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Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.

Project HUGE: Building A Home Gym - Squatting, Benching, And Pulling On My Half-Rack

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Project HUGE

Over the last few weeks, I have been fulfilling my dream of having a home-gym. Little by little, I've been acquiring and assembling various weights and pieces of equipment. But, last night, things finally came to a head when my Fitness Gear Pro Half Rack arrived from Dick's Sporting Goods. It got a little banged up in the freight shipping. But, this baby is solid mental and can handle up to 600 lbs of weight.


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 

Is this the best rack that you can buy? Definitely not. But, it was relatively cheap (though shipping cost $133). And, more importantly, it just barely fits in my garage. Most racks are pretty tall and wouldn't be able to fit under my low ceiling, amongst my even lower-hanging water pipes. This one fits, has a small footprint, has decent sized safety bars (I wish they were a little longer), and can handle up to 600 lbs.

The package weighed about 220lb, so I had to open it up and bring it piece by piece down to the garage (I don't have any dollies to move stuff). It took me about 20 mins to get it down to the garage. Then, it took me about 2 hours to put the whole thing together. The assembly was actually quite easy, even by myself. There's only like eight parts and only a few steps where balance and coordination were required.

All in all, I'd say it took me 1 hour, 15 minutes to connect everything with "hand tightened" bolts. Then, it took me another 45 minutes to tighten everything using my ratchet set (and absolute must have for this kind of stuff). It's a tight fit, but gosh-darn-it, if she doesn't look beautiful!


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 


 Building a gym - fitness gear pro half rack. 

There's not a lot of wiggle room... but, it'll get the job done.

Not only do I have a muscular imbalances, I also have flat feet which means that my legs are never quite in the right alignment. This creates problems around my knees and tends to cause muscle spasms in my quads. As such, foam rolling has become an ever-present part of my life. So, I also purchased an Everlast 2'x6' Folding Mat so that I could use my Foam Roller in the garage before my workouts.


 Building a home gym - everlast folding gym mat. 

And, that's all there is to it. The dream has come to fruition. I now have a fully functioning home gym in my parking garage. When all is said and done, here is my home gym inventory:

Subtotal: $650.05

Subtotal: $815.02

Subtotal: $237.60

Subtotal: $122.46

Subtotal: $555.41
Running Total: $2,380.54

Considering the amount of stuff that I got, I think this is very reasonable price. Heck, it's less than I've spent on most of my recent computer purchases. And, it's an investment in my health and my happiness. The only thing left to do now is get huge!

Reader Comments


Just barely. Luckily, I'm not that strong and I can't really get my head that far above the bar anyway :P I am a bit nervous though. I thought about taping a small foam square to the ceiling, just in case. But, it's definitely tight.

More than anything, I have barely any room on either side of the barbell when it is racked. I have to suck in my gut to squeeze by it. And, loading weights onto the bar is a bit awkward. But, I just gotta get used to it.


Just bought the same exact half rack from dicks for $299+tax and the same exact utility bench from dicks for $179+ tax..ur getting killed on shipping..if u get anyhing else run an ad on CL and throw someone with a pickup a few bucks to bring from store to house


Yeah, and the shipping took a long time, too. They did have one in the store at the time; but, I didn't think it would fit in my car, even if I pushed the seats down. At least it got here eventually. Enjoy it!