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  1. #1
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    45 Degree Leg Press VS. Leverage Squat

    I'm thinking of getting a machine at some point to hit the legs as an accessory piece and also to give the back a break on certain days, with space and price being a factor in this future purchase, I have it boiled down to these choices...

    -Powertec P-LP19 Leg Press (more space efficient for a leg press and the most affordable).

    -BodyCraft F660 Leg Press (linear bearings and space efficient...although I'd rather not spend 2k, or over on one if I could help it).

    -Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press (also below the 2k price point, but a bigger footprint and narrow foot plate which is less desirable in my opinion).

    As for the Leverage Squat category...

    -Body-Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat (even cheaper price point and along with a decently high weight capacity for an accessory leg piece and a friendly footprint).

    -Powertec Leverage Squat (the other cheaper price point machine and friendly footprint in this category, but from what I've heard the shoulder pads are narrower and weight capacity is in the lower range).

    I'm probably leaning more towards one of the above leg press machines just because it's more different of a piece for hitting legs, while the leverage squat would be more similar to free weight squats, leverage system squats off the arm and belt squats off Mech's attachment (which I really have to start utilizing more on my own setup, but have procrastinated a bit setting it up certain days on my full body routine).

    In favor of the leverage squat would be deep squats on an angled plate with less pressure on the back and high volume along with the calf feature, also it appears lunges can be done on these machines too from some previous videos I've seen on them and as an added bonus for the harsh winter days sometimes during the season it could work as a substitute movement indoors once in a while since my rack setup is in a garage with no heat, nor AC depending on the season (although I typically brave it out and sometimes pick the less harsher days when elements are too extreme).

    As always opinions and insight on a choice appreciated.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 07-13-2020 at 07:07 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    I'm thinking of getting a machine at some point to hit the legs as an accessory piece and also to give the back a break on certain days, with space and price being a factor in this future purchase, I have it boiled down to these choices...

    -Powertec P-LP19 Leg Press (more space efficient for a leg press and the most affordable).

    -BodyCraft F660 Leg Press (linear bearings and space efficient...although I'd rather not spend 2k, or over on one if I could help it).

    -Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press (also below the 2k price point, but a bigger footprint and narrow foot plate which is less desirable in my opinion).

    As for the Leverage Squat category...

    -Body-Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat (even cheaper price point and along with a decently high weight capacity for an accessory leg piece and a friendly footprint).

    -Powertec Leverage Squat (the other cheaper price point machine and friendly footprint in this category, but from what I've heard the shoulder pads are narrower and weight capacity is in the lower range).

    I'm probably leaning more towards one of the above leg press machines just because it's more different of a piece for hitting legs, while the leverage squat would be more similar to free weight squats, leverage system squats off the arm and belt squats off Mech's attachment (which I really have to start utilizing more on my own setup, but have procrastinated a bit setting it up certain days on my full body routine).

    In favor of the leverage squat would be deep squats on an angled plate with less pressure on the back and high volume along with the calf feature, also it appears lunges can be done on these machines too from some previous videos I've seen on them and as an added bonus for the harsh winter days sometimes during the season it could work as a substitute movement indoors once in a while since my rack setup is in a garage with no heat, nor AC depending on the season (although I typically brave it out and sometimes pick the less harsher days when elements are too extreme).

    As always opinions and insight on a choice appreciated.
    DVO

    I had the Bodysolid leg press/hack squat and ended up selling it. Took up a lot of room and I wasn’t overly impressed. The hack squat wasn’t that smooth as the rollers have some play sitting in the track. Felt a little jerky as you feel the rollers lift off the track when you start the lift. Not a problem when using for leg presses.

    The leg press worked well but it just took up too much room as a unit. The units that use linear bearings are a lot smoother but of course cost more.

    If you have the room,the unit is ok but to me,it didn’t impress me enough to keep it

    Some people must love the unit as Bodysolid haven’t really changed the design and still sell it but wasn’t for me
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    If going with a leg press, I would stick strictly to units with linear bearings (BodyCraft F660, Body-Solid GLPH2100 [either no longer made or offered in Europe only], used commercial unit, etc.).
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    Even ones considered the smaller footprint leg presses would take up a lot of space, but in regards to the Bodycraft F660 how much of a pain is it to bring down through Bilco doors with a few steps if taking them down piece by piece?

