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Powertec Rack And Bench Question

I’m purchasing the Powertec rack system (the one with the lat tower), and I’m looking for a good bench to go with it . I’ve got my eye on the Powertec utility bench. Here’s a link:

http://www.powertecfitness.com/gallery/powertec-fitness_p_ub.htm

I have a few concerns about this bench, and would like to hear from anyone who owns the bench and/or rack …

Is there a large gap between the seat and the back when the bench is flat? It looks like there might be from some pictures that I have seen.

If you own the Powertec rack with the lat tower, can you push your powertec bench far enough into the rack to do incline work easily? It looks like it might be difficult to grab the bar off the hooks at an incline with the lat tower back there. I don’t think the bench can straddle the back of the rack.

Can this bench decline? It looks like it, but the description leads me to believe otherwise.

If this isn’t a good bench, can you recommend a good bench to go with the powertec rack?

Thanks!

Whatever you do, make sure you dont buy it off gymcor.com. I order my powertec rack off this website, they sent me a faulty one, and took over 2 months to pick up and deliver a new one. All the while HAVING MY CASH in their account. The delivery firm they work with (Daylight Transport) is completely incompetent. Pay the extra $25-50 or so and just get it from a different website. Its not worth taking the chance of a HUUUGE HASSLE.

Seriously, take my advice.

Nathan

I looked into this power rack. It seems like a good product especially for the price. Considering Elitefts.com sells racks that can cost up over 3,000 bucks, the powertec price tag is much nicer. Elite racks do have a lot of nice options, like band pegs and squat boxes. One thing to keep in mind if you plan on using the dip bars on the powertec rack…the bars are nearly 4 feet apart! (the width of the rack is labeled as 48 inches, although some of that may be the extra length of tube at the base for stability) But if you’ve got a narrow frame like me, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to dip on those bars. As far as the bench goes, it seems like a nice bench, and I would bet you’d have no problem fitting it in the rack. Although if you use a spotter, it may be a tight fit for him. I don’t own either piece of equipment but I’m just saying my opinion based on what I saw on the website.

Thanks for the info guys! I especially appreciate the tip about the bad website.

Any more input is welcome. I would love to hear from someone who owns the bench.

Gary

Hi. I have the Powertec rack, lat tower, dip bars, and bench. The rack is well built with pin holes about every 2.5-inches.
As for the dip bars, the bars attach to the side of the rack so it is more like a 2 foot space. Plus the bars angle in so you can choose how far apart your hand-spacing is. Definitely not a 4-foot span.
As for the lat tower, it does work but is not as smooth as a commerical lat pulley.
For incline barbell bench, I set the bar on the ends of the pins on the very front of the bench. You won’t have the luxury of setting the bars on the pins in case you fail, but said setup allows more room for a spotter.
Finally, the bench is well constructed. It does not adjust for decline bench. Just adjust yourself lumbar region properly and you won’t even notice the gap in the bench when it is in the flat position.
I bought mine from an Omni Fitness distributor as shipping charges can add up quickly.

Great info!

Is the lat tower easily removable if I wanted to get rid of it, or is it built into the rack? I noticed that powertec makes a rack without a lat tower and was wondering if the lat tower is simply a ‘snap-on’ type of attachment for that rack.

The rack itself looks very solid. Did you bolt yours to the floor?

Have you been happy with your purchase? Would you buy something different now if you had the choice?

Gary

The lat tower is technically “detachable” - it’s bolted to both the top and bottom of the actual rack. If your intentions are to temporarily remove it for certain exercises, changing over would get old really fast. In hindsight, I would skip on the attachment and just replace whatever cable exercise with its freeweight counterpart, ie - chins for lat pulldowns. Granted the pulleys do work and add variety. However, if you’re used to a commerical lat pulldown, you will notice a difference in terms of “smoothness.”

I do not have the unit bolted to the floor. The only problem that I have ever encountered is with leaning side lat raises…then the unit will move. Otherwise, I’ve never had a problem with the unit moving.

If I could afford it, I would love an EFS rack. However, I am definitely highly satisfied with the Powertec line. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. I find it definitely to be at the top of the “midrange” racks.

Just a comment about the Powertec company. I have a Powertec rack, but not the bench nor the lat pulldown option. I ordered my rack over the internet from a 3rd party company. Upon receiving the rack one of the upright supports (the piece with the holes and numbers on them) was damaged probably during shipping. The bar was bent enough so that the bolt holes did not line up allowing it to be assembeled. I called the company I ordered from and they referred me to Powertec directly. Upon speaking with Powertec, the sales guy simply asked for my address so that he could ship me a replacement. Very friendly, professional, and no hassels whatsoever. I’ve had my rack almost a year now and am very happy with it.

I really appreciate all the input.

Good to hear that the lat tower is removable. I’m buying it mainly for my wife. If she ever quits using it, I want the option to remove it.

