My battle with a pretty nasty hamstring problem continues to rage on. 14 calendar pages have come and gone since injuring it during a run last year. A local Sports Medicine/Surgery outfit has been putting the pieces back little by little. Since getting diagnosed by them I’ve been spending twice a week in therapy with a steady diet of strength training and intense ultrasound. In honor of today’s solid 2 mile run at a pretty aggressive pace, this post centers on a recently purchased piece of weight equipment. A staple of the rehab has been leg presses/squats to re-strengthen damage in the hammie. Up to this point I rarely strength trained the legs due to all the years in martial arts and my passion for outdoor work. Now with the imbalance caused by the injury, it is a necessary evil. In order to increase the pace of recovery, I decided to enhance my home gym with a freestanding leg press. After a lengthy research and exhausting all local establishments, the winner was an offering off of Amazon. The rest of my gym is based on a unit from Body Solid and I have had zero complaints about their product or service (they even replaced all of my cabling for free without a moment’s hesitation after 8 years of heavy use thanks to their lifetime guarantee policy).
The unit was on sale (about $500 less than local places and free shipping), but the damage was in the grand range. Here is what the new baby looks like.
Hit the jump to read the “Rest of the Story”
I hope you picked up on a key fact this thing is fairly large. In fact, it weighs 300lbs without any weights on it. My assumption was that it would be sent via the standard UPS route whose driver we have become well acquainted with. Unfortunately, this was not the case. They set up delivery with an independent trucking firm. Eventually, an email arrived from the store with a shipping number and a request to contact the trucking firm as soon as possible to set up a delivery time. Great, the leg was starting to get anxious to get working. This is when things start going downhill. A call to the trucking firm the following day provided information that the unit was in Peru IL. and they would call me in the next couple of days to set the delivery time. One day passes, two days pass, three days pass until the weekend comes without any notification. First thing Monday morning I’m on the phone with another representative trying to find out where my shipment was. After 30 minutes of trying to find it, he tells me he’ll put a call out to the docks and try to locate it and call me back. Once again, nothing for 3 more days. Another call on Friday nets me a supervisor who tells me they have lost the shipment and begged for the weekend to try to find it. How exactly do you “lose” a 300 pound piece of weight equipment? Not much in the way of alternatives, I agreed to give him until Monday. That night I also emailed the store to make them aware of my problems. To their credit, they responded back almost immediately apologizing for the problems and promised to check in with the firm on Monday as well.
Now it’s Monday and a call comes in around 9AM from the trucking firm stating they had officially LOST the shipment and were contacting Body Solid to have another one shipped out. again, how exactly do you “lose” a 300 pound piece of weight equipment? It isn’t like it rolled off the truck accidentally and came to rest under a desk somewhere. Two hours later I get a call from the store representative apologizing again for the inconvenience and confirming that they did order another one from Body Solid. Ironically, I think the store was located somewhere in Kansas, but Body Solid is actually based out of Chicago, a mere 3 hours away. An email that night from the store confirmed the reorder, but they had fired that first trucking firm and switched over to UPS Freight. Now we’re talking! Two days later the pro number comes with the number to call and confirm delivery. Soon, a call comes in from the shipping firm to set up the delivery. As with everything with us these days, nothing ever goes that easy for us. I called the trucking firm back and informed them I wanted to set a delivery time for my package. Their response, “We do not have packages”. What! Trying again I tell the guy I am expecting delivery of a package and got a call to set the time. “We don’t have packages, that is someone else.” WTF people? Another attempt. “I am expecting a piece of weight equipment to be delivered by your company”. “We do not have packages, that is another organization.” The cell phone just about crumbled in my grip, but just before throwing it at the wall, the organization word resonated in my head – an odd word that is generally used in context of intra-company discussion. One last shot. “What do you deliver?” “Freight”. With a long sigh I told informed I didn’t care what word he preferred to use, package vs freight meant little to me from a customer perspective. With that out of the way, he informs me it didn’t go out that day because his drive was sick. Fine, send it tomorrow….”well, I guess, but my driver is sick and I guess it can go out tomorrow, but my driver is sick and it usually takes an extra day, but I guess it didn’t go out today so we could probably do it tomorrow,” comes through the receiver. Anybody want to take a stab a translating that for me? It took at least three self reflecting LISP subroutines full of addrs and caddrs to parse that sentence in my head (finally, a use for that damn programming class in college). “See you tomorrow” was my response and ended the conversation. Think that is all to the story? Nooooooppppeeeee (in my best next election voice).
A call comes in around 1PM on delivery day. They were on their way, and should be there sometime in the afternoon followed by “did you know this delivery weighs 300lbs?” Yes, I was aware. He then proceeds to ask if I have a means of getting of the truck. I reminded him it came in 5 boxes which didn’t seem to click with the guy. Finally, I put forth the idea that we could “take the items out of the multiple boxes and move them off that way.” He responded with “I guess you could do that if you wanted to do that”. Dude, you just told me you were concerned about getting off the truck and now you are asking me if I want to do the very suggestion I just gave you. Giving up I told him we would figure out once the driver got here. As you likely assumed by now (from the picture above), the truck came. Of course, the drive decides he doesn’t want to come down our driveway (it is actually a circular drive, but it is a little difficult to tell from the entrance into the woods). He was hoping I had a pickup truck I could bring out and load up on the road. Shoes on, keys in hand, out I went with my truck to get the issue resolved. 5 minutes later, all 5 boxes were on the truck (without opening any of them) and on my way back into the driveway. Oh, almost forgot, also had the wooden pallet in the back because he didn’t want to take it back with him (decided it wasn’t worth my time to debate that request). I drove down and unloaded it myself through our walkout basement.
The rest of the night was spent putting that beast together. At one point I had to bring Linda down to help me put the weight sled on. Here is a good shot of it from the side.
The assembly directions (all graphics and no words by the way) expected me to put the side rails on (which probably weigh 25 lbs a piece) and then drop the sled into the angled slots between them. I am still trying to determine the weight of the sled itself, but clearly in the 50+ pound range with the foot plate on it. Heavy enough where I couldn’t simply extend my arms out and drop it down in there from the top – not to mention having to have Linda hold up the arms from behind me. This took a while to figure out, but eventually I took the back post off, took out some bolts on the arms so they would drop closer to the floor which allowed me to put the sled in from a more horizontal position. This just left me to lift everything up at once and have Linda put the bolts through the empty holes. It took over 3.5 hours to get it all unpacked, bolted together and in place. Was it all worth it… you bet! I’m loving the new work outs and the leg appears to be responding well to it. Next time though, I’ll probably just head up to Chicago and pick it up myself. It does bring new meaning to “wait” equipment.