    Are they all welded and awkwardly shaped parts?
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 07-14-2020 at 10:20 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Even ones considered the smaller footprint leg presses would take up a lot of space, but in regards to the Bodycraft F660 how much of a pain is it to bring down through Bilco doors with a few steps if taking them down piece by piece?

    Are they all welded and awkwardly shaped parts?
    I think anything and everything is a pain to haul up/down the steps through Bilco doors, but the F660 breaks down into a lot of parts so it should be no worse than anything else.

    https://www.bodycraft.com/media/wysi..._V1_409_OM.pdf

    FWIW, the (discontinued) Paramount FW-7800 and (current) TRUE Paramount Leg Press XFW-7800 commercial leg presses break down nicely also. I don't know how many other commercial leg presses come apart like they do.
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    Bilco doors are a pain? How about throught the living room and down narrow basement steps? We just bought 5 acres to build a house on, and this house gets Bilco doors..
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    Duplicitous, Thanks for the resource, the other question I have is if someone was to set it up in a corner would that angle impede loading plates on and off of it, or would it be advised to set the leg press up directly out from a wall?

    Greybird, I appreciate the motivation, it's now not looking so bad...it's more just a pita due to the offset weird concrete steps as well as the wall width and overhead portion and walking it by some things at the beginning which is mainly why I try to avoid some insanely bulky welded pieces going through there when I can, that and I don't have all the space in the world to spare.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 07-14-2020 at 11:45 AM.
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    I have the BS leg press. It's OK. The hack squat kills my knees, and I do not have bad knees. I am looking at this as my next leg press. Actually the whole line for a gym in our new house. Wont be until late next year though..
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    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    Bilco doors are a pain? How about throught the living room and down narrow basement steps? We just bought 5 acres to build a house on, and this house gets Bilco doors..
    We have bought a bunch of equipment out of basements with Bilco doors, narrow steps down from the kitchen, an above-garage gym w/ 2 flights of steps, etc. Our current home has a walkout that I can drive right up to. With all the time and money invested in our home gym, the walkout is now a must for the next house.

    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Duplicitous, Thanks for the resource, the other question I have is if someone was to set it up in a corner would that angle impede loading plates on and off of it, or would it be advised to set the leg press up directly out from a wall?
    The Bodycraft uses a similar design to the TuffStuff (which I have here) with the plate horns under the sled and within the confines of the frame, so I don't think having it in a corner would entirely prevent you from loading plates. However, I don't think it would be entirely ideal either. Setting it out from the wall a little would probably help a bit. I set my leg press up (with the rear just out from the wall) next to my rack so the dead space needed to load plates is shared between the 2.
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    We have bought a bunch of equipment out of basements with Bilco doors, narrow steps down from the kitchen, an above-garage gym w/ 2 flights of steps, etc. Our current home has a walkout that I can drive right up to. With all the time and money invested in our home gym, the walkout is now a must for the next house.



    The Bodycraft uses a similar design to the TuffStuff (which I have here) with the plate horns under the sled and within the confines of the frame, so I don't think having it in a corner would entirely prevent you from loading plates. However, I don't think it would be entirely ideal either. Setting it out from the wall a little would probably help a bit. I set my leg press up (with the rear just out from the wall) next to my rack so the dead space needed to load plates is shared between the 2.
    Can you describe a walkout? Doesn't it kind of need a hill? Or is not a true, below grade basement?
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Duplicitous, Thanks for the resource, the other question I have is if someone was to set it up in a corner would that angle impede loading plates on and off of it, or would it be advised to set the leg press up directly out from a wall?

    Greybird, I appreciate the motivation, it's now not looking so bad...it's more just a pita due to the offset weird concrete steps as well as the wall width and overhead portion and walking it by some things at the beginning which is mainly why I try to avoid some insanely bulky welded pieces going through there when I can, that and I don't have all the space in the world to spare.
    In my last house the leg press was in the corner. The seat was in the corner, so you are looking out when using it. Easier to load plates this way.
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    Can you describe a walkout? Doesn't it kind of need a hill? Or is not a true, below grade basement?
    Yes, the house is on a (fairly gentle) grade. At the front of the house the basement is completely below ground. As you come around the sides of the house the basement walls start to gradually rise above ground to a maximum of about 18". As you come around the back of the house the wall exposure increases until the entire rear wall of the basement is above ground. The exterior door is located at the rear in a section that is completely above ground. We didn't really care when the house was built; that's just how the builder did it. Now that we have it though, I can't go back.
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    Originally Posted by Asjogren View Post
    DVO

    I had the Bodysolid leg press/hack squat and ended up selling it. Took up a lot of room and I wasn’t overly impressed. The hack squat wasn’t that smooth as the rollers have some play sitting in the track. Felt a little jerky as you feel the rollers lift off the track when you start the lift. Not a problem when using for leg presses.