I would love to get an EFS rack, but that’s just not an option right now. I can put a whole gym together for the price of a stripped down EFS rack.

I have heard before that Powertec has very good customer support. That makes me feel good about ordering their product.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good bench that declines?

Gary

I have the Powertec Workbench Rack System (http://bestbuyfitness.webdirectbrands.com/product.asp?intProdID=456) and it works great. I would’ve gotten the one you are looking at but I already had a chin/dip station and if I was going to get a cable system I wanted to have it seperate (which I did) as it seemed like it would get in the way attached to the rack. My system came with the Powertec utility bench that attaches to the rack (un-hooks in a second) and also declines. Overall I’ve been very pleased with the Powertec equipment for the price.

Sterno

One more question!

Is it possible to turn the bench so that it faces the back of the rack and do incline presses that way? Can you put the hooks on the inside of the rack’s front instead of the outside? Basically, I want to rack the bar on the front, but still inside of the rack. Does that make any sense?

Gary

You can put the hooks or pins in either direction inside or outside of the rack. They come with a little left/right sticker on them but it doesn’t seem to matter. My wife can even figure out how to get the bar wherever she needs it. I don’t have their bench so can’t comment on if it will fit the way you describe, but the pin/hook placement is not a problem.

[quote]sterno wrote:
if I was going to get a cable system I wanted to have it seperate (which I did)

Sterno[/quote]

Sorry for the hijack, but which cable system did you get and how do you like it?

No worries. I would like to know myself. I have been thinking about getting the lat tower separate to facilitage supersetting.

[quote]ramblinj wrote:
No worries. I would like to know myself. I have been thinking about getting the lat tower separate to facilitage supersetting.[/quote]

Sorry, I won’t be a lot of help. Not having a ton of money, I got a nice used one (didn’t have model/brand name on it??) from a 2nd wind fitness. I had looked around and couldn’t find a good one that didn’t cost a lot (plus shipping). This one has upper & lower pulley’s and takes standard plates horizontally (I bought an adapter for olympics plates for $10 bucks) up to 500 lbs. I already had a chin/dip station so I don’t use it for pull-downs (though I do warm up with it) but the lower pulley comes in handy for rows and I use it for a lot of ancillary lifts, especially when supersetting. I got it for $200 bucks.

It looks similar to the one that you can see in the background of Staley?s garage gym in this video (http://www.staleytrainingsystems.com/troy_225_steinborn.MPG) except mine holds the weight horizontally rather than vertically.

Sterno

With the lat attachment, can you unrack for squats from the back? Or do you have to unrack off the inside of the front?

http://www.powertecfitness.com/gallery/powertec-fitness_p_prs.htm

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually considering springing for an efs rack! I’m not a real heavy weight, especially compared to the kind of guys efs designs for. So I know that the Powertec would do me just fine. But the efs rack just seems so solid, and there are so many little things that make it more comfortable to use. I’m going to be using this at least 3 days a week until I’m dead or disabled, so why not get the best? The only downside is that my wife could really use the lat tower.

Gary

On what ramblinj wrote:

get the elite power rack and forget the lat tower. get some bands, and she can use that.

elite has unmatched customer service and quality equipment. Its really an easy choice. Im thinking of selling my ironmind vulcan racks and the pillars of power, just so I can get a elite rack. Ironmind aint no joke and offer very quality equipment, but elite is what I dream for. I wish I just went with elite alot sooner. dont make the same mistake I did.

I have a Powertec rack with the pulldown attachment that I have used for the last 1 1/2 years. I am pretty happy with it. You can squat and deadlift in the rack with the attachment. You can also bench in the rach with the attachment; although, your head might touch the knee pads for the pull down (but that isn’t too much of an issue). My bench goes from decline to military, so it is pretty functional, but I cannot set up for incline inside the rack, I need to do it from the front of the rack. I have thought about detaching the lat pulldown, but that would be a big pain in the ass after awhile - and I do use the pulldown quite a bit (seated rows, leg curls, tricep pulldowns, etc.).

I am actually trying to find a set of pins with arms that extend out about 12-24 inches for when I need to use the front of the rack, but I haven’t been successful yet.

Bottom line - for the money, this is a fantastic piece of equipment. Is there better out there? Yes. Does it cost a hell of a lot more? Yes. Can you get all the functionality out of this rack? Absolutely.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Thanks to everyone for all their input on this issue. I guess I’m stuck with the Powertec rack. I just can’t spend the extra money for a better one at the moment. But I’m sure the Powertec will work just fine for me.

When I get everything set up, I will try to post some pictures to help others out who may have similar questions in the future.

Gary

Well, everything didn’t work out with the Powertec rack system. It appears to be backordered everywhere, and my wife and I are anxious to get this set up soon.

Anyone ever try the Keys power rack? I can get one of these locally. I tried it out today and it seemed like a decent rack:

http://www.keysfitness.com/st-rk-kps-pc.html

Thanks,
Gary