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  1. #1
    Registered User abritt's Avatar
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    Smith Rack - Weider Tech 8.5

    I am just starting out on putting together a home gym, and I was hoping for some advice. I live in a rural area, and all of the reasonably close gyms close too early for me to go except for one that is really nice but way too expensive. I am thinking I will probably get a smith rack with a lat tower so that I can do a large variety of exercises while being safe since I will be working out alone.

    I found a "Weider Tech 8.5" at a local store for $699 with 200lbs of olympic plates. That's cheaper than I can find it used. I've read comments on other equipment before so before anyone bashes smith racks or Weider take a look at the equipment (http://www.weiderfitness.com/webapp/...3651_-1_20555). It seemed solid when I tried it out in the store. The smith rack's bar rides on linear bearings (not plastic bushings) on solid stainless steel rods (not hollow tubes). Before I buy, I'm trying to find some reviews to see if anyone has used this equipment and had any issues with it, but I cannot find any.

    If anyone has used this gym, let me know what your experiences with it were good or bad. Also, if anyone has suggestions on other equipment that I could use that would allow me to workout thoroughly and safely by myself that can be gotten for less than $700 please feel free to let me know. Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Banned J3SUS-CHR1ST's Avatar
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    No experience on the smith, but before others suggest it:

    You could also look for a power rack, as most people will suggest, which offers the same safety with a better range of motion from free weights. Can be found on craigslist for cheap with weights. Plus Weider has a bad rap, wouldn't trust it for spotter-free workouts.
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  3. #3
    Ghost Negger DiamondDelts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    I am just starting out on putting together a home gym, and I was hoping for some advice. I live in a rural area, and all of the reasonably close gyms close too early for me to go except for one that is really nice but way too expensive. I am thinking I will probably get a smith rack with a lat tower so that I can do a large variety of exercises while being safe since I will be working out alone.

    I found a "Weider Tech 8.5" at a local store for $699 with 200lbs of olympic plates. That's cheaper than I can find it used. I've read comments on other equipment before so before anyone bashes smith racks or Weider take a look at the equipment (http://www.weiderfitness.com/webapp/...3651_-1_20555). It seemed solid when I tried it out in the store. The smith rack's bar rides on linear bearings (not plastic bushings) on solid stainless steel rods (not hollow tubes). Before I buy, I'm trying to find some reviews to see if anyone has used this equipment and had any issues with it, but I cannot find any.

    If anyone has used this gym, let me know what your experiences with it were good or bad. Also, if anyone has suggestions on other equipment that I could use that would allow me to workout thoroughly and safely by myself that can be gotten for less than $700 please feel free to let me know. Thanks in advance.
    Total ripoff price for ****ty weider equipment. Just get a power rack man.
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  4. #4
    Hobbyist Weightlifter dePaljas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DiamondDelts View Post
    Total ripoff price for ****ty weider equipment. Just get a power rack man.
    +1. Start off with a proper power rack, bench and weights.
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  5. #5
    Registered User abritt's Avatar
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    I've never used a power rack before, but I looked at some online after all the suggestions. Can you position the catches so that you can go to failure and not break your face? Also, does anybody know who makes or where to get a quality power rack with a lat tower and maybe even a pec deck for a low price?
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  6. #6
    Hobbyist Weightlifter dePaljas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    Can you position the catches so that you can go to failure and not break your face?
    You have 'toothpicks' you can adjust to appropriate height that go front to back and form a safety catch. But if e.g. you position them nose height, and you have a chicken breast, you won't benchpress down far enough to touch your chest. Just put the catches half an inch lower than your chest and try to lower the weight to neck height on failure.

    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    Also, does anybody know who makes or where to get a quality power rack with a lat tower
    I have the PowerTec, I believe it has one of the best pully addons (and a leg cushion!). I'm really happy with it, and it's best price/value!