    The leg press worked well but it just took up too much room as a unit. The units that use linear bearings are a lot smoother but of course cost more.

    If you have the room,the unit is ok but to me,it didn’t impress me enough to keep it

    Some people must love the unit as Bodysolid haven’t really changed the design and still sell it but wasn’t for me
    Exactly my experience, I wasn't overly impressed, there are more higher end home leg presses now fitted with linear bearings, andimo linear bearings make a real difference.

    If I were looking for a leg press in this price bracket it would be a used commercial unit, but I appreciate they generally take up more space
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    And, they are welded, large and very heavy to move around.
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    I have zero experience with the ones you listed but I'll throw in my 2 cents. I've used a 45 degree Pro-Maxima hack squat/leg press combo with roller wheels. It was fairly smooth, leg press was okay but the hack squat was really nice, obviously not as smooth as a commercial model with linear bearings, but the movement itself was great. I can't squat ATG without the lower back rounding, I can hit just below parallel. With hack squats I could go much deeper without any stress on the lower back. Ended up selling it because I got a good price for it which I might use to fund a future purchase of another hack squat with a shallower angle and linear bearings.

    Currently have a Cybex Squat Press and a BodyMasters Power Squat. These are two of my favorites, especially the BM Power Squat. The huge footplate lets you play around with different foot placements to mimic a LB or HB squat without a lot of stress on the lower back.

    The Cybex Squat Press is pretty compact for a leg press, if you're really determined you maybe able to get it down some stairs. Also keep in mind it's a plate eater, you can get around that to a degree with bands. The BM Power Squat disassembles completely but it was a PITA putting it back together, also I haven't seen too many of them on the used market. Cybex Squat Press is more common.

    If I was to ever replace one of these two, I'd look at Arsenal's hack squat, kinda pricey but it checks all the boxes for me. May be a long shot but with gyms shutting down, I'd keep an eye on the used market for a nice commercial model.
    Last edited by ShockDaMuscles; 07-15-2020 at 12:47 AM.
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    I decided I was never going back to the commercial gym, so I was in the market for a leg press/hack squat combo for my garage gym. However, I never liked the amount of pressure I always felt in my core at the bottom of the leg press. I remember one time while doing heavy leg presses, I felt a pop in my intercostal area. It hurt like a son-of-a-bitch for a week, but luckily it healed on it's own. I got lucky.

    Then there's the issue of those leg press/hack squat combo machines tending to be horrible hack squat machines. From what I heard, the angle is always too steep, so it can be really bad for your knees. After 30 years of training, my knees can't really take any more punishment so I didn't want to risk any more damage from using a chitty hack squat machine.

    Also, leg press/hack squat machines tend to take up a lot of gym real estate.


    So I bought the leverage squat machine from TDS/New York Barbells for my pandemic gym:



    http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/pro91305.html

    Now, I don't know if it's because I've never used a leverage squat machine before now or what, but I friggin' love this machine. It really allows me to get a really deep squat without the same kind stress that regular back squat places on your back and knees. There is still some spinal compression, though. it's kind of unavoidable. But it's not as bad. You can really focus on overloading the quads, glutes, and hams without having to worry about any balance or mobility issues. For bodybuilding, it's defintely a suitable alternative to regular squats as a main compound movement for legs.

    TDS claims my leverage squat machine can handle 1000lbs, but I'm doing reps with 4 plates on each side of the thing, and it's already kind of wobbly. I heard the Powertec model that the OP mentioned also has an issue with wobbling. I don't know about the BodySolid GSCL360, but I would imagine it would be the same. I think it's an inherit flaw in the "single pole" design of leverage squat machines at this price point. The commercial version from BodySolid:

    https://www.fitnesszone.com/product/...0aAjHrEALw_wcB

    looks like it'd be a lot sturdier. But you're also paying double the price. At that price point, you might as well get a Rhino belt squat. Don't get me wrong though; I don't feel I'd ever be strong enough to cause my machine to topple over or fall apart on me (but, just to be safe, I upgraded all the bolts to grade 8 bolts anyway).


