The original Primal Strength Elite System was one of the most popular Smith machine home gym systems on the British market. But in this updated Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System review, you'll learn if their latest iteration is worth your money.
The upgraded model now features a more durable frame and extra workout stations. This enables you to achieve a more comprehensive workout while not having the worry if the unit can cope with your growing strength.
Let's get into the juicy details.
The Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System is a beast of a workout system. Unlike anything else on the market, it comes with 3 100kg weight stacks and replaces the 5 most popular gym machines.
But check this.
It requires only a modest amount of floor space. As a result, it's a popular all-in-one training solution for commercial gyms, personal training studios, hotels and even for luxury home gyms. Suffice to say, when you invest in the Commercial Monster Rack System, you won't have to fork out for any other gym equipment.
And yes, that included accessories. This mass monster comes complete with 11 attachments (including a leg press plate). So the only thing you'll need to buy is a bench, which is pretty standard across all workout systems.
Your best bet here is to go for either the Primal Strength Monster FID or the Primal Strength Spyder 2.0. These full commercial benches are incredibly comfortable, so you'll always have maximum support while you work out.
Also, they come with lifetime frame warranties. So you won't have to hold yourself back over the fear of your bench not being strong enough. With 350kg and 400kg weight capacities respectively, these one-of-a-kind British weight benches are the best on the market. The trick is trying to get them while they're in stock (yeah, primal Strength equipment is in high demand).
The 30mm Smith bar has a knurled surface to enhance your grip. You won't need to worry about your sweaty palms causing the bar to fly our of your hands because this knurling is truly commercial-grade. As a result, you'll generate maximum pressing power on each and every set. You'll regularly have the courage to aim for new PRs because you'll know that the grip-friendly barbell is secure as can be.
Also, with 10 steel lockout points, you don't have to panic if you fail a rep. You can simply flick your wrist and re-rack the barbell at any point durin your set. Naturally, this means that you can fire your clumsy gym spotter. After all, with a 400kg load capacity, I think I'd trust the Commercial Monster Rack System more than the average meathead training partner.
Primal Strength has equipped the Smith station was sealed bearings for a smooth range of motion (ROM). So rather than experiencing a bumpy bar path like you generally do with average Smith machines, you'll enjoy a frictionless ROM. And you know what that means?
More potent muscle stimulation and faster muscle growth.
If you enjoy lifting heavy, then your strength progress will thrive while training in the half-rack portion of the Commercial Monster Rack System. It comes with specially designed sandwich J-hooks for precise barbell-reracking. And for extra safety, you get a pair of commercial safety catches, completely negating the need for a spotter.
My favourite feature, however, is definitely the close spacing of the half rack holes. You wouldn't believe how many squat racks have huge gaps between their J-hook holes. It's annoying, and it often means that we're forced to "make-do" with positioning that doesn't fit our build which, of course, always lead to subpar performance.
But Primal Strength does things differently. Thanks to their thoughtfully designed half-rack, we can achieve a very precise position with regards to the starting position. As a result, the lift-off is much more comfortable, and you'll actually be stronger on your sets and get more reps because you don't have to waste precious energy lifting the barbell out of precarious positions.
In this regard, it reminds me a lot of the Body Power Smith machine, which is a solid alternative if you're on a budget.
Similarly, the holes and numbers have been laser-etched (no cheap stickers around here). Besides giving the unit a feeling of quality, you can easily remember the optimal J-hook position by number. Of course, this convenience means that you spend less time figuring out where to attach the bar holders—and more time lifting.
You know why most functional trainers suck?
They have crappy resistance ratios. That's another way of saying that the actual weight is usually half of the advertised weight—or worse, only a quarter.
But thankfully for our gains, Primal Strength has bucked the trend by equipping their commercial functional trainer with a 100kg weight stack that has an ironclad 1:1 resistance ratio.
This removes the guesswork from figuring out how much poundage you're pushing. But more importantly, it means that you'll never need to buy a cable machine again. Because let me tell you, 100kg on cables feels much heavier than free weights.
All-in-one workout stations are great. They save space and offer countless exercise possibilities. But let's be honest, most gym systems are pretty lacklustre when it comes to leg training.
But once again, that's not the case with Primal Strength.
Since the Commercial Monster Rack System is clearly designed for serious trainees, it comes with a leg press footplate that securely attaches to the Smith bar. Of course, this convenient setup means that you'll save a ton of space and money compared to buying a standalone leg press.
More importantly, however, you'll enjoy the full safety benefits of the Smith machine. You can set the safety hooks so that you'll never get pinned under the leg press plate, and you can test your strength with up to 400kg.
I'm salivating just thinking about the workout possibilities.
You know what I hate about most workout systems?
They never have proper pulldown stations.
Seriously, how I meant to aim for new personal records when there's nothing to hold my legs down?
Anyway, with the Commercial Monster Rack System, we're once again treated to a commercial-grade workout station. Not only does the lat pulldown have its own 125kg weight stack, but we also get a real leg hold down pad so that we don't suddenly get pulled upwards.
This makes building a broad, thick back much easier and for me, it's one of the biggest differentiators between the Commercial Monster Rack System and its army of average competitors.
If you're on the market for something a little cheaper, then you can also read my review of the Primal Strength Stealth Monster Rack System.
