This is the most in-depth Force USA G12 review you’ll find anywhere online on this piece of gym equipment.
The Force USA G12, formerly called the Force USA Monster G12, is one of the more premium models available in Force USA’s series of all-in-one gyms. It used to be the most premium model, but that was before the G20 and G15 came around.
|Model||Pros & Cons||Rating|
Rated 4.7 out of 5 in All-In-Ones
What makes the Force USA G12 a high-end model? A lot of things. But its three standout features are that:
- It has a selectorized weight stack pulley system as opposed to a plate-loaded system
- It has a 1:1 pulley ratio, which gives you a full 201 lbs of resistance each per weight stack (a 1:1 ratio means heavier max resistance but also larger increments; luckily you can easily achieve smaller increments by picking up a pair of weight stack adder weights)
- It has an extra-wide, reinforced frame that makes it more robust than some of the lower-priced G-Series models; plus it provides a better stretch on cable flies compared to models with narrower frames
Read on to find out about ALL of its features, specs, attachments, pros and cons. By the end of this Force USA G12 review, you’ll know if this machine is the best all-in-one gym for you.
- Force USA G3 in-depth review
- Force USA G6 in-depth review
- Force USA G9 in-depth review
- Force USA G10 in-depth review
- Force USA G15 in-depth review
- Force USA G20 in-depth review
- Force USA G3, G6, G9, G10, G12, G15 and G20 review & comparison guide
Use the table of contents below to jump to any section of the Force USA G12 review:
Table of Contents
What Comes with the Force USA G12?
The Force USA G12 is a 10-in-1 machine. You can make it a 12-in-1 machine if you get the optional G12 upgrade kit.
Here’s a high-level overview of the exercise stations that come standard:
- Power rack
- Functional trainer
- Lat pulldown station (includes leg holder attachment for the cable column)
- Low row station (includes a steel footplate attachment that goes in front of one of the cable columns and attaches to the foot of the rack)
- Smith machine
- Vertical leg press
- Chin up station
- Dip station
- Core trainer / Landmine station
- Suspension trainer
The G12 comes with the same functional trainer accessories as the G9. This includes the following items:
- Short Angled Bar
- Lat Pulldown Bar
- Nylon Stirrup Handles
- Long Straight Bar
- Triceps Rope
NOTE: I’ll provide exercise examples and show photos of each of these accessories later in this Force USA G12 review when I go in-depth on the functional trainer station.
You can expand the capabilities of the Force USA G12 by purchasing the G12 upgrade kit for $399. You’ll get these two additional exercise stations:
- Jammer arms
- Leg curl/extension attachment
Force USA G12 Dimensions
|48” (45″ between the j-hooks & safety spotters; they’re offset 1.5″ to the inside of each upright)|
|Unit Weight||950 lbs|
Force USA G12 Review: Features
The Force USA G12 is very compact when you consider all of the exercise stations contained in its design. It packs 9 different training stations into about a third of the footprint you’d need if you instead bought dedicated equipment for each station.
Being compact while delivering tons of features is a design priority for an all-in-one gym like the G12. The G12 has the smallest external depth footprint of all the G-Series, at 49″. Compare this to:
- G3 = 55” external depth
- G6 = 63” external depth
- G9 = 53” external depth
- G10 = 73” external depth
- G15 = 53” external depth
- G20 (base unit) = 67” external depth; G20 (base unit + Lat Row Station Upgrade) = 95” external depth
External depth is probably the most important footprint dimension for space efficiency. External width isn’t as important, since you’ll need a little over 7 feet of width anyway to use a barbell and the Smith machine, regardless of which model you buy.
In addition to the smaller depth footprint, you can position the Force USA G12 flush against a wall. The G15 is the only other model you can do this with; and that’s if you don’t install the optional G15 storage shelves. All the other G-Series models all require at least a few inches of clearance to fit the weights on the plate storage area, or on the plate-loaded weight bracket in the case of the G9 and G10.
This ability to position the G12 flat against a wall makes it even more compact in a practical sense compared to other models.
The Force USA G12’s space-efficient design is perfect for anyone with limited space who does NOT want to compromise on exercise selection. This includes:
- Home gym lifters with only a small room in their house, or with limited space in their garage or basement.
- Certain commercial settings, such as personal training studios, physical therapy offices and many other places I’ll discuss below.
In a lifter’s utopia, everyone would have dedicated gym equipment instead of an all-in-one gym. You get more out of dedicated equipment since it’s designed for a single purpose. Whereas, equipment companies sometimes need to make slight design compromises on all-in-one exercise stations to ensure all components fit together and function properly…
…For example, a dedicated power rack has a deeper space to squat inside, with uprights protecting you in both the front and back. In comparison, the G12’s power rack uses just the uprights in the front. Similarly, it’s easier to get into a reclined seated position on a dedicated 45-degree leg press machine compared to laying flat on the G12’s vertical leg press; plus, you can load on more weight.
