob turn device that allows you to select the weight in the increments that you want to use.
The Stairmaster Twistlock Adjustable dumbbell set provides you with a very user friendly option.
A major advantage of this set is that you are able to change the weight setting without taking your hand off the handle grip.
This greatly speeds up your time to change, which is especially beneficial if you are doing down the rack style training.
The Stairmaster Twistlock also features handy weight selection window, allowing you to easily see what weight the system is set at.
This system also features enhanced safety, as the weights are firmly locked in place until you place the handle in the dock of the plate tray.
It has soft, comfort grip handles that are so comfy that you won’t even need to wear workout gloves.
Added in Gym Equipment Articles
With the addition of the Power Maxx Dumbbell Sets to our range, I thought I would give you a quick rundown on what I believe what dumbbells work best in a home gym environment.The combatants in this battle are as follows: – Spinlock Dumbbells – – I will be referring to the Ironmaster
Quick Lock Dumbbells as they are my favourite for serious weight training.
10-40kg Dumbbell Set which is great in that it gives you a good spread of weights. The big downside is that you are jumping in 5kg increments after 25kg. Sometimes it can be like hitting a brick wall when trying to jump 5kg when using dumbbells.
Adjustable Dumbbells Adjustable Dumbbells are a happy medium between the two above. Basically they are much more affordable than a rack of fixed dumbbells and take up a lot less space. Plus they have been designed to change weight quickly. In the case of the
Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells, they have such a great number of weight combinations. You can go up in 5lb increments all the way to 54kg or 120lb if you have the
Ironmaster Add on Kit. We sell the Power Maxx
Let’s look at how to store your bike indoors.
Without a proper storage solution things can get ugly pretty quickly
There are many permanent bike storage solutions that mount to walls or ceilings, but if you’re renting this could prove problematic. With this in mind, we’ve divided our guide into two distinct sections — permanent and non-permanent — with permanent options needing to be bolted or screwed in place.
Here we’ve focused on functional and readily available solutions, but it’s worth keeping in mind that putting a little ingenuity and a trip to the hardware store to use is always an option.
Also, for many people the floor remains the cheapest and most suitable option. Axle and wheel racks are readily available, which will keep the bikes upright.
Permanent storage solutions
This is a good route if you own your home and have a solid wall or ceiling that can support weight and fixtures.
Permanent type racks are generally the cheapest option and allow for a great deal of tweaking to suit your fleet of bikes. We’ve designated permanent racks simply by the orientation they hold the bike: vertical or horizontal.
Holding the bike by a single wheel, this method is best for storing bikes where width is an issue, but depth is not. It’s the most effective means of storing multiple bikes together and is commonly used in many bike shop workshops.
Generic hooks can be bought cheaply at hardware stores, but Park Tools offers these vertical hooks in a range of sizes that’ll even accommodate fat bikes
Taking the basic vertical wheel hook one step further, there are many options like these that offer a backing plate for the tyre and have secure anchor points. The PRO bike rack (left) and Delta Cycle Leonardo are popular choices
More advanced and secure options include those that bolt to the wall with multiple points of attachment and feature a built-in backing plate, such as models from PRO, Topeak and X-Tools to name a few.
If you’re looking for a permanent vertical hook, the SteadyRack comes at a premium, but is superb
Lastly, the ultimate is something like the SteadyRack (read our review here), which holds the outside of the wheel and will not mark the rim.
Its unique design allows you to swing the bike nearly 180 degrees to get access to others or have the bike sit closely against the wall. The downside? This rack isn’t cheap, especially if you want more than one.
If vertical storage is best for when width is an issue, horizontal storage is ideal for when depth of space is the concern.
Generally holding the bike underneath the top tube, this method requires more wall space.
This rack from IceToolz is an example of a basic permanent-horizontal rack
Basic options include foldable hangers that bolt to the wall, with more expensive options taking the design concept further and creating something that is visually appealing.
