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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Question Ladder Style Benches vs Pin Lock Benches?

    Guys, I have an opportunity to buy a top of the line Dynamic Fitness Ultra Pro adjustable bench for an excellent price(demo), but here’s the deal. It’s a ladder style bench and I have absolutely no experience with them or the brand.

    I was also looking at a new Promaxima FW 150u bench for roughly the same price. I have a Promaxima lat pulldown for 10+years and it’s still rock solid.

    Does anyone have experience with a ladder style bench or even own a Dynamic bench? Do they wobble any? The ladder style seems like it wouldn’t be as stable as the other style. Maybe I’m just biased. I’ve only owned pin lock benches. I’d hate to spend money on something I’ll get rid soon if I don’t like it. Let me know what your experience has been. Thank you in advance!
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    I don't have any experience of the Dynamic bench, but there Ultra Pro line is full commercial quality and the Ultra Pro racks have a very good reputation.

    I currently have two commercial adjustable benches, a Legend 3 way and a Custom Kit bench, the Legend has pop pin adjustment and the Kustom Kit is ladder style, both benches are very stable, however in the upright position the Custom Kit bench has less wobble than the Legend, but I think this is due to the design of the articulation point at the base of the back pad.

    To be honest I have no real preference, but the ladder style is a little quicker to adjust.
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    Registered User murphyreedus's Avatar
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    My Dynamic Accell ladder bench is rock solid and very overbuilt. My only complaints about it are the height (19") and the pad width (10"). I believe that the Ultra Pro has 12" pads, but not sure on the height. Dynamic seems to like building their stuff on the taller side. I'd always preferred the higher end ladder style benches like this because there's not much to screw up with them. On my Dynamic there's absolutely no way to not be locked into position.
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by murphyreedus View Post
    My Dynamic Accell ladder bench is rock solid and very overbuilt. My only complaints about it are the height (19") and the pad width (10"). I believe that the Ultra Pro has 12" pads, but not sure on the height. Dynamic seems to like building their stuff on the taller side. I'd always preferred the higher end ladder style benches like this because there's not much to screw up with them. On my Dynamic there's absolutely no way to not be locked into position.
    I believe the Ultra Pro is 20 inches and canary yellow and black. I’m 6’3” so I don’t think the height would be that big of a deal. The Promaxima is 17.5 inches tall and can be painted any color I want.
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    Registered User ShockDaMuscles's Avatar
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    I had their non-Ultra Pro bench for a while, it was rock solid, way overbuilt. I think it weighed north of 120 lbs. Only two issues for me was the height, it was a bit taller than most benches, don't remember the exact height, and the pad was narrow at 10".

    Looks like the Ultra Pro comes with a 12" pad which is a plus. Also the Ultra Pro weight is listed as 143 lbs, I don't know how much you'd be moving it around, it's something to consider. Ultra Pro is a pretty nice-looking bench though.

    https://www.mydynamicfitness.com/ultra-pro-ladder-bench
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ShockDaMuscles View Post
    I had their non-Ultra Pro bench for a while, it was rock solid, way overbuilt. I think it weighed north of 120 lbs. Only two issues for me was the height, it was a bit taller than most benches, don't remember the exact height, and the pad was narrow at 10".

    Looks like the Ultra Pro comes with a 12" pad which is a plus. Also the Ultra Pro weight is listed as 143 lbs, I don't know how much you'd be moving it around, it's something to consider. Ultra Pro is a pretty nice-looking bench though.

    https://www.mydynamicfitness.com/ultra-pro-ladder-bench
    I wouldn’t be moving either bench around that much. I train high school and college aged athletes in my garage gym. Some short(5’6”)and some tall(6’4”). I don’t want one of the shorter kids reaching with their legs dangling while bench pressing.
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    Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    I wouldn’t be moving either bench around that much. I train high school and college aged athletes in my garage gym. Some short(5’6”)and some tall(6’4”). I don’t want one of the shorter kids reaching with their legs dangling while bench pressing.
    If you like everything else about the bench, the height issue can be an easy fix. Cut out a few squares out of a stall mat and stack them as necessary on each side of the bench.
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    Texas Ranger, what type of training are you looking to get out of the bench?

    The reason I ask is because a high quality ladder style bench won't budge when adjusted, locks in strong and in flat position will feel like a traditional flat bench. The ladder design is gonna be stronger, but that's no knock to the high quality pop-pin design which will never fail neither.

    That said, the Rogue Adjustable 2.0 is 17.5" tall, heavy duty and indestructible so it might work if you're open to other bench options with a ladder design.

    Now as far as pop-pin designs are concerned, the advantage of them is that you get more and better fine tuned adjustment positions with a high quality bench in this category.

