T Nation

Home Gym: How to Protect Barbell from J-Hooks and Vice-Versa

Got a cheap rack from Aldi here in Australia. The pins don’t have plastic or anything on em just straight metal. The bar already looks to be eating away at it (maybe it at the bar also not sure).

Is there a DIY method to reduce this and protect both the rack and the bar?

If you are worried about it just wrap it with some cloth tape.
If you want to get super creative, you find some PVC pipe that will fit over it and split it to snap over it.

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I like this pvc pipe idea. Electrical tape it up and should last a while. Retape when it tears up too much.

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Just roll with it, I’ve used mine with steel hooks for years, the end of the knurling has taken a bit of a beating, but it’s nowhere on the bar I use, plus it took years to happen.
What is the weight rating of the Aldi rack?

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But my beautiful future bar…

I dunno the weight rating but I hope it’s pretty solid

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Yeah, mine too. You should be able to get replacement hooks if they wear out at some point, but it would take years for that to happen.

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Tape the hooks, a little foam or anything soft will help.
It’s more cosmetic than anything. It’s very difficult to grip the bar, where it sits in the hooks and actually use the bar.
Nothing wrong with wanting to protect your investment

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Must protect my baby

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Bit off the main topic but how are these things rated. My squat rack says 700 lbs. Does that mean it’ll catch 700 lbs falling from max height or it’ll hold 700 lbs on the hooks and will hold a light 6" to a foot drop fail out of the hole.

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I would think what it will hold. Failure of the shape of the hooks or safety, with the weight sitting on it.
Not falling weight…
Lots of home racks will also probably get a little tippy or unstable with that much weight. In particular when you go to rerack , if you put any extra force into sitting the bar back down.
I know with my home rack, when I go to rerack from a set of squats I hit the upright, then settle into the hooks. Not like a stupid game , but way easier to find the upright than just touch land into the hooks.

I think if your trying to catch 300kg while falling on your rack, bending the J hooks will be the least of your problems :wink:

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The way I interpret weight rating is: “When we put our most perfect version of this equipment together by someone who knew what they were doing, we were able to very carefully place 700lbs* onto it and it didn’t immediately collapse. *The person calculating the weight has dyslexia”

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That’s a good question. The thing is that even bar rated to 1500lbs can bend if you drop them on the pins with much less weight than that, so you could expect the rack to have the same issue from enough impact.

The safety pins that came with my rack are supposed to be rated up to 1500lbs, which is obviously more than I ever lifted, but after doing enough rack pulls and dead benches they were all bent out of shape so I got some replacement pins. I bought steel rods from an industrial steel place, they didn’t know anything about how much weight it could handle so I got stress-proof steel which is supposed to be extra strong and I have 4 pins, I use 2 on each side when I squat or bench anything heavy just to make sure nothing goes wrong.

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I would think it would depend on the quality of the company it’s coming from. For example, I could put a cheap bar in a rack, throw in some tow straps to each side right next to the collar and load the shit out of the straps without the bar permanently deforming. However, make Joe Sullivan squat 700 lbs with the same bar using non-calibrated plates and that same bar would catastrophically bend. Basically, factors like bouncing on a lifters back and how far out on the collar the weights are stacked can dramatically change how much load a bar can take before it permanently bends. Good companies will account for this, crap companies will do a static load test (bar never leaving the j-hooks) which will bias their bars towards better capacity.

Basically, there is no standard test. I know EliteFTS has done dump tests with some of their bars, where they actually load a bar, have a lifter walk it out, and then dump it off their back down to the safeties, but at the end of the day “you get what you pay for” kind of holds true.

I would think they’d drop it with a forklift or something so not too risk injury.

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Yea that would be the smart thing to do, but it wouldn’t be very a very meathead thing to do.

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