However, we don’t live in a utopia. As such, there are plenty of reasons why buying separate equipment doesn’t make sense for a lot of people. Limited space, budget and convenience are the big ones — You get these 3 major benefits as a trade-off when you get an all-in-one like the Force USA G12 instead of dedicated equipment.
You still get the most important benefits and capabilities of specialized equipment. You lose out on the marginal benefits. But you also get a more space-efficient, budget-friendly and convenient solution.
Cost Saving Design
Yes, the Force USA G12 is the most expensive G-Series model. Yet it will still save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars compared to buying separate pieces of comparable quality equipment that replicate the G12’s functionality.
With a price tag of $4,499 — before the 5% discount from using code KING5 — the Force USA G12 will be out of some peoples’ budgets. However, when you pay more, you get more. Even at the higher price, you still get a lot of value out of the G12 for what you pay.
The most expensive part to manufacture on the G12 is also its most attractive feature: the two 201 lb selectorized weight stacks.
Adjusting the resistance is orders of magnitude faster than on the plate-loaded G10, G9 and G3 units.
The G12 weight stacks have almost twice as much resistance as the G6’s selectorized weight stacks (201 lbs vs 110.5 lbs of resistance per stack). They have about 40% more resistance than the selectorized weight stacks on both the G20 and G15 (201 lbs vs 142.5 lbs of resistance per stack).
Only the G20 used to have heavier resistance than the G12. But there was a partial re-design of the G20 in November 2022. The original G20 had a 1:1 ratio on the functional trainer. This provided a max of 289 lbs of resistance per stack — almost 90 lbs more than the G12! However, the new G20 design uses a 2:1 ratio, which halved the max resistance.
Notably, though, you can still get the optional G20 Lat Row Station Upgrade, which gives you a third 289 lb weight stack with a 1:1 ratio in the back of the unit designed for dedicated low rows and lat pulldowns where it’s most useful to have heavier resistance.
If you have the budget for it, then the G12 is an excellent choice if you want weight stacks with a high max resistance — You’ll love how efficient it is and you’ll enjoy its convenience every single workout.
However, if you’re on a tighter budget, the G9 or G10 will get you most of the features of the G12 (minus the selectorized stacks) but for $1,500 less. You could also pay $1,500 less and still get a selectorized weight stack system by opting for the G6 if you’re okay with a lighter max resistance.
The Force USA G12 is built for versatility. That is the point of an all-in-one gym, after all.
It has a total of 9 exercise stations that let you do some version of nearly every movement you could do in a fully outfitted commercial facility.
The only feature it lacks that detracts from its versatility is band peg holes. So you can’t do band-resisted exercises like you can on the G20, G15, G10, G6 and G3. Though, there is a DIY workaround to this, which I’ll explain later on in my Force USA G12 review.
Here’s a breakdown of the hundreds of exercises that are possible on the Force USA G12 all-in-one gym:
- The power rack gives you access to 40+ free weight barbell exercises including variations of the squat, bench press, overhead press and many other movements.
- The exercise station that puts the biggest dent in exercise selection is the functional trainer. It allows you to do an impressive 75+ cable exercises. The secret to its versatility is that you can use any hand position at any pulley height using any number of accessories — allowing you to hit any angle through an unrestricted range of motion.
- You can do a Smith machine variation of most power rack barbell movements. There are also some movements you can do only in the Smith machine. In total, you have an easy 30+ Smith machine exercises at your disposal.
- You can do 30+ exercises on the landmine / core trainer. One of the most powerful movements is the T-bar row, but there are also several core-focused movements and many landmine variations of traditional lifts (e.g. squats, deadlifts, press).
- You can do 9 basic chin up variations based solely on the various ways you can grip the handles. You can do several more chin up variations if you get creative (e.g. static holds, explosive/clapping, side-to-side, weighted, band-assisted).
- The dip station has 2 pairs of handles that let you do 2 basic dip variations (wide and narrow grip). Other dip variations are possible if you think outside the box (e.g. side-to-side, weighted, band-assisted) as well as some non-dip exercises like inverted rows and inverted shrugs.
- The suspension trainer ring is the perfect place to install your own TRX (or other anbrand) to take advantage of 80 suspension trainer exercises. A cool “off-label” use involves looping a band through the ring so you can do resistance band exercises (e.g. triceps extensions, face pulls, assisted chin ups and others).
- The vertical leg press attachment is a powerful leg training tool that lets you do 3 leg press variations: narrow, shoulder width and wide stance leg press.
Later on in this Force USA G12 review, I’ll give you many more exercise examples when I talk about each exercise station in-depth.
Build Quality & Warranty
The Force USA G12 has a stronger, wider and more durable frame than the G6 and G3. This allows it to better withstand the rigors of more demanding training environments, whether that’s in your home gym or a niche commercial setting.
