Garage Gym Reviews

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Best Weight Plates for 2021: Top Picks for Rubber, Iron, and Steel Weight Plates

Weight plates are a staple in any home gym. With them, you can perform virtually any exercise you can think of. The best weight plates will resist damage, have minimal to no bounce, fit snugly on an Olympic barbell, and look good while you’re smashing PRs left and right. In truth, the “best” weight plates will be different for everyone and which plates are the best for you depends largely on your training style and goals, your home gym setup, and your budget. This guide to weight plates should help you make a smart decision.   RELATED: The Best Barbells for Your Home Gym in 2021

Products Tested in Our Community

Our community provides unbiased reviews on thousands of pieces of fitness equipment.

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Barbells

307 Rated

Squat Racks Image

Squat Racks

260 Rated

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Bumper Plates

63 Rated

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Pull-Up Bars

27 Rated

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Conditioning Equipment

337 Rated

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Fitness Technology

127 Rated

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Recovery Tools

48 Rated

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Shoes

59 Rated

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Kettlebells

43 Rated

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Dumbbells

40 Rated

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Rogue US MIL Spec Crumb Bumper Plates Review: Improved Hi-Temps

by Coop | updated 4 months ago

The Rogue US MIL Spec Crumb Bumper Plates were designed initially for the ACFT Army Fitness Test and have since been offered to the public. I’ve been using a set in my garage gym for the past two months both inside and outside for squats, clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts, and more and they still look like new. Although crumb rubber bumpers have their quirks, these are among the best available.

Rogue Matt Chan Bar Review: Cerakote + Stainless Steel Barbell Image

Rogue Matt Chan Bar Review: Cerakote + Stainless Steel Barbell

by Coop | updated 4 months ago

The Matt Chan Bar from Rogue Fitness is the most unique barbell the company currently makes. It’s stainless steel, yet coated in Cerakote. It’s great for CrossFit, yet works well for powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting. It’s beautiful and mean looking all at the same time. I am a huge fan of the Matt Chan Bar and feel it’s one of the most underrated barbell currently on the market.

Titan Fan Bike Review: A Budget-Friendly and Feature Filled Air Bike  Image

Titan Fan Bike Review: A Budget-Friendly and Feature Filled Air Bike

by Coop | updated 4 months ago

The Titan Fan Bike is the most complete piece of cardio equipment Titan Fitness has released to date. To be frank, it’s essentially a tricked-out Assault Air Bike. Nearly every part of it from the color to the monitor reminds me of the ever-popular Assault Air Bike even down to the less than desirable chain drive. It also borrows elements from the Rogue Echo Bike. Although I prefer the Echo Bike, the Titan Fan Bike is one of the best options we’ve tested for budget home gym owners.

Schwinn IC4 Review: A Quality Indoor Cycle Bike Image

Schwinn IC4 Review: A Quality Indoor Cycle Bike

by Coop | updated 1 months ago

In recent years, Peloton has made waves for its interactive programming and very expensive bike. At half the cost, the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike offers an alternative for those wanting app connectivity, durability, and a great value. Similar to some of the best rowing machines or best treadmills, I believe this piece of equipment could be a solid cardio addition to your home or garage gym.If you know me, you know that I already believe the Schwinn Airdyne Pro is the best air bike around. I’m glad to see they have released the Schwinn IC4, which is an upgrade from the brand’s first iteration, the IC3 bike. With the IC4, you get magnetic resistance instead of the friction pads of the IC3 and technology to connect with apps like Peloton and Zwift.I started Garage Gym Reviews to give people my honest opinion and the facts they need to find the best home exercise equipment. I personally test each piece of equipment and take into account the footprint, durability, adjustability, and overall workout experience. In this Schwinn IC4 review, I’ll give you the lowdown on app connectivity, assembly, and how this bike rode for me.My Favorite Things:Under $1,000106 pounds and easy to moveCompatible with both Peloton and Zwift appsSmooth and quiet ride100 micro-adjustable resistance levelsIncluded device/tablet holderMy Callouts:Lack of built-in workoutsMetrics may differ between connected apps and LCD screenParts not clearly labeled for assembly

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The Best Squat Racks for 2021

by Coop | updated 1 months ago

The squat rack is the centerpiece of just about every home and garage gym in the world. As such, it should be versatile, durable, useful, and fit the space it will be used in. I have tested countless of today’s best options, putting them through heavy squats, bench presses, pull-ups (when applicable) and a number of other exercises. Based upon my use, experience, and community input, I’ve compiled the best power rack, half rack, squat stand, and fold-away squat rack for most people—including recommendations for various budgets.

The Best Olympic Barbells for 2021 Image

The Best Olympic Barbells for 2021

by coop | updated 6 days ago

A barbell is the most versatile tool in any commercial or home gym. However, thanks to the exponential growth in both barbell training and home gyms, there are now hundreds of companies producing thousands of different barbells. This is both good and bad. It's good because you have a plethora of options to choose from to improve your squat, deadlift, bench press, as well as Olympic lifts and general training movements. It's bad because it's suddenly that much harder to decide what the best Olympic barbell is and which to spend your hard-earned money on.That's where we come in. In this guide, we want to help you find the best Olympic bar for 2021. For more specific suggestions, we have a best powerlifting barbell guide as well as a best Crossfit barbells guide. Why You Should Trust UsFor starters, I’m big into barbells. They’re kinda my thing. I have personally researched more than 150 barbells and used around 85–including specialty bars. Additionally, I have a team of people here at Garage Gym Reviews who regularly use and evaluate barbells according to our multi-point testing methodology. We squat with the bars, deadlift them, snatch them, turn them into landmines, drop them and load them with tons of weight to see how they perform. Additionally, we look at things like their value for the price, warranty and customer service.Barbells top my list of home gym essentials, and for good reason: They are king. Let’s dive into which ones I and my team like best:

