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Old 10-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Commercial Gym Troubles

Okay guys. So there's two gyms near me that have ten dollar monthly memberships and the rest have 35 dollar memberships or higher. Now the first ten dollar gym is nothing but machines, dumbbells, and smith machines. Already it's cancelled out.

But the second ten dollar gym has a bench press, an incline press, and a barbell for deadlifting. Unfortunately it does not have an actual squat rack. It has what they call a "power rack." Right off that bat it looks like a smith machine. But after inspecting it a bit further I found out a few things.

1) the bar isn't fixed. There's one bar it's attached to in order for it to slide up and down and a second bar it's attached to that allows it to go backwards and forwards.

2) it's non-assisted. Say you set up a bench underneath a smith machine as for a smith machine bench press. now if you don't load any weight on the bar, lay down on the bench, perform a press and throw it up and let it leave your hands it'll have an amazing hang-time. (part of the reason smith machines are evil )
But with this "power rack" it's different. if you throw the bar up it comes straight back down. Like a real bar would; it's got real weight to it.

Now my question to all you MABERS is: is this acceptable? I've used this power rack for squatting for the past few months and I'm up to a 240 lb squat for reps. I'm going to college and have a crappy part time job so I don't make much money and have to be very careful with what money I do spend. Now is this "power rack" acceptable? Or should I cough up the money to go to the local 24 Hour Fitness in order to have a real squat rack?
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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I've never even seen a power rack like that. Do you have a pic to post? I am a noob and am not experienced enough to offer any advice, I'm just interested to see this setup. I do all of my squats in a power rack, but it is just a freeweight power rack.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TDawg75 View Post
I've never even seen a power rack like that. Do you have a pic to post? I am a noob and am not experienced enough to offer any advice, I'm just interested to see this setup. I do all of my squats in a power rack, but it is just a freeweight power rack.
I can post pics tomorrow, after I've gone in for military press and shoulders.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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It's a free-motion smith machine. I used one once while on vacation, just to do some band resisted good mornings, for which it worked very well.

It's definitely not as good as free weights, but it's also not nearly as bad as a standard smith machine.

I think you'll be ok using it, but REALLY focus on form to prevent yourself forming bad habits because of the little assistance it does give. It's going to save you $300 a year, which is pretty huge. Take the money you save and buy/make yourself a squat rack and some weights.



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Old 10-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Take the money you save and buy/make yourself a squat rack and some weights.

Thats not a bad idea. Thanks Soldier! I've actually thought about buying a real simple used squat rack and donating it to the gym.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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What Soldier said!!

Buy your own stuff, and don't look back. You'll be far happier, and never have to worry about waiting for equipment. I will never go back to a commercial gym.
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