The G12 (and G9) used to have the strongest frame in the G-Series product line — until the G20, G15 and G10 came around. Those newer models all have thicker 11-gauge uprights instead of 12-gauge. Nonetheless, the G12 has a sturdy frame reinforced with large gusset plates on both sides of the upper and lower crossmembers, which makes up for the thinner uprights.
To be clear, the G12 is not ideal for a high-traffic big box gym setting. This is because it is an all-in-one gym, which doesn’t make sense in that type of environment because:
- You could potentially have too many people waiting to use any one of the many stations.
- Big box gyms will already have tons of dedicated training equipment, which makes an all-in-one machine redundant and thus unnecessary.
However, the G12 is perfect for other types of commercial settings, including:
- Small local gyms or community fitness centers with limited strength training equipment
- Personal training studios
- Physical therapy practices
- Boxing/MMA gyms
- Police department gyms
- Fire station gyms
- Military base gyms
- Office gyms
- Hotel gyms
The Force USA G9 and G10 are also great for all of these commercial settings. However, the Force USA G12 has an edge because each cable column can be used independently; meaning two people can do different cable exercises at the same time. You can only use one cable column at a time on the G9.
Likewise, the Force USA G20 and G15 are excellent choices for commercial settings like these. Their cable columns can also be used independently. They’re also more feature-rich than the G12 in general. Of course, they’re both more expensive than the G12.
The G12, like all G-Series models, comes with a lifetime structural warranty, a 2 year warranty for the cables and a 90 day wear and tear warranty for attachments/accessories.
The Force USA G12 power rack is technically a “half rack” because it has just two columns in the front. It isn’t fully enclosed with another two columns in the back.
Nevertheless, you can do nearly all the same barbell exercises in a half rack as you can in a true power rack. And you get the benefit of taking up much less space in your gym area.
The Force USA G12 power rack gives you access to 40+ barbell exercises. Here are some of my favorite ones:
- Bench press
- Close grip bench press
- Incline bench press
- Decline bench press
- Floor press
- Overhead press
- Seated press
- Front squat
- Split squat
- Bulgarian split squat
- Good morning
- Power Shrug
- Rack pull
- Romanian deadlift
- Upright row
- Yates row
Note that some of the above movements require an adjustable weight bench, which is not included with the G12.
The Force USA G12 has a 992 lb weight capacity rating. This is the same as all the other Force USA G-Series models. It’s more than strong enough for you unless you’re truly an elite squatter.
The G12 has the same extra-wide power rack frame as the G9. It also shares the same j-hook and spotter arm designs. You can see just how wide the unit is in the video below — I’m using a super wide grip on bench press and I still have a lot of extra space on each side:
To be specific, the Force USA G12 power rack has a 48″ internal width, which refers to the distance between the insides of the uprights. Its external width measures 52″ from the outside of one upright to the outside of the other.
This beats out the width of the G6 by 7″; the G3, G10 and G15 by 4″; and G20 by 3.5″.
One benefit of the wider frame is that you feel a deeper pec stretch at the top of the range of motion when doing cable flyes because your arms can open up even further. It’s closer to being like a dedicated cable crossover machine, which has the cable columns spaced several feet apart.
Another big benefit of the wider power rack uprights is that it makes the entire unit more stable since the base of the frame is wider.
The distance between the j-hooks and the safety spotter arms is actually less than the distance between the uprights. The j-hooks and spotters are both spaced 45″ apart (49″ from outside to outside). This is because they’re offset 1.5 inches to the inside of each upright.
This offset design was made to ensure an Olympic bar could fit on the j-hooks and spotters. A regular Olympic barbell has a shaft that’s 51.5″ long. If the j-hooks/spotters weren’t offset, their outside to outside width would be 52″, which would mean the bar wouldn’t fit. By being offset, the outside to outside width is 49″, which leaves enough room to fit a 51.5″ bar shaft.
The Force USA G12 power rack comes with a pair of safety spotter arms. The primary function of these is to catch the barbell at the bottom of the range of motion in case you fail on squat, bench press and other exercises.
It has a protective rubber insert along the entire length of the top surface. This will protect the bar from scratches and also absorb some of the impact when you set it down or accidentally drop the weight.
The Force USA G12 spotter arms are 15 inches long, just like the ones on the G6, G9, G10, G15 and G20. If they were just a bit longer — like the G3’s 17.5” spotter arms — it would be perfect. I usually take a fairly large step back when walking the weight out since I’m used to squatting in a full power rack. If I do the same walkout on the G12, I end up with the bar just past the end of the spotters at the bottom of the range of motion…
…Of course, the solution to this is easy. You just have to do a shorter walkout. It may be slightly annoying at first because you’ll be closer to the uprights. But you’ll get used to it within a couples of sessions.
The Force USA G12 comes with a pair of j-hooks for racking and unracking the barbell on power rack exercises.
They’re the same pair of j-hooks as the ones used on the G9.