    In this area I would recommend the Legend 3103 which is just a hair higher than the Rogue Adjustable 2.0 bench, the Legend 3103 being 18" tall and a 12" wide pad can be added to it instead of the 10 1/4" pad, you also get to pick the frame color and upholstery color/design too.

    Generally those are pretty much standard, or closest to standard height for benches, should you run into any height issues (the lifter's too short, or has shorter legs) there are ways around it such as the piece of stall mat solution mentioned above, or put a wooden block under each feet, etc...
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 05-19-2020 at 09:23 AM.
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    Personally I prefer ladder style. It's the standard. Every ladder, at a minimum, does flat, incline, low incline, and seated/military. That's all I use and honestly I haven't used low incline in years (though I do like it esp for dumbbells just haven't had the occasion).

    This is not to say I wouldn't own a pop pin bench. I really like Reps' higher end ones and similar. Simply that I default to ladder, have nearly always used them, and they've served me well over time.

    I own the older Rogue Adjustable. Has the positions I need. Super beast and ultra stable. Pad is nearly 12" wide, firm and grippy enough, height is right, can hold its own or surpass most dedicated flat benches. I do own a dedicated flat with a Thompson Fat Pad on a custom frame but if I had to go one bench...I'd take a Rogue adjustable all day long (other good choices too but solid ladder with those attributes make it ideal for me).
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    Unregistered User Cleveland33's Avatar
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    I've caught my fingers in ladders way too often to like them.

    That said, if a nice one came up at a great deal I wouldn't hesitate (but I would probably curse it later)
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Texas Ranger, what type of training are you looking to get out of the bench?

    The reason I ask is because a high quality ladder style bench won't budge when adjusted, locks in strong and in flat position will feel like a traditional flat bench. The ladder design is gonna be stronger, but that's no knock to the high quality pop-pin design which will never fail neither.

    That said, the Rogue Adjustable 2.0 is 17.5" tall, heavy duty and indestructible so it might work if you're open to other bench options with a ladder design.

    Now as far as pop-pin designs are concerned, the advantage of them is that you get more and better fine tuned adjustment positions with a high quality bench in this category.

    In this area I would recommend the Legend 3103 which is just a hair higher than the Rogue Adjustable 2.0 bench, the Legend 3103 being 18" tall and a 12" wide pad can be added to it instead of the 10 1/4" pad, you also get to pick the frame color and upholstery color/design too.

    Generally those are pretty much standard, or closest to standard height for benches, should you run into any height issues (the lifter's too short, or has shorter legs) there are ways around it such as the piece of stall mat solution mentioned above, or put a wooden block under each feet, etc...
    I’m extremely limited for space training in garage. So, I’m looking for one bench to do flat, incline, and shoulder presses with dumbbells & a barbells. I’m also looking to buy it soon. Everything is sold out on almost every website I’ve been to. Rep, Rogue, etc... have been out of stock for a while.

    I don’t mind the ladder design. I just haven’t had any personal experience with one and wanted to get some feedback from guys who have.

    I was actually looking at that same Rogue bench, but there’s no telling when they will be back in stock. I already sold my VERY old Nautilus bench that was older than dirt, but served me fairly well. So, I’m kind of stuck. I need to buy something pretty soon, but I don’t want to spend $1k, neither.
    https://scontent-dfw5-1.xx.fbcdn.net...fd&oe=5EE8025E

    https://issuu.com/promaxima3/docs/chm-2019-fall-v1/23

    The Dynamic is a demo in excellent shape that I can get for $600. The Ultra Pro goes for $1400-1600 new, weighs 140lbs has an insane weight capacity of 1500-2000lbs. The Promaxima is only $425 new in any color frame & pad you want, weighs 100lbs, has a weight capacity of 1,000lbs. I can also store it vertical to save space.
    Last edited by Texas Ranger; 05-19-2020 at 01:03 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    I've caught my fingers in ladders way too often to like them.

    That said, if a nice one came up at a great deal I wouldn't hesitate (but I would probably curse it later)
    LOL - monos are my nemesis. I hit my head. Opened myself up a few times with the Rogue hockey stick style. Mech's more compact weighting system helps a lot but still managed to ding myself once. No idea how you are getting caught with Ladder benches. I use the handle on the arm and hold the back of the top pad. Never seen anyone catch themselves on a bench. Mono injuries are just my stupidity and I can't fix that. ;-)
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by C123C View Post
    Personally I prefer ladder style. It's the standard. Every ladder, at a minimum, does flat, incline, low incline, and seated/military. That's all I use and honestly I haven't used low incline in years (though I do like it esp for dumbbells just haven't had the occasion).

    This is not to say I wouldn't own a pop pin bench. I really like Reps' higher end ones and similar. Simply that I default to ladder, have nearly always used them, and they've served me well over time.

