T Nation

Hammer Strength Iso-Lateral Bench


I see a lot of guys with gigantic chests who don't use a flat bench, but do rack up a huge pile of weights on the Hammer Strength Iso-Lateral bench press machine. I am considering switching to the machine because I usually bench later in the day when there's nobody to spot, and I think it's holding me back. Is anyone out there doing really well with one of these machines, and are there any horrible drawbacks to using one?

The machine I am referring to can be seen here:


I've been in the exact same situation, I felt like the lack of a spot held me back to some extent. I started training Doggcrapp style a few months ago and switched to the Hammer strength, and put about 70 pounds on the lift and my chest has shown some improvement too - and I started out as a complete newb around 3 months ago. So I pretty much love it. I'm not sure about the drawbacks to the machine, haven't felt like the angles bothered me too much. The great thing about it is that my bench went up along with my numbers on the hammer strength.
my 2 cents, hope it helps


If youve only been training for 3 months, then you SHOULD NOT being training DC.


Stronghold beat me to it. You should have multiple programs (and PLENTY of time) under your belt before giving DC a go.


whoops, sorry for the tragically late reply but it's eating at me. I meant to get across that I was a newb with regard to the hammer strength machine. I've been training for around 4 years or so. Definitely a long way to go obviously, but there it is - on a side note, DC worked wonders for me.


People give Hammer Strength Leverage Machines a bad rap because Levers help you lift more weight.

What I've found is hat HS Machines levers are set up in a way that they match my strength curve and provide the same difficulty throughout instead of being hard at the bottom and easy at the top like free weight exercises are.

I remember seeing a clip of Jay Cutler talking about how he hates HS machines and was doing only free weights. That was in 2005 when he got 2nd at the Olympia. The next 2 years he's back on the Leg Press and the HS Machines and he starts winning.

And HS Machines are fun since you can pile on the plates.


Hi guys.

I had been workin out with bench press for 26 years since I was introduced to it when I was 11.
Had many shoulder problems. Bench press was the king of all exercises for me. Until I found out that my shoulder problems was created by it no matter what grip or propper position I was using.
Then I was introduced to hammer strength bench press. I found out that it was working better for me because;

  1. It was as effective as the best chest stimulator that is dumbell bench press. As effective as because I chould use heavier weights that I would not be able lift from the floor with dumbells.
  2. It was giving me the squeezing motion with a little upward angle providing the perfect movement angle.
  3. I simply felt better. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise. The best exercise is the one your body responds to. Everyone has a different physique. On the other hand try to read the EMG muscle activation studies as they will guide you correctly.

That being said. Bench Press is unfortunately the 4th or 5th best exercise when it comes to stimulating chest muscles. Sorry to give you the spoiler. Nevertheless I use it sometimes with light weights in order to have a variety of exercises. Especially Wide Grip Guillotine Press.

I found out that the best rouitine for me is:

5 to 7 min warm up with weights.

4 x 10 reps hammer strength bench press with the same weight. Usually 220 lbs.
4 x 12 reps Pec Deck holding the handles high for upper inner pec stimulation and pushing and squeezing the handles.
4 x 15 to 20 reps Dumbell Incline Press with 70 lbs each.
4 x max reps cable cross over with a medium heavy weight.
3 x max reps h.s. decline bench press with 220 lbs.

This workout is the best for me. Sometimes I switch the dumbell incline as a starter and do the H.S. Bench press as the third move providing a really well warmed up muscle which to my surprise makes me lift easier during HS movement.

As I said. This is what works for me and the science that backs it up. If you would like to give my routine a try please reply and give me a feedback on your experience and suggestions.


I feel the bench in my chest pretty well but I would admit that in terms of feel - this machine is miles ahead (whether this translates to improved growth/strength is another debate).

I also feel much better contraction in the tris with this thing… sadly, I dont have room or money for one haha


Really nice machine my gym has one and I use it all the time.


hammer strengths are nice, we have some at my training facility, I really like the high low and mid row even more than some of the pressing ones


No, there are no drawbacks. I do incline Hammer Strength presses to pre-exhaust my chest at every chest workout.