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  1. Hey, I have my own home gym. Spent a lot of money on it so far and have spent considerable time getting to know the why's and wherefores of all the different brands across numerous different pieces of kit. As a result, I would consider myself to be abit of an expert on home gym equipment here in NZ. My first bit of advice would be not to get anything with a pulley - not in terms of as part of a squat rack anyway (appreciate that if space/money or both are limited it can be tempting to try and kill a few birds with one stone), but really they won't be any good and you will be sacrificing quality on (what I presume is the most important aspect) which is the power rack quality. I have taken the slow and steady approach to getting my kit which has been difficult (who wants to save and wait right?) but ultimately I have found this approach worth it. The question would be why are you upgrading from a squat rack to a power rack? Why not put the money towards a decent lat pulldown machine? As an aside, this is the only decent one I can find (and I have looked ALOT...expensive but looks pretty good). In terms of weight that they can handle. Don't be fooled - a rack may say that it can handle (insert kg amount here) but that would be weight resting on the spotter arms, which is very different from you squatting and dropping said kg amount on them from a height! I don't have a particular view on the Force USA stuff currently (though am expecting a Force USA calf raise machine and sissy squat machine from oz next week), so will have a bit more view on their product quality then. Would stay away from the others that you have highlighted though. If it were me (and presuming your budget is somewhere between $500 - $1000) and you want it sooner rather than later, I would go for either the K1 or K2 from Elite fitness as I think they are probably the best value for the money. FYI, I am also thinking of possibly upgrading from a squat rack and having done a lot of hunting around, I am still not quite sure but think I might go for a impulse (IFPC) power cage from elite fitness. Apparently, if I wait until they need to fill some space on a container, they might be able to do this for $1100 instead of the $1600 (give or take) that it would otherwise cost. One other detail (which most power racks fail on from my perspective, the impulse doesn't, the K1 and K2 do,) is where the supporting horizontal bar is on the floor. Sounds stupid but most have this directly below where you lift the bar off the j hooks. The issue with this? You'll be standing on this to put the bar on/off, hardly ideal when you your knackered after a set with legs wobbling (who wants to have to avoid tripping over something?). Small detail I know but these things do make the difference. Anyway appreciate that everyone has their own constraints namely space and budget when it comes to home gyms but hopefully something in the above is useful. Happy to answer any questions you may have.
  2. Hey, just thought I would make a comment or to. Firstly. Welcome to NZ. Apologies that you seem to be getting so much hassle for what was a very reasonable question. Be interested to know where PETN has lived aside from NZ?! Sadly, you won't find chicken as cheap as you would from an ASDA, Lidl etc. back home. NZ grocery prices are really expensive no matter what anyone seems to think to the contrary. Hopefully you'll get some money back if you decide to buy a house (dirt cheap here compared to UK especially for what you get !). Anyway, I buy from countdown. Get their organic stuff (macro) $21.99 a kg. Not going to buy anything that isn't free range, not sure why people would want to buy meat from a bird that has been force fed for the sole purposes of being killing. As we all know in doing so, the chicken can hardly stand/doesn't stand and basically just gets fat (where would that go?). Oh yeah it's in the meat you buy?! Hardly great when trying to cut or lean gain. Like other countries (regardless of cost), protein is always expensive comparative to what else you buy. I've done a little bit of hunting around for free range and corn fed stuff and basically have come to the conclusion that the countdown stuff is as cheap (or expensive dependent upon your point of view), as the specialist places (which I don't understand, surely if your a butcher, you specialise so that you can focus on a few things and offer them cheaper than elsewhere?!). Anyway my few cents worth....
  3. Hi all, I've been putting together a home gym bit by bit for the last few years and so have slowly been ticking off pieces of equipment. Anyway, now got to the point where I am wanting a leg press/hack squat combo machine. I had my eye on the Body Solid machine from Elite Fitness but they have just put that up by $500 so am now thinking/seeing if there are many good alternatives. The only one really i can find is the ForceUSA from No 1 fitness. Unfortunately I don't live in Auckland or CChurch so haven't been able to see it in the flesh. Does any one have any experience/view of this machine? Might sound stupid (but I haven't been able to tell from photos or videos on the internet), but from a safety perspective i want to ensure that to engage it you have to push up significantly after 'locking out'(as in it has a hook type end). i noticed that the cheaper machines do not and the 'lock out bars' are flat. This means that in theory you could easily engage the weight without meaning to especially when tired. The impact being that you suffer a serious crush injury (sorry for the poor description it really is quite difficult to describe!). Anyway, any thoughts on this or alternatives greatly welcomed.