Monday, April 15, 2019

Product Review: Valor Fitness BD-21 Yoke

Product Details:
The Valor Fitness BD-21 Yoke is a versatile piece of equipment being a functional all-in-one rack.
Featuring 2”x3” 11-gauge solid steel uprights with 41.5” of inside working space, versatile skid sled style/storage feet with 4 10” weight pegs, J-Hooks for bar support, and a weight capacity of 750lbs. Fully adjustable crossbar and pull up bar with locking popper pins and a 72” height range allows customization to any workout, from a basic yoke carry to the Zercher Carry, Zercher Squat, pull-up station, squat station, bench station, and sled training exercises. The numerous possibilities for this unit, make it an all-in-one option for a home/garage gym.
Features/Benefits :
  • ALL-IN-ONE RACK- A functional and versatile piece of equipment can be used as a Pull-Up Station, Squat Station, Muscle-Up Station, or Bench Press Station. Allows for a variety of Sled Training exercises, a basic Yoke Carry, Zercher Carry, or Zercher Squats, making the Valor Fitness BD-21 the perfect all-in-one equipment for a home gym.
  • UNIQUE SKID SLED STYLE- Allows the user the ability to lift and smoothly slide the Yoke Rack for Sled Training exercises. Yoke Rack weights 160 lbs. by itself.
  • STORAGE PEGS- Designed with 4 (10 in. X 1.5 in.) weight pegs at the base to create storage for Valor Fitness Bumper Plates and provide added stability of the Yoke Rack when weighted down. Allows the option to add extra weight for Carries and Sled Training.
  • ADJUSTABLE - Fully adjustable Crossbar and Pull-Up Bar with locking popper pins and a 72 in. height range allows customization to any workout. Includes Safety Catches and J-Hooks on both sides of the Yoke Rack for bar storage during Bench Press and Squat Workouts. Built with a 49.5 in. X 50 in. base to allow for a 42.5 in. of working space
  • STURDY- 92 in tall, 11-Gauge solid, Steel uprights (2 in. X 3 in.) can hold up to 750 lbs. Designed for light-commercial use. 3-year warranty.
Shipping Dimensions:
· Size/weight: 92" x 8" x 4" / 59 lbs.
· Size/weight: 49" x 17" x 6" / 97 lbs.
Assembled Dimensions:
· Size/weight: 92" x 49.5" x 49" / 150 lbs.
Product Review:
I’ve had my eye on the ValorPro Yoke for over a year now since building my garage gym. Back then it was initially my plan to have this yoke also serve as my rack. I am a minimalist, the sort of person who travels light and likes to keep things very sustainable.
However I also understand the importance of having the right tool for the job, and the aggravation of NOT. And, after many attempts at conniving minimalistic ways to achieve full body strength— at one point the whole of my equipment being a sandbag, tires, and a few kettlebells.  I ultimately settled with the conventional home gym route.
Make no mistake: this ValorPro Yoke unit can and absolutely WILL serve as an all-in-one piece of equipment for much, if not most, of the fitness community.
However if you are a more serious hobbyist or a competitive lifter, if you plan on moving extreme weights or if you simply want the unshakable rigidity of a commercial piece of equipment, as far as a rack is concerned a full-scale power rack bolted down to the floor is the only way to go if you truly want less inconvenience and limitations while also providing utmost safety.
But in no way does that make this yoke superfluous or unnecessary. I am absolutely in love with this thing. In fact, there are certain pieces of equipment which are worth purchasing for one exercise alone. Now that is NOT the case with this yoke, as there is just so much you can do with it. But, just as an example, I purchased a pair of top-loaded farmers handles from a different manufacturer for over $300. There’s really nothing else you can do with them besides farmers carries, but 1) farmers carries are such an exceptional movement, 2) proper implements make such a difference on the effectiveness and enjoyment of the movement, and 3) top-loaded handles are just so convenient, that it was indeed well worth the price.
My point is, even if all I could do with this yoke were yoke-related movements (no rack capability, extra storage, etc), I would STILL buy it.
But the versatility of the BD-21 Yoke has me stoked beyond belief. Overhead walks, traditional yoke walks, Zercher carries, prowler pushes, you name it. I have admittedly let my conditioning slip in the pursuit of strength, but I know that for optimal strength and certainly for optimal health, one must have a certain degree of conditioning. But forget sitting on a stationary bike or jumping rope. This is the alpha manner of conditioning. These movements simultaneously get you incredibly strong and assist your other lifts, unlike typical conditioning methods where you have to altogether replace time spent doing strength work for the sake of cardio. If you are limited in the amount of time you have to lift each week-- as I am-- this is a major bonus.

The assembly is very simple and safe, and very doable by oneself. I left all of the hardware just a touch loose so that the skis and structure can settle on the uneven ground outside. I love how when you finish a walk, the skis allow the yoke to continue a few inches past you. The unit doesn’t keep sailing for several feet, nor does it stop short right where you drop it. It’s perfect.

At 5’11” I have found the ValorPro Yoke to be plenty tall. Setting up for traditional yoke walks I have 7 or 8 empty holes above the top of the crossmember.
I have two comments ... the side storage pins are nice, but we just hang gym belts\wrist wraps over them because the plates get bumped when squatting (if you have a shallow walkout), and the storage on the feet aren't friendly if you have a wider stance. Also the cross-member can be difficult to move up and down. The uprights want to lean. Since the sleeves on the cross-member are pretty closely toleranced, which is good, because it provides good stability for the assembled yoke, the uprights don't have to lean far to stop the cross-member from being able to slide. So forget breaking this thing down frequently by yourself to save space between workouts.

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