Goal #9: Build Buff Dudes Power Rack

I’ve always been skinny. Maybe weak is a better descriptor. I was embarrassed to lift in high school because every member of the girls basketball team could lift more than me. The solution to that problem was obviously NOT to avoid the weight room, but my high school self had a pretty fixed mindset.

I began lifting in college with the tennis team and continued sporadically in the years after I graduated. During that period, about five years ago, I was exposed to GORUCK , completing their challenge event with my friend Matt Brand.


GORUCK offers an even more challenging event called Selection which has a measly 5% completion rate. I wrote about it previously, signed up, and never attempted it after dislocating my shoulder (that was my excuse at least). It’s an extremely demanding event, well above my current ability. In order to complete it, I would need to become much stronger. That’s why I decided to build a power rack.

The power rack allows me to work the big three lifts of bench press, squat, and dead lift. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to weightlifting, but at least now I can embarrass myself in the privacy of my own home. The design for my power rack was based on this YouTube video:

I bought all the necessary supplies at Home Depot for a total cost north of $200. It took around four hours to build. I also cut pieces of plywood to have a wood platform over the carpet.

For weights, I first looked on Craigslist, but was able to find a barbell weight set cheaper online at Wal-Mart (with free shipping!).

I’m pleased with how the power rack turned out, but it is pointless if not used. My plan is to read through Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength to learn proper technique and then develop a weekly strength training regimen. The ultimate goal is to complete GORUCK Selection in the Fall of 2020.

This was the 5th goal I accomplished in a very productive month of August (what a delayed post!). There’s only four months until I turn 30, but if I keep making consistent forward progress, I should accomplish 20 of my goals.

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