The Best CrossFit Shoes for 2021 Image

The Best CrossFit Shoes for 2021

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

After wearing and testing nearly every current shoe designed for general training and CrossFit type workouts, my team and I determined that the best CrossFit shoes for 2021 are the Reebok Nano X1, with the Nike Metcon 6 close behind. Although this is a fierce debate and our runner-up could easily hold the top spot depending on preferences, we had to go with one.There are so many factors to take into consideration when looking at shoes, like durability, cushioning, if they are breathable, if they fit your foot. Honestly, it’s pretty subjective because what works for a wide foot won’t be great for a narrow foot. I had several people try out all kinds of shoes to bring you the best picks for what you should put on your feet.Why You Should Trust UsFirst of all, it’s me, Coop, who lives, eats and breathes fitness equipment (I don’t actually eat the equipment … all the time). I started training for CrossFit nearly a decade ago and have competed multiple times. I also had several other people on my team–including a CrossFit L1 trainer and CrossFit box owner Kate Meier, who happens to be on our expert panel here at Garage Gym Reviews–test the shoes you’ll find here (along with many, many others). We actually put these shoes on (along with our CrossFit-friendly gymnastics grips) and wore them for all kinds of metcons, lifting sessions, runs and jumps. The shoes go through an eight-point testing methodology where we evaluate everything from construction and performance to delivery and other user reviews. That’s how we rank and score each pair you’ll find on this page.

The Best Bumper Plates for 2021 Image

The Best Bumper Plates for 2021

by Coop | updated 1 years ago

After researching over 70 bumper plates and using 32 of them, we've determined that the best bumper plates for most people are the FringeSport Bumper Plates. The best competition bumper plates for most people are the Rogue Black Training Bumper Plates. Taking into consideration rubber used, durability, noise, appearance, price, warranty, and availability, these bumper plates will work well for any home gym, commercial gym, or CrossFit Affiliate.

Guide Articles   View All

Biggest Home Gym Mistakes Image

Biggest Home Gym Mistakes

by Coop | updated 1 months ago

Building a home gym can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience; it can also quickly become one of the most frustrating and expensive endeavors you take on. There’s no right or wrong way to build your own home gym, many of the decisions and processes you pick come down to personal preference, however with this quick guide, you can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Building a Budget Home Gym from Titan Fitness Image

Building a Budget Home Gym from Titan Fitness

by Coop | updated 1 years ago

Titan Fitness is known for making budget-friendly home gym equipment. However, wading through the vast amount of equipment they sell and determining which is worth buying and which isn't can be difficult. We've used, arguably, more gear from Titan Fitness than anyone in the world (other than employees of the company) and are taking our experience as well as others to provide recommendations on the best equipment available from Titan.

101  Home Gym Ideas, Tips, and Tricks Image

101 Home Gym Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

by Coop | updated 1 years ago

Over the years, we've compiled some of the most helpful home gym ideas as well as tips and tricks for making your gym, whether in your garage, basement, or spare bedroom a productive and enjoyable place to workout. Here are over 100 ideas you can use for your home gym. If these don't make you want to build one, we have no idea what will.

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DIY Squat Rack Guide

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

The Squat Rack is the centerpiece for just about every home gym in the world. However, some people don't have the money or desire to buy a pre-made option. This is where the DIY Squat Rack comes in...

DIY Outdoor Weightlifting Platform and Rack Image

DIY Outdoor Weightlifting Platform and Rack

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

Having a home gym is one of the best parts of adulthood. But, something that can be even more fun is being able to workout outside. In steps the DIY Outdoor Weightlifting Platform and Rack. Enjoy this weekend project.

DIY Crossover Symmetry System Replica Image

DIY Crossover Symmetry System Replica

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

Crossover Symmetry is a program designed to strengthen the shoulder girdle leading to fewer injuries and an increase in lifts. This is how you can make your own DIY version.

DIY Belt Squat Machine Image

DIY Belt Squat Machine

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

The Belt Squat Machine is one of the most coveted pieces of gym equipment available today. Although there are many options, including those made by Westside Barbell, Pit Shark, Matt Wenning, and others, they're all pretty pricey. This DIY Belt Squat Machine requires no special skills and costs well under any other available options.

Newly Released Products   View All

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Nike Metcon 5 Shoes Leaked (PLUS Mat Fraser's Edition)

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

The long-awaited Nike Metcon 5 Shoes have been leaked, and along with them, a new collaboration between 3-Time CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser and Nike. These are one of the most popular CrossFit shoes and this colorway is sure to be a hit.

Rep Fitness Releases FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench Image

Rep Fitness Releases FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

Rep Fitness has just released their new Competition FB-5000 Flat Bench after seeing the success of their other benches as well as the Rogue Thompson Fat Pad. At a value price point, the FB-50000 Competition Flat Bench is sure to be a great option for those looking for great alternative to the Rogue Monster Utility Bench.

Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plates Released! Image

Fringe Sport Contrast Bumper Plates Released!

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

FringeSport is producing some of the best value bumper plates available. With the Contrast Bumper Plates being released, you can now have their popular bumpers with a way to easily identify the weight.

Rep Fitness Releases the Rep PR-4000 to Compete with the Rogue Monster Lite Series  Image

Rep Fitness Releases the Rep PR-4000 to Compete with the Rogue Monster Lite Series

by Coop | updated 2 years ago

The Rep PR-4000 Power Rack is Rep Fitness's answer to the ever-popular Rogue Monster Lite. Combining high strength steel, unique colors, and a ton of accessories, the Rep PR-4000 should prove to be a beast of a rack at a price that is quite a bit cheaper than Rogue offerings.