For the serious lifter and fitness enthusiast, the French Fitness FSR70 Dual Cable Smith & Half Rack System might well be a dream machine. With nearly all the capabilities of a full-blown gym, the all-in-one system can transform a garage gym into a workout center fit for a team of friends. Complete with power rack, Smith Machine, cable pulley system, and a veritable arsenal of accessories, there’s really not much one can’t do, up to bench pressing over 700 pounds.
Very comparable to the Force USA G3 and Force USA F100, the FSR70 is clearly designed to address the needs of lifters who want to lift big and heavy. And with home fitness more in vogue than ever, many of a competitive powerlifter and bodybuilder, or lifting enthusiast in general, wants something more substantive than a simple bench and barbell. With a starting price of $2,999, the FSR70 comes with more than eight different baseline functions and attachments, and an easy-to-order catalogue of upgrade options, including Olympic weights.
|Model||French Fitness FSR70|
|Max. Weight||882 lbs|
|Workout Area||85" x 75" (approx.)|
|Accessories||- chin up bar|
- leg press attachment
- stabilizer attachment
- lat pulldown seat
|Warranty||parts: 10 years labor: 1 year|
One buy really could do it all with the French Fitness FSR70, although no true lifter will stop here (we know). The biggest value of course is that one can perform any of the traditional big lifts with ease, not to mention any number of accessory lifts, simply by adding a barbell and plates to the mix. One thing that’s really nice about the French Fitness ordering site is that they do allow for upgrades on the easy-to-use format, and this does include handles, mats, and Olympic weight sets. That said, the price obviously goes up. Not for the half-hearted, this is a terrific piece for a serious home lifter, or even a commercial facility, as it reduces the amount of gym clutter by combining multiple machines into one, solid system.
- Great weight capacity (794 lbs – Smith Machine, 882 lbs – cables)
- Nearly unlimited strength training
- Relatively small size considering the machines it replaces
- Smooth action on the Smith Machine
- Designed for easy transitions between workouts
- 10-year warranty on parts, 1-year for labor
- A bit pricey
- Difficult to move once set in place
- Professional assembly costs $499
- Weights and other accessories must be purchased separately
If you’re shopping for a first-timer’s home gym with a few plates and maybe a barbell attachment, the French Fitness FSR70 is probably not for you. Consider the Bowflex Extreme 2 SE we reviewed here, which does offer a high-quality model and an entirely different concept. But, if you’re a serious lifter who’s tired of driving to a gym, and you figure that buying attachments for the rig is more fun than adding on details to a classic car, then this machine is most definitely worth a look. Or, if you’re a competitive lifter who wants to train technique for any of the big lifts at your own pace and leisure, without fellow gym-goers complaining about the 12 sets of singles you’re performing, again this model is right up your alley.
And unless your repetitions on the Big Four – Squat, Overhead, Bench, and Deadlift – are over 700 pounds, you won’t outgrow it.
Working Out on The French Fitness FSR70 Dual Cable Smith & Half Rack
A complete training system made of heavy-duty steel with a durable powder coated finish, the machine itself measures 83.75 x 70.25 x 90.2 inches. With an outer cage width of 52.7 inches, inner cage at 48.7 inches, and cable reach of 76.5 inches, the unit’s gross weight is 935 pounds. Keep in mind, that’s not including any additional plates, and the machine does offer six weight horns for plate storage on the back. Customers should expect to place this on a reinforced floor and not expect to move it about frequently.
The machine’s weight rating is 706 pounds, with a cable rating of 882 pounds, Smith Machine rating of 794 pounds, chin-up rating of 463 pounds. The cable system attaches to two 220-pound weight stacks inside, with a cable ratio of 2:1, meaning the actual feel will be more like 110 pounds on each side. Weight stack increments number 20, with about 11 pounds at each increment. Additional weights are available for purchase within the stack, but frankly, even advanced powerlifters will feel satisfied with that kind of cable resistance at their disposal. The same is true for the basic lifts available with the included Olympic barbell.
Designed to serve as a true all-in-one machine, the FSR70 easily offers:
- Smith Deep Squat
- Smith Deadlift
- Rack Pulls
- Press Squat
- Good Morning
- Triceps Extension
- Wood Chopper
- Seated Row
- Chest Presses and Flys
Optional add-ons include a leg press, Jammer Arm, bench, preacher curl attachment, and leg curl/extension attachment.
