Thursday, 23 May 2024

Squat Rack

Valor Fitness BD-17 Combo Squat/Bench Press Rack Review

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The Valor Fitness BD-17 has been created as a high quality, low cost squat and bench press rack, that’s ideal for compact home gyms.

In our review we take a closer look at the design features, and compare it to other bestselling Valor Fitness squat racks. This is to help you decide if the BD17 is the best squat rack for your own budget, space requirements, and workout routine.

Design features

When you’re working out from home, you will rarely have access to the same amount of space as at a commercial gym.

But although you may not have a great deal of space to dedicate to fitness equipment, you still want to be able to lift challenging weights in a variety of exercises to build a well-balanced physique.

In situations like these it becomes a case of balancing equipment strength with budget and space availability. While a cage like the one from Titan Fitness may be our first option for a budget power cage, with a high weight capacity (700 to 1000 lbs), this has a much larger footprint than squat stands or a free-standing squat rack.

That’s exactly why the Valor Fitness BD-17 combo rack has been designed – to provide a barbell support for a variety of exercises, from squats to bench press, without taking up too much space. Each of the upright posts is also height adjustable through a range of 48.75 inches up to 60.5 inches, catering for different user heights as well as exercise variation.

Although we mentioned the Titan power rack earlier for its impressive strength, the BD-17 is still impressive for a rack at this price, supporting up to 475 lbs on the bar catches.

A quick look at the frame also reveals a curved cross-brace beam, which helps to provide some additional floor space for rolling a bench between the uprights.

Two weight plate storage pegs have been built into the front of the rack with two main benefits. Not only do you have the weight plates you need within easy reach of the bar, but the weight plates you keep racked will also assist with keeping the rack stable.

Valor Fitness BD-17 – Features Summary

  • Recommended maximum weight load 475lbs
  • 41-Inch upright posts
  • 5-Inch back plate to catch bar as lifter maneuvers back to stand
  • Storage peg for plate storage and stability
  • Range of 48.75-Inch to 60.5-Inch

Squat and power racks from Valor Fitness

As a company, Valor Fitness (also known as Valor Athletics) produce some of the highest quality power racks and cages available, especially at competitive price points.

Despite not being as large as racks like the BD-6 and BD-19, the BD-17 still manages to provide some much needed support for home gym exercises.

The lower set of barbell catches can be adjusted to levels that are ideal for decline and flat bench press, while the upper set of catches can be made tall enough to support back and front squats with ease.

In comparing the BD-17 to many of Valor’s other power racks and cages in their BD collection, it’s clear that this is certainly one of the most space efficient.

Even the BD-19 uses an extended base frame design and saw-tooth style racking system, which does offer a higher weight capacity at 600 lbs, but requires you to have a lot more space available.

If space isn’t an issue and you’re happy to pay a little more to get a wider choice of exercises and higher weight capacity, then we would recommend taking a look at the BD-6, or even BD-7 with its lat pulldown attachment.

Valor Fitness Squat Rack Guide

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

Although you're missing the resistance band training options that you get with the similarly priced racks from CAP Barbell, the overall build quality and strength of the BD-17 remains high.

The raised, U-shaped cross brace joining the two uprights together is testament to the thought that Valor Fitness put into their designs, allowing for a wider range of placement positions for weights benches when set at an incline.

In terms of value for money, the BD-17 usually retails for around $100 less than the BD-4, which does have the benefit of adjustable height safety rails.

Overall, if you are limited on space but still want added stability over the free-standing single squat stands, this remains one of our favourite racks.

However, if you have the space, then for around the same price we would recommend taking a look at one of the HD lift cages from Atlas, HD Power Rack from Titan Fitness, or even the bestselling PPR200X from Powerline (usually retails closer to $350).

Weight limit: 475 lbs

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