T Nation

Home Gym Setup


I'm considering getting my own equipment for the times when I'm not at university as I will be spending about £400 on gym memberships anyway. Plus the nearest place to train (a strongman gym with no bumpers) is 30 mins each way by car so that's a significant amount of petrol too.

I'm interested in getting people's opinions on what bumpers and bar to buy. I'm settling on getting a pair of 20kgs, 15kgs and 10kgs bumpers, an extra pair of 20kg metal plates plus smaller denominations. Then when I eventually (hopefully) need more bumpers get a pair of 25kgs.

So far the best bar I can find for a reasonable price is shown in the link below:


The main decision I think I have is with the bumper plates, so far the best options I can find are:


Jordan: (saving £36.50 compared to the york)

Bodypower/Apollo: (saving £88 compared to the york)

Does anyone have any first or second hand experience with any of these bumpers or the bar? Or any recommendations on any others they might know of available in the UK? Any input would be greatly appreciated.


My mate has the York bumpers - rock solid, but very thick because of that. York is more expensive, but they're proven reliable and shipping is free. I don't have experience of that bar, just the elite bar which is my favourite bar. Centre knurling needs filing down though! For cheaper York stuff have a look at Dolphin Fitness - elite bar is 499 there.

Cheapest place for bumpers is probably www.strengthshop.co.uk though - 150kg of black bumpers will set you back £300 (and the coloured plates are cheaper than anyone else's blacks). I'd get the bumpers from Buzz (tell him I sent you) and use the money you saved to get the better York bar. Pick up a pair of 0.5kg plates for a fiver from Buzz while you're there. I doubt you'd get better service from anyone else either. /sales pitch


Thanks for the reply! Yeah I stumbled across that website just a few mins ago after following a link on another forum, those bumpers have definitely got me interested. Looks like they are easily the best value around!

Money is a factor so I think I will settle on this bar and save the money, looks to be a bit better than the previous one but cheaper!:


It should be fine for my level. I will think about upgrading to a better bar in a year or so if I think its needed and if I have the funds to cover it. Then I could just use this bar for squats and presses etc and save the nicer bar purely for the olympic lifts!

Thanks again for the help!


Good info ninearms.

Oxman I have serious reservations of how much dropping a £200-250 bar can take!

ninearms do you have any experience with the £200 york bar? judotaffy has a york bar, but I'm not sure if it's the 200 or the 500 one? His was was good to use.



Yeah I can see where you are coming from, if it makes any difference I'm planning on building a platform similar to this one:

It's been mentioned on these forums before (possibly in the powerlifting section though) as a good design that gives a lot more cushioning than normal platforms so that may help protect the bar a bit.


http://www.youtube.com/user/bonkfest#p/a/u/1/W8R54wVU0Tg maybe u could try a platform like this ?


Got my bar and plates! Got the york bar from dolphin and the plates from strengthshop.

The bumpers are pretty good, solid rubber so they are quite fat! But I see that as a good thing as it should spread the load a bit better!

The bar has an excellent spin and looks like it will have a good flex (if I lifted weights heavy enough :P). The only issue is the knurling is SAVAGE! Snatched today and I ripped open the palm of my hand! Never done that before. It's not really that big an issue though as I've given it a file down and it's a bit better, will give it a bit more later!

Stands should be coming tomorrow so will have a proper session then!


Sick Ox!

Get some pics!

Yeah fat bumpers will spread the weight better on impact. Get building on your platform!



Strength shop are good for most things and could probably do you a deal:



Yeah they're the ones I've got. They look like they can take a beating so I'm happy :slightly_smiling:

Picked up a pair of 2.5s and 1.25s from there too, the 0.5kg ones were out of stock which is a shame but I will pick some up when they are available!

Still need to pick up some wood for the platform though, will do that at the weekend. At the moment I've just got a couple of layers of heavy duty foam padding on concrete, works fine, giving plenty of padding but it would be nice for it to be all fixed so I don't need to move the padding back into place after every attempt haha!


Awesome you gotta get some pics/videos up I can't wait to buy a place so I can build a sick DIY home gym.


pic or it didn't happen


Haha, need to build the platform first, then pics!


Don't glue the platform together if you ever want to take it apart and move it.