For those new to the shopping scene, a power rack is a commercial-grade cage and allows lifters to work without a spotter. Equipped with J-Hooks on the front to hold the barbell in place, the height can be adjusted so as to allow for bench press, overheads, and any other kind of lift. The rack also has two adjustable safety spotter arms, which can either help with various squatting exercises, or serve as a lifting point for rack pulls. Barbell curls, high pulls, and other motions are also easy to perform with these arms.
A fancy term for the adjustable cable rig, the functional trainer on this machine offers up to 220 pounds of weight on both sides. A variety of attachments allow for this to be used in rows, pulldowns, press downs, overheads, as well as various leg movements. This unit also comes both a chain and bars for dips, meaning one can load up with cable resistance and a belt for either dips or pull-ups. And with a chin-up weight rating of 463 pounds, even the largest of lifters can augment their bodyweight for these movements.
Most people assume the Smith Machine is primarily for squatting, but the fact is it can be used to perform negatives safely on any lift, including bench press, overhead press, Bulgarian Split Squat, and even unilateral movements like single-arm presses. But, it’s also best known for allowing lifters to squat much heavier than they would normally without the smooth sliding action. For those unfamiliar, a Smith Machine is a bar attached to a vertical slide which helps keep it in place. With safety handles flipped up or down, the machine allows lifters the added comfort of working solo.
Chin Up Station
With a weight rating of 463 pounds, the machine’s station is built to handle weighted movements. Whether a user chooses a wide, narrow, chin, or traditional grip, they can also utilize belts, chains, or vests to increase their bodyweight in what most agree is the best upper back movements. A tall ceiling is obviously key here, so shoppers should keep in mind that sufficient room is required.
Technically the core trainer is an attachment for a landmine station, but the fact is, one can perform any number of core exercises with this unit. The landmine attachment allows lifters to secure the barbell’s end into a slot and use it as an elongated lever. Landmine rotations are a favorite for folks looking to work the obliques, but the same set-up also works for one-arm presses and rows. Due to the placement on the rack, make sure to have at least 7 or 8 feet in front of the unit if this will be performed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What machines does the French Fitness FSR70 replace? At minimum, one can perform all kinds of squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, cable maneuvers, and of course pull-ups. With additional accessories, it really does become quite extensive.
- What accessories does the basic purchase include? In addition to the machine: Olympic barbell, lat pulldown bar, stick bar, safety support bar for both right and left, bicep bar, dip bars for both the left and right, J-Cups for both left and right, a landmine attachment, triceps rope, chain, low row bar, a locker, foot components, and foot rest.
- Will I still need a spotter? A spotter is always recommended of course, but the Smith Machine is specifically designed with safety in mind.
One big plus to the French Fitness system here is that they’ve already assumed customers will want to consider add-ons, and so the order form offers those choices. If the 220-pound weight stack isn’t enough, it can be upgraded to 286 pounds for $399. An assortment of benches are also available ranging in price from $299 to $899, ever bearing in mind that one can always find a bench somewhere which would fit here. The brand also offers a wide range of Olympic plate options, including bumpers, with offerings up to 460 pounds. Other attachments include the whole spectrum of handles one might find at a commercial gym. A leg press and curl/extension units are also optional.
To that extent, the machine can cost as little as $2,999, or as much as one would like. For someone who already has a garage gym full of Olympic plates and perhaps a utility bench, this could be a pretty simple transaction. French Fitness also gives buyers the option of having the machine fully assembled on-site by their team for an additional $499, definitely worth considering.
Warranty & Guarantee
The French Fitness FSR70 warranty includes:
- Parts: 10 years
- Labor: 1 year
It’s a pricey proposition for a home gym, but frankly this machine could work well in a light commercial facility. We would offer customers also consider the Force USA G3 and Force USA F100, but frankly, one really can’t go wrong here. With a solid build and all the offerings one can need, it’s difficult to imagine even an advanced powerlifter really outgrowing this unit. The advantage to having this machine as opposed to a simple cage is clearly the 220-pound weight stacks and cable system, as well as the Smith Machine.