So you just started your own home gym, but you don't know how to put together the basic pieces to make a home gym a reality.
However, from part 2 of this blog post series, you know that having J-cups/J-hooks with your squat rack is essential to perform basic movements such as squat, overhead press, and benchpress. But did you know that there are a variety of J-cups?
There are sandwich cups, roller cups, regular J-cups, and bolts or pegs to hold your barbell. We will cover each of these below.
Bolt/Peg: on some older or cheaper racks, the J-cup may be shaped like a round bolt or peg, and is usually composed completely of metal, with the head preventing the bar from rolling off of the rack.
These are generally not recommended, as without the UHMW plastic lining these kinds of J-cups can really destroy your barbell over time.
J-Cups: as previously discussed are a J-shaped piece of metal, normally lined with UHMW hard plastic to prevent wear and tear on your barbell. They allow the bar to sit on the "cup" portion of the J-cup, and are adjustable to different heights, depending on your body type.
Sandwich Cups: this is a version of a J-cup that is almost completely lined with UHMW, "sandwiched" between two pieces of metal. This is a great option for those of you who really want to protect your barbell and be sure that nothing will damage your bar during lifting.
These sandwich cups are also generally more sturdy and can take more weight than regular J-cups when you are loading the bar.
Roller Cups: this version of the J-cup is a fantastic addition to your home gym. These allow you to move the barbell side to side in order to setup your lift perfectly for a benchpress, squat, or overhead press movement. If you need to align the bar to your chest, the rollers allow the bar to move freely across the cup. This prevents you from having to muscle the bar into position on the rack, and is an incredibly useful accessory for advanced lifters who need perfect positioning for the barbell prior to a lift.
Monolift Attachment: this may be controversial, but we consider monolift attachments to be a VERSION of a J-cup attachment. They have the same J-shaped kind of design, are UHMW lined, and are incredibly useful for squatting, and in some cases benchpressing.
When placed onto this attachment, the barbell pivots the monolift arm forward, so that it rests in equilibrium, waiting for the lifter to unrack. The monolift attachment then swings backward, out of the way, when you unload the bar from the arm. This prevents the lifter from having to move out of the way of the rack attachment when squatting, and essentially allows the lifter to squat in place, rather than stepping backward to avoid banging into either the rack or the attachment itself.
It's an incredible attachment, and very helpful for advanced lifters, but definitely a luxury item that should only be purchased if you are serious about continuing to lift.
That's all for now on J-cup type attachments. We hope this was helpful in helping you to understand the different types of J-cup/J-hook accessories that you can find online when you are building a squat rack or power rack for your home gym.