Weight Lifting Equipment and Golf Merchandise (Reviews)

Proceed with caution…Items below may result in more POWER!


Valor BD-7 Power Rack

BD-7 Power Rack
Valor BD-7 Power Rack

How much do I like the Valor BD-7?  So much so that I’ve purchased it twice.  I rejoined a gym and sold my original BD-7.  Two years later I was sick of of the fancy strength training equipment and repurchased the same model and have never looked back.  I feel the Valor BD-7 is the best deal out there for a quality home gym power rack.  The attached lat tower is a huge bonus and allows you to perform multiple movements with both a high and low pulley.  It truly is a versatile piece of weight lifting equipment.  Here are some Pros and Cons of the BD-7.

 

PROS:

  • The lat tower is easily a $175-$225 value.  I’ve used up to 200lbs. on the cable with no issue.
  • The safety bars are round solid steel.  They are easily adjusted and have held up to 500lbs. with no sign of give.
  • Valor includes a padded utility bar that can be used with the lat tower.  It’s attached to the safety bars, or pins, and can be used to brace yourself while using the the lat tower.

CONS:

  • The inside dimension of the cage is pretty narrow.  You can perform squats and bench (tricky) inside, but cannot do any incline/decline bench due to the inside dimension.
  • The holes on the uprights do not go all the way down.  They start fairly high so you can’t perform rack pulls from a low starting position.
  • The storage pegs are for 1″ standard plates.  If you’re going to use Olympic plates you’ll need to purchase sleeve adapters separately.

More Info / Purchase @ Amazon


Valor DD-11 Bench

DD11 Bench
Valor DD-11 Bench

The Valor DD-11 bench is my current workhorse.  If you’re looking to bench big weights and are larger in body size then this is the bench for you.  It inclines from zero to 80 degrees.  It does NOT decline.  It has wheels on the back for easy maneuvering.  The seat will automatically adjust as you incline the bench.  It is very solid in all positions with any amount of weight.  Here are some Pros and Cons of the DD-11.

 

PROS:

  • In the flat position it’s capable of holding up to 1000lbs. with body-weight.
  • It has multiple incline settings for a good variety of angles.   
  • The flat position is supported by a solid peg that’s attached to the frame.  This makes the flat position very stable even when unracking heavy weight.

CONS:

  • There is no decline setting and there is no work around to make it decline.
  • The bench does not have a spot to attach a preacher curl or leg attachment.
  • If using with the BD-7 Power Rack the wheels make it difficult to work comfortably inside the rack.  I’ve turned the bottom support around (wheels on inside) to gain some additional clearance.

More Info / Purchase @ Amazon


Valor DD-4 Bench

Valor DD-4 Bench
Valor DD-4 Bench

The Valor DD-4 was the first bench I purchased from Valor.  It has the ability to move from an incline position to a decline position.  It also comes with a leg pad attachment that allows you to work at a decline and not slide down the bench.  The seat is independent of the bench pad and can be adjusted to various angles.  Be advised of the 500lb. weight capacity, as it is confirmed, and should not be exceeded.  Here are some Pros and Cons of the DD-4.

PROS:

  • The bench adjusts quickly and allows for a decline position.
  • The leg pad can be removed and used for a leg extension or preacher curl attachment.  
  • Customer support from Valor is outstanding, if there is an issue with the frame (see below).

CONS:

  • In a flat position the bench failed (twice) with 500lbs. total (includes body weight).  The weld for the position tab pealed back as I unracked the bar.  Valor replaced the frame twice before upgrading me to the DD-11.
  • The tabs for the bench position are simply welded onto the frame.  They can possibly give over time or not feel very stable with bigger weights.
  • The leg pad attachment is pretty small and doesn’t serve much function if you are taller or have longer limbs. 

More Info / Purchase @ Amazon


Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar

Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar
Swing Speed Radar

The Swing Speed Radar by Sport Sensors is hands down one of the easiest training aids you can use.  To borrow a line from every infomercial ever you simply “set it and forget it”.  This is a swing speed radar only (hence the name).  It will pick up the speed of the club head and give you instant feedback.  It does not record or log any of the info and there is no app or software that comes with it.  That is one of the drawbacks, but it does a great job at it’s intended function of displaying club speed.  I have also used this to pick up ball speed by laying (flat on the ground) it in front of the ball.  If you’re going to use this for ball speed please do so with CAUTION.  It runs on 3-AA batteries and they will last for a long time.  The unit shuts itself off after a few minutes so you can simply stow it your bag and it will be good to go for next time.  It does have a baseball functions and can display in km/h if that’s your fancy.  If you want see the product in action, with additional details, please check out the Video Vault.

More Info / Purchase @ Amazon


Caddytek Caddy View 100

CaddyView 100 Rangefinder
CaddyView 100 Rangefinder

If you’re looking for an affordable rangefinder then the Caddy View 100 by Caddytek is a great option.  It is at the lower end of the price spectrum, but still offers a small compact size with the necessary functions you’d expect from the more expensive brands.  The Caddy View 100 offers a simple point and shoot function as well as a “flag seeking” mode.  Switching between the two functions is incredibly easy as there are only two function buttons.  The point and shoot mode is good up to 1000 yards and the flag seeking mode is rated up to 300 yards.  My personal experience believes the flag seeking mode tops out around 270 yards, but it does work well and the point and shoot mode can compensate for any “flag seeking” deficiencies .  The Caddy View 100 requires one CR2 battery (not included), but the battery life is incredibly long.  After a few moments the device will turn itself off, conserving battery power and this has allowed me to use the same battery for close to a year.  Included with Caddy View 100 is a small carrying case that can clip to the side of your bag.  As far as range finders go this one is inexpensive, easy to use and very functional.  That sounds like a winner to me!  You can find more details about the Caddy View 100 at the link below and please check out the Video Vault for a more in depth review.

More Info / Purchase @ Amazon