Hi Joe,

I just read your Home Gym Guide and although you don’t think most people need a commercial rack, I’m looking to do quarter squats with over 1000 lbs and need to know that the thing is going to hold together. I also want to use bands but am concerned if I don’t use legitimate pegs. I’m looking to add some type of hi/low cable cross over and a lat pull/row station, primarily for the wife. I swear I’ve been on just about every site and looked at tons of recommendations but am wondering your thoughts. We’re moving to just outside Philly before Christmas and want to get my floor plan together before we move. Since I want to do Olympic lifts in the basement and I’m 6’1, 9 foot ceilings in the basement are a prerequisite. I don’t know if used bumper plates are okay, but if can find them in the locations you’ve specified, I’ll start looking.


Joe G

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Moving just outside Philly, huh?  I just moved from the Philadelphia suburb of Wilmington, Delaware to Grand Rapids, MI (just on the other side of the puddle known as Lake Michigan).  I used to live in Chicago (and NW Indiana…and England…) and wouldn’t be surprised if we share some common connections through gyms or otherwise.

Anyway, I digress – yes, it’s true MOST people don’t need a commercial rack, but if you’re planning on lifting anything in the neighborhood of 1000lbs, you’re definitely gonna want to take extra consideration of that which keeps you from being crushed.  One of the best sources for HEAVY DUTY equipment is EliteFTS.  Of course, the price for a power-rack to put all other power-racks to shame will likely be higher and you’ll have a harder time finding one used (‘serious’ lifters are generally more committed to lifelong training than ‘casual’ trainees/weekend warriors and don’t give up their gear very easily).  That being said, there will still be deals out there.  You just need to keep your eyes and ears open.

As I mentioned in ‘da guide (said in my best Chicago accent), shipping and handling can often be a deal killer.  I have over 3000lbs of gear my movers weren’t too excited about, but the moving company gave me a great price.  The York Barbell company is only about a 2 hr drive from Philly – you might be able to find some ‘scratch & dent’ deals there and drive the rack home yourself (and don’t forget to check out the weightlifting hall of fame while you’re there).

[SIDE NOTE: at the time of writing this, the York Barbell site seems to be having some ‘technical difficulties’.  I’m not sure if the site if it’s a short term problem or if they’re just not very web friendly, but you may be able to get some more info by going directly to their contact page]

Also, if you’re planning on using bands, you might also consider anchoring the rack to the concrete to secure the rack to the floor.  Otherwise, you might have a li’l problem on your hands when the rack starts jumping around on ya’.  If drilling holes in the floor isn’t an option, chains (also available from Elite or any scrap yard) will give you the same basic effect.

Good luck on your move to the east coast… let me know what kind of equipment you’re able to dig up (and don’t waste your time on the cheesesteaks – they’re nothing more than scrap-meat on white bread topped with government cheese.  Better to stick with Chicago-style pizza).


P.S.  While the basement ceilings (sadly) aren’t 9′, if you’re looking for a house on the outskirts of Philly, I still have one for sale ;-)



  1. Good Morning,

    My comments: Now the scary part ! It seems everyone is in agreement that Obama and McCain are very capable candidates for president, but what about the vice president spot. It is scary to think that Sara Palin could be president if something would happen to Senator McCain. If there is cause to put a lot of importance on a debate it’s the one with Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden. Given her performances over the last week and her parties hesitation to put her before the public causes everyone concern about her abilities.


    Stan Erter
    Springfield, Ohio


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