    Here's a video on the different exercises you can do on a leverage squat machine:



    An here's a video explaining in detail the exercises you typically do on the machine (namely, squat, split squats, and calf raises):




    So, IMO, leverage squat machines are a better buy than a leg press/hack squat combo machine for the garage gym. They take up less space, can be safer to use, and they also seem more versatile.
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    And, they are welded, large and very heavy to move around.
    Lol, good point, most are welded and all are heavy.
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    Originally Posted by ShockDaMuscles View Post
    I have zero experience with the ones you listed but I'll throw in my 2 cents. I've used a 45 degree Pro-Maxima hack squat/leg press combo with roller wheels. It was fairly smooth, leg press was okay but the hack squat was really nice, obviously not as smooth as a commercial model with linear bearings, but the movement itself was great. I can't squat ATG without the lower back rounding, I can hit just below parallel. With hack squats I could go much deeper without any stress on the lower back. Ended up selling it because I got a good price for it which I might use to fund a future purchase of another hack squat with a shallower angle and linear bearings.

    Currently have a Cybex Squat Press and a BodyMasters Power Squat. These are two of my favorites, especially the BM Power Squat. The huge footplate lets you play around with different foot placements to mimic a LB or HB squat without a lot of stress on the lower back.

    The Cybex Squat Press is pretty compact for a leg press, if you're really determined you maybe able to get it down some stairs. Also keep in mind it's a plate eater, you can get around that to a degree with bands. The BM Power Squat disassembles completely but it was a PITA putting it back together, also I haven't seen too many of them on the used market. Cybex Squat Press is more common.

    If I was to ever replace one of these two, I'd look at Arsenal's hack squat, kinda pricey but it checks all the boxes for me. May be a long shot but with gyms shutting down, I'd keep an eye on the used market for a nice commercial model.
    I have used both of those a million times. Great machines for sure.
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    Originally Posted by gym62richard View Post
    Lol, good point, most are welded and all are heavy.
    That sure doesn't mean I don't like them..
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    No doubt if I had a simple walk in area on first level flooring and the means of more floor space abundently planted in my favor, then I would get a used commercial leg press...but since I don't, I think the Bodycraft F660 would be my choice if I could make it work in my favor.

    Does anyone know of any resources where they sell them new, but at a lower price? They certainly bumped this piece up in price quite a bit in contrast to years back from what I've read in the archive searches. I'll also keep in mind to e-mail the company for a quote and see if the local fitness equipment dealer can get one and see how their pricing is if, or when I'm ready (I'm in no hurry to get this piece yet, but thinking things out for now on it).
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    You know the hack squat on these dual machines are universally useless as evidenced by pretty much all threads in this forum on the subject.

    At the end of the day, it is only a leg press. I would consider the Powertec. Not sure of your strength level, but 1000lb capacity is pretty high. The price is right, and they are in stock.
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    Since we're on this subject, I'll just mention split squats for completeness.......I believe that DVO has very different goals than I do. I do split squats with a landmine (base of the landmine is out to one side). Since I started doing them a few months ago, my legs have gotten bigger, and my squat numbers are going up. For people who just don't have the space for either a leg press or a leverage squat, split squats, lunges, and Bulgarians are a great option.
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    Funny this thread came up- I was actually looking at maybe getting a belt squat but leaning towards a leverage squat machine (gym space). Was always interested in some of the machines mentioned like the Cybex, but never had the chance to try one out.

    For the OP. I do own the Bodycraft leg press. I've had for several years now and still like it. Great for leg presses and calves. Yes the bearings can be a bit noisy when piling on more weight, but still runs smooth. For hack squats it does seem to bottom out before you get a deep stretch, but I actually prefer facing the machine and doing a sort of machine squat. Easier on the knees too. I know its not made for that particular exercise but with playing around with foot and plate adjustment height, it works out pretty good.

    The footprint is great, doesn't take up much space compared to many other leg presse machines. Assembly was easy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cgAAQtwSFc
    Last edited by grumpytude; 07-16-2020 at 02:50 PM.
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    Funny this thread came up- I was actually looking at maybe getting a belt squat but leaning towards a leverage squat machine (gym space). Was always interested in some of the machines mentioned like the Cybex, but never had the chance to try one out.

