Ironmaster: A Small, but Mighty Company
Nearly 20 years ago, I got my first look at the IM 2000, Ironmaster's self-spotting machine...in other words, a Smith Machine. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure what it was. Every Smith Machine I had used had cylindrical guide rods, while the IM 2000 has square slide rails. Also, the IM 2000 presents the unique option of attaching a cable to the Smith Bar for lat pulldowns, seated rows, tricep pushdowns, bicep curls, etc.. I knew I wanted the IM 2000, or at least the opportunity to try one, but unfortunately, I was a broke college kid without the space or funds to acquire such a piece of home gym equipment. Over the next 10+ years, I continued to see the IM 2000 advertised and pop up in the occasional YouTube video so I committed to getting one...one day.
Up until 2007-2008, I borrowed home gym equipment from my dad who has an extremely impressive gym in his basement. Whenever I would move to a house where I could have a home gym, my dad would bring me a stand-alone bench press, an olympic bar, and a couple sets of dumbells (I moved a lot in my 20s and early 30s) . At the time, this limited equipment worked great to meet my needs and I supplemented my home gym workouts with commercial gym training.
When I seriously started my home gym journey around 2007-2008, I followed the advice of those who were already in the home gym community, "Get a Power Rack, an adjustable bench, plates, and an Olympic Bar." At the time, Powertec seemed to be the premiere company for a quality rack at a decent price-point. To further sweeten the pot, Powertec's Power Rack could accept a high/low pulley. Ultimately, my first major home gym purchase was the old grey Powertec Power Rack and Lat Tower Attachment that I purchased from Bodybuilding.com. I later found the Powertec FID Bench on Craigslist for about $100. Once this set-up was in my garage, I thought I was done. I thought I had everything I needed. However, I continued to see the IM 2000 advertised and I knew I would eventually add this piece to my home gym when the time was right.
Fast-forward to 2020 and I had moved multiple times, had multiple home gyms, sold every piece of home gym equipment I had ever owned, and started to amass a new collection of home gym equipment in my present home. At the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, I decided to take my passion for bodybuilding and home gym equipment to the next level by starting a YouTube channel reviewing home gym equipment.
The bulk of my YouTube reviews were for Titan Fitness and Powertec products; however, I remembered nearly 20 years earlier wanting the IM 2000. When I ventured to Ironmaster's webpage, I noticed a lot had changed from when I visited the page many years earlier. Ironmaster updated their website from a dark not-so-user-friendly site, to an impressive new webpage. Further, their product line had grown with some impressive looking pieces, like the Super Bench Pro, Ultimate Row Handle, and of course, the legendary Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System.
I reached out to Ironmaster, introduced myself, and expressed interest in developing a working-relationship with the company. I was offered the opportunity to be an affiliate for the company and with that, I ordered and paid for the IM 2000, the Super Bench Pro, and many of the attachments for the Super Bench Pro (no, I don't get free equipment...and if I do...I always mention that in my reviews).
Within a couple weeks, the IM 2000 and all of the other pieces I ordered arrived and I was blown away by the quality of each piece. Further, I was extremely impressed by the instructions. It may sound frivolous, but I have assembled and reviewed a lot of equipment, and no company has made the assembly process for all of their pieces as seamless as Ironmaster.
Within a few months of using the IM 2000 I could honestly declare that it is the best Smith Machine I have ever used, and this includes the former G.O.A.T. Smith Machine, the old-school vertical Cybex Smith Machine.
The Super Bench Pro was a pleasant surprise too! The bench has a foot lever for easy adjustments and the bench can accept some impressive attachments, including the Preacher Curl, Leg Extension / Leg Curl, the Chin Up, the Dip, the Seated Press Pad, the Lat Tower, the highly versatile sit-up attachment, and more!
After receiving my first major order from Ironmaster, I decided that I wanted nearly everything in their line. As a result, I got every attachment and add-on for the IM 2000, every attachment and add-on for the Super Bench Pro, and finally, after waiting for months and months, the highly regarded and highly sought-after Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells.
I had heard the Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells were good....heck, I heard they were great, but I didn't realize just how amazing they are until I had them in my hands. The Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells are a work-of-art. The handles are perfectly knurled, the plates are finely crafted, and once the spin-lock is attached, the entire system is very secure.
Out of all the adjustable dumbbells on the market, many will exclaim, and I am one, the Ironmaster Dumbbells are the best. Further, they are nearly indestructible with their lifetime warranty. If you search on YouTube, you can find people beating them with sledgehammers, throwing them down flights of stairs, and dragging them behind motorized vehicles; I can't think of a better advertisement for a set of dumbbells.
Ironmaster doesn't have a huge product line like Rogue, Titan, Powertec, BodySolid, and others. However, the pieces in the Ironmaster line are consistently well-made and effective. Also, I will go on the record as saying Ironmaster has the best customer service I have experienced since starting this channel. Everything I have ever ordered from Ironmaster has shipped quickly and arrived in excellent condition. Further, their social media accounts highlight their users and I can tell Ironmaster genuinely cares for their customers and they want their customers happy with the entire experience of ordering and owning Ironmaster equipment.
Sometimes, dealing with a small company like Ironmaster pays off. Ironmaster doesn't have so many products that some products in their line become an afterthought. Take the Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell system for example; the product continues to improve and grow with the Heavy Handle Kit, the Add-On Plates, The Kettlebell System, and recently, the Ironmaster Training Vest, which uses the plates from the Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System. Similarly, the Super Bench Pro continues to get more versatile as more attachments and add-ons are created.
As Ironmaster continues to enhance their existing products, other companies seem too busy to move to their next creation. Take the Rogue Rhino for example. I argue that it is the best belt squat money can buy. However, the Rhino has been available for over 3 years, and nothing new has become available for the machine.
Ironmaster proves that quality home gym equipment does not need to be excessively overbuilt and incredibly expensive to be effective. I find every piece in Ironmaster's line to be great for light-commercial use and more than durable enough for home use. Further, I think the entire Ironmaster line of equipment hits the price / quality sweetspot.
If you would like to see a review for any of the pieces in the Ironmaster line, please check out my YouTube channel.