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Why and how to mix bumper plates with iron plates

Building a home gym can get expensive. And it can get that way fast! So finding places to save money without sacrificing functionality becomes important to those of us on a budget. One of the best ways to stay on budget and still get a functional gym is to spend money where you need to and look for ways to save in areas you don’t. My best advice for this has always been to spend …

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Horse Stall Mats, Are They Really the Best Choice for Home Gym Flooring?

When you build a home gym, one of the first decisions you have to make is what to do with the floor. Not only do you need a reliable surface to train on, but you also need to prevent damage to the floor below. Most home gym owners use one of two options: Horse stall mats or rubber flooring made specifically for gyms. Most people who post recommendations, however, have never used both options. So …

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Do you really need an Olympic lifting platform?

When I was planning my full gym build-out, one of the first things that went on my list was a weightlifting platform. It seemed like every gym I looked at online had a platform. I honestly didn’t even know why I might need one (or not). I simply figured it was something you needed if you were going to be training at home. Did I mention that they looked cool? And who doesn’t want their …

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Barbell collars. Why, when, and which are the best for you?

Details can be significant. The occasional crashes I would hear in commercial gyms (way back in the day when I still belonged to one) were a reminder of that. As plates fell off of bars and hit the floor, I always cringed. I wish I could say I was never the cause of one of those crashes, but I’d be lying. There was a time when I thought using barbell collars was optional. More than …

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Gym Closed? Work out at home for under $100!

Everyone should have the ability to work out at home. That simple idea is why I built GymCrafter. With recent events (This article is being written in mid-March, 2020, right at the beginning of a shelter in place order where I live in Illinois), people who previously relied on commercial gyms for their fitness are coming to the same realization. The problem is that too many people (and to be honest, I’m one of them) …

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Is Titan Fitness worth your money? An honest review.

If you’ve done any research at all into buying gear for your home gym, you’ve almost certainly come across Titan Fitness. You’ve also probably come across a variety of strongly held opinions about them. Very few other companies in the fitness industry are as polarizing as Titan is.  Some people hate them. Others love them. And that can leave you wondering if the gear they make is any good or should be avoided. The answer, …

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Should you buy weight plates in lbs or kilos?

Weight plates are something we should only have to buy once. If we buy right the first time, they typically won’t wear out. That means there are a few decisions we need to make when buying weight for our home gyms. Steel, coated, or bumper plates? How many? What sizes? New or used? I answer most of those questions for you here in my comprehensive guide to buying weight plates for your home gym. One …