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Anyone Use a Lever Squat Machine?
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

I'm seriously thinking of getting either a Powertec or Body Solid lever squat machine. Both are not quite commercial quality, but at the higher end of home gym quality I guess.

I just don't want to spend the $600 to $800 for one, only to not like it. So doing my best to get feed back on these before buying one.

Any of you have actual real world experience with either?

I've heard the powertec is more user friendly, but feels kind of rickety.

Whereas, based on what I've heard, the Body Solid is higher quality, but less user friendly.

One of my main concerns is will either allow me (or clients) to squat DEEPLY?

I'm an ATG kinda guy, when it comes to squats, unless medically ill-advised for a particular person. If a given squat machine stops me at just parallel or so, then I wouldn't want it.

Thanks for any input!

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HeavyHitter32

I own the Powertec Multi-station (purchased in 2010) and it has the leverage squat. Now, I am not sure how it varies compared to the separate model you're considering...but it is extremely stable (probably at least in part because of the overall frame of the multi-station) and the movement is as smooth as can be. It's impressive as a lower body exercise.

However, despite taking off some of the stress away from the lower back and being much better than traditional barbell squats or Smith machine, it still is too much for my lower back to use.
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HeavyHitter32

Just to add, yes, you can go ATG with it and the stopper will protect you from the weight falling on you (at least on my unit).
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

@ HeavyHitter32 - Thanks, that info is very handy indeed. I'm actually leaning a bit more towards the Body Solid model, but I've heard it forces you to have to awkwardly get in real low, to just get into it to squat. I'm also concerned that it may not allow ATG squats.

You ever try one leg squats? Not "pistols" or split squats but one leg squats.

I do them sometimes with my toes touching the inner frame of my power cage, and while holding one of the powercage's safety bars for balance. I then extend the non-working leg out forward as I squat down with the working leg. It works very, very well I find. My bodyweight (210) is currently all the weight I need for one leg squats. If that get's too easy, I may just add a weight vest.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Here's a photo of the Body Solid squat machine, for anyone not familiar.

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I've used both... both still produce strain the low back. You're better off with a Zane Leg Blaster. The weight is further down toward the center of gravity, which is why it's different.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

And here is their more expensive version, which I'd LOVE to have, but not sure I want to spend quite that much right now.

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

I know Brian is a big fan of the Zane leg blaster, which I'll likely also get eventually. But for now, I prefer the safety of a lever machine when working with the average Joe's and Jane's of the world. If someone passes out or something, it would "catch" the load, rather than tomato canning them under it.


Had a lady I thought was having a stroke the other day, and it scared the heck out of me. While she was under a load. But a machine load, so no harm done.

I'm not taking anymore clients over 300 lbs., as it's just too much liability risk I think.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Brian Johnston wrote:
I've used both... both still produce strain the low back. You're better off with a Zane Leg Blaster. The weight is further down toward the center of gravity, which is why it's different.



Hmmm...you're tempting me for sure. Especially since Doug Holland, who understand you know, also has a Zane blaster and said he loves it.

You aren't worried about a client getting "tomato canned" with it, since no safety catches are involved?

Maybe I'll see if Doug will let me try his out, so I can see what I think.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

I use a commercial version of such a unit, where the foot pad is a concave surface that allows more variety in foot placement. Plus, you face outwards and have a back pad.

It's far and away my favorite leg movement.

It hits the quads very similarly to hack squats AND also works the hams and even glutes well too.

I am prone to SI problems with BB squats and have none with this machine.

I have not tried one quite configured like the pics you provided, but I can see how lower back problems could still be evident, unless perfect form is followed.
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AndyMitch

How much are these?

http://loadthebar.com/...tshark-training
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

We've had this discussion before... I have as old as 86 using the leg blaster. Never in the 10 years using it has anyone got caught or stuck... never. You would have to use it to experience why. It's the nature of the movement. If you get one, then contact me and I'll explain how to use it for someone with hip problems vs. knee problems.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

AndyMitch wrote:
How much are these?

http://loadthebar.com/...tshark-training


Not sure of the price, but look how much the guy is leaned forward in the bottom position. That's what happens when you hook on a hip belt to the front only. When I use my hip belt, I position a Smith machine bar about ribcage height... that way I can extend my arms and balance myself upright (like using a Zane leg blaster). Otherwise, it feels like I'm using mostly ass with that exaggerated bent over position (which stimulates a lot of ass spasms in my experience).
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

coach-jeff wrote:
If someone passes out or something, it would "catch" the load, rather than tomato canning them under it.


