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  1. #1
    Registered User CanuckDuck's Avatar
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    Smile What further additions should I put into my garage gym?

    I've been a long time lurker here, and over the past year and a half I have accumulated some equipment for my garage gym. I've had lots of time to read and research since I have been, and currently am, unable to do any lifting due to a super strong infection (it's almost gone though!).

    As of now I have:
    - Power Rack
    - Squat Rack
    - 5-115lb dumbbell set
    - Landmine
    - Regular rubber encased Olympic weights and bumper plates
    - and various barbells.

    I just want to know what other pieces of equipment I should add? My workouts before at the local gym were geared towards bodybuilding, but once I get better I think I'd rather lean towards powerlifting, but still be able to do a bit of bodybuilding mixed in. And now this is where the problem lies. I do realize I can do pretty much everything with what I have, but there are other machines that come heavily recommended on this forum, and I'm not one to hold back on buying anything.

    The machines I am currently contemplating on are:
    Cable Crossover
    Lat Pulldown/Low Pull
    GHR
    Seated Calf Machine - the only reason for this is because my calves never grow and I thought this might help

    I'm hoping I can get some input into this, or even other pieces of equipment you recommend that I haven't listed. Thank you!
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  2. #2
    Home Gym Enthusiast Vmango's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CanuckDuck View Post
    I've been a long time lurker here, and over the past year and a half I have accumulated some equipment for my garage gym. I've had lots of time to read and research since I have been, and currently am, unable to do any lifting due to a super strong infection (it's almost gone though!).

    As of now I have:
    - Power Rack
    - Squat Rack
    - 5-115lb dumbbell set
    - Landmine
    - Regular rubber encased Olympic weights and bumper plates
    - and various barbells.

    I just want to know what other pieces of equipment I should add? My workouts before at the local gym were geared towards bodybuilding, but once I get better I think I'd rather lean towards powerlifting, but still be able to do a bit of bodybuilding mixed in. And now this is where the problem lies. I do realize I can do pretty much everything with what I have, but there are other machines that come heavily recommended on this forum, and I'm not one to hold back on buying anything.

    The machines I am currently contemplating on are:
    Cable Crossover
    Lat Pulldown/Low Pull
    GHR
    Seated Calf Machine - the only reason for this is because my calves never grow and I thought this might help

    I'm hoping I can get some input into this, or even other pieces of equipment you recommend that I haven't listed. Thank you!
    I'd go with Lat pulldown/low pull next with GHR right behind it, myself.
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  3. #3
    Registered User BAVE's Avatar
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    I've been going through the same decisions recently and would opt for a lat/low row and GHR. Also consider a compact leg press like the Bodycraft F660. You can use it for calves as well. Instead of a seated calf machine I've always uses a rack with the pins set at knee height (when seated) and use a loaded up bar with a pad in the center. You can hit the soleus and gastrocs fine this way.
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  4. #4
    Registered User irongrandpa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Vmango View Post
    I'd go with Lat pulldown/low pull next with GHR right behind it, myself.
    Agreed.^^^^
    This is a good way to go. Also, how much space do you have for more equipment? The crossover would probably be the last piece i would get, and only then if it had adjustable pulleys. I have all these except the crossover and haven't felt a need for one, nor do I have any more space.
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  5. #5
    Registered User jtaliani's Avatar
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    I definitely love having a GHD, but then again, I would like to get a nice pulldown/low row setup too. I use my GHD just about everyday. GHRs, hyperextensions, situps, obliques, etc.

    BTW, if you need to raise funds for any of the other equipment, have you considered selling the squat rack since you have a power rack too?
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  6. #6
    Registered User ajsat23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BAVE View Post
    I've been going through the same decisions recently and would opt for a lat/low row and GHR. Also consider a compact leg press like the Bodycraft F660. You can use it for calves as well. Instead of a seated calf machine I've always uses a rack with the pins set at knee height (when seated) and use a loaded up bar with a pad in the center. You can hit the soleus and gastrocs fine this way.
    Why hadnt I thought of this? Nice tip for the seated calf raises in the rack. Thanks.
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  7. #7
    Registered User CanuckDuck's Avatar
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    This may be a bit of a silly question, but could I not do lat pulldowns on an adjustable cable crossover?
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  8. #8
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ajsat23 View Post
    Why hadnt I thought of this? Nice tip for the seated calf raises in the rack. Thanks.

    The problem with doing seated calf raises in the rack with a barbell across the knee is the amount of weight you have to use. Most commercial seated calf machines work on a 3:1 ratio, meaning your calves are "lifting" approximately 3x the amount of weight you have loaded on the machine due to the location of the plates relative to the pivot point of the lifting arm. I do my seated calf raises with 160lbs on my machine, so theoretically, I'd have to load a barbell across my knees with 480lbs to the get the same workout.
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  9. #9
    Home gym 'til I die. ProtienandIron's Avatar
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    This may be a bit of a silly question, but could I not do lat pulldowns on an adjustable cable crossover?
    You could, but depending on your strength, many crossovers dont have enough weight on each side to hit the lats and associated muscles hard enough. Also, unless you improvise, you may not have anything to pin your legs down if you are going heavy.