    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    and maybe even a pec deck for a low price?
    Pec decks are rare addons for power racks, if they even exist. Just do flyes. Most low priced pec decks are crap.
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  7. #7
    Registered User abritt's Avatar
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    From everything I've read I am now convinced that a power rack is the way to go. The only thing is trying to afford it. One of the few I've found that seem to be a good deal is this deltech on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Squat-Rack-wit...258719&sr=1-9). Does anyone here have any experience with deltech racks? Is this actually a good deal? I've been trying to find some good used equipment on craigslist, but nothing around me as of yet.
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  8. #8
    Kwizatz Haderach C Man's Avatar
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    Buy used if you can. Of all the posts that have been made here about power racks, I don't think there's been a single one about a power rack failing. They basically have no moving parts and should last forever unless you're purposely beating the crap out of it.

    I think Columbia is the nearest bigger city to where you are? Bookmark this link and check it often.

    http://columbia.craigslist.org/spo/

    You can also go on eBay and do a search based on your zip code, so go have a look in the sporting good section within maybe a 50 mile radius. That's how I've bought tons (literally) of stuff.
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  9. #9
    Hobbyist Weightlifter dePaljas's Avatar
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    Abrit, like cman says, bad reviews about a powerrack are rare. However, you're looking for one with a latpull. There are examples of bad latpulls though. Looking from the amazon link you sent, I see that this latpull has a single rail. I would recommend dual rails for smoothness.

    As for the price; again like cman says, good used ones are better than bad new ones. It's too bad powertec has raised the price of the rack+pull option. Other than that, this stuff will last a lifetime. Say you use it for 10 years, it's $1000/10 = $100 a year. That's not bad.
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  10. #10
    Registered User mikieson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DiamondDelts View Post
    Total ripoff price for ****ty weider equipment. Just get a power rack man.
    You do know Weider has been around for many many years right? Its actually a "name brand" and most of their equipment isnt that bad. Especially if you get something top of the line like the machine he is looking at.

    Pretty much all equipment is built the same with a few exceptions out there.

    Look at my Weider cage in the last couple pages in the "home gym forum"..Its not that bad.
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  11. #11
    Registered User V5RED's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    From everything I've read I am now convinced that a power rack is the way to go. The only thing is trying to afford it. One of the few I've found that seem to be a good deal is this deltech on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Squat-Rack-wit...258719&sr=1-9). Does anyone here have any experience with deltech racks? Is this actually a good deal? I've been trying to find some good used equipment on craigslist, but nothing around me as of yet.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bsolid/ppr200.html

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  12. #12
    Workin' Stabilizers Skidmarx's Avatar
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    I like smiths for some exercises, but cheap smiths are a totally waste of money and can actually be dangerous(binding up during a lift).

    I'd go with a rack. With the safeties you won't need a spotter to get you out of trouble, just park the bar on the safeties if your muscles fail. Done.
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  13. #13
    Registered User abritt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by V5RED View Post
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bsolid/ppr200.html

    $299 free shipping direct from the bb.com store
    Just in case anyone else is considering one of these, I actually found it cheaper ($289.95 shipped) here (http://www.jesupgym.com/products.htm?cid=13). They have the lat tower cheaper too. They have pretty much every piece of Body Solid equipment, and the prices seem to be pretty good.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    You do know Weider has been around for many many years right? Its actually a "name brand" and most of their equipment isnt that bad. Especially if you get something top of the line like the machine he is looking at.

    Pretty much all equipment is built the same with a few exceptions out there.
    Oh snap.

    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    Seriously, it's a bunch of crap.

    ...and pretty much all equipment is NOT built the same. You have your good equipment, and you have your department store bullsh*t, which this is.
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  15. #15
    Registered User mikieson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AaronCF View Post
    Oh snap.

    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    Seriously, it's a bunch of crap.

    ...and pretty much all equipment is NOT built the same. You have your good equipment, and you have your department store bullsh*t, which this is.
    Most comments are from brand whores. Bigger and more expensive the better is how some look at it. I promiss you cant break any equipment I have ever bought if I cant. I have lifted the heavy weights as much as anyone.

