When I started designing my home gym, I knew the power rack would be the main piece of equipment and would get the most use. I wanted to have a power rack that would be the most versatile and heavy duty rack I could find at a reasonable price.
Being certified as a personal trainer for a great deal of my adult life, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted, or should I say needed, and I wasn’t going to settle for less. I was looking for a power rack that came with a Lat pulldown and cable pullies of course, but also more specific features, such as double slide bars on the cable pullies and cables wide enough apart to allow full range of motion during all exercises. You’ll notice the Lat pull doesn’t have the double bars – it’s not needed due to the amount of weight used doing Lat pull downs. Much less weight is used during some exercises on the cables, such as side lateral raises, and a single bar is not smooth enough in my opinion.
Additional features I wanted were a pull-up bar that allowed for varying grip positions and the ability to use different types of plate weights. While Valor Fitness has different options for their pull-up bar, this particular rack has the best configuration for what I was looking for to be able to change up the grip as well as the ability to use and store both the Olympic and the one inch adjustable weights I have.
One side note to mention is that the power rack can be purchased on Amazon as just the rack itself, or as a power rack with cables, or as a power rack with Lat pull down, or as I ordered it, all three.
Valor has a more “home owner” rack than the BD-41, the BD-7. It’s a bit less heavy duty and has less options but is still note worthy due to its lower cost by $300.
The BD-7 and the BD-41 are the same size, I believe, so honestly for the extra $300 for the BD-41, you get a much heavier duty frame system including cross braces needed when lifting heavier weights and the multi position pull-up grips.
The machine is very sturdy even under heavy weight. I have the machine sitting on a rubber puzzle mat that I also purchased on Amazon and the Power Rack does not wobble or shake due to it.
According to Valor Fitness, “500 lb. max load if using the bar catchers outside of the cage, 650 lb. max load if using the bar catchers inside the cage, 750 lb. max load for safety bars. 200 lb. max load on the Lat Pull and on each side of the Cable Crossover”. I don’t recommend this but I’ve had more than 200 on the Lat pulldown just to give an Idea how strong it really is
Several accessories can be added after the fact such as Dip handles, dumbbell holders and additional barbell racks. I have yet to order any of these as I’ve really not needed to as it comes pretty well set up. You will, however, need to have or buy a bench and barbell as the machine does not come with either. I’ve included a link to the weight bench that I use.
This rack is by far the best piece of home gym equipment I have ever used. Its not commercial gym good, but it’s pretty close. Here is a link to the same Valor Fitness power rack I use.
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