Brands such as Feedback Sports offer models with adjustable hooks to fit a variety of frame shapes, while other brands offer racks that double as shelves.
Bicycle hoist systems are handy if you’re looking to store bikes in roof space
For those with plenty of ceiling or wall space out of easy reach, there’s the hoist system.
They’re commonly found in hardware stores to be used for items such as ladders and kayaks, but also work well with a bicycle.
Generally, they are best for people that see cycling as an occasional pastime, rather than a lifestyle — it’s not the quickest system to use and installation is more involved than mounting a fixed hook or bracket.
The most common type of non-permanent off-the-floor rack is the pole type that clamps between floor and ceiling.
Ceiling-to-floor racks are a strong solution for rental properties. The Feedback Sports Velo Column (left) and Topeak Dual-Touch are both great options, with the Velo column being a little more stylish and the Topeak offering a firmer hold against the ceiling
Most common examples are the Feedback Sports Velo Column and Topeak’s Dual-Touch.
These use either a spring or hinge to lock in place, but can easily be removed if needed. Generally, these racks will hold two bikes, with the option to hold a further two with aftermarket kits.
Dumbbell Racks and Stands
If you’re looking at free weights, you may want to consider purchasing one that comes with a dumbbell rack or a weight stand. This will help keep your weights off of the floor. Additionally, the rack can help you store your weights in an organized and efficient manner. It keeps them off the floor and out of your way.
If you’ve ever stubbed your toe on a weight, you’ll understand the reason to keep them up off the floor. It’s a good way to break your toe or foot. Not all dumbbells come with stands or racks. And, of course, the weights that do come with a rack cost a bit more. It may be worth the additional price if you value organization and you like to be able to easily find the right weight.
The Shape and Grip
You might notice that some dumbbells have rounded ends while others are square or hexagonal. The hexagon shape prevents your dumbbell from rolling. If you’ve ever set your weight down on an uneven floor you’ll know that the last thing you want to have to do is chase your weights around the room.
A hexagon prevents this from happening. If you’re going to put the weights right back on the rack between sets, then a rounded end is just fine.
We talked a bit about the grip when we discussed rubber versus metal weights. The grip is important because that’s how you handle your weights. IF the grip hurts your hand then you won’t want to exercise. If it slips out of your hand you might break something.
Remember, it’s not just the material the grip is made from but also the circumference. If the grip is too wide for your hand you risk injuring your wrist and/or dropping the weight. Make sure the weight feels comfortable in your hand. We’ll talk a bit about weight lifting gloves in just a bit because they can help you increase your hand comfort.
Tips for Buying the Dumbbell Setup That’s Perfect for You
As you might have noticed by now, there are many different types of dumbbells. It may seem a little silly to have so much variety for such a simple device; however the variances are to your benefit. When you find the dumbbell setup that’s right for you, you’ll use them more often and you’ll be happier with your purchase.
The PowerBlock Sport Bench is a classic FID bench that is compact in size, and thoughtful in design. In mentioning the design, its seatback has been modeled in such a way that it does not cramp your arm motion like most benches can. It is easy to move about because of its built-in wheels and comes with a 10-year warranty.
It can adjust from flat trough 30, 4and 60 degrees to the military position. It’s a pleasure to use it, as it is very comfortable, easily adjustable, stable, solid and yet attractive. If you get the urge to splurge and want to accessorize it later on that too will not be a problem. The seats can be set flat or even angles with ease as per your workout needs.
The design is pretty sleek in the front, though a little tapered in the back for a good support. The handle in the front of the bench can be held to wheel it from one place to the other. The PowerBlock Sports Bench has different positions and has a bit of a decline at the back to make it flat and do decline exercises.
The seat is adjustable and is extremely easy to use as there aren’t a lot of parts and can be easily put together. With its 550lbs weight capacity, the body is made of solid steel to keep you safe during your workouts.
