“ Brand: Life Fitness / Type: Chest press exercise machine „
The optima chest press is a horizontal bench press machine which works the pectoral muscles and allows the user to develop a more powerful chest. The product is produced by lifefitness, my boxing club acquired the product from an online sports store for £2,880 with free postage.
The product looks very classy and modern when it is fully assembled. The product fully assembled weighs 250kg with the weights stack at the side going up to 135kg. The weights stack is magnetically adjustable with a magnetic pin which allows you to select different settings easily. The product is silver/grey colour and is made from a tough and robust 11 gauge steel whilst the seating and handles are made from a rubbery black leather material that looks clean and classy. I believe if you order from Lifefitness you can change the colour of the chair and outer steel casing to a colour to suit your needs, I believe they include, red, grey, black, blue etcetera. The handles are used to push away from your chest, whilst you sit on the chair. The chair is adjustable up and down to suit different people in height. The handle depth can be adjusted too, there is a small lever to the right as you sit down and as you move it the handles will move in regard to how you've changed the lever. This lever allows you to control the range of motion you actually press out, so it is a useful feature.The product stands at around 160cm and has a length of 104cm I measured the other day and whilst it is quite large in size, it certainly is smaller than other weights machines such as the cable crossover machine we have in the gym too. There are also some rubber attachments on the bottom of the product which stop it scratching and damaging flooring which work well, as my Boxing gyms wooden floor remains undamaged!
The comfort of the product is very good. The seat is made from good upholstery and padding, it is firm yet still comfortable. The seat is adjustable for people with different heights and the handles are adjustable by a lever to the right of the chair. Altering the handles can let you adjust the range of motion so this is brilliant so you don't strain too far back and damage your shoulders. The handles have some rubber grips on them so this helps aids your grip when your lifting a lot of weight and it won't slip away. The weights stack is close to the chair, to your right as you sit on it, and is freely and easily adjustable by means of a magnetic weights pin which just slots in between the weight plates. There is a steel bar at the bottom of the chest press machine, that allows you to push your feet against which is more comfortable when your pushing heavy weights out since it makes you feel more stable.
The durability is second to none, the product is made from a tough strong 11 gauge steel outer casing, good quality leather/rubber seating and handles, has an electrostatic coating to stop scratches, is well oiled and lubricated for fluent motion and I believe certain parts of it come with a 10 year warranty. The handles I was inititally worried would become scratched and damaged and maybe fall off, making gripping the machine dangerous and difficult. The handles are made from a special "thermo rubber" it said on the instructions sheet and it is one of the most durable materials I've every trained with. Even after commercial usage in my boxing gym, for a good 9 months now, the product is still as good as ever in terms of functionality and appearance. This product could in effect last a lifetime especially if it used in a home gym as opposed to a commercial one which might have hundreds of people using it daily. Overall, a high quality and durable weights machine used by LifeFitness.
The product was not too difficult to assemble considering it was large and weighed 250kg altogether, consisted of numerous components and had upholstery to attach. I believe the product had decent instructions and took my boxing trainer and 3 other boxers about 30 to 40 minutes to construct. That said, although a single person might be able to do it easily, It would be better having a friend or partner to help and just clarify on the instructions included and what needs to be fixed where and so on.
The product was bought by my Boxing gym for £2,880 online in the UK. I personally think this was far too much but my trainers did have commercial usage in mind and it has held up nicely in that regard. The postage was free to my gym which is located in mainland UK which was a nice touch as the sheer 250kg weight of the machine would have been extortionate to post. You can only really use the machine for horizontal plane chest pressing, whilst it is easy to adjust and very durable, I personally would have preferred an olympic sized barbell and weights set which would cost about £200 on eBay. I just don't think a price tag of £2,880 in which you can only use it for chest pressing is versatile enough unless your a commercial fitness gym or boxing gym and can spare to spend so much cash. I think in summary a good quality product, free postage but an extremely high price tag of not far under £3,000!
Besides the price, I've also noticed some shoulder problems after a few months usage in my gym. When you use a weights machine, especially a chest pressing machine, you push the weight out in a fixed plane or motion. When you use free weights like dumbbells for example, you push to your natural movement plane, which does not exert harsh strains to your muscles and joints. You also activate stabiliser muscles to balance the weight through the movement with free weights, with machines you do not get this. So whilst I think the product is itself safer because a weight wouldn't fall on you than free weights, I think the probability of shoulder pain and strain is much higher when I used the Lifefitness Optima chest press machine because of this fixed and unnatural plane of movement. Because of the shoulder pain I developed a couple of months ago, I have stopped using the product for the time being.