The low feeds off the lat pulldown station and includes an integrated footplate for enhanced stability. Once again, this smart design means that (diet permitting) you can build a thick, detailed back with ease because you have a secure platform to push into with your feet.
Of course, you can also use this station for countless low pulley exercises like curls, upright rows and lateral raises. And with a 125kg weight stack, you won't need to be browsing the internet for upgrades anytime soon—that's for sure.
Whether you're a personal trainer or just a dedicated strength trainee, you'll get a ton of mileage from the innovative landmine station. It's compatible with any Olympic barbell and provides a variety of functional training exercises that'll keep your clients engaged and your muscles supple and dynamic.
Of course, if you're more of the bodybuilder type, then you can also use the landmine station for t-bar rows, which are one of the most effective mass-building back exercises out there.
Whereas most brands equip their equipment with a mere pull-up bar, Primal Strength has souped-up their Commercial Monster Rack System with a fully-fledged pull-up station. This means that you can build a bigger back in less time by hitting your lats and traps from a variety of different angles. You can choose between wide, medium, hammer, close and close neutral grips.
Plus, there's knurling on the wide and close grips, so you won't have to worry about your smaller hand muscles limiting your performance by giving out before your back.
While the allure of the Commercial Monster Rack System is definitely in the cables and Smith machine, Primal Strength hasn't forgotten about the importance of bodyweight training, either.
We get a folding dip frame that's positioned in the centre of the machine, and we also get a multi-grip dip station, which is excellent for emphasising either your chest or triceps. Whatever you need to work on, this comprehensive muscle building station can help.
You can even use the dip handles (and indeed the chin-up station) to build a better six-pack by working your abs with leg raises and knee tucks. Moreover, since these workout stations are fully integrated into the main Monster Rack unit, you don't need masses of room to house the Commercial Monster Rack.
TRX training is a favourite technique among personal trainers because nowadays, people are wising up the importance of having functional strength that they can use in everyday life—not just an aesthetic physique . So that's why I was pumped up to see that Primal Strength included a dedicated suspension trainer mount for TRX systems.
If you enjoy bodyweight training as much as I do, then you'll thrive off using suspension trainers because there are so many progressions from beginner to advanced that you'll never max out a TRX like you would a weight stack.
Of course, not everyone needs all these fancy features. So you can see my review of the regular Primal Strength Smith Machine if you just want to practise barbell exercises without needing an invasive spotter.
The Commercial Monster Rack System comes complete with 11 training attachments. So you won't need to spend extra money on workout accessories. Instead, you can start training with maximum effectiveness from day one. Here are some of the goodies that you'll receive as part of your Primal Strength Package:
Many workout systems these days seem like a wise purchase on paper. But when you actually get the equipment home, it falls apart.
Thankfully, that isn't the case with the Commercial Monster Rack System. It boasts a genuine 11 gauge steel frame, which is the same metal strength that all the single station commercial machines are made from.
Yeah, the same ones that individually cost as much as the Monster Rack System.
Moreover, every part has been tested to withstand over 400kg. This means that you can test your strength in complete peace of mind. You'll have the courage to aim for new PRs and shatter your plateaus because you know that the Monster Rack System won't wobble under your training intensity.
And the cables? Well, I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw the fact. But along with the pulleys, they've been tested to withstand 1000kg. Obviously, this sturdy design means that you won't need to replace worn down parts every couple of years. And that's because the Monster Rack System is one of the few affordable workout systems that has a legitimate commercial construction.
As for storage, we get 5 weight pegs per side. Naturally, this is great for keeping our gym floors free from trip hazards. But it also means that we don't need to waste space (and money) on clunky weight disc trees.
The Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System measures 257cm L x 200cm W x 231cm H and tips the scales at 300kg (according to the company). Obviously, since the weight of the 3 stacks exceeds 300kg, they've messed up on the unit weight there.
But this small error doesn't discount the unrivalled effectiveness of the Monster Rack—not at all. Despite requiring a fair amount of space to function to its fullest potential, this muscle-building beast replaces a Smith machine, squat rack, leg press, functional trainer and virtually every machine in the gym.
Also, when you actually factor in the space that buying individual workout stations would require, you begin to see just how space-efficient the Monster Rack really is.
Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System safety features
Unlike its competitors, the Monster Rack has been thoroughly tested, and it's loading capacities verified. This behemoth can withstand 400kg. What this means for us mere mortal is that although we may not be able to lift 400kg, our sets feel extremely safe because the frame doesn't wobble around.
Similarly, both the Smith machine and squat rack have adjustable safety catches. So even if we fail on a rep and can't muster up the effort to flick our wrists, then we don't have to panic, because the Monster Rack will take the load. If only training partners were as reliable!
Having wasted over £7000 on poor quality gym equipment over the years, I can tell you that it pays to get things right the first time. Although the Primal Strength Commercial Monster Rack System isn't the cheapest product on the British market, it's easily one of the most comprehensive.
Whether you want to build a bigger back with pulldowns, low rows and chin-ups or test your limits without a spotter on the Smith machine, the Monster Rack has everything you need to stop wasting time and start getting results.
If you're fed up of sub-par fitness equipment and want a workout system to replace all your other machines, then I highly recommend checking out the Commercial Monster Rack System if you're based in the UK.