We hope the information has helped you tremendously in narrowing down on your best option. Buying the right weight bench can be a difficult task most precisely if you are not very well acquainted with which kind of benches are good which are not, which is suitable for you and which are not. We have given you detailed accounts of our top picks and kept it very precise so that your understanding of the same can be crisp and well aware. We hope our factors, considerations, and research adds value to your buying guide because the informative knowledge you gain with us, you will not find elsewhere.
When It Started to go Wrong
After about a year the popular sized weights like the 15kg and 20kg just started to get loose. We put this down to members dropping the weights, but it was obviously a concern.
So the local NZ supplier attempted to fix them in their workshop. Only they just made the problem much worse!
Not Our Problem
This is how the supplier replied back in 201when discussing a potential solution to the problem of not having to regularly re-torque the weights:
So despite this actually being a design flaw of the weights themselves, unfortunately the supplier was adamant that the real cause of the problem was members dropping the weights!
The response from my manager after talking to the supplier was this:
But unlike our original supplier, we were not about to provide a warranty on these weights without putting them through a rigorous testing process. The best possible place for that of course was the real world environment at Burn 24HR Fitness Takapuna.
And that is exactly what we have now done as at the writing of this post 23rd of June 201We have now had two full sets of weights used inside Burn 24HR Fitness for over 1months and (luckily) they have been absolutely brilliant!
The members all love them, the knurling on the weights (the grip) is far superior to our old weights and they just feel much more balanced.
They are made from Virgin rubber which means they had no nasty smells and left very little residual black marks when dropped. They have not rusted in any way at all, they have definitely not fallen apart, they remain solid and just like they felt 1months ago.
The only discernible issue with them is that one or two of the weights rubber end caps has loosened. This was easily solved by applying an adhesive and is to be expected not only after this duration of time.
We currently limited stock of just one set of commercial dumbbells in the following pairs:
5kg, 7.5kg, 10kg, 12.5kg, 15kg, 17.5, 20kg, 22.5kg, 25kg, 27.5kg, 30kg, 32.5kg, 35kg, 37.5kg, 40kg, 42.5kg, 45kg, 47.5kg, 50kg
We have replacement dumbbells that we will keep in stock as required for the following pairs:
The current iPad line-up
Apple currently sells four iPad models altogether, and each of those offers three or four colour options, one to three storage capacities, and the option to get Wi-Fi and cellular or just stick with Wi-Fi. That’s a lot of configurations: clearly we’ve got work to do. iPad Pro 12.(cellular, 256GB): £98iPad Pro 12.(cellular, 512GB): £1,169
You’ve got one mini-size, 7.9-inch iPad, the iPad mini 4; two slightly different mid-size models, the 9.7-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro; and then there’s the super-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is the biggest and costliest option.
Budget and requirements
Your choice of the individual models will depend on how much money you’re willing to spend, how portable and powerful you need your iPad to be, how long you need to be able to use your iPad (and for it to support the latest software), and in what areas (if any) you are willing to compromise.
Let’s get started. First of all we’ll decide if you should buy a standard-size, a mini or an extra-large iPad, and then we’ll narrow down your choice from there.
Create bar charts
Traditionally, the biggest mark in favour of buying from the iPad mini range was the low price. However, since the new iPad was announced that is no longer the case. The only model of iPad mini available is the iPad mini 4, and it’s only sold by Apple in 128GB versions. The Wi-Fi only model costs £419, while the cellular version will set you back £54- the same price as the cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
The new iPad starts from £339, £80 cheaper than the Wi-Fi-only mini 4.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at at a punishing £769, but note that Apple has doubled the storage allocation for the iPad Pro models – so that money gets you a very decent 64GB. The top-end models come with 512GB, and for the 12.9-inch model that’ll set you back a dizzying £1,03and £1,16for the Wi-Fi and cellular versions. We’re getting into MacBook price territory (for comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air starts at £949) and these models are clearly not for casual or budget-conscious buyers.
As we mentioned in the portability section, the larger iPad Pro is more something to consider as an alternative to a laptop. For these reasons it calls for more pre-purchase research, trying a sample out in an Apple Store and so on.