    For the OP. I do own the Bodycraft leg press. I've had for several years now and still like it. Great for leg presses and calves. Yes the bearings can be a bit noisy when piling on more weight, but still runs smooth. For hack squats it does seem to bottom out before you get a deep stretch, but I actually prefer facing the machine and doing a sort of machine squat. Easier on the knees too. I know its not made for that particular exercise but with playing around with foot and plate adjustment height, it works out pretty good.

    The footprint is great, doesn't take up much space compared to many other leg presse machines. Assembly was easy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cgAAQtwSFc
    Grumpy, Thanks for the information on the Bodycraft, I think this is the piece I'll go with if I get a leg press and can make it work in my space it seems to be the best one on the home market.

    As for the leverage squat, if you were looking at the residential leverage squat line there's the Body-Solid and also their leverage system can be used for squats and lunges with a few work arounds (mainly building something to start the arm at the top, getting an angled foot plate, and perhaps DIY shoulder pads on the squat bar)...the trade off though would be multiple movements in one system and the cable feature.
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    For anyone looking at getting a leverage squat machine, I highly recommend waiting to find a used commercial machine . You can find them for $500 - $1000 and they 're light years better than the residential ones. My favorite is the Bear Squat from Powerneticsbut Legend sells an identical model, I had a Magnum Squat lever squat that I liked just as well and a Bodymasters lever squat was very nice. There are probably others that are great as well but these I've had or used and can attest to how nice they are.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Grumpy, Thanks for the information on the Bodycraft, I think this is the piece I'll go with if I get a leg press and can make it work in my space it seems to be the best one on the home market.

    As for the leverage squat, if you were looking at the residential leverage squat line there's the Body-Solid and also their leverage system can be used for squats and lunges with a few work arounds (mainly building something to start the arm at the top, getting an angled foot plate, and perhaps DIY shoulder pads on the squat bar)...the trade off though would be multiple movements in one system and the cable feature.
    The bodycraft is a good machine for home, yes there are better ones, but like you, I have door restrictions, having to get all my equipment through a standard sized door, so that eliminated many models for me. The TRUE Paramount Leg Press mentioned looks interesting though, but not sure how the price compares to the bodycraft.
    Yes I am leaning towards the Bodysolid leverage model. no room for a full leverage system.
    Of course alot of stock is not available now anyways and prices seem to have gone up on their products, to be expected I guess.

    another video from same guy. he's a bit all over the place, but shows you a bit more of the machine.like donkey calf raises
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UssR4M5gPxo
    Last edited by grumpytude; 07-17-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    The bodycraft is a good machine for home, yes there are better ones, but like you, I have door restrictions, having to get all my equipment through a standard sized door, so that eliminated many models for me. The TRUE Paramount Leg Press mentioned looks interesting though, but not sure how the price compares to the bodycraft.
    Yes I am leaning towards the Bodysolid leverage model. no room for a full leverage system.
    Of course alot of stock is not available now anyways and prices seem to have gone up on their products, to be expected I guess.

    another video from same guy. he's a bit all over the place, but shows you a bit more of the machine.like donkey calf raises
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UssR4M5gPxo
    When opening the boxes and bringing the leg press down piece by piece does it need any bigger parts of it taken apart manually to fit through the steps and doorway, or are all the pieces in portable enough sizes to bring them down one by one?

    This machine is definitely looking to be high on the list of a next possible purchase.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    When opening the boxes and bringing the leg press down piece by piece does it need any bigger parts of it taken apart manually to fit through the steps and doorway, or are all the pieces in portable enough sizes to bring them down one by one?

    This machine is definitely looking to be high on the list of a next possible purchase.
    everything was packed nicely and easily fit through a standard doorway opening. I unpacked mine in the driveway and just carried the pieces in. the heaviest piece was the main frame section. but still its very narrow. should have no issues.
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    everything was packed nicely and easily fit through a standard doorway opening. I unpacked mine in the driveway and just carried the pieces in. the heaviest piece was the main frame section. but still its very narrow. should have no issues.
    Excellent, sounds like a clear winner to me. Thanks again for the insight.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Excellent, sounds like a clear winner to me. Thanks again for the insight.
    no problem. A few years back when I bought some hammer stuff, this was the leg press I was originally going to get, Yes a bit bigger and more money ( brand new). But It can be partially disassembled to fit through a doorway, buying their stuff new it comes fully assembled. The delivery team had to partially dissemble the tricep machine I bought to get into the doorway. seemed pretty easy.
    maybe someday who knows.

    https://lifefitness.com/facility/pro...near-leg-press
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIsEaD6WJyo
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