Several personal trainers we consulted recommend the Powertec Workbench LeverGym for serious lifters. Unfortunately, customers have to provide their own weight plates. The steel frame comes with a lifetime warranty, and because there are no pulleys involved, the LeverGym requires very little maintenance.
One piece at a time. Expect to spend a few hours putting together the Powertec Workbench LeverGym's many parts. The best estimate we found was about five hours. Reviewers say the assembly process isn't really arduous; there are just a lot of pieces. Sorting and labeling everything before you get started can help.
Reviewers also add that the fit on some pieces can be a little snug, so hold off on fully tightening the bolts until you have the parts lined up. Also, you'll have to provide your own Olympic weight plates for resistance. Maximum weight limits range from 200 to 500 pounds, depending on the exercise.
Nothing scares the LeverGym. Several personal trainers recommend the Powertec Workbench LeverGym for serious lifters. They say its solid, smooth movement feels more like actual free weights than most home gyms, and the U-shaped press arm allows you to work to failure without a spotter.
LeverGym's bench wheels out of the way for doing exercises like squats, shrugs and rows. The press arm also has a removable pin that lets you switch in and out of isolateral movement (moving each handle independently on the press arm). Several reviewers recommend adding a short length of chain between the end of the cable and the handle or bar if you're particularly tall.
Shipping may be painful. The Powertec LeverGym's frame carries a lifetime warranty (excluding the surface finish). Components like the bearings and springs are covered for two years, while you get one year of coverage on pads, grips and other unspecified parts. However, you might have to pay for shipping damaged parts to Powertec. That's fairly standard practice, but this machine's heavy steel parts can make the shipping costs quite expensive.
The LeverGym is almost maintenance-free -- the manufacturer recommends lubricating the bearings and checking the nuts and bolts from time to time, but that's it. Reviews of Powertec customer service are scanty and somewhat mixed, but the lack of serious complaints is usually good news.
The author, a bodybuilder and personal trainer, recommends his five favorite home gyms including the Powertec LeverGym. He praises this relatively simple piece of workout equipment for its solid construction and ability to work every body part.
Review: Home Gym Equipment Reviews, Matt Weik, Dec. 2, 2010
2. Exercise Equipment Expert.com
This enthusiastic review by an experienced personal trainer recommends the Powertec Workbench Leverage Gym for serious weight trainers who want to do powerlifting. He praises its safety and sturdy construction, adding that virtually no maintenance is required.
Review: Powertec Workbench Leverage Gym WB-LS Review, Bret Spottke, Not dated
About a half dozen Amazon.com users assign an older version of the Powertec Workbench LeverGym an average score of 4.3 stars. The most recent reviews date from 2011 and provide useful insight into long-term use.
Review: Powertec WB-LS10 Workbench Leverage Gym (Yellow), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
About a dozen Amazon.com users review this older version of the Powertec LeverGym, giving it an impressive overall rating of 4.7 stars. Although the most recent review is from 2010, we still find the user comments to be a good source of information about the overall ownership experience with a piece of Powertec equipment.
Review: Powertec WB - LS Workbench Leverage Gym (Yellow), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
This review of the Powertec WB-LS (an older but almost identical version of the Workbench LeverGym) gives it earnest praise for allowing the user to perform most basic weightlifting and squats alone safely. The review does note that a tall user may have to make an adaptation and assembly is time consuming.
Review: Powertec Home Gym WB-LS, Murray G. Hughes, Not dated