Hopefully by now it’s become clear whether a mini, mid-size or large iPad is right for you, which means you can proceed to…
We really like the iPad in gold, as we mentioned earlier – it’s quite bronze-like in its warmth – and the pink, while a bit of an opinion divider, is nowhere near as bold as that sounds. But grey or silver are the more conservative options.
Rack Up Your Gains
A power rack is the centerpiece of a home gym. Nearly anything important can be done within one, and they add a considerable measure of safety. The pins will save you if you miss a lift, and the J-hooks allow you to perform nearly any free weight move. Many racks have attachments such as dip and pull-up bars to increase their functionality.
One objection to a rack I frequently hear is that it takes up too much space. If you have room for a 7-foot bar and a bench, then you have room for a rack. If you need a little extra clearance, donate the wife’s old wardrobe. It’s for a good cause. “A power rack is the centerpiece of a home gym.”
Like cars, there are a wide variety of racks with various add-on options. Check out the Forums to browse reviews and get an idea of what you might want.
Some things to consider on your power rack
Hole Spacing: Spacing can vary from 1-inches. To understand why this matters, imagine bench pressing and then failing on your last rep, getting pinned by the weight. 1-inch hole spacing allows you to complete a full range of motion in your press without hitting the pins, while still giving you the option to dump the weight in an emergency. 4-inch hole spacing could mean that the pins are either too high (limiting your range of motion) or too low (you can’t dump the weight).
Strength: Consider your abilities versus what the rack is made to handle. Are the joints welded or bolted? How strong are the pins? They should be at least 1-inch thick and able to hold more than 1,000 pounds with no problem. Can the rack tip or must it be bolted to the floor?
Accessories: Racks can come with pull-up/chin bars, dip attachments, band pegs, even pulley systems for a complete home gym set up.
Dimensions: If you’ve been around a few racks (wink, wink), there are a few things to notice regarding dimensions. One is depth. Short racks take up little space, but allow little movement within.
Width is also an issue. Generally, racks will be 46-50 inches on the inside dimension. If they are too wide, you may have a problem hitting the uprights when racking weight. If the rack is too narrow, you may not be able to get your feet wide enough for certain lifts. Know what you want.
Additionally, consider height. If you have limited room to play with, shorter racks are available. Alternately, if you wish to be able to do a standing press over your head, you will need either a very tall or open rack.
As with any equipment, look for deals and used items in your area. Like your bar, the rack is an investment. Racks are durable and customizable, and a little extra money goes a long way.
Your Power-Up Platform
A simple platform can be a great blessing. It will protect your equipment and your floors, and will deaden much of the sound caused by clanging weights. If you perform deadlifts or Olympic movements, you should definitely put down a platform. Otherwise, you can easily crack concrete, even through a rubber mat.
Platforms generally consist of a couple sheets of plywood with a top made of rubber, or rubber and hardwood. They typically cost hundreds of dollars, but you can easily make one for far less than that. Generally, platforms are 8×8, though you can make them to any size. Here’s how:
Here’s the hitch: while you can cut everything to size, my stall mats were only 4x(as opposed to 4×8). Side by side, two mats would be 8xSince feet is plenty of room, I decided to skip the headache of trying to fit my mats into an 8xarea and built an 8xplatform instead.
Next, depending on the size of your platform, you’ll need 2-sheets of plywood. For mine, I used three sheets and cut one of them in half. I laid them lengthwise on the ground so I had two 8xlayers of plywood. Then I put the rubber across the plywood.
If you want a wood insert on top, cut your single piece of rubber into sections that are 2-feet wide. These will be placed on the edges of the platform, where the weights will strike. Then you will place a piece of 4-foot hardwood between the rubber sections.
Next, screw everything down or it will move as time lapses. As with your rack, you have multiple options with your platform. Your rack can even be bolted down into it (saving you from bolting a rack directly into the floor). I installed band attachments on mine, which do double service since they hold the platform together. Regardless of how you set it up or even if you buy one outright, I consider the platform to be a must-have for a complete home gym.
