Pros: Multifunction, versatile, organized, safe, sturdy, bargain
Cons: Height of bench, curl yoke, assembly required
Between the drive to and from, and waiting for the machine or station I need to be free, going to Golds Gym (yes, I am one of those people who, despite being quite frugal in most areas, still pays for a gym membership which succeeds in trimming nothing more than cash from my bank account) can leave me feeling like the only thing I burned was precious time. Even though it goes against the all-powerful rule of sharing you learned on your first day of kindergarten, if you are anything like me, when you are at the gym you find yourself thinking about how glorious it would be never to share workout equipment (or sweat) with anyone again. Well, the glorious moment of selfish workouts may be closer than you think! Enter the GOLD'S GYM XRS 20 BENCH!
Owning the Golds Gym XRS 20 Bench brings the gym to you. I dont know why Golds Gym classifies this as a bench. Doing so is like saying Optimus Prime (yep, Im a Transformers nerd) is a semi-truck; there is so much more than meets the eye! This wonderful piece of equipment can transform, allowing for a number of exercises that work nearly every muscle in your body (maybe EVERY muscle, if youre creative)! Heres a break down of what the XRS 20 offers:
INDEPENDENT, MULTIFUNCTION BENCH
This weight bench, unlike many others, is not welded to the uprights (the piece of equipment that holds the weight bar). It is lightweight and easy to move. Having the freedom to move the bench away from the uprights when they are not needed has allowed me to perform many exercises with greater ease, and to perform others that would not be possible at all. For instance, dumbbell flies were always difficult to perform on a traditional, one-piece weight bench that had the uprights attached. I would constantly have to focus on not hitting the uprights, a distraction that hindered my ability to perform the exercise in such a way as to optimize my results.
Unlike its more traditional counterparts, with the bench secured in a horizontal position, the XRS 20 Bench can be used adjusted to seven, thats right, SEVEN different angles! So, whether you need it to assume a ninety-degree angle for you the military press, or to slope down for the decline bench press, this bench has you covered at all angles.
Very important to me is how structurally sound and comfortable a bench is. When Im bench-pressing 250 pounds, the last thing I want to have on my mind is whether the bench is going to hold up under the weight. With the XRS 20 Bench, the point is moot. Not only is it well built and sturdy, the padding is quite comfortable as well. This bench does its job so that you can focus on doing yours.
The only complaint I have about the bench itself is how high it stands off the ground. Im not very tall, and it can be difficult when using a bench press to perform exercises when my feet are off the ground. Luckily, the U-shaped base support is high enough off the ground and positioned where I can rest my feet on it, however I would still prefer the bench to be a little lower so my feet could remain on the ground.
The weight bench comes with three highly useful attachments: a padded leg developer, a preacher station, and a curl yoke.
The padded six-roll leg developer sits at the end of the butt pad. The two primary exercises it is intended for are the leg curl and the leg extension, seen by many as the primary sources for building the upper leg muscles. The leg developer aids during other exercises as well, acting as a stabilizer, such as during sit-ups and decline bench press.
The preacher station is used primarily to isolate the biceps and the forearms, generating maximum results. The product of preacher curls is amazing, though I have to admit I hate the burning sensation in my biceps that usually accompanies the completion of a set!
The curl yoke is another add-on to the XRS 20 Bench used for various upper body exercises. To be honest, Im not a fan of it. I find it to be awkward and uncomfortable to use. I am able to work the same muscles, with just as much or more success, using other exercises. Thats just my personal preference however, and I know others who find to be highly useful and effective.
ADJUSTABLE, FREE STANDING BAR RACK
Like the bench, this rack is lightweight and serves a number of purposes. When combined with the bench, it can be used to rack the weight bar when performing the bench press, incline bench press, or decline bench press, in addition to a number of other chest, back, shoulder, and arm exercises. Move away the bench and it transforms into the perfect squat station. Its adjustable uprights allow it to be customized to the needs of the current user (also an important feature when performing the various bench press exercises). The whole station is designed so that it can be adjusted to accommodate Olympic, mid-width, and standard weight bars, a very convenient feature for those who have already begun to build a weight set.
Safety was not forgotten when the squat station was designed. The uprights are quite sturdy, safe to use up to 300 pounds. In addition, the station is equipped with adjustable safety spotters, allowing users a greater degree of safety, especially when working out alone.
Finally, a highly useful feature is the built-in weight storage bars. These bars are attached to the squat station itself, allowing for weight plates to be conveniently organized and out of the way.
WEIGHT BENCH EXERCISE GUIDE
An added bonus to this set is the inclusion of an exercise poster and guide. The poster includes detailed descriptions (including pictures) of a number of exercises used to work all areas of the body. These are wonderful tools when you need to mix your workout up a bit so that it does not get mundane or boring.
The poster describes what it calls The Four Basic Types of Workouts, which includes those being performed to loss weight, cross training, muscle building, and muscle toning. Each area has a brief description of what is entailed in each type of workout.
The poster offers advice on how to personalize your exercise program. This are covers warming up, the actual workout, form used during the workout, and the cooling down period.
Finally, you will find a graphic with front and rear views of the human muscle layers which uses letters to label each muscle which corresponds to a list that states the technical and lay term used for each. Even more helpful, each exercise that is described in the poster has a Muscles affected section where it lists the letters which correspond to specific muscles shown in the graphic. This is highly useful to beginners trying to maintain a well-balanced workout that covers all the major muscles in the body.
The price is one of the best parts of owning the Golds Gym XRS 20 Bench. For as much as my wife and I spend in two months at the gym, we were able to bring a huge part of the gym (minus cardio equipment, of course) home. The website, GoldsGear.com, lists the XRS 20 at $299.95, with an additional $70.00 tacked on for shipping. Usually, and this case is no exception, you are going pay more when you buy workout equipment from the manufacturers retail site. For instance, Walmart.com sells the XRS 20 for only $134.32, with FREE shipping to your store! If you look around and wait for sales, more than likely you will be able to purchase it even cheaper. I purchased mine at my local Wal-Mart for a mere $79.99; with shipping, that is a whopping $289.96 less than GoldsGear.com!
I have a hard time putting a straw in my cup at McDonalds, let alone putting together workout equipment. I was scared to death of putting the XRS 20 together, but I was pleasantly surprised that as long as I stayed focused on and adhered to the included directions, it was quite doable, though I wont say easy (for me at least).
Height: 65 in
Width: 49.5 in
Depth: 73 in
Weight: 150 lbs
This is a highly versatile piece of equipment, much more so than the name suggests. It allows its users to perform a variety of exercises that cover the full range of muscles in the body. To recap, the highlights of the Gold's Gym XRS 20 are:
- Highly functional, multiple positions/angles, free standing, lightweight bench
- Sturdy, adjustable, free standing, light weight squat station
- Three highly useful attachments: preacher station, curl yoke, and leg developers
- Built in weight plate storage organizers
- A lot of workout for an affordable price, especially if you are willing to look
- Easy to use workout poster and guide
- Very specific assembly instructions
- Bench is slightly higher off the ground than I would like
- Curl yoke is a bit awkward and uncomfortable
- Assembly is required
The Golds Gym XRS 20 is much more than a weight bench, it is like having Golds Gym, albeit a far less spacious one, in your own home. The XRS 20 is a great start or addition to any home gym, serving both the beginner and the seasoned weight lifter. I love working out at home, which is much cheaper and convenient than driving to the gym and competing with hundreds of other individuals who are all vying for the same equipment. Whether you want to bulk up, tone up, or slim down, the XRS 20 Bench will help you reach your goals without reaching too deep into your pocket book. Go out, get it, and get working out!