Pros / Three people can use it at the same time, with up to 500 pounds of resistance.
Cons / The machine is large and bulky, and weight plates must be purchased separately.
Verdict / The Powertec Workbench is a versatile, durable home gym that can be used by three users at once. It’s the only machine we reviewed that requires weight plates for resistance, and you must purchase them separately.
There’s nothing small about the Powertec Workbench. Among the home gyms we reviewed, this one has both the largest base footprint and allows you to lift the most weight. It’s also the only system we reviewed without a pulley and cable system. Rather than having a weight stack, power rods or nitrogen-charged cylinders, its resistance is provided by weight plates you manually load onto the machine. The weight limit is 500 pounds on its press and squat lever arms, 400 pounds on its lat lever and 100 pounds for crunches. Only an upgraded Bowflex Xtreme 2SE can come close to these resistance levels. The Bowflex uses power rods instead of weight plates, and its standard resistance is 210 pounds, which is upgradeable to either 310 or 410 pounds.
The Powertec home gym is one of three multi-seat systems we reviewed. It accommodates three users at once, with dedicated stations for chest, core and leg training. The Yukon Wolverine accommodates four users, and two people at once can use the Bodycraft Galena Pro. The tradeoff for this convenience is these machines are all big and heavy. The Powertec system weighs 424 pounds without any weights added, and its dimensions are 120.1 x 73.3 x 80.5 inches (length, width and height). The Wolverine weighs 610 pounds, but that includes a 200-pound weight stack.
The 25 exercises you can perform with the Powertec Workbench include wood chops, shoulder presses, triceps extensions and presses and lat pulldowns. You can also do bench rows and presses. Optional attachments add curls, flys, leg lifts and leg presses. The system has a front tube adapter where you affix them. However, the MSRP for this home gym is already nearly $1,700, and the add-ons aren’t cheap. If you bought them all, including a 255-pound Olympic plates set and a weight rack, you could more than double the system’s price.
Powertec lists the Workbench as being appropriate for home use and light commercial settings. Unlike many of the manufacturers we compared, Powertec doesn’t specify a maximum user weight. Among those that do, 300 pounds is about average. On the high and low ends, the Total Gym FIT can accommodate users weighing up to 450 pounds, while the Yukon Wolverine’s max user capacity is 275 pounds. The Powertec Workbench has a lifetime warranty on its frame, but only two years on parts. Customer service is available by phone and email.