    Is thicker steel better? Sure it is. But I have had nearly 400lbs on a WAlmart bench and I have had nearly 600lbs on my Weider C650 cage. I just dont see people using these machines to their fullest unless you are a pro bbr / powerlifters..jmho
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    Originally Posted by abritt View Post
    Just in case anyone else is considering one of these, I actually found it cheaper ($289.95 shipped) here (http://www.jesupgym.com/products.htm?cid=13). They have the lat tower cheaper too. They have pretty much every piece of Body Solid equipment, and the prices seem to be pretty good.
    for 10 extra bucks you think it isn't worth supporting the board you post on?
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by V5RED View Post
    for 10 extra bucks you think it isn't worth supporting the board you post on?
    X2; well-said.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    Most comments are from brand whores. Bigger and more expensive the better is how some look at it. I promiss you cant break any equipment I have ever bought if I cant. I have lifted the heavy weights as much as anyone.

    Is thicker steel better? Sure it is. But I have had nearly 400lbs on a WAlmart bench and I have had nearly 600lbs on my Weider C650 cage. I just dont see people using these machines to their fullest unless you are a pro bbr / powerlifters..jmho
    Eh? Brand whores?

    Look dude, I'm with you to a point, and I've said as much at times, but sometimes more expensive just is better. Now, what does better mean? That's up to the user. For me, I like my equipment to be smooth, solid, and wiggle as little as possible when using. I can't afford commercial, or at least I don't want to, so I sacrifice a little here and get as nice as I'm prepared to spend for the most solid stuff (residential) I can get.

    Because of the way I've obtained most of my stuff (dealing on CL), I've had the opportunity to use and touch a lot of Weider stuff. I agree that not all of their stuff is atrocious (up for debate, but that's my opinion) and would work for someone on a budget or a beginner/young person. However, the majority of their stuff that I've had in my garage has had serious issues that would have me suggest to someone to go look at anything they bought carefully. Things like unstable benches, pulley covers that came off with the slightest pressure, and multi/do everything attachments that just don't work well in a practical sense.

    I actually have had one of the racks you have and would say it was acceptable. I just can't say this about everything. There just is a difference. The point with the OP here, in my opinion, is that he apparently had $700 to spend. Chances are good that if he's patient, he can make that $700 go a lot farther with used equipment on Craigslist than rushing out and buying a Weider Smith for brand new money.

    There's just so many options out there and so much used stuff available. I just can't see spending money on Weider unless there are special circumstances. If you're getting big on yours then that's awesome.....never have I ever said or believed a person couldn't make gains on Weider stuff. I just think there's better options available.
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  19. #19
    Registered User mikieson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Keetman View Post
    Eh? Brand whores?

    Look dude, I'm with you to a point, and I've said as much at times, but sometimes more expensive just is better. Now, what does better mean? That's up to the user. For me, I like my equipment to be smooth, solid, and wiggle as little as possible when using. I can't afford commercial, or at least I don't want to, so I sacrifice a little here and get as nice as I'm prepared to spend for the most solid stuff (residential) I can get.

    Because of the way I've obtained most of my stuff (dealing on CL), I've had the opportunity to use and touch a lot of Weider stuff. I agree that not all of their stuff is atrocious (up for debate, but that's my opinion) and would work for someone on a budget or a beginner/young person. However, the majority of their stuff that I've had in my garage has had serious issues that would have me suggest to someone to go look at anything they bought carefully. Things like unstable benches, pulley covers that came off with the slightest pressure, and multi/do everything attachments that just don't work well in a practical sense.

    I actually have had one of the racks you have and would say it was acceptable. I just can't say this about everything. There just is a difference. The point with the OP here, in my opinion, is that he apparently had $700 to spend. Chances are good that if he's patient, he can make that $700 go a lot farther with used equipment on Craigslist than rushing out and buying a Weider Smith for brand new money.

