Beginner’s Guide to Basic Strength Training Equipment

The Equipment You Need to Get Started

Coop from Garage Gym Reviews joins us to discuss the basic strength training equipment you need to get started. In this video, he gives recommendations for squat racks, barbells, deadlifting platforms and more.

The Power Rack

You need a solid, well-constructed squat stand or power rack. Stands are designed to lay upon your platform, and racks are designed to be anchored to bolts in the floor. Coop suggests a power rack with safety arms or pipe safeties so that you can also bench press safely. Also consider the spacing for the J-hooks – smaller gaps are better, because they will be more custom to what you need.

The Barbell

Don’t skimp on the barbell – cheap barbells bend and will need to be replaced. The barbell should be of good quality, with a center knurl and not too thick in diameter. Coop suggests a few options from Cap and Rogue.

The Flat Bench

We suggest that you don’t skimp on this either. A good bench needs to safely support you and the weight in your hands during a bench press. Coop recommends a bench with a fatter pad, and gives two options of well-made, good quality flat benches. Be sure to choose a flat bench with the standard height of 17 inches.

Weight Plates

You can purchase bumper plates or iron plates. Bumper plates are necessary for Olympic lifting, but iron plates are more readily available on the used market. You can save money here, if you can find them used on Craigslist. You will also need fractional plates smaller than the typical 2.5lb plate. A good set of fractionals will go all the way down to 1/4lb plates, which will be useful as you become more advanced as a lifter.

The Platform

You’ll need a platform for deadlifting and/or Olympic weightlifting. You can save money on a deadlifting platform by building your own. Horse stall mats (available at agricultural stores like Tractor Supply or your local feed store) stack perfectly on top of plywood. If you choose to purchase an already-made platform from Rogue, or another equipment supply company, expect to spend more money.

Watch the full video to hear Coop’s recommendations for all the necessary strength training equipment you’ll need for success!

Also, check out the two-part podcast interview with Coop where he dives into full strength training equipment details: Part 1 and Part 2.




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