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Old 10-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
Craig McInnes
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My R3 and Flat Bench Review

After much debate over which rack to go with, I ordered my Rogue R3 and Flat Bench in the afternoon of Thursday Oct 18th. I went back and forth for a few days trying to decide between welded or bolted, 24” or 30”, etc. After comparing prices, reading reviews and measuring my garage a few times I decided to go with the 24” welded. It was about $40 less for the rack and surprisingly $30 cheaper to ship the welded version to Canada.

On Friday morning I realized I wanted some HG collars. I remembered seeing that they were free if I ordered a bar, so I figured I’d email and ask to add a beater bar so I could get the collars. I opened my email to fire off the change and got an email that the rack had shipped. Oh well, too late. The rack shipped 18 hours after I ordered it. That’s fast.

The rack arrived the following Wednesday via UPS Freight (about 3 business days). I was nervous about UPS shipping the stuff.

The rack arrived in perfect condition, not a scratch. The packaging really impressed me (I spent 10 years as a packaging specialist in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, so I’m kind of OCD about silly things like this). The first thing I noticed was the bench being packaged upside down in the box. Most packaging operations would never do this so they could stack the boxes for storage and use the top of the bench for stability on each layer. Having the bench upside down prevents you from cutting the top of the box with a knife and also cutting the upholstery. the boxes can still be stacked or palletized, just stack them upside down. A cool little mistake proofing idea I'm assuming was by design and I thought was neat… That’s enough about packaging. Sorry.

The rack bolted together in about 10 minutes. I wanted to try it out before bolting to the floor to make sure I had it in the right spot. I moved at around a bit and found a home at the top of my garage. Due to the slope in the floor, the rack was out of level by about 3/4 inch front to back. This worked out as my mats are 3/4 inch thick. Instead of cutting 4 holes in the mat for the mounting plates, I just cut the rear mats and bolted through the mats in the front. The rack is perfectly level.

Bolting it down made it bomb proof. The rack is unbelievably stable. This is the first time I’ve had UMHV covered J-hooks so my bars are very happy about that.

The bench is simply awesome. No wobble, nice grip on the upholstery, very firm and solid feel.

I have a few criticisms of the rack that are very small (and I’m being really picky here).

I didn’t order the weight storage pins because they look like they would get in the way if there were plates on them while using the rack (of course depending on where they are mounted and what you are doing). I’d like an attachment that hung to the uprights and offset the pin behind the rack about 6-8” to keep the any plates on the pins out of the way. I’m guessing most people have the rack at least 12-15” off the wall so this shouldn’t be a problem.

2 of the 3 holes drilled in the foot pad mounting plates are very accessible with a hammer drill. The 3rd is under the cross member. This isn’t a problem is you mark or pilot all of the holes and then move the rack before drilling into the concrete, but I suspect most people just want to use the holes in the plate as their drilling template rather than move the rack. If you do this you will only be able to use 2 of the 3 holes. I understand they are located in the best configuration to keep the plate mounted evenly, but I’m guessing many people are not using the 3rd hole in each plate for this reason. Its really not a major concern, but drilling a hole in all four corners of the plate would allow the 3rd bolt for us lazy folks, and a 4th for people that want to move the rack before drilling.

There are a lot of upright holes in this thing. I’ve found myself counting up and down on each side trying to align the J-hooks several times already. Having a numbered or marked decal strip on the uprights would be great. This would have to go on the inside of the uprights to prevent the j-hooks from rubbing on it and damaging it. I'm going to keep at it for a bit and if it remains an issue I'll get one made up.

I’m very happy with my purchase and I doubt dollar-for-dollar there is a better “off the shelf” rack available for the home gym owner.

I’m going to go and use it now.

Last edited by Craig McInnes : 10-26-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #2
Adam Molnar
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review



Good review, but I am a visual men, really would like to see some pics-if you have a chance.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
Craig McInnes
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

Sure. Not the best pics, but its something.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
Adam Molnar
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

That is a nice gym, congrats. The stall mats leveling idea was a good one.

Looking at the pics, that 24" seems a bit narrow to me. How is it when squatting?
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
Joey Allen
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

Nice review. I just got the same setup about 2 months ago. I love mine. The only thing I wish they would add is laser cut numbers, or even painted ones.. but I'm sure that's pretty expensive. I'm using chalk right now until I decide if I want to add some number stickers.. I just circled the holes that I used for bench & squat/press. Works just fine. I also covered the pipe safeties with some leftover pipe insulation and then black gorilla tape to protect my bar's knurling. That'll hold me over until I get some strap safeties..

I love dealing with Rogue. Great American made products, fast shipping, & very fair prices.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
Craig McInnes
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Molnar View Post
That is a nice gym, congrats. The stall mats leveling idea was a good one.

Looking at the pics, that 24" seems a bit narrow to me. How is it when squatting?
Its fine. I thought the same thing originally but there is lots of space. I was going to go with the 30" bolted but after measuring the distance I was going to need to keep from the wall, the 30" was just a but too intrusive. Even though the footprint of the rack is small, you still lose space when placing it and trying to make it functional. I think there could easily be some extension added to the rear with a stabilizer and plate storage without taking up any more space.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
Michael Loucas
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

The 24" is really plenty of room. I've had mine for probably about 2.5-3 months I love it. Never hit the uprights. The solution I came up with for laser cut numbers (although its an expensive one) was I just bought some extra J Cups. A pair outside for press, a pair inside for squat, and a pair inside for bench press. Never have to think about where to move them because they're already in place.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
Mike Hollister
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Re: My R3 and Flat Bench Review

I have lines of that shiny metalworking tape marking the places I like for bench and where both my wife and I like it for press and squat. It was a quick solution, looks very nice, and is does the job. The metal tape adheres very well and doesn't look all ghetto like duct tape would. Pick up a roll.
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