Cooper, founder of Garage Gym Reviews — an excellent resource for in-depth reviews of gym equipment — joins Matt and Scott for a discussion about his personal strength journey, how he came to found the website, and some of his favorite equipment. He also talks about differing manufacturer practices, how Rogue revolutionized the fitness equipment industry, and the basics of building a garage gym.
Coop’s primary resource and the place to find his most in-depth reviews is http://www.garagegymreviews.com, however you should also check out his YouTube channel, Instagram, and sign up for his Weekly Barbell newsletter (click the Join link on the website) for notifications on great equipment deals and new reviews.
Some of Coop’s favorite gym gear:
- Rack– Sorinex. A manufacturer that has historically serviced large organizations like colleges and commercial gyms but is now moving into the home gym / consumer space. High quality and lots of customization options.
- Barbell– For general purpose training, Coop likes a 29mm bar, specifically the Rogue B&R 2.0 and Ohio Power Bar
- Conditioning– Rogue Echo Bike. Coop prefers this model over the Assault bike because it uses a sturdy belt drive system instead chain drive. The belt is very reliable and requires less maintenance than the chain drive bikes.
- Plates– the first question is whether you want bumper plates or iron. If you go with bumpers, you want the thinnest bumpers you can afford for the big lifts, as you can only fit about 405lbs on the bar with bumpers. Coop likes Rogue competition bumpers for thin bumpers, however for thick hi-temp style bumpers (more useful for olympic lifts) he prefers French Sport. For iron plates, he usually recommends going to Craigslist and getting basic cast plates, as most plates are manufactured in the same factory. For higher quality, he likes the Rogue calibrated plates.
- Shoes– Coop prefers the Adidas Adipowers because he has a narrow foot. He says Nike Romaleos are good for a wider foot.
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