Thursday, 23 May 2024

Squat Rack

Valor Fitness BD-19 Sawtooth Squat Rack Review

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The Valor Fitness BD-19 is one of the strongest squat racks in the collection so far, with a weight capacity of 600 lbs and 12-gauge solid steel construction.

But the BD-6 squat rack has a weight capacity of 650 lbs and is usually available for around $20 less than the BD-19. So, which design really represents the best value for money?

In our review we’ll take a closer look at the design and safety features, as well as the dimensions, warranty, and exercise options. This is to help you decide if the BD-19 is the best squat rack for home gym workouts.

Design features

Valor Athletics BD-19 Sawtooth Squat Rack

One of the most obvious benefits the BD-19 squat rack has over the BD-6 is its sawtooth design, with a much wider range of racking points that start closer to the ground.

Safety rails are also included as an optional attachment, rather than being built into the frame. These two features combine to create a rack that’s much better suited to exercises where the bar needs to start at a lower height, such as shrugs, deadlifts, and even decline bench press.

The slight angle to the frame is still a feature with the BD-19, which is particularly useful for if you’re squatting with a barbell. This is because the angle does a better job of following the bar as it lowers with your body’s natural range of motion, ensuring that the racking points and safety rails remain within easy reach.

To help create this angle, Valor Fitness have used a raised base frame, which limits its contact with the floor while ensuring maximum stability. Each point of contact has also been rubber coated to prevent the rack from moving on hard floors, which doubles as a way of protecting them from damage.

Valor Athletics BD-19 Sawtooth Squat Rack

Valor Fitness BD-19 – Features Summary

  • Includes two adjustable safety catch and four Olympic storage pegs
  • Rubber base plates
  • 0.25 in. 12-gauge solid steel chrome saw tooth
  • Solid steel frame
  • Safety catch settings: 8 levels of adjustment from 17.5″ to 39.5″ (from the floor)

Weight plate and barbell storage

With the exception of Valor’s earliest squat rack models, such as the BD-3 and BD-4, each rack offers some form of weight plate storage. For freestanding squat stands this means a single peg at the base of each stand, but for the full sized racks and cages, this usually means 2 or more Olympic weight plate storage pegs.

For the BD-19 you have 4 weight plate storage pegs, 2 on each side. This is the same as for the BD-6, and allows you to store a large amount of weight close to the rack, without having to buy a separate weight plate tree.

Unfortunately there’s no barbell storage, which is one of the few features that’s missing from Valor Fitness squat racks. However, they do design Olympic and standard bar racks that can hold up 2 barbells, which also include up to 6 weight plate storage pegs, such as the BH-7, BH-8, and BH-9.

Cable pulley attachment options

If you’re looking to combine your heavier strength building exercises like deadlifts and squats, with isolation exercises like cable curls and tricep pushdowns, one option is to invest in a rack with a built-in cable pulley system.

Valor Fitness have designed several such models, some with the lat pull attachment fitted as standard, and others where it’s an optional upgrade to the main power cage.

Unfortunately this is something that’s exclusive to their power cage designs, and isn’t available on any of their squat racks, including the BD-19.

If this sounds like a feature you would be interested in, it’s worth taking a look at the BD-11, BD-33, and BD-41 power cages. In each case the lat pulldown gains its resistance from plate loaded weight pegs, so you can use the same plates that you use on the barbell, and don’t have to worry about heavy selectorized weight plate stacks.

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: 3 years

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

5 / 5

As a squat bench combination, the Valor Fitness® BD-19 rack is suitable for supporting a wide range of exercises, and with its 600 lb capacity, can assist beginners through to experienced strength trainers.

This weight limit represents a significant upgrade over the earlier BD-17 squat rack, with a sawtooth racking style that makes it much easier to switch between exercises mid-workout.

You're also given more storage for weight plates, and longer safety rails to support the bar during exercises such as the bench press, squats, and overhead presses.

If you're purely looking for a rack to squat in, we would have to recommend the BD-6, due to its higher weight capacity and extended safety rails. Likewise, if you're looking for a way to combine isolation exercises with heavy barbell work, we'd favor the BD-11, which has a lat pull as an optional attachment.

But in terms of finding an affordable squat rack with a wide range of racking positions and high enough weight capacity to support heavy shrugs just as well as it supports the decline bench press, you'll struggle to do better than the Valor Fitness BD-19.

Weight capacity: 600 lbs Product dimensions: 46"L x 65"W x 72"H

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