    There's just so many options out there and so much used stuff available. I just can't see spending money on Weider unless there are special circumstances. If you're getting big on yours then that's awesome.....never have I ever said or believed a person couldn't make gains on Weider stuff. I just think there's better options available.
    OK...I wont argue. You are right along with a couple others...There IS a difference in a 2000.00 cage/pulley system and a 300.00 one. I agree. Just like there is a difference in Hammer Strength and Body Solid. I have used some expensive equipment the few times I have been to gyms.

    I didnt mean..."even though I said it" that there isnt any difference. There is, BUT for most "I would say 85%" of the people that buy equipment, It simply wouldnt matter.

    Matter of fact, most equipment ends up for sale 6 months after purchase anyways...I say buy mid/uppper lower end equipment and see how it goes from there...THEN, if you feel you need more later on, sell what you have and take the next step up.

    Thats just kind of how I look at it..Not wanting to argue any longer, cause really....to each their own...peace
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  20. #20
    damn thats heavy Keeptryin's Avatar
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    you have to shop around,500 dollars can get some really nice used equipment,
    beyond entry level.
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  21. #21
    Registered User Keetman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    OK...I wont argue. You are right along with a couple others...There IS a difference in a 2000.00 cage/pulley system and a 300.00 one. I agree. Just like there is a difference in Hammer Strength and Body Solid. I have used some expensive equipment the few times I have been to gyms.

    I didnt mean..."even though I said it" that there isnt any difference. There is, BUT for most "I would say 85%" of the people that buy equipment, It simply wouldnt matter.

    Matter of fact, most equipment ends up for sale 6 months after purchase anyways...I say buy mid/uppper lower end equipment and see how it goes from there...THEN, if you feel you need more later on, sell what you have and take the next step up.

    Thats just kind of how I look at it..Not wanting to argue any longer, cause really....to each their own...peace

    No worries bro, didn't mean to come off as "arguing", just reacting to phrases like "brand whore" and "....there's no difference...". We weren't friends before, but if we had been.....we'd still be now

    You're right about the "6 months thing", that's partly why I HIGHLY recommend buying used. For much the same reason you suggest buying cheap....kind of the same thing. I just think if a person can find cheap/good residential stuff they'll be much better off if they do KEEP it....then they have good stuff for cheap.

    And again, you can't really throw commercial into the mix. I'm actually talking about residential stuff. I've had bodysolid stuff, ptec stuff, various others, and I own a Fitness Gear smith/half rack. All of these are more solid and felt more comfortable using than the weider stuff, and they're all residential/home gym quality.

    Again, not arguing....its a discussion board and that's all I'm doing
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  22. #22
    Ghost Negger DiamondDelts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    You do know Weider has been around for many many years right? Its actually a "name brand" and most of their equipment isnt that bad. Especially if you get something top of the line like the machine he is looking at.

    Pretty much all equipment is built the same with a few exceptions out there.

    Look at my Weider cage in the last couple pages in the "home gym forum"..Its not that bad.
    Weider is jewish for piece of **** equipment.
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  23. #23
    Registered User mikieson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Keetman View Post
    No worries bro, didn't mean to come off as "arguing", just reacting to phrases like "brand whore" and "....there's no difference...". We weren't friends before, but if we had been.....we'd still be now

    You're right about the "6 months thing", that's partly why I HIGHLY recommend buying used. For much the same reason you suggest buying cheap....kind of the same thing. I just think if a person can find cheap/good residential stuff they'll be much better off if they do KEEP it....then they have good stuff for cheap.

    And again, you can't really throw commercial into the mix. I'm actually talking about residential stuff. I've had bodysolid stuff, ptec stuff, various others, and I own a Fitness Gear smith/half rack. All of these are more solid and felt more comfortable using than the weider stuff, and they're all residential/home gym quality.

