Good weight cage?

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Good weight cage?

Postposted on Tue May 01, 2012 9:35 pm

My birthday is coming up and I'm hoping to chip in with my folks and brother to buy a weight set plus weight cage so I can do squats, bench, shoulder press, etc at home. I know we have a lot of fitness guys on here; anyone got advice on a good weight cage in the sub 500 dollar camp? I have the weight set picked up at a local store (300 lbs, should be enough to start with). But there's no weight cages in stock. Amazon has a ton of them, but I can't see them in person to play with 'em.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 3:54 am

Are you an experienced lifter? If not the cage may be overkill for quite a while.

I have been lifting heavy objects for a long time and I just have a bench and a set of dumbbells. Getting your technique right is by far the most important part of weight lifting. Any injury will set you back, sometimes a long way.

This is a very useful place:

http://exrx.net/Exercise.html

Set up a regime that suits you and study the little vids that are there for all exercises and you will make less mistakes.

I have never been to the gym myself but it may be useful to go to a good one and take some instruction. As I said injury is the bane of weight lifters.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 6:23 am

There's not much to a weight cage, once it will support the weights you're working with. There are some that come with options like a pull up bar. Some are mini-mutligyms. Really depends what you want to do.

In general free weight and a bench are much more useful for all round muscle gains. Unless you're a power-lifter in training. Do you plan to drill the cage into the floor? Or have it near a wall so it won't topple over?
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 7:11 am

Actually, if I had it to do over again, I think a cage is an awesome idea when doing bench press (especially, if you're stupid like me and workout alone).
There have been more times than I care to remember , where I was forced to throw a fully loaded bar, onto my thighs, in order to get out from under it.
If I'd had a cage, I could have set the side bars to be just at chest level (for flat bench), or just below (for incline). It would have saved me a lot of grief.
Cages can be a literal life saver, when working out alone (and can be used for more than just squats).

That said, Sports Authority has a few that are around $400-$450 (right now, they've got a special going on shipping). If you've got one local, you can even go and play on one.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 8:43 am

You can try going without. Depends on your weight and goals for the nearest year or so. If you're a beginner, you should be set with plain bar & dumbells with no weights for quite some time.

It's hard to do legs at home, weights are usually too heavy to get the bar up on your shoulders, so that's a problem. It also an easy way to get VERY serious back injuries. I'm shocked how many people have damaged spinal discs nowadays :o

Anyway, I have only barbell with bench and dumbells at home. The bench is of a super stupid design, which has a bar right over your head, so it's a death-trap. You can't stand up with bar on your chest, so I use a chair to drop one side of the bar on it, and roll it off slowly if I get stuck. This sucks :lol:
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 8:45 am

I used to be a serious powerlifter (3x8 with 275 on bench, 400 on squat). Not world class or anything but fairly significant. I've been lifting again using DBs for about a year and I'm outgrowing the 50s on my core lifts.

I'm shying away from dumbbells for two reasons: I can't work legs as well with them, and they are frigging EXPENSIVE once you need more than 50's or so (and I'm already using 50s for sets of 12 with shoulder press). It's cheaper to buy a 300 lb barbell weight set than to buy just a set of 75 lb dumbbells here (let alone the 60s, and the 70s, and the 75s and the 80s).

I know there's some people that get a lot out of DB squats, but frankly, my wrist and hands tire out well before my legs when I try those. I use 'em for straight leg deads and lunges, but I have to be honest, I hate lunges more than squat. They hurt more and still don't seem to add as much strength. DB straight leg deads kick ass though--I'm at 4x12 with my 50 lb dumbbells.

I'd be using the cage with a bench to do barbell presses (flat, incline). I would be using it without a bench for things like military press, squats, upright barbell rows, etc. I'd kind of like to try deads again too, but bumper plates cost a frigging fortune.

Currently I'm doing shoulder press, lunges, straight leg deads, curls, and upright rows (using a kettlebell) and alternating swings+catch with a kettlebell.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 9:28 am

In terms of weights, I highly recommend buying 2nd hand, as the cost of cast iron has tripled over the last 10 years.
During the 90's and even early 2000's, you could pick up plates for up to $0.50/lbs. (brand spank'n new!). Now, new plates typically are going for upwards of $3.00/lbs (especially the heavier variety)!
The last couple times I needed to pick up some 50 lbs plates (about 2-3 years ago), I was able to get them at Play It Again Sports (used for $0.50/lbs). This way, you can get a decent amount of wt, at a reasonable cost. This way, you can also get a pair of dumbell handles, and add what-ever will fit. Example: I'm currently doing incline bench with a pair of spin-lock handles, with 120 lbs/each. This is MUCH cheaper than buying the ready built dumbell sets.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 10:05 am

I live in Amarillo; I've kept an eye on craiglist and the newspaper classifieds for the last 5-6 months :( Nothing. tons of ellipitcals and treadmills but fie on those.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 10:06 am

These guys make decent, inexpensive squat racks (which is what you're asking about). It's not the highest quality stuff, but it's good enough for a home setup, and a lot cheaper than many alternatives.

http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 10:08 am

And yes, agreed on getting weights used. It will save a ton of money. The used sporting good store Play It Again Sports sells real plates here used for a decent price. Not sure what you'll find where you live. Make sure you get the professional cast-iron style like they use in the gyms, not the plastic coated crap filled with sand that you buy at the Wal-Mart.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 10:13 am

actually, I can get cast iron weights for about 90 cents/lb buying it by the plate, so it isn't awful. And academy here runs a special on their basic 300 lb cast iron weight set for like 160 or so every couple months, so that's kind of what I plan to do for that. It's a basic set--6' bar rated to 500 lbs. If (big if) I ever work out with more than 450 or so for anything, I'll get a better bar later.

I've trawled the thrift stores too, but haven't had any luck :( One of the downsides of living in a smaller city I guess? we dont' have a play it again sports or anything similar. If I'm ever in a bigger city again for a trip I'll take a look at theirs to see what I can find.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 1:53 pm

I'm jealous you've got the coin to buy a cage! I'm interested in what you learn so keep us updated. I'd like to get a cage this fall as I've really outgrown a bench + barbell setup. Good luck with your search!
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 2:22 pm

well, I found a fair assortment at the 500 or so mark. It's expensive but splitting part of it with my folks (as a birthday gift) makes it affordable enough.
I've had one or two scares in the past with an unspotted bench and yeah, don't feel good using them. Plus I want the variety a cage offers over a bench. I love standing behind the head shoulder press--best shoulder and upper back lift there is--and you can't do that with a regular bench. I'd love to get back to doing that with body weight.
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Re: Good weight cage?

Postposted on Wed May 02, 2012 6:02 pm

sircharles32 wrote:Actually, if I had it to do over again, I think a cage is an awesome idea when doing bench press (especially, if you're stupid like me and workout alone).
There have been more times than I care to remember , where I was forced to throw a fully loaded bar, onto my thighs, in order to get out from under it.
If I'd had a cage, I could have set the side bars to be just at chest level (for flat bench), or just below (for incline). It would have saved me a lot of grief.
Cages can be a literal life saver, when working out alone (and can be used for more than just squats).

That said, Sports Authority has a few that are around $400-$450 (right now, they've got a special going on shipping). If you've got one local, you can even go and play on one.


This is why I just use dumbbells, you can always dump em' if things don't work out. I lift to close to fail so I have had to dump em' a few times. Almost killed my cat one time. ;)
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