Sandwich J-Cups Flaw

Basement Brandon shared an issue with the Rep Fitness PR-5000 sandwich J-cups:

Start at 2:06 to see the issue. In short, the issue he found was that with the barbell loaded to somewhere over 300 lbs (he had 405 lbs on for this video), the UHMW sandwiched in the J-cups would compress to the point where your barbell shaft hits the steel of the J-cups.

screenshot from Brandon’s video

It’s just annoying, and some damage to your bar’s surface like any old style solid steel J-cups would make, not a safety issue.

I asked Brandon whether the UHMW was displacing (being pushed down and out of place) because of the bad placement of the bolts that allows for it, but he said it was actually compressing it, like it’s too soft. Either way, it’s a problem. If it were displacing, a DIY fix would be to drill a hole and stick another bolt through the J-cup to secure it.

In turn, I asked Rep Fitness what the deal was, and they acknowledged the issue and explained how they’re handling it. It only affects a small subset of customers who bought this sandwich J-cup, which I didn’t follow up on but I’m guessing means users who lift heavy enough weight to run into the problem. If you go by internet forums, everyone squats 400 lbs, but really that’s the top 1%. Anyway, Rep has fixed the issue with the next batch they will have coming in soon. If you receive one of their previous model sandwich J-cups and experience this problem, contact Rep and they will make it right.

So like Brandon says, other than that it’s a really nice sandwich J-cup, with UHMW in the brackets to protect your rack too. Considering they’re fixing the issue, there’s no reason to avoid it. On this topic, I wrote in another article about sandwich J-cups and why they’re better than regular J-cups. Brandon used these on his Rogue rack, something which you can do by following the brand sizing guides for power rack attachments.

Bad Technique May Not Be Bad

I suggest watching (or listening) to this video from Alan Thrall when you have a chance. One theme in particular he highlights is how the human body is capable of adapting to less-than-ideal body positions and all kinds of asymmetric loads that you would experience in nature, outside of the gym.

On online forums you see people go overboard with their weight training analysis, taking videos, asking for advice, getting overly analytical, while at the same time strongmen are lifting stones and other inconveniently shaped with what some would consider horrible form, without getting hurt.

One thing we’ve seen in 2020 is how easily we’re manipulated by fearmongering. We perk up and listen when someone can push our fear buttons. Granted, it isn’t always fearmongering so much as it is people geeking out.

Sometimes it comes down to:

“Have you tried caring less?”

Alan thrall

That line Alan gave in another video, “Have you tried caring less?”, is going to go down in history alongside Rippetoe’s “If you’re gonna wear gloves, just make sure they match your purse.”