Equipment Update: Santa Came!

I’m still 13 years old, apparently. Moving on.

Christmas and two fantasy football championships meant some new goodies for my garage gym. On a down note, I’ve also been sick for three of the past four weeks, so I’ve hardly been able to get out there and use any of this stuff! I’m hopeful that the crud I’ve got now clears up soon and I’m able to get my training back under way. In the meantime, I’ve added a few more items to the gym.

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Now that I put it all together, it really is a pretty major score of stuff and some big strides for my project. If you were wanting to do any training like what I’m trying to do (be generally stronger, leaner and more athletic), here are some of the pickups I made and why.

230 pounds bumper weight set:

I’m excited for all the stuff I got, but maybe what I’m most looking forward to is training with bumper plates again. The four I had are OK, but not true bumpers – they’re iron plates with rubber bumpers, vs. solid rubber/composite plates. I picked up a set of 45s, 35s, 25s and 10s, all in fantastic shape, so I can now drop without worry on cleans and deadlifts (movements I had gotten away from with my regular plates, admittedly).

Competition men’s Olympic bar:

A used Get RXd bar, still in great shape, with ball bearings and sleeves that spin for days. With two Olympic bars, that’s at least more opportunity for barbell supersets without unracking and, more usefully, a higher-quality bar for dynamic lifts than my previous one.

Single-hand cable attachment (pair):

I got these ones, mostly for internal/external shoulder rotations and chops/lifts on the cable. A non-metal handle will be really, really nice as long as this cold weather sticks around.

Medicine balls (15 & 20 lbs):

The range of potential exercises in my garage gym is growing and I think these will further that breadth of movement even more. Ball slams and chest passes, not to mention core work, will make up the majority of usage for these.

I really like these ones and would recommend them. You can buy them here:
j/fit Medicine Ball, Red/Black, 6-Pound

BD-7 Dip Bar Handles:

I told you you should buy the BD-7 if you need a squat rack, didn’t I? (I did.) So, Valor also makes these accessory handles for dips. They slide in easy and secure, and the welds on them seem to be excellent. The width of the rack itself made me wonder if there would be too much torque on that first weld to support a 200-pound man plus weight, but after trying it out briefly, they feel rock-solid.

Get the BD-7 here.

Grab the dip handles separately, here.

Hyperwear Weighted Vest (and additional weight for 15 lbs. total):

It’s hard being 15 pounds heavier! I always know I’m out of shape when I go to the pull-up rack and feel simultaneously heavier from eating worse and weaker from lack of training. A weighted vest simulates that feeling pretty well! It also makes just about every single lift 5-10 percent more difficult, and that’s not an increase that goes unnoticed. I just imagined doing broad jumps with this thing on. It wasn’t pretty.

I got it as a gift, but it’s not a bad idea to invest in yourself. A few of the things I like about this vest, other than that “it’s heavy”: It’s highly adjustable, and you can get it as snug as you want. The weights slide in easily, and stay there. And after many uses, it doesn’t retain smells (if you’re a smelly exerciser, that’ll matter a lot). I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

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