Better for conditioning
If superquick weight changes for rapidly paced conditioning workouts (think P90X or CrossFit) is what you’re after, there’s nothing quicker than our runner-up, the StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells. Instead of twin dials that must be adjusted independently, like those on the Bowflex set, with the StairMasters, you simply twist the barbell handle in either direction to adjust the weight up or down. In literally two seconds you can adjust the weight from to 50 pounds (in 5-pound increments). Unfortunately, what you gain in speed, you lose in variety, since the handle-adjustment mechanism means you can’t adjust the sides independently like you can with the Bowflex set. But most of our testers found this to be a worthy trade-off in terms of usability. Another highlight is that among all of the dial-adjusting dumbbells we tested, the StairMasters are the only ones that change their length as you increase or decrease weight. That means they’re pretty consistent in length with a traditional single-weight dumbbell of the same load,
Better for strength training
On the other hand, if you’re primarily focused on strength training, consider our upgrade pick, the Ironmaster 45-Pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells, or if you want more weight, get the 75-pound version (includes a stand). Either set is expandable up to 120 pounds per handle for real heavy lifting, should you ever get to that point. This set was my personal favorite because I loved its smart design, traditional feel, and all-metal construction. However, it’s much slower to adjust, and will take you about 1to 20 seconds to fiddle with the screw-in pin lock as opposed to to for the dial-based picks. That makes them ill-suited for conditioning workouts that rely on rapid weight changes, but if you primarily want dumbbells for bodybuilding and/or stand-alone exercises, these are the better buy because they’re more durable and can be bought in heavier configurations. They also come backed by a limited lifetime warranty as opposed to the two-year affair provided by our other picks.
The adjustable dumbbells we tested allow users to easily scale up the difficulty of their workouts so that they continue to produce “adaptation” (fitness jargon for progress).
But why bother with a full set of dumbbells? Pick up any copy of a fitness magazine at the grocery store, and you’ll find a guide to increasing “tone” with the simple use of a pair of dumbbells. The catch, of course, is the law of diminishing returns. While using a pair of dumbbells will produce results in the short term (if you haven’t been using them before as part of your exercise routine), the limitations of a single pair of dumbbells will quickly reveal themselves once your body has adjusted to the resistance provided by the single pair. If you want to continue to produce results, you’ll have to buy a heavier pair of dumbbells. This is due to the principle of progressive overload, which basically states that to make improvements in muscle size, strength, or endurance, you must make your muscles work harder than they are accustomed to. Vladimir Zatsiorsky and William Kraemer, in their classic work
Science and Practice of Strength Training
However, that doesn’t preclude committed and experienced weightlifters from benefiting from our advice. In that spirit, we tested models like the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells and the PowerBlock U-90 (Stage set), which offer higher load-bearing possibilities (and use slightly more involved weight-adjustment methods), in order to present a thorough assessment of the major players in the field.
Kettlebells have become incredibly popular since CrossFit exploded onto the scene, but these weights aren’t ideal for at-home use. And I say this as someone who’s been working with kettlebells since 2003—in fact, they are the most-used weight equipment in my gym. But kettlebells require specific technique in both Olympic lifting and powerlifting to avoid injury, which you should really learn from a trained and certified instructor. They are great if you know how to use proper form, but I have seen very few self-taught (or YouTube-trained) kettlebell users with proper form. In addition, kettlebells typically aren’t adjustable and can actually take up more space than a full set of dumbbells. Meanwhile, dumbbells allow for more isolation movements (with less range of motion required across multiple joints), and they include a wealth of easily accessible, solid support materials, which make them better suited for at-home users.
