Where to purchase a bench/bar setup?

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Where to purchase a bench/bar setup?

#1 Postby tclayton » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:52 pm

Hey guys. Been working out for over a year now at Planet Fitness. If you're a member there you know they just have smith machine and no real free barbell weights. I am having an installer come this weekend and lay down some indoor/outdoor flooring with a pad so it will be workout safe/a bit rubberized feel. At home I just have a dumbbell set up to 45lbs. I am looking to invest into a bench, bar, and weights. I don't think my ceiling is high enough for a power rack but want to get some basics first. I really want to begin the 5x5 program but not sure of the best source to purchase from.

I saw a bar + weights on amazon by York for about $500 but I think that's too expensive. Any recommendations?

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Re: Where to purchase a bench/bar setup?

#2 Postby tclayton » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:28 pm

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Re: Where to purchase a bench/bar setup?

#3 Postby VeganEssentials » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:18 pm

1. You can probably find a much better deal on a decent used bar/plates either on eBay, or, if you have any chain stores like Play It Again Sports in your area (where you can usually find things for about half price for what they'd be new). As long as a bar feels good in your hands, has minimal rust (if any) isn't bent, and has good working rotating sleeves, then it's just as good as anything you'll get new. Also, you can try local gyms, fitness centers, high schools, etc. to see if they're updating any of their equipment - sometimes, you can find a good score where you'll get things for pennies on the dollar. Matter of fact, we just picked up 3 pieces of equipment and a handful more 45 lb. plates for our gym, cost $150 to get, would have been $3000+ brand new. If you have the time to check around, you can definitely find better deals than most of the online sources (and, if you find a good deal online, make SURE they aren't gouging on shipping, as sometimes they'll mark the equipment low and then kill you with over-inflated freight charges!) The price for the 300 lb. set you have the link to is fine for a new set, but again, with a little digging you might be able to get one for half that price.

2. I wouldn't spend much on something that's focused on being mostly just a bench setup that won't let you do much else. Something like this works in lower-ceiling environments and will let you have plenty of options for benching, squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, etc. -


Looks something like this:


Knew someone who had one, used it for years in his basement where he only had about 8' total height clearance, said it was perfect for what he needed.

Or, if you have a bit more clearance for height, this is a bit cheaper and works just as well:


Any cheap flat or adjustable incline bench will work fine in either rack, so long as it's sturdy. The Gold's one you linked to would work in a pinch, but looking over the specs and checking the design, I wouldn't expect this to be a "lifetime" piece of equipment if you really enjoy using it. With a 300 lb. support limit on the stands, most would think that seems like it's enough, but that's a REALLY low load limit and shows that it's probably made of a lot of low-grade materials that won't likely last through years of use and abuse. As you'll find on this board, lots of people started lifting just to see what happend and if they could get in a bit better shape, and ended up loving lifting so much, they got serious and required quality equipment to handle their levels of progression. So, if you think you ever plan to lift heavy regularly as time goes on, don't skimp too much on the products, as nothing's a much of a heartbreaker as spending a lot of money on something that you could outgrow in a few years. But, the price is reasonable on the Gold's setup in the link, and would certainly accommodate the curve of someone newer to lifting for at least a few years before it might be inadequate for your needs.

Just some thoughts on this!
"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous

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