    I own the older Rogue Adjustable. Has the positions I need. Super beast and ultra stable. Pad is nearly 12" wide, firm and grippy enough, height is right, can hold its own or surpass most dedicated flat benches. I do own a dedicated flat with a Thompson Fat Pad on a custom frame but if I had to go one bench...I'd take a Rogue adjustable all day long (other good choices too but solid ladder with those attributes make it ideal for me).
    I wanted to buy the newer model Rogue, but they’ve been out of stock forever.
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    Originally Posted by C123C View Post
    LOL - monos are my nemesis. I hit my head. Opened myself up a few times with the Rogue hockey stick style. Mech's more compact weighting system helps a lot but still managed to ding myself once. No idea how you are getting caught with Ladder benches. I use the handle on the arm and hold the back of the top pad. Never seen anyone catch themselves on a bench. Mono injuries are just my stupidity and I can't fix that. ;-)
    I have no idea how one hits their head on monolifts or pinches their fingers on a ladder bench during normal usage. Maybe I'm using them wrong, ha.
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    I've caught my fingers in ladders way too often to like them.

    That said, if a nice one came up at a great deal I wouldn't hesitate (but I would probably curse it later)
    Ouch dude! That’s not good. Lol
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    Originally Posted by murphyreedus View Post
    I have no idea how one hits their head on monolifts or pinches their fingers on a ladder bench during normal usage. Maybe I'm using them wrong, ha.
    Most occurred on a squat rack when I had the safeties off so I'd stand up into them with my head when I was angled sideways or doing something else around the posts. Hockey stick style was especially bad. Now I have a 6 post rack and twice in 3 years (so A LOT better) I've been reaching in from the side to do something or other and straightened up to take the weight/counter balance of Mech's monos to the skull.

    Never during normal use but the counter balances overhang without a bar in the lifts so can happen. No brain no pain but still some skin and occasional blood.
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    Originally Posted by C123C View Post
    LOL - monos are my nemesis. I hit my head. Opened myself up a few times with the Rogue hockey stick style. Mech's more compact weighting system helps a lot but still managed to ding myself once. No idea how you are getting caught with Ladder benches. I use the handle on the arm and hold the back of the top pad. Never seen anyone catch themselves on a bench. Mono injuries are just my stupidity and I can't fix that. ;-)
    That's exactly how I adjust my Rogue Adjustable 2.0, never had an issue with catching my fingers in the ladder design.

    I did however catch my thumb in the rack attached belt squat when setting the kick stand portion up, but luckily it hasn't happened too often.
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    I've always preferred the pin-lock over the ladder style bench. Probably influenced in my early gym days where my local gym probably had older or cheaper ladder style benches that always seem to have some wobble to them.
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    Registered User Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Steelfan7 View Post
    I've always preferred the pin-lock over the ladder style bench. Probably influenced in my early gym days where my local gym probably had older or cheaper ladder style benches that always seem to have some wobble to them.
    Same here. The pin lock is all I’ve used in 30 years training. I did use a ladder style bench one week training on vacation once, but that was 8 years ago. I’m sure technology has improved by leaps and bounds since then.
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    I've used both when I worked out in commercial gyms but been using ladder style benches since going home gym and I like it better personally. I am not really sure why, I just like that method of adjustment.
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I've used both when I worked out in commercial gyms but been using ladder style benches since going home gym and I like it better personally. I am not really sure why, I just like that method of adjustment.
    Yeah, I believe I'm going to jump on the Dynamic Fitness Ultra Pro bench. The thing is built like a tank at 143lbs. There's three available. Two with a 10 inch pad and one with a 12 inch pad. I plan on getting the one with a 12 inch pad. They normally run over well $1k, but these demos are only $550. I can't beat that price.
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    Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    Yeah, I believe I'm going to jump on the Dynamic Fitness Ultra Pro bench. The thing is built like a tank at 143lbs. There's three available. Two with a 10 inch pad and one with a 12 inch pad. I plan on getting the one with a 12 inch pad. They normally run over well $1k, but these demos are only $550. I can't beat that price.
    That looks really nice. I like that you can stand it up without there being a cage around the ladder.
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    Originally Posted by Texas Ranger View Post
    Yeah, I believe I'm going to jump on the Dynamic Fitness Ultra Pro bench. The thing is built like a tank at 143lbs. There's three available. Two with a 10 inch pad and one with a 12 inch pad. I plan on getting the one with a 12 inch pad. They normally run over well $1k, but these demos are only $550. I can't beat that price.
    $550 is a great price for that bench. Only other option in that price range is Rep's AB-5000 series benches and I'd pick the Dynamic over Rep's any day.

    Legend 3103 is around that price as well, but the 12" pad upgrade would bump the price up and there's shipping as well.
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