The difference between strength training and conditioning
Conditioning consists of exercises that require a person to work hard or move fast for a limited amount of time to increase their cardiovascular health. You have heard of many conditioning exercises: aerobics, short runs or sprints, jumping rope, and a lot of gym exercises that people consider to be cardio. All conditioning exercises burn fat as a result. You can also use weights (like a pair of dumbbells) for conditioning work. These workouts typically involve circuit training (exercises conducted in rapid succession and targeting different parts of your body). There’s usually only a 20- to 30-second break between exercises. That’s why it’s important to be able to change weight settings quickly. If your muscles start to tire, it’s better to complete the circuit using lighter weights than risk injury. But the only way to do that while keeping your heart rate up (without switching to a different, lighter set of weights) is to have weights that can adjust on the fly.
Strength training and conditioning each has its benefits, which is why so many experts recommend a program that combines a bit of both. Therefore, it’s nice if you can have one set of weights that excel at both types of training.
For a more detailed rundown of the two types of training, check out this breakdown at Livestrong.
How we picked
While adjustable dumbbells have been around for more than 50 years, it wasn’t until the 200release of the home workout craze P90X that the market exploded with variations on the classic barbell design. That design, which includes a bar, loose weight plates, and screw-on collars to secure them, was incredibly unwieldy for the quick transitions between exercises and weights that were a staple of P90X. Producers took note, developed new designs, and years later we have a market glutted with options in adjustable dumbbells.
Each of the experts commended the advantages of a strength program built upon a variety of resistance levels and exercises. They all agreed that the new wave of adjustable dumbbell technology had provided a convenient alternative to the screw-collar adjustable variety of yore. Read remembers that adjustable dumbbells were what brought him into weightlifting, and he “fondly” remembers his dad complaining about the “piles of weight plates strewn about everywhere in the garage.” The smaller footprint of these newer adjustable weights is a huge plus for him. Schoenfeld, whose book The M.A.X. Muscle Plan uses dumbbells for strength gains, loves the scalability of adjustable dumbbells because “having a wide range of weights facilitates the ability to derive superior results.” McDowell believes in using simple strength programs to supplement cardio training programs, and she thinks that adjustable dumbbells offer an easy solution for strength needs. She and her husband have a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552s at their house.
How we tested
Testing dumbbells “for most people” is a bit difficult to do because different people will want to do different things with them. This is why I wanted to test for both strength and conditioning, and with a variety of users of all sorts of body types to make sure we covered all the necessary bases.
I tested each of the models in three ways. First, I took them through a battery of traditional dumbbell exercises like curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses, bench presses, rows, squats, and lunges. I did each of these as stand-alone exercises, so the emphasis was on strength work and isolation instead of conditioning. In these strength tests, I was checking to make sure that the dimensions of the dumbbells didn’t compromise my range of motion, that they felt comfortable and stable through different movements, and that they allowed lots of variability in loading options (when doing isolation exercises, especially of smaller muscle groups, it’s important that users can move up in small increments).
Then, to add a more conditioning-oriented component that was in line with the currently trendy approach used by CrossFit and other methods, I used each of the dumbbells in a “complex.” These combine multiple exercises in one work set without putting down the weights. For these conditioning workouts, I was looking for a weight that was broadly functional (showing no problems with range of motion, offering quiet and stable operation, and allowing for very easy manipulation in between work sets when I was shaky and tired). Complexes allow a user to combine strength and conditioning in taxing workouts that last no more than 20 minutes. This makes them particularly well-suited to a home user who has trouble finding a workout that fits into their busy schedule. I used the following complex: five bent-over rows, five hang cleans, five squat/presses, five bent-over rows. I found this by searching Dumbbell WOD (workout of the day). The 2reps took me about 5seconds to complete.
Saddles & Rollers
If you frequently drive through storms, two sets of saddles will offer a rock-solid support for your kayak. Saddles offer plenty of great benefits; they are easy to load and unload, they offer only the slightest resistance to wind and they take advantage of the aerodynamics of the kayak to reduce fuel usage.If you are looking for more convenience, you can replace the saddles with a pair of rollers. Rollers allow you to lift almost half the weight of the kayak (the bow) onto the top of your car, then pick up and roll the stern onto the saddle placed on the forward bar so you can securely strap everything.