And they’re very similar to the G6, G10 and G15 j-hooks. Here are the main differences between the G12 j-hooks and these other ones:
- The G6 j-hooks have a redundant pop-pin security mechanism in the back.
- The G6, G10 and G15 j-hooks are not offset to the inside of the uprights. The G12 j-hooks are offset to the inside because the uprights are extra far apart on the G12; being offset ensures a barbell can fit on the j-hooks.
- The G10 and G15 j-hooks don’t have a protrusive bolt head sticking out on the upper portion.
Only the G3 and G20 j-hooks are markedly different than the G12 j-hooks.
The thing that stands out most when you look at the G12 j-hooks is the series of 4 holes on the bottom of each one. These are used to make micro-adjustments to the height of the pads on the lat pulldown leg holder, which is another attachment that connects to the j-hooks. I’ll talk about the leg holder later on in its own section.
The j-hooks have a protective rubber insert just like the safety spotter arms. It lays across the top surface of the lower portion of each j-hook where you rack the bar. It helps prevent scratches or dings to the bar’s finish and knurling.
One issue with the G12 j-hooks is that there’s no protective backing on the upper/rear portion. It will experience minor scratching over time and so will your bar. Nothing major, but it could’ve been avoided. This is also an issue with the j-hooks on the G6, G9, G10 and G15.
Another issue with the G12 j-hooks is the bolt head sticking out of the upper/rear portion. The G6 and G9 j-hooks also share this flaw. This poses a risk of scratching or dinging your bar if you slam the bar directly into it.
Most people won’t care about minor cosmetic damage from these j-hook issues…
…However, if you’re like me and are obsessive about keeping your barbell(s) looking as new as possible, I’d recommend putting some type of protective covering over it. Here are some easy DIY ideas if you want to do this:
- You could buy some cheap foam tape to cover it. You’d need to reapply it every so often.
- A longer-term solution would be to buy some rubber bumpers (also cheap) to cover the bolt head. You might have to use a utility knife to carve out a groove in the bumper to fit over the bolt head. This way, it would cover the bolt head and you’d be able to lay it flat against the back of the j-hook. You could add a second bumper atop the first bumper for good measure if extra padding is required.
The G3 j-hooks are better than the G12 j-hooks because they have neither of these issues:
The G20 j-hooks are even better. They are roller j-hooks so you can easily move the loaded barbell left or right to center it. Plus, it has a super tall back so you can rack it high without banging into the uprights.
While the Force USA G12 j-hooks could be better, they do serve their basic function of being able to:
- hold a heavy bar
- remain secure when installed in the uprights
Hole Spacing & Hole Accessibility
The Force USA G12 power rack has 16 holes on each upright. The holes are 1″ in diameter and are spaced 3.75″ apart center-on-center.
A NOTE ON MAX HOLE HEIGHT / HOLE ACCESSIBILITY:
The top 2 j-hook holes on the power rack uprights are inaccessible…unless you use a workaround, which I’ll explain in a second. But first, let me explain why the two holes are inaccessible under normal circumstances:
Regardless of which hole you’re using, the cable pulley needs to be above the j-hooks (or spotter arms, or dip handles). This is because the cable runs directly in front of the power rack holes, extending from the pulley up to the top of the rack. So, the cable blocks you from installing any attachments above the pulley. Usually, you can solve this problem by simply moving the pulley to a higher setting…
…But when the pulley is at its highest possible setting, the pulley itself blocks the uppermost two j-hook holes.
Now, I mentioned that there’s a workaround. I’ll explain that now:
First, set the pulleys on a low height setting. Then, move each cable slightly to the side of its upright; just enough to install the j-hooks in one of the top two holes. There will be enough slack for the cable to run along the side of the j-hook. There’ll also be enough slack for the cable to move back when you rack the barbell in the j-hook, as shown below:
I should stress that Force USA does not recommend or advertise doing this, as it could cause the cable to wear down over time from the contact with the barbell’s knurling (though, you could temper this by wrapping the cable with athletic tape around the area of contact for protection).
While this isn’t officially advised, my thinking is that you’d be okay if you only did this occasionally — For example, if you’re using the Force USA G12 in a personal training or physical therapy setting, you could get away with doing it the few times you have a client squatting who’s taller than 6’5″.
Below is a video of one of the guys at Force USA demonstrating this workaround. Note that he’s 6’4″ and using a high bar position with no weights on the bar — even at his tall stature with the bar as high on his back as possible, he still has a little trouble getting the barbell cleanly over the j-hooks. This is why I say this workaround would only be useful for squatters who are over 6’5″.
The same issue exists on the G3, G6, and G9, though just one hole is blocked on the G3.
The Force USA G12’s 3.75″ power rack hole spacing is the same as on the G9 and G6. It does not have the narrower “Westside” hole spacing that many powerlifters have come to know and love.