    Again, not arguing....its a discussion board and that's all I'm doing
    Its cool dude..LOL..I know things sound different online then what you really want. Its all good....Have a good one!!
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  24. #24
    Registered User mikieson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DiamondDelts View Post
    Weider is jewish for piece of **** equipment.
    Im gonna get a switch after you!!..
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  25. #25
    65th Ave, not 6th Ave!! rplass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DiamondDelts View Post
    Weider is jewish for piece of **** equipment.
    The two languages of the Jews are Hebrew and Yiddish. There's no language called Jewish, except sometimes the little old biddies erroneously use "Jewish" when they mean "Yiddish" and since you just used "jewish" to mean a language, that makes you a little old biddy.

    YOU:
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  26. #26
    Registered User FERRUM_MAXIMUS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    You do know Weider has been around for many many years right? Its actually a "name brand" and most of their equipment isnt that bad. Especially if you get something top of the line like the machine he is looking at.
    The name "Weider" has been around many years,but the new Machines are made by Icon Fitness,who goes around buying Name brands with consumer recognition and then sells total junk under that name.Icon now owns Weider,Reebok,Gold's Gym,Pro-Form,Nordictrack,Image,Weslo,and a few more.Many of these companies made some decent stuff in the past and are exploited by Icon in order to sell junk. http://www.iconfitness.com/
    That smith machine in Particular is the worst piece of junk I have ever worked on.I wouldn't even know where to start,it's easier to just say that there's not one good thing about it,and that's typical of Icon in general.Every single component,weld,fastener,and the metal itself are made as cheaply as possible so that it(barely)still holds together.Now with something like a rack or a bench it's not as noticeable,but as soon as there are moving parts involved it becomes more apparent.For example,a power rack might seem okay,until you try the lat attachment.Or a bench might seem okay,until you use the leg ext/curl attachment.So anyway Weider isn't a "name brand",it used to be a name brand,but now it's just an Icon Fitness POS with "Weider" written on it.
    "I truly believe that good will outweigh evil,but there won't be peace on earth until the power of love overcomes the love of power" Jimi Hendrix
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  27. #27
    Hobbyist Weightlifter dePaljas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rplass View Post
    The two languages of the Jews are Hebrew and Yiddish. There's no language called Jewish, except sometimes the little old biddies erroneously use "Jewish" when they mean "Yiddish" and since you just used "jewish" to mean a language, that makes you a little old biddy.
    ^ gibberish...
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  28. #28
    Workin' Stabilizers Skidmarx's Avatar
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  29. #29
    Ghost Negger DiamondDelts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rplass View Post
    The two languages of the Jews are Hebrew and Yiddish. There's no language called Jewish, except sometimes the little old biddies erroneously use "Jewish" when they mean "Yiddish" and since you just used "jewish" to mean a language, that makes you a little old biddy.

    YOU:
    Jewish is not even a race. It's a religion. Everyone knows that. It was what we commonly call a joke. Thanks for the history lesson I already knew when I was 8 years old.
    Last edited by DiamondDelts; 08-22-2008 at 06:42 AM.
    "Every kiss begins with Kay" Delts

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  30. #30
    Pudgy Limping Moderator ctgblue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mikieson View Post
    You do know Weider has been around for many many years right? Its actually a "name brand" and most of their equipment isnt that bad. Especially if you get something top of the line like the machine he is looking at.

    Pretty much all equipment is built the same with a few exceptions out there.

    Look at my Weider cage in the last couple pages in the "home gym forum"..Its not that bad.
    Sorry, but WRONG
    WEIDER USED to be a brand name, sold the name, now the equipment is crap
    so the smith he is looking at is a top of the line piece of crap (translation - expensive piece of crap), been on it, wouldn't let my daughter use one
    Buy used, don't buy crap
    bushings instead of bearings, cheap welds, shaky cage, rickety bench, bench weight cap is like 350lbs INCLUDING user

    There is nothing NAME BRAND about anything called weider anymore
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