Every father who has dreams of his boys growing up and becoming football players at some level of the game, whether it's pewee or at the collegiate level, needs to know what type of home gym to purchase or what type of equipment works best. Perhaps you are a weekend warrior that plays backyard football on the weekends with a bunch of friends. Or you may be the 30-something that plays various sports on the weekend and wants to stay in shape. Heck, even 40 and 50-somethings need a home gym to stay in shape and stay out of the emergency room.
There are so many options available. Everyday, you see advertisements on television advertising the latest and greatest home gym. Everything from the Crossbow to Bowflex to TotalGym are trying to sell solutions. Are these overpriced gimmicks really helpful? No, not really, but we have found the perfect solution.
Since 1993, PaintballTimes.com (our brother site) has been testing all kinds of gym equipment and we've been sent a number of different items to test. Throughout the years we have tested and used many of the popular home gyms that are still being advertised today. We've seen the Soloflex come and go, Bowflex, Crossbow and many others. We've also used smith machines and other free weight home gyms.
In the past, the problem was that neither free weights nor machines provide adequate training conditions. While free weights and a bench set are ideal, you need a spotter to do heavier lifts, and after a certain point, they become dangerous, even with a spotter. If you have a spotter available at all times, then by all means, get a bench and free weights. But, we don't believe that everyone has a spotter available 24/7. Further, can your spotter really help you when you are trying to bench 300 or 400 pounds?
The problem with band and bow systems has been bow memory, uneven resistance and a different feel. Overtime, the bows gain memory and get more lax. Whether these companies admit this or not, it happens. Further, when you are being told by your bow machine that you are benching 280 pounds at over thirty reps, and you know that's not possible, it's time to move on.
Why not start off on the correct route and get a perfect home gym from the outset? Why waste time and loads of money on useless products?
We have found the perfect solution. Powertec's WB-LS Leverage Gym. The leverage gym concept combines the safety of machines as well as the power of free weights; the best of both worlds. So you can isolate your pectorals, just like on a machine, but you can throw on up to 1000 pounds safely. Leverage machines are found in every NFL locker room and clubhouse, so you know they are effective. If the big dogs are using leverage machines, so should you. The Powertec WB-LS leverage gym is the one we tested and recommend for most users; whether you are a high school football player or weekend warrior.
The latest version of the Powertec WB-LS leverage gym seems to be about as perfect as can be, and has addressed some of the past criticisms. They added a little handlebar below the bench to grab while you lie on your stomach and do hamstring curls. They added a chain to the lower pulley. And now, you can do pull ups too. All of these issues needed addressing in the past, and Powertec responded.
The gym was easy to put together. It came in three large boxes that weighed about 328 pounds altogether. One vital tip, grab a sharpie and label all the bolts, nuts, screws, washers before you start, or it may get confusing later. It takes about 4 hours to put together by yourself. We had to go back and remove a few bolts, and exchange them for different ones, because we didn't label them. Otherwise, it would have taken only 3 hours. But it was a joy to watch this monster come together. Most of it is already put together and you just have to piece it together. If you ever have to move, it can easily be disassembled into 3 main parts and will be easy to move.
The chest exercises are easy to do and isolate the chest very well. You can attack the pectorals from every angle. Incline, decline, flat bench all feel about right. The bench is a little higher off the ground than normal, so in decline, your legs may just dangle, unless you are taller. You can't beat this system for chest workouts. The bar can hold 1000 pounds, so press away to your heart's content.
There are a number of exercises you can do to give your lats a full workout. The lat pull down works very well. The pulley and lever system provide a smooth, seamless motion. The motion is excellent and very exhausting, unlike machines that use pulleys to lift stack of weight. This lever and pulley system is truly amazing. Probably one of the smoothest, most perfect pulley motions you are going to find. You can also use the lower pulley to do seated rows. You can use the short bar to target just your lats, or use the long bar with a wide grip to target your entire back. The pull down system is also great for bicep curls, tricep push downs and more. You can also attach the included one hand grip for other cable exercises.
The vain of every home gym has been squats. None of the gimmick style gyms ever provided a way to do real squats. On the Powertec WB-LS leverage gym, you can actually do real squats. All you do is swivel the bench around to the side, attach an attachment bar to the bench press arm, and you can do serious real squats. All of this without the need for a spotter. Nothing works out your lower body better than full squats. Now you can!
It doesn't take up as much space as we originally thought. The Powertec WB-LS gym will fit in a normal basement with 8 foot ceilings, with plenty of space overhead. We are not sure that it is actually 7.5 feet tall because of how much overhead space was left over.
Online retailers have the WB-LS Powertec leverage gym selling for $999. We were able to find the same model being sold at Dick's Sporting Goods for $699. That's one hell of a deal. Add a set of Olympic weights and for around $900-1000 you could have a perfect home gym that will last generations.
Room for Improvement:
One issue we ran across, on the sides it has two poles that you can stack weights on as a storage area. You can store extra weight here. Well, they are held on pretty loosely with small bolts. And if you screw the bolt in too tight, it quickly strips, and then it is very loose. It happened to us on both sides, so something must be wrong with the design. We were really looking forward to not having to buy a separate weight storage system. But now, we probably will have to, depending on how long these loose poles hold up.
Poweretc service department is great, if you have any missing parts, they respond quickly and send them out. We needed an extra bolt, it was shipped right away.
Great product overall, very well built. It has a lifetime warranty, and it's obvious why. This thing is built to hold up.
We strongly recommend the Powertec WB-LS leverage gym. This is the best home gym product we have ever tested. Get your kids and yourself started on the correct path to fitness from now. No other gym product measures up to this one.