If you’re unfamiliar, Westside spacing consists of ⅝” diameter holes spaced 1” apart in the bench press region and 2” apart everywhere else. This allows for extremely precise j-hook and spotter arm placement on all exercises, especially bench press.
You should consider the G3, G10, G15 or G20 if Westside hole spacing is a must-have for you. They’re the only Force USA all-in-one gym models with close hole spacing. In fact, the G10, G15 and G20 all have uniform 1″ hole spacing; they don’t even have the 2″ spacing so it’s even more precise than traditional Westside spacing.
It would’ve been nice if the Force USA G12 had Westside spacing. However, its 3.75″ hole spacing is still acceptable for most lifters. You’ll be able to set the j-hooks and spotter arms at the appropriate heights for safety and performance. You just won’t get the absolute “perfect” height on every single exercise.
I consider hole spacing less than 4″ to be adequate for most use cases. Even a little more than 4″ can be okay. But you’ll quickly run into issues the further you go above that. The first issue is performance loss from an unnecessary range of motion during the unrack (e.g. unracking from a quarter-squat position). The second issue is a decrease in safety because you have to set the safeties much lower than the bottom of the range of motion to stop the bar in case of failure.
The functional trainer is the focal point of the Force USA G12 all-in-one gym. It’s the single feature that delivers the greatest amount of versatility in terms of exercise selection.
The functional trainer consists of two pulleys, each on its own column. The pulleys connect with cables to two separate weight stacks.
The pulley columns are the same as the power rack uprights. The pulley, though, does not insert into the large j-hook holes on the front of the uprights. Instead, it inserts into the smaller holes on the inside of the uprights for its height settings.
There are a total of 16 pulley height settings on each column, which is sufficient to do all the movements you need, at whichever angle you want to hit.
To compare, here’s how many height settings the other G-Series units have:
- G3 = 22 height settings
- G6 = 19 height settings
- G9 = 16 height settings
- G10 = 22 height settings
- G15 = 22 height settings
- G20 = 19 height settings
The cable is 16″ high at the lowest pulley setting and 73″ high at the top setting. All the other settings are distributed evenly throughout these min and max heights.
The pulley adjustment mechanism is designed so you can easily change the height setting with one hand. Considering how much you’ll be adjusting the pulley height, this is a nice feature to have. It makes every workout a little bit smoother and less tedious. The G20, G15, G10, G9 and G6 have the same design. The G3 has a different mechanism designed for two-hand operation.
The Force USA G12’s standout feature is its selectorized weight stacks. The G20, G15 and G6 share this feature. The G3, G9 and G10 are both plate-loaded.
No other feature will improve your workout efficiency more than selectorized weight stacks. The speed at which you can change the resistance is almost instant. You just move the pin to a different hole in the stack. Whereas, a plate-loaded machine can take 20+ seconds if you’re adding or removing a lot of weight.
The weight stack lets you very easily perform drop sets or supersets with virtually no rest between sets. It also means less moving around and handling weights between your sets. It makes you more efficient so you can focus more on actual training instead of preparing to train.
It should also be pointed out that 2 people can use the pulleys at the same since each pulley cable is connected to its own weight stack. This is super helpful if you’re ever training with a partner. You save time because you don’t have to wait for each other to finish. This is also possible on the G3, G6, G15 and G20. But it’s not possible on the Force USA G9 or G10.
Are selectorized weight stacks a “necessary” feature? No. But it is very convenient that can save you lots of time, energy and focus.
It is a premium feature. So it comes at a cost compared to a plate-loaded setup. It’s $4,499, whereas the G10 plate-loaded unit is $2,999, the G9 plate-loaded unit is also $2,999 and the G3 plate-loaded unit is $1,999.
However, if you have the budget and want the convenience and efficiency it affords, it’s worth it! You WILL love it, especially if you do a lot of bodybuilding style training where drop sets, supersets and short rest periods are essential.
Why go with the Force USA G12 vs the Force USA G6 vs the Force USA G15? They both have selectorized weight stacks, plus the G6 is a full $1,000 less expensive…
Well, the primary advantage of the Force USA G12 over the G6 or G15 is that G12 has a 1-to-1 pulley ratio. This means the amount of resistance is the same as the weight you select.
So if you put the pin in the 81 lb hole for cable curls, then you’ll be curling 81 lbs of resistance. This might seem obvious, but many pulley systems have a 2-to-1 ratio, which means the resistance is half of the amount you select.
The G6 has a 2-to-1 pulley ratio. So even though the G6’s weight stacks go up to 221 lbs, you can only get a max of 110.5 lbs of resistance from each one.
The same goes for the G10. It has a 2-to-1 pulley ratio. But notably, it also has 4-to-1 pulley ratio option.