To conclude, the product is extremely durable and well made, comfortable, made from high quality components, looks great in grey and black, not too big, has an easily adjustable weights stack and stable handles. However, I think the whopping price tag of £2,880 and a potentially dangerous range of motion that damaged my shoulder joint need to be taken into consideration. For a commercial gym or boxing club I think the product is well made and will be a good investment but I think for personal use, an olympic barbell and weights package from eBay or discountsupplements.co.uk would be a better investment for you.
© Revo9 (2011)
*Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*
I have come to love (well at least like!) some of the weights resistance machines that I use in the gym on a regular basis, and one of these machines is the Life Fitness Optima Series Chest Press.
Life Fitness is a big name is home and gym fitness equipment, and they known for their top quality, well working machines and other gym equipment. Their chest press is designed for use to help work the muscles in the chest and arms, mostly the Pectoral Muscles on the chest, the Deltoid Muscles on the shoulders and upper arms, and the Tricep Muscles at the back of the arms.
I use this machine as I wish to tighten up the muscles in my arms and shoulders, as well as my chest so this is the perfect machine for me, and it is quite simple to use as well. The machine is made up of a seat, arm bars, weights stack, foot pedal and welded frame. The seat is adjustable so you can move it to what ever height you need to ensure that you use the machine safely and effectivley.
The arm bars are made of white coloured metal, and they have a curved, black handle on the end of each bar which is made from a thick, rubbery material to ensure you can keep your grip on it, even if you have hot, sweaty hands. I find these handles to be quite comfortable and they do not cause any pain on my hands when I use the machine. The foot pedal is a large, silver metal bar that is placed directly in front of the chair. You use this to move the arm bars to the desired position to start the use of the machine. Once you have hold of the bars, you release the pedal and start to use the machine. When you are done with a set, you then use the foot pedal again to gently lower the arm bars back into place.
The weights stack is set in weights of 7KG, with 7KG being the lowest. To select a weight, there is a pin, which you place into the hole, in the centre of the weight block. This will then secure the weight and you are ready to go. The machine is very simple to use, you just select the weight, get yourself into a safe, comfortable position in the chair, set the arm bars in place and then you push the weight forward with the arm bars until your arms are just below the locked position. You then bring them back to the starting position, but without letting the weight stack touch, and making the sure the movement is slow and controlled.
I usually do 4 sets of 12 reps, but everyone is different and it will depend on what weight you are using and what your ultimate goals are and the reasons for you using this particular machine. There is an instructional sticker on the machine which is just above the weights stack, and this will show you the muscle groups you are working, and there is step by step instructions on using the machine correctly.
I find that this is a great machine, and I really can feel and see the difference in the muscle groups. I have managed to use a higher weight on the machine now, so I know my strength is building too. The chair on this machine is very supportive, so I do not have to worry about damaging my back whilst I am using it. There is a metal plate for me to place my feet on whilst I am working out, so that I have a steady base and I am comfortable all at the same time.
The machine is very tough and durable, as the whole frame is welded together for the best strength and security possible. Even the pin for selecting the weight is made from a thich metal, and is attached to the machine by a thick cable, so even this is perfectly secure. I have never had any worries of this machine not being durable or tough enough to cope with the amount of use it gets on a daily basis.
The machine is black and white, with a gray weights stack, but you can buy it in a mix of other colours should you so wish to. This seems to be quite a popular piece of equipment, and there has many times been a queue of people waiting to use it in the gym, I am thinking of asking them to buy a second one!!
Personally I love this machine, and I will happily continue to use it for as long as I can. If I could afford to buy my own I would, but unfortunatley these machines for home use will cost £4,995!!! I feel this is quite an expensive machine, and you can get it second hand or ex-demo for smaller prices but it can still be above the £2000 line! You would need a little bit of spare space to house this too, as you can not fold this down or take it apart to store it away.
Many websites that sell fitness and gym equipment offer home delivery for this Life Fitness Chest Press and they will install and set it up for you too. For the price, I would expect this at least to be honest! I am glad my gym has one of these, but if you are looking to own one for your own use, I recommend checking the bank account first as it is an expensive machine.
I love this machine and despite the price, it does it's job perfectly so I can only give the Life Fitness Chest Press a 5 out of 5 stars. I totally recommend it, for women and men, as it works just as well for muscle building, as it does for fat burning, musle toning, mucle defining and body sculpting.
*This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*