What happens if a person passes out on a leverage squat machine... miraculously they are saved? What if the person is done squatting, but is just below the safety catch... what then? And how poorly are they breathing (it's your job to teach correct breathing) and how hard are you training them that they are passing out? And in all your years of training people, including various leg exercises, how many have passed out? For some reason people (you and a few others on here) have never used the leg blaster, but are coming up with the lamest excuses I've ever heard in regard to its safety.
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tsg2513

Florida, USA

Have you considered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/...ds=sissy+squats

The quad isolation is very good and for most, only body-weight is needed.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

The commercial machines I use have a steel bar with about 8 settings for the lower spot, which act as back-up for the top catch.

The trick is to set the bar so that you just tap it at the bottom of your reps.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

tsg2513 wrote:
Have you considered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/...ds=sissy+squats

The quad isolation is very good and for most, only body-weight is needed.


I have a Roman Chair... avoid with those who have knee problems. Most clients also find it difficult to use... they don't want to lean back in fear of falling (although they won't). I have few (mostly male) clients who can use this properly, even with instruction and encouragement. It does take a lot of low back out, but the results are no where near an actual squat type movement, a la Zane leg blaster.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

simon-hecubus wrote:
I use a commercial version of such a unit, where the foot pad is a concave surface that allows more variety in foot placement. Plus, you face outwards and have a back pad.

It's far and away my favorite leg movement.

It hits the quads very similarly to hack squats AND also works the hams and even glutes well too.

I am prone to SI problems with BB squats and have none with this machine.


I know exactly what you're talking about.

And you can use those facing either way.

Facing away from such machines, I always felt a bit of knee pain like I do with hack squats.

Facing the machine was a lot better on knees, but never felt right, due to the angle of the foot platform.

Of course more experimentation with that machine may have eventually yielded a way of using it which worked for me, but never got around to it.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Big bucks and large footprint. But it's already on my wish list if I ever get a bigger studio space.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

tsg2513 wrote:
Have you considered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/...ds=sissy+squats

The quad isolation is very good and for most, only body-weight is needed.


Murder on the knees. At least mine. I've seen these sissy squat devices discussed a few times on other BB forums, and legions of people report the same...bad knee pain.

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Nobody has ever passed out yet, while training with me. But several have puked. (Never my goal though, of course) And as mentioned, I just recently had a 300+ pound female clients have some kind of medical "event" in the midst of a work set on a shoulder press machine, which I thought was a stroke. She dropped the weight, but no harm done since on a machine. Had I been using DB's she might have got knocked in the head.

I probably am a bit over cautious, but I'd rather be too cautious than not enough.

But the blaster would be something just for me and more athletic clients anyway, so probably nothing to worry about. I'll probably go ahead and get one, since I feel it will indeed be safer than using safety bar squats with clients in a power cage. Also more doable for long leg clients.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

What the heck...I just ordered the Zane Leg Blaster. Will let you know what I think once I use it a time or two.

Hopefully my wife won't yell at me for spending the $800 for it.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

coach-jeff wrote:
Nobody has ever passed out yet, while training with me. But several have puked. (Never my goal though, of course) And as mentioned, I just recently had a 300+ pound female clients have some kind of medical "event" in the midst of a work set on a shoulder press machine, which I thought was a stroke. She dropped the weight, but no harm done since on a machine. Had I been using DB's she might have got knocked in the head.

I probably am a bit over cautious, but I'd rather be too cautious than not enough.

But the blaster would be something just for me and more athletic clients anyway, so probably nothing to worry about. I'll probably go ahead and get one, since I feel it will indeed be safer than using safety bar squats with clients in a power cage. Also more doable for long leg clients.


Roman Chair squats never should be done first, in any case... do it as a secondary exercise, or later in the program (that way there are few knee issues). Well, I wouldn't have a 300 pound client use any loading on the Zane squat... body weight would be enough, as I'm sure you would agree. Therefore, no issues with passing out under the load. Anyone that obese with a 'medical' event was working too hard relative to conditioning and the strain on the heart from all that blubber. I'm not sure how you connected that example with equipment you wouldn't have such a person use in the first place.
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tsg2513

Florida, USA

coach-jeff wrote:
tsg2513 wrote:
Have you considered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/...ds=sissy+squats

The quad isolation is very good and for most, only body-weight is needed.

Murder on the knees. At least mine. I've seen these sissy squat devices discussed a few times on other BB forums, and legions of people report the same...bad knee pain.



I agree that these can be tough on the knees but if used with some common sense (don't go too low and don't lean too far back), these can be performed safely.
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Equity

tsg2513 wrote:
Have you considered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/...ds=sissy+squats

The quad isolation is very good and for most, only body-weight is needed.


I've wondered in the past whether you could use a Roman chair for barbell squats, in a power rack, if the pads and platform were placed wide enough. They're always constructed for a narrow foot placement however.
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