    I agree with Vmango on the equipment choices, but I would flip the order of the 2 round. My reason for this would be that I can do pullups and there varients instead of the pulldown. The same can be said for a GHD so its just horses for courses.
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  10. #10
    Registered User CanuckDuck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ProtienandIron View Post
    You could, but depending on your strength, many crossovers dont have enough weight on each side to hit the lats and associated muscles hard enough. Also, unless you improvise, you may not have anything to pin your legs down if you are going heavy.

    I agree with Vmango on the equipment choices, but I would flip the order of the 2 round. My reason for this would be that I can do pullups and there varients instead of the pulldown. The same can be said for a GHD so its just horses for courses.
    The adjustable cable crossover I was looking to purchase was the sort where you put on your own plates. I just want to know if I were to put on a lat bar on one of the pulleys and sit underneath it, would it be the same as a lat pulldown (minus the leg support portion)?

    Also, along those lines, I can do 6 or 7 BW pullups already. If I were to get stronger, would doing pullups with a dip belt make my lat pulldown obsolete? Thanks for the responses.
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  11. #11
    Registered User BAVE's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    The problem with doing seated calf raises in the rack with a barbell across the knee is the amount of weight you have to use. Most commercial seated calf machines work on a 3:1 ratio, meaning your calves are "lifting" approximately 3x the amount of weight you have loaded on the machine due to the location of the plates relative to the pivot point of the lifting arm. I do my seated calf raises with 160lbs on my machine, so theoretically, I'd have to load a barbell across my knees with 480lbs to the get the same workout.
    It does require a bit more weight but if you are using a rack (Westside spacing would be preferred) its simply a matter of loading up some 45's. Also take a look at the Body Solid calf block: http://www.bodysolid.com/Home/SCB26/Calf_Squat_Block It works great with this movement and is only $100 on Ebay. Definitely use a pad (example: http://www.amazon.com/Valeo-VA4541BK...d_sim_sbs_sg_1)
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  12. #12
    Registered User BAVE's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CanuckDuck View Post
    The adjustable cable crossover I was looking to purchase was the sort where you put on your own plates. I just want to know if I were to put on a lat bar on one of the pulleys and sit underneath it, would it be the same as a lat pulldown (minus the leg support portion)?

    Also, along those lines, I can do 6 or 7 BW pullups already. If I were to get stronger, would doing pullups with a dip belt make my lat pulldown obsolete? Thanks for the responses.
    I love weighted pullups but man things get stale for me if theres no variety. With a high pulley and enough weight all you need is a variety of attachments to change things up. Dont forget all of the other movements you can do with a high and low pulley: pulldowns, ab crunches, pressdowns, low rows, curls, shrugs, upright rows......
    Also, I would forget the crossover all together. A lat low row is usually designed for more weight (if selectorized), has knee pads for pulldowns, and has foot plate for low rows. You can use the high pulley to do unilateral crossover movement if you have a short chain and a single handle.

    some examples
    http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...&m=PD&pid=1862
    http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...d=295&pid=5065
    http://www.keysfitness.com/images/pr...cable_bars.jpg
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  13. #13
    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BAVE View Post
    It does require a bit more weight but if you are using a rack (Westside spacing would be preferred) its simply a matter of loading up some 45's. Also take a look at the Body Solid calf block: http://www.bodysolid.com/Home/SCB26/Calf_Squat_Block It works great with this movement and is only $100 on Ebay. Definitely use a pad (example: http://www.amazon.com/Valeo-VA4541BK...d_sim_sbs_sg_1)

    All true...but in this area, seated calf machines routinely show up on CL for less than the cost of that calf block. I only paid $40 for the Parabody that's sitting in my basement, and have passed on a few Body Solid and Nautilus units for $75 or less.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Stasher1 View Post
    All true...but in this area, seated calf machines routinely show up on CL for less than the cost of that calf block. I only paid $40 for the Parabody that's sitting in my basement, and have passed on a few Body Solid and Nautilus units for $75 or less.
    True. I'm only considering space. If there's plenty of room I'd just pick up an individual machine. If there isn't space, I'd opt for more important pieces.
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    My thoughts from a powerlifting perspective, what exercises can be done on a crossover machine that can't be done on a lat pulldown? And of those exercises, how many of them couldn't be replicated with a combination of dumbbells and or resistance bands? And of the remaining exercises that absolutely require a crossover machine, how important are they?

    Personally if I ever contemplated a crossover machine I would realize I have everything I could ever need in a gym and I don't need to spend any more on it.
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    Yoke and GHR.

    A yoke you can pull, push and carry, like Rogue's.

    For me working calves worked best with the Super Squat Hip belt hooked to a bar. Better than any sitting or standing calf machines I've tried, but I'm small and a beginner.
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    Originally Posted by Detrus View Post
    Yoke and GHR.

    A yoke you can pull, push and carry, like Rogue's.