Of course, this brings up the benefit of the G15 and G6 over the G12: You get smaller weight increments from one weight stack setting to the next. Some people find that the 10 lb increments on the G12 are too heavy for lighter exercises or weaker lifters; it makes progression more difficult. Whereas ,you get more manageable 5 lb increments on the G6; and 5 lb or 2.5 lb increments on the G15.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution for getting smaller increments on the G12 weight stacks: buy a couple of 5 lb add-on weights designed specifically for this purpose. You simply place them on top of each weight stack when you need to achieve a smaller increment. Remove them when you don’t need them. It’s fast, easy and effective.
The Force USA G12 has two 201 lb weight stacks. Thanks to the 1-to-1 pulley ratio, you can get the full 201 lbs of resistance from each stack (up to 402 lbs on double pulley exercises!). That’s plenty of resistance even for very strong lifters.
If you do want heavier weight stacks, though, you should look at the G20. It offers an optional Lat Row Station Upgrade. This upgrade gives you a third 289 lb weight stack, but with a 1-to-1 pulley ratio instead of the 2-to-1 ratio on the G20 functional trainer. It’s designed for doing low rows and lat pulldowns, which are two major cable exercises that require the most resistance.
If you’re advanced, you may need a little extra weight for a bigger movement like cable rows — in which case you can simply do a double pulley version of the movement to take advantage of the second weight stack, or you can buy some 5 lb weight stack add-on plates. But again, most people will never max out this weight stack on any exercise.
So, what does the functional trainer experience feel like? One word: SMOOTH.
It’s the same smoothness as on the G20, G15, G10, G9 and G6 because they all use a track constructed with two cylindrical solid steel rods.
It is smoother than the G3 because the weights on the G3 slide on a track made of a single large steel square tube. The G3 is still relatively smooth, just not as smooth as the G12 and the other models.
Basically, the Force USA G12 functional trainer’s smoothness is comparable to that of the pulley units you’ll find in big commercial gyms. You won’t be disappointed.
The Force USA G12 functional trainer comes standard with the following cable accessories (click the images below to enlarge them to their full size):
- Short Angled Bar: This handle is perfect for several cable exercises like biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, underhand rows, overhand rows, upright rows, upright rows and forearm curls.
- Lat Pulldown Bar: The main use for this popular cable accessory is lat pulldowns (duh!). This includes wide grip lat pulldowns as well as medium grip lat pulldowns (both underhand and overhand). However, this bar has other uses, too, including wide grip cable rows, medium grip overhand cable rows, medium grip underhand cable rows, biceps curls, upright rows, rear delt rows, shrugs, straight-arm pulldowns and more.
- Nylon Stirrup Handles: These stirrup handles give you more exercise options than any other cable accessory because they allow for complete freedom of hand/wrist position. You can use them for unilateral or bilateral movements. Some of the most popular cable exercises you can do with stirrup handles include: standing chest flyes (low to high, high to low and parallel to the floor), lying chest flyes, reverse flyes, lateral raises, one arm rows, one arm presses, bench press, shoulder press, lunges, concentration curls, unilateral underhand triceps extensions, shrugs, and unilateral or bilateral lat pulldowns.
- Long Straight Bar: I love this bar. It has a nice grippy rubber coating and a thick diameter, which makes it comfortable to hold for many cable exercises. It attaches to both pulleys so it’s designed for double pulley cable movements (which you can use up to 402 lbs on) such as squats, split squats, lunges, RDLs, bench press, overhead press, standing chest press, biceps curls, triceps pressdowns, standing rows and seated rows. You can attach it to just one pulley and use it for rotational core movements.
- Triceps Rope: This is your go-to accessory for triceps pushdowns. It’s also excellent for some other cable movements like overhead triceps extensions, cable crunches, hammer curls, upright rows and face pulls.
These are the same accessories included with the G9. They will cover you for most if not all of the cable movements you want to do.
That said, there are only 5 cable accessories total included. This is fewer than the number of accessories included with the G3, G6, G10, G15 and G20.
It would’ve been nice to have a couple more accessories included with the Force USA G12. I personally would’ve liked it if they included a close grip handle, which is great for seated cable rows and close grip lat pulldowns.
The good news is that it’s easy to find lots of quality well-priced cable accessories on Amazon if you feel like you need another type of handle. Though, many people will be perfectly satisfied with just the included accessories.
Lat Pulldown Station
The Force USA G12 comes with a leg holder attachment for lat pulldowns. The purpose is to keep your thighs locked firmly in place so your butt doesn’t lift during lat pulldowns.
The attachment consists of a steel bracket with 2 roller pads on the end. Both pads are covered in commercial-grade vinyl fabric for long-term durability.
You can install the attachment on either of the j-hooks. You insert a pin through the leg holder bracket, then through the j-hook and out the other side. Then there is a pop-pin that you insert into one of the 4 micro-adjustment holes on the base of the j-hook. These holes let you increase or decrease the pad height slightly to get a perfect fit against your thighs.
The Force USA G12 lat pulldown leg holder attachment is designed to be used with a weight bench as the seat. This is different than the G3’s optional lat pulldown leg holder attachment, which combines a seat and leg holder into one piece of equipment.
