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Being a personal trainer on the side for the last twenty years, I knew exactly what I wanted in my home gym when my wife and I built our house about two years ago. Of course, it would be easy to go with all commercial gym equipment, but it would also be very expensive. Even when bought previously used, commercial-grade equipment can get up there in cost, especially when factoring in the price of shipping.
My wife was kind enough to provide me a little over one thousand square feet of space for the gym in our basement. I was kind enough to allow her to include a seven feet deep pool in our backyard. As I can’t swim and am only six feet tall, this will be a great way for her to kill me and make it look like an accident later on in life.
One piece of equipment I wanted was a preacher curl machine with the ability to also do a tricep pushdown with a couple of quick adjustments. Knowing I had a limited amount of space, I needed something that was not monstrous in size. After all, preacher curl machines are great, but I’m basically only going to use it for my bicep/tricep workout. So the machine could not take up a large footprint since it was not going to be used every day. After looking at both commercial and home gym preacher curl machines, I came across the Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine.
I spent a decade of my life being a reporter/editor for a few different newspapers back in the day. Probably like many of you, I don’t buy anything online unless I spend a couple hours researching it. As a former reporter, the hours of research can start piling up. (I spent two hours researching a ten-dollar supplement the other day)
I set about researching the Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine. Long story short, I could not find much online about this machine at all. Of course, on their website they had a few recent positive reviews and on Amazon they had two solid reviews for this machine. However, when there are so few reviews on anything online, you have to consider that they could be falsified. I am definitely not implying Titan Fitness would do this. I am just stating that the reporter in me is always wary of so few reviews.
The Price Is Right!
A couple of things made me interested enough to try out the Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine. One positive was the price. At approximately $300, it was not going to affect my budget much for the month. Plus, delivery was totally free.
The Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine arrived in less than a week after the order was placed. I love it when companies value their customers enough to get their orders out in a quick manner. I actually met the delivery driver out in the driveway and it all arrived in one box. He asked me if I needed a hand moving it into the garage, but the box was light enough where I could manage to carry it, a bit awkwardly, by myself. (In addition, the delivery driver was going to use a dolly and I wanted a chance to show off by just hoisting it up and waving goodbye. It’s the little things in life…)
Rather than running into the walls as I carried this semi-large package down into the basement, as is my habit, I unpacked the box in the garage and carried everything down to my basement gym in two trips.
One thing that I noticed right away: There were no directions included. I hate when companies forget to add the directions to these items that are a bit complicated to put together. In this day and age of technology and being able to find any document online, I came across the directions on the Titan Fitness website. Perhaps they don’t put the directions in the box on purpose?
Whatever the case, the directions were really of little help anyway. When the first step in any set of directions actually involves about 20 steps, you know you are in trouble. Back in the day, I once threw a bicycle I was trying to piece together across my yard in a fit of anger and then jumped up and down on the frame like a madman. This almost met the same fate. I wish they would include detailed directions for the set up of this machine. It would not take much on their part. Instead, it took me over two frustrating hours to put this thing together when if there would have been competent directions, I could have put it together in less than an hour.
I wanted a preacher curl machine that could fit in a small space. The Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine does this. You are going to need about a four foot by four foot amount of room for the machine and clearance for the operating parts.
Furthermore, the machine feels like it is pretty solid. It’s not going to break from sitting on it or putting on a couple of 45-pound plates. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and it certainly does not feel like it is going to collapse on me. Plus, you can bolt it down to the floor if you so desire. It hasn’t felt like it is going to tip on me, so in my case, no need to put holes in my basement floor.
The Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine is made to work with Olympic plates. You don’t need to go out and search for standard plates with the small holes. This worked well for me as I have a couple of thousand pounds of Olympic plates and only maybe 200 pounds of standards.
The padding is nice for both the seat and the armrest. The seat is adjustable so if you are shorter or taller than me, this should still work for you. At six feet tall and 230 pounds, it fit me fine.
Titan Fitness, if you just made a couple of changes here and there with this machine, it would be outstanding.
Limited range of motion: I like to complete the curl as far up close to my face as possible. This machine stops me a couple of inches from the top as the curling bar collides with part of the support frame. There are a couple of ways this could be fixed by better design. I’m half tempted to get out my hacksaw and make a change myself to see if that will work.
Not a Tricep Machine: Trying to use this to work triceps is not really possible. It feels awkward as the handles do not seem to be in a good place. Plus, there is nothing to lock you into place so you are coming up out of your seat on even light weight. If the support bar was lower, you could at least slide a knee underneath to hold you more stable or perhaps include some kind of backrest on the machine to keep you from getting ejected on every rep.
If you are looking for an inexpensive preacher curl machine for your home gym, the Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine could be right for you. The preacher curl exercise is great for developing biceps and after using this machine, my biceps certainly feel it. Plus, being able to grip the handle in a couple of different ways will allow you to be hitting the biceps at various angles to promote better growth.
As far as the tricep pushdown part of the machine, I’d skip it. You would be better off doing something else. And with hundreds of tricep exercises you can do, why waste your time with something that could strain your back in the process?
All in all, the Titan Fitness Bicep and Tricep Curl Machine is a nice little budget-friendly addition to your gym whether you like to train with light weight or heavy weight.
Editor’s Note: I shared this with Titan and they appreciated the feedback. I know that they do listen to customers and revise their products to fix issues, which I saw in particular with the changes to their T-2 power rack.
Disclosure: Titan gave us a deal on this machine to review.