Guy Kawasaki from Motorola spoke about Porsche and the benefits of allowing customers to tailor-make their purchase. At Bodyforce we are driven to empower our customers with the ability to customize based upon needs, budget and objectives. This concept was the genesis of the X9 Hybrid Gym and H3 Catalyst Bench.
Although we designed the X9 Hybrid Gym to compete with all products in the premium strength training category the Titan sometimes gets singled out for comparison due to a few similarities. Dollar for dollar we beat the Titan products in virtually every category. Function, design, efficiency, quality, metal gauge, removable bench, walk through design (Titan has a heavy carriage system with cross-section as well as metal tubing permanently bolted right where you would walk in the middle of the machine), selectorized weight stacks (not found on the Titan), articulating 2D and 3D cable arms in the high position and 180 Arc Cable Arms in the low position found only on the X9. The Titan has two fixed cable arms up high and two fixed pulleys in the low position. The Titan does not have the ability to move the low pulleys from narrow to wide or high to low, which is a valuable function.
We believe a workout on the X9 is more seamless, requiring less time routing cables, etc. Although we do use some manual cable segments (ie modular pec deck, leg press resistance multiplier, leg developer and carriage bridge/tethering), the core cable system is always connected and ready to go…you can always walk up, select your weight and start exercising. Not so with the Titan. Our footplates and multi-function pad have angle adjustments. The Titan does not.
The Titan Pec Deck resistance curve- heavy start easy finish, is opposite from that desired. The X9 resistance curve is consistent. The list could go on. While the Titan is a decent machine overall, it is no match for the X9. Lastly, the Titan styling, in our humble opinion, looks dated. We feel the custom D-shape tubing and design of the X9 is cutting edge and leads the pack in the looks department. The X9 will not go out of style anytime soon. Note: we will be creating a comparison table measuring the X9 against 20+ of the most popular premium strength machines on the market. Keep checking back for more info.
You can do all the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tests you want (at Bodyforce we have done plenty) but at the end of the day you need to test your product in a real world environment to see what it’s truly made of. This is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. In that vein please see below where we perform two barbell drop tests on our X9 Evolution Hybrid Gym.
To perform these tests we loaded a standard Olympic barbell with as many plates as it could hold (16 x 45 LBS plates). This, plus the weight of the bar (45 LBS), totaled 765 LBS. We tried to create a “worst case scenario” by using the cheapest plate holder “spring clips” we could find. We postulated that the heavy load combined with extreme angles (bent parabola shape) of the barbell when fully arrested at the bottom of its drop, would force the springs off causing an imbalance of plates on the bar. This is precisely what happened.
In this first video the bar falls nearly 3 feet. We used this height to simulate an NBA basketball player who is approximately 6’10” inches tall dropping the barbell directly from his shoulders at the top of a squat simulating a worst case scenario. For this test we also used an X9 frame that had only been “tack welded” giving it a fraction of its normal full welded strength, again a worst case scenario. As you can see the X9 still handled the drop without breaking a sweat. The barbell was not so lucky. It was bent beyond repair.
A couple quick take aways from the video:
Cheap spring clips do a poor job of keeping weight plates secured on the barbell and are not recommended.
Even with heavy duty safety spotters, if the collars come off you are quickly in an asymmetry situation where the bar wants to fall off to one side.
The initial impact was easily and effectively absorbed by the X9.
Now lets take a look at the second drop test using our patent pending Bodyforce spotting system which combines the X9’s heavy duty safety spotters with our TuffStich 10,000 LB looped spotter straps. Watching this video you will again see the weight plate “collar springs” quickly ejected from the barbell and yet the system contains the barbell safely and completely. Even if more weight plates came off one side and you were laying unconscious on the floor you would be fully protected. This is due to the strap systems ability to “cradle” the barbell giving it not only vertical control, but horizontal control in all directions as well. To learn more about our robust spotting system please check out the X9 product page. Our safety strap system is not only good at containment but very functional with “on the fly” height adjustments as well.
Take aways from the second video:
The safety spotting system completely contained the barbell left/right, front/back and vertically.
With the weight more evenly distributed, less total stress is put on any one part. Side load on safety spotters is almost fully eliminated.
Something else worth considering; If you drop a barbell more than about one foot onto a safety spotter that utilizes plastic covering on top, there’s a good chance that surface will become damaged. If you typically lift to failure, dropping your weights onto safety spotters, it won’t take long to chew the plastic covers up. These covers are there to protect your barbell knurling from damage not the other way around. With the Bodyforce spotting system you have the best of both worlds; protect the bar and plastic with the best spotting system on the market. If you want to double your peace of mind you can use a set of spotters with the Bodyforce safety strap system above while locking in a secondary set of spotters down low. Either way you will be 100% protected.