This is convenient, but the seat does flex slightly when using momentum. I prefer the Force USA G12 leg holder since you feel completely stable when you’re sitting on a weight bench.
Low Row Station
Until November 2022, the Force USA G12 didn’t have an included low row footplate. If you wanted to do low rows on the G12 before this, you’d have to use the lat pulldown leg holder pad as a makeshift footplate, as shown below:
But now, the G12 comes standard with a dedicated steel footplate attachment.
It installs on the base of the rack in front of the cable column and gives you the perfect place to plant your feet when doing low rows on the functional trainer.
It’s stable so your feet won’t wobble during cable rows. You’ll be able to focus more on the exercise and less on stabilizing your feet and core.
It features a “diamond plate” pattern in the steel, so that your shoes have some texture to grip onto. No worries about slipping here.
The attachment is easily removable so you can move it out of the way when you need the space for other exercises.
The footplate is angled slightly back, which puts your ankles in a natural position. It would be cool if it had adjustable angle settings like the footplates that come with the G10 and G15. However, the default angle of the G12 footplate will work well for almost everyone.
The middle of the footplate features a cut-out portion, which prevents the cable from rubbing against it during rows. Plus, it provides an accessible location to prop the cable attachment while you’re resting.
Doing low rows on the G12 is where you’ll really appreciate the 1:1 pulley ratio. Cable rows are one of the heavier cable exercises you’ll do on this machine (along with lat pulldowns). As such, you don’t want to run out of weight. With the 1:1 ratio, you’ll get access to the max weight stack resistance of 201 lbs. That’s more than most lifters will need.
If you’re quite strong and end up needing more weight, I recommend investing in a weight stack adapter pin like the Gym Pin or the BSE Stacked Weight Pin. Both of these pins are compatible with the G12 and allow you to add Olympic weight plates to the weight stack.
The cable motion on low rows is very smooth; just as smooth as with all other cable movements on the G12’s functional trainer. That’s the case whether you’re using 10 lbs or the full stack.
The Force USA G12 Smith machine lets you do a version of just about every barbell exercise you can do in the power rack. Plus, there are a few exercises you can do only in the Smith machine.
The Smith machine has gotten a bad rap as being an ineffective machine because it’s a bar on a fixed track — It’s a common “gym bro” belief. But it’s wrong…
…While some exercises are best done with a free weight barbell instead of a Smith machine, there are tons of great exercises that you can do on a Smith machine safely and effectively. Here are some examples:
- Smith machine front squat (not back squats)
- Smith machine hack squat (different foot position than regular back squats)
- Smith machine split squat
- Smith machine Bulgarian split squat
- Smith machine flat bench press
- Smith machine shrug
- Smith machine power shrug
- Smith machine RDL
- Smith machine single leg RDL
- Smith machine rear delt row
- Smith machine one arm row
- Smith machine inverted row
- Smith machine standing calf raise
- Smith machine seated calf raise
- Smith machine glute bridge
- Smith machine hip thrust
- Smith machine glute kickback
- Smith machine biceps drag curl
There are also A LOT of “booty” exercises that can be done on the Smith machine. I named a few in the list above, but there are many more creative ones you can find just by searching “smith machine” on Pinterest. This is why the Smith machine is a favorite of many female lifters, and why the G12 is an attractive piece of equipment if it will be used by a woman — whether that’s you, your wife, your personal training clients or your gym members.
Note that you can’t do Smith machine incline bench press because of the small amount of internal depth inside the G12. The lack of space is a result of the compact footprint. You simply don’t have enough room to put the bench far enough back in the incline position. The G9 also has this issue. It is not an issue on the G3, G6, G10, G15 and G20, which have more internal depth. As a workaround, you can do incline bench press on the functional trainer using the long straight bar.
While incline Smith press is not possible in the G12, you can do Smith machine flat bench press.
The Force USA G12 Smith machine has a 770 lb weight capacity rating, as do all the other Force USA all-in-one gym models. Virtually nobody needs a higher weight capacity than this for Smith machine exercises.
The G12 Smith machine bar has 12″ long sleeves, which is the same as all the other G-Series models.
It would be ideal to have a little bit more length on these, just because some people may only have the super thick “crumb” bumper plates. Those people will only be able to fit six 45 lb plates on the entire bar, or 270 lbs total. However, most people will have thinner bumper plates or regular thin cast iron plates, in which case they can load on more than enough weight.
The G12 has the same style of Smith machine safety catches that are on the G20, G9 and G6 Smith machines. It’s a steel mechanism that you can slide up and down the Smith machine track. It has a long steel strip that you rotate and place on top of any of the chrome pegs on the adjacent column. It prevents the Smith bar from going any further down.
The G10 and G15 Smith machine safety catches are very similar, except they also have a compression spring to reduce the impact when you set the Smith bar onto the catches.
