By Strength Oldschool
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Due to requested features by Ironmaster fans, the USA company have released version two (V2) of the popular "Super Bench PRO".
The release of 'V2' means that the old version, "Super Bench Pro" which I purchased a few months back, will now be discontinued. Don't worry UK fans, Ironmaster UK have also now released the V2 version.
So what are the new Modifications for V2?
1. Integrated bench handle
For me this was never a huge problem not having a handle to move my original "Super Bench PRO" about. But I can see the benefits of adding one. To be honest, the handle should have been standard from the beginning upon first initial release of the Ironmaster bench. The bench does weigh a good bit (65 lbs / 30 kg), which makes it solid, so adding a handle will help users of all ages and strengths move the bench freely about their gym.
2. Numbered Locking Ring
Ironmaster have provided "Laser etched numbers on the locking ring so you will always be sure of the exact pressing angle." This is definitely a worthwhile additional feature that customers will greatly appreciate. This bench can be angled at 0, 5,10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 85 degrees.
In regards to my original "Super Bench PRO" the locking ring system for adjusting the angle of the bench has no numbers or angle information. So when you adjust the angle of the bench, you basically need to mentally count the number of adjustments from the flat position to your desired set angle. This is a major pain after a period of time. This problem is like having a Power Rack with one inch adjustable holes from the top to the bottom of the rack, but having no "numbered" information to identify each hole position - just doesn't make sense!
Details matter (especially when paying for expensive products) and having the exact numbers / angle information clearly stated on the "Numbered" locking system on version two will make a huge difference for the user. Once you use the bench on a regular basis you will know which angles are your favourite and you will easily be able to adjust the bench to your desired angle within seconds without having to count each locking ring adjustment which is what I currently do (well, not any more!) with my original PRO bench.
I recently decided to create my own "Numbered Locking System" by writing the angles with a permanent pen onto the Ironmaster Locking Ring.
3. Hybrid Bench Pad
Ironmaster have now made their "Hybrid Bench Pad" standard which used to be sold separately as an alternative bench pad. This new pad gives users "two width zones".
Personally I've never used the Hybrid Bench Pad and so I can't possibly comment on how good it is. I can only imagine that a lot of customers have praised the bench pad so highly that Ironmaster have therefore saw reason to ditch the old bench pad in favour of the Hybrid.
The current bench pad I use (standard one for Super Bench PRO) isn't the most comfortable of pads to use in my opinion so I'm hoping the Hybrid bench pad is much more thicker and comfortable to lie on.
4. Additional Seat Tube Insertion
Ironmaster have provided an "Additional higher incline seat tube insertion point for better overheard pressing position".
The incline seat has 3 positions. The incline seat height in the 85 degree position can be set to either 12.5", 14.5" or 23.5" from the floor, while the top of the main pad is 24.5" above the seat in the highest position.
Due to using the original Super Bench PRO, I only have the option of two Seat Tube Insertions which is fine for me. I believe the extra (3rd) Seat Tube was added to suit much taller lifters. I'm 6ft tall and having only two incline seat positions is enough for me but for taller people, the third one may prove much better.
5. Foot Lever Improvement
Ironmaster have also improved the design of their "Foot Lever" which is used to adjust the angle of the bench.
One of my pet hates has always been making the mistake of standing on one side of the bench to press down on the foot lever to adjust the bench angle, and then realising I was pressing down on the wrong side!! The amount of times I've done this is unreal and each time was frustrating as hell!
One of the things I've always said every time I make that mistake is why doesn't Ironmaster make it clear in the design which side of the bench a lifter needs to be on to adjust the angle. Thankfully, there solution for V2 has been to make the "Foot Lever" operational from 'both sides' of the bench - Great idea!
Are Super Bench PRO accessories compatible with V2?
All accessories with names that have /PRO are completely compatible with the Super Bench PRO V2. If you're unsure of the compatibility or need an adapter for some of your equipment, feel free to get in touch with Ironmaster.
* PRICES *
Ironmaster.com at this moment in time have a special offer on - The Super Bench PRO V2 is on sale for $499.00. Regular price will be $539.00. So yes, very expensive and more expensive than the original Super Bench PRO which I had purchased a few months back. Ironmaster UK are selling their bench for £539.00.
Personally I would have liked Ironmaster to sell the product for the same price as the original Super Bench PRO as the newly added features should have been standard years ago in my opinion.
Is it worth the purchase in my opinion...YES if you have the money to spare. If you're considering UPGRADING from the Super Bench PRO to the Super Bench PRO V2....Not so much, unless you can sell your old bench for good money! Personally speaking, upgrading for me won't be worth it at this point. The new features are great but I'll stick with the original version for the time being.
Please share your opinions of the new V2 bench if you have purchased one or are considering purchasing. I'd love to hear other lifters thoughts on V2.
Keep training hard,