Rollers are especially recommend for cars with long rooflines such as SUVs as they hold the kayak firmly and securely. But you must be prepared for a little shuffling around on the rollers, especially if you drive in rough weather. You can choose saddles or rollers depending on whether you want your kayak to be more secure when transporting it or if you like the ease and convenience of loading and unloading it at your destination.
Don’t have space for a full size power rack? The Force USA VersaRack XL is the solution! All-in-one VersaRack XL Folding Power Rack + High & Low Cabled Pulleys + Core Trainer + Dip Station + Multi-Grip Chin Up Bar + Storage for F-VB VersaBench XL Folding Utility FID Bench, Weights, Barbells & Accessories.
The optimal area we advise is at least 50 x 140cm. This is so that the user do not have to worry so much about running out of track and can focus on the exercise. For example, when the user is tired, he/she will tend to sway left and right.
NewYork Barbells C-851Power Rack System
Whether you’re looking to outfit a commercial gym, or complete your home gym, no piece of equipment is more versatile than the power rack. Serious lifters know a power rack is an important part of safe solo lifting.
Power racks are an awesome way to make the most out of your workout. The power rack is like the original home gym, but instead of using bands or rods it uses good old fashion free weights. For the most part you can do any traditional exercise like squats, bench press, and military press.
There are many factors one must consider when it comes to purchasing the perfect power rack, all of which can be found here in our power rack buyer’s guide. Power racks at any level can cost a little bit of money so it is important to choose the best one that will fit your weight lifting needs.
The non-lifter may see a power rack as nothing more than just an empty metal rectangle, but we all know it’s much more than that. There are many features which make a power rack what it is and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could be missing out on important features or over-paying for ones you’ll never end up using.
When it comes to power racks, size is of the utmost importance. You want to make sure that it clears the ceiling, but even more importantly, you have to make sure there’s wall-to-wall clearance. This extends past the actual cage when you think about the foot Olympic bar and the weight plate storage system. Size also matters when it comes to height since you don’t want a tall rack if you’re short and vice versa.
A good power rack isn’t just a cage with a couple of hooks for the bar as there are multiple stations involved. Make sure you get one with a pull up bar because that should be considered a station and not an accessory. There should also be bar hooks and band hooks all over the rack to provide enough stations to make your power rack a standalone gym.
The special additions to your rack don’t mean squat if they are not the ones that you will use. Make sure that you are getting accessories that you will use. Common ones to look out for include a row station, excess plate and bar storage, ladder attachments, and spotter platforms.
Some features can’t be seen or touched, but they matter more than those you can sense; the warranty is a great example. Power racks are pretty solid pieces of equipment and most come with lifetime warranties, but you always want to double check for that. The last thing you want is to have you rack fall apart around you with no warranty to cover it.
The Fitness Reality 1000, however, gives you a lot of angling positions so you can perfectly execute your exercises. It also provides rock-solid stability to help you achieve huge muscle gains. We really like that this bench supports up to 800 lbs. and features 1backrest angles. You can adjust it from a -20° decline and move it all the way up to a +80° incline. Tall individuals need not worry – the Fitness Reality 1000 accommodates heights up to ft. in. Overall, you will find this very comfortable to use no matter what your current fitness level is.
The only concern with this product is to assemble it properly and carefully. We’re sure you’ll be excited to try out this weight bench ASAP, but make sure all bolts and screws are tightened firmly to prevent it from shaking or coming apart unexpectedly.
Intermediate price point. You get great value for what you pay for!
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Free Weight Racks wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Free-Weight Racks
- №1 — Marcy Compact Dumbbell Rack Free Weight Stand for Home Gym DBR-56
- №2 — Combo Weights Storage Rack for Dumbbells
- №3 — Marcy Compact Dumbbell Rack Free Weight Stand for Home Gym DBR-56