New Ironmaster Bench Pad

Due to popular demand, Ironmaster made a new pad for their Super Bench and Super Bench Pro. Some people complained that the stock pad was too narrow for their liking at 10.25″. The IPF specs dictate 11.5-12.5″ so Ironmaster’s pad is unusually narrow.

Weight bench with partly IPF spec pad width for powerlifting competition purposes

On the replacement pad, half the pad is 2″ wider, and depending on your preference you can use it with the narrow or wide end at your shoulders. Good idea!

This pad fits both benches and has the firm (better) padding of the Pro bench.

v2 of the Titan Clean-and-Jerk Landmine Attachment

Always wait for version 2 of a Titan Fitness product. They don’t always know what they’re doing when they spec out the first one. On some things like their power racks it’s hard to tell when that is, with the way they have replaced prior versions without any mention of it.

Anyway, with this piece, we’re there, version 2!

Clean and jerk landmine attachment with rotating neutral handles

The main complaint I believe with the first version was the rotating handle connection breaking. This one is more reinforced.

Rip on Hex Bars

The hex deadlift bar is completely useless, according to Rip in a new controversial video.

He does have a point: A heavy deadlift near your 1-rep-max with a hex bar is dangling from your arms and can’t be stabilized against your body at full extension. This can lead to injury if you try to do a “lockout” movement as you would with a straight bar deadlift, and your form needs to be strict.

If you’re experienced and smart enough to do it right as you push your max lift, then it’s fine. Rip I think is mainly focusing towards novices using some variation of his program Starting Strength and doing a hex bar deadlift without much training or experience with the conventional deadlift.

Note the fact that max lifts are on average 9% higher on a hex bar deadlift vs regular deadlift. This is part of the appeal. It’s mechanically easier to lift heavier weights with a hex bar once you get used to it. Just be strict with your form.

Hex bar deadlifts are fine if you keep those issues in mind and know what you’re doing. Of course, we all think we know what we’re doing. Some of us are right. Maybe not me. I’ve hurt my back a couple times going too crazy with deadlifts.

Rack-Docking Benches

Brandon Campbell Diamond had a video in Aug 2019 about a custom bench he had made that would dock into his power rack:

The justification is this kind of thing helps you get your bench perfectly centered, aligned, and secured.

In a basic sense this is not a new idea. York Barbell and Hammer Strength have done it, and more I’m sure. However, with some searches I was not able to find this design having been made before, which is nicely simple in the way it mimics how a flat olympic bench press is constructed.

Guess what – Titan Fitness just started producing Brandon’s design! He didn’t know about it, but I guess that’s what happens: somebody else will run with your good idea if you aren’t quick enough.

weight bench that docks into a power rack
Titan’s new bench, with a cross brace to attach into their racks.

I see one problem: This bench is unwieldy. The huge cross brace bolts into the bench during assembly. You have to drag that whole thing out of the way when you’re done benching and have a larger area to store it than normal. On the plus side, despite being large it’s fairly light weight as benches go, only 50 lbs. Stand-alone benches are sometimes made heavier because they need to stay stable, while this one doesn’t need to be built so heavy duty because of the way it becomes part of the rack.

We still have the compatibility issue, too. This will only fit into Titan racks. The pins go through a 2″ channel to give some room for fitting different height rack frames, so I don’t know, maybe there’s a chance your Rogue R-3 or some other will line up to part of that channel, and that the width is also about right. Care to test?