    For me working calves worked best with the Super Squat Hip belt hooked to a bar. Better than any sitting or standing calf machines I've tried, but I'm small and a beginner.

    I would go with a selectorized lat/low row combo first. You can do so many movements with it, and, if you get one with a stack, you can tuck it in a small space between other equipment, if floor space is a premium in your gym. After that, I would go with the GHR. Use it for GHRs, hypers, situps and possibly freestyle reverse hypers (or add ankle weights for more resistance).
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  18. #18
    Registered User CanuckDuck's Avatar
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    **incoming long message**
    Thanks for the suggestions. So the consensus on here seems to be to get a lat/low machine and a GHR. I was hoping you guys could help me decide on one. I live in the greater Toronto area and I have never seen a GHR on kijiji/craigslist.

    Here are the options I have available for the lat pulldown:

    Body-Solid Pro-Lat Machine - treadmillfactory.ca/p-89-c-28-body-solid-pro-lat-machine.html
    Keys Fitness Lat Machine - finerfitness.ca/ffitness/product_info.php?cPath=70&products_id=910
    Northern Lights Lat Machine - shop.fitnessdepot.ca/Lat-Machine-Plate-Loaded-P137.aspx#.UMIUf-TO1n4
    Eurotec Lat Machine - eurosportfitness.ca/index.php/benches-and-free-weights-2/iflatm-lat-machine-detail

    I'm 6' with long lanky arms, so hopefully one of these will be provide a sufficient ROM.


    And for the GHRs:

    Power Body Elite Glute Ham Developer - xtcfitness.ca/strength/power-body-elite-glute-ham-developer.html
    Power Body Glute Ham Developer - xtcfitness.ca/strength/power-body-glute-ham-developer.html
    AmStaff Fitness TS008A Commercial GHD - fitnessavenue.ca/item.php?id=529
    York Glute-Ham Bench - xtcfitness.ca/strength/york-glute-ham-bench-54034-55034.html
    Rogue Abram GHD - roguecanada.ca/strength-equipment/ghds/rogue-abram-ghd.php

    I'm not entire sure what the difference in between the two Power Body GHRs are. The only thing I can notice is one of the footpads on one of them is set lower than the other (is that better/worse?)

    I apologize once again for the long comment. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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  19. #19
    Keeping it simple 817boy's Avatar
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    I would just get a lat pull down/ low row machine

    and get a prowler.

    Every gym should have a prowler
    It surprises me how many people refuse to buy equipment from Elitefts because its too expensive but they will buy equipment from their competitors, then continue to go on EFS website regulary to educate themselves for FREE
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  20. #20
    Registered User Detrus's Avatar
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    Is there a huge difference between a Yoke with sleds and a prowler?
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    I have a similar setup, minus the dumbbells. I want to add specialty bar or two. Safety squat bar would be at the top of my list and below that a fat bar, cambered bar, spider bar, log or swiss bar.
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    Keeping it simple 817boy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Detrus View Post
    Is there a huge difference between a Yoke with sleds and a prowler?
    Usually the price, plus you can drag the prowler like a sled, cant do that w/ yoke.

    I would go w/ prowler over a yoke unless you can get the yoke for a good price.
    It surprises me how many people refuse to buy equipment from Elitefts because its too expensive but they will buy equipment from their competitors, then continue to go on EFS website regulary to educate themselves for FREE
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  23. #23
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    Lets see some pictures
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    isn't a squat rack the same as a power rack. or is squat rack just the 2 posts you take a bar off for squatting?

    you should be able to find a cheap calf machine on craigslist
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    Originally Posted by matrix563 View Post
    isn't a squat rack the same as a power rack. or is squat rack just the 2 posts you take a bar off for squatting?

    you should be able to find a cheap calf machine on craigslist
    They are typically closer to a half rack with fixed spotters.
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  26. #26
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    Squat rack and power rack are technically different things, although they are usually used interchangebaly.
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    The squat rack I own is the Rogue S3. I wanted to buy a squat rack because my power rack falls right underneath my garage door openers so I was unable to do overheard presses safely, and partly due to the fact I loved the fact having a 110" pullup bar to do dead hang pullups from. My garage floor slopes downwards so there was really only one spot I could place the power rack. I'll take pictures as soon as I find my digital camera to show my set up (which should be shortly hopefully).
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  28. #28
    Registered User CanuckDuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Here are the pictures of my current setup (please ignore the ghetto insulation, I still have yet to put in a proper solution):

    i.imgur.com/ciEAo.jpg
    i.imgur.com/VbLQk.jpg
    i.imgur.com/Y1dn9.jpg
    i.imgur.com/qJ18E.jpg
    i.imgur.com/GEdNJ.jpg

    You'd have to copy and paste into your browser to view them.
    It would be kindly appreciated if someone could embed these!
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by CanuckDuck View Post
    Here are the pictures of my current setup (please ignore the ghetto insulation, I still have yet to put in a proper solution):











    You'd have to copy and paste into your browser to view them.
    It would be kindly appreciated if someone could embed these!
    Pics embedded
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