I have had this machine for about two months now, and working out on it is great! You can lift some serious weight on this thing. One of the biggest complaints about this machine is that you have to start out in the lowest position of the lift, unless you have a spotter move and then replace the lever arm pin for you.
Starting out in the lowest position for the squat did not bother me. I sort of like exploding out of the hole as they say. BUT, starting in the lowest position on the bench press started to give my shoulders problems.
This is the solution I came up with this homemade powertec leverage arm block:
All I really needed to do was move the lever arm up two hole positions and keep the arm in this position. As soon as you lift the arm, the block falls off the pin, allowing you full range of motion.
Here are some close-ups of the block:
I started out with a 6-1/2" piece of 2 x 4. I took a 1” spade bit (used for making a hole for a door knob) and drilled a hole slightly off center. Then I cut the 2 x 4 in half, right through the one inch hole leaving two 3-1/4" pieces.
I then cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to 3 1/4" x 8”, and attached this to the 2 x 4’s with wood screws. The last step was to attach two pieces of 10” nylon strap to the 3/4" plywood. The straps hold the block on the lever arm pin when the arm is lifted. This keeps the block from landing on my hard head!
This homemade powertec leverage arm block can hold some heavy weight. I put ten 45 pound plates on this set-up with no problems:
The best part about this lever arm block is you can now start out in a normal position on the bench press, and you can now do two arm negative lifts by yourself. Just pile on the weight, lift slightly, the block falls away and you fight the weight all the way down.
The only drawback to this set-up I have found is you have to take all of the plates off of the arm, set the block back in position, put the plates back on and start your second set.
I’ll probably use my homemade powertec leverage arm block on my last heavy set.
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