The idea is to position the safety catches at or just below the bottom of the range of motion for any Smith machine exercise where you could possibly get stuck under the bar if you failed. I advise using it even if you’re using a weight you can easily handle. It’s just a good safety practice to make into a habit.
The G12’s Smith machine action is extremely smooth thanks to its linear bearing design. The up-and-down gliding motion feels frictionless, with or without weight. It’s just as smooth as the Smith machines on the G20, G15, G10, G9 and G6. However, it’s notably smoother than the G3 Smith machine, which has a bit of drag because it uses a less sophisticated wheel and ball bearing system.
A standout feature of the Force USA G12 (and G9, G10 and G15) is that it has a counterbalanced Smith machine. There is a mechanism that reduces the Smith bar weight so that it’s 0 lbs when the bar is empty. In comparison, the non-counterbalanced Smith machines on the G20, G6 and G3 weigh 45 lbs when the bar is empty.
You can see the counterbalanced bar in action in the following clip:
This feature lets you do exercises with very light weight. If you’re healthy and somewhat in shape, you’ll probably never need to do a Smith machine exercise with less than 45 lbs.
However, if you’re getting the G12 for a personal training studio or physical therapy practice, this can be very helpful. You may need extra light resistance if you’re training out-of-shape beginners or individuals undergoing rehab.
Vertical Leg Press
The Force USA G12 vertical leg press attachment provides a powerful way to overload your quads, hamstrings and glutes. The quality and ease of operation of the vertical leg press make it one of my favorite stations on the Force USA G12.
Many people are not used to vertical leg pressing. It can feel awkward to have to lay flat on your back to get in position if you’ve never done this exercise before. However, the vertical leg press has a key advantage over the traditional 45-degree leg press: You get a comparable leg workout without having to use as much weight. This means:
- It’s quicker to load on the weight
- You don’t need as many weight plates in your gym (which means more money and space savings)
The G12 leg press plate uses the same design as the G20, G15, G10, G9 and G6 plates. It installs onto the Smith machine barbell via a pop-pin on each end of the attachment. The pop-pins snap cleanly into the holes on the Smith machine hooks at the end of the Smith bar. There is no discernible amount of play in the connections. To uninstall it, you simply both pop-pins out.
Note that you can use the vertical leg press by either laying on a flat bench OR on the floor. Laying on a bench is far more comfortable because it’s cushioned. If you use the floor, you may want to put down a couple of yoga mats or a thick exercise mat.
The action of the leg press plate is very smooth. You can see the vertical leg press attachment in action in the video below:
I’ll also include a better quality clip of me using the G9’s vertical leg press attachment, which is exactly the same as the one on the G12:
You can use the Smith machine safety catches while leg pressing. This ensures you won’t get pinned if you fail. To use them, simply set them at or just below the bottom of your range of motion.
I recommend using these safety catches for every single leg press set, even when you’re using light weight. It’s a good habit to develop so you don’t forget to set the safeties the one time you accidentally use too much weight or attempt one too many reps.
The Force USA G12 leg press plate differs markedly from the Force USA G3 leg press plate. Here are the key distinctions:
- The G12 plate has a more angular shape, whereas the G3 plate is more of a rectangle.
- The installation mechanism is different. The G3 plate installs with two lock pins that must be manually inserted through holes in the center of the Smith bar. It’s effective and safe but is less efficient than the G12 plate’s pop-pin installation. Plus, there’s a slight amount of play in the connection on the G3 (though it feels very stable when you’re leg pressing).
- The G12 plate comes standard whereas the G3 plate is sold separately.
- Leg pressing on the G12 feels smoother. This doesn’t have to do with differences in the actual leg press attachments. Rather, it’s because the G12 Smith machine has a smoother action than the G3 Smith machine.
- The G3 plate is 29″ wide, which is a half-inch narrower than the G12 plate. In practice, this is a negligible difference.
- The G3 has a spotter rail system. You rotate the rails in or out to rack or unrack the leg press plate.
- You can optionally lock the G3 plate in place so it stays completely parallel to the floor. This is possible because the G3 has pins you can insert through the Smith bar hooks and the gliding mechanism, thus preventing the Smith bar from rotating. This isn’t possible on the G12 because it has a different Smith machine design (which is superior to the G3’s in other ways).
The Force USA G12 dip station attachment consists of two pieces. You install them just like you’d install a pair of j-hooks: One goes on each power rack upright at the same height.
The dip station gives you 2 sets of handles, which give you 2 different grip widths to choose from:
- A narrower 21″ grip width: This is better for doing closer grip dips that target the triceps; and/or for lifters with narrower frames.
- A wider 27.5″ grip width: This is better for doing wider grip dips that target the chest; and/or for lifters with wider frames.
Each handle is rubber coated and 30mm (1-3/16″) thick. This gives you a comfortable and slip-free grip experience. The diameter is not so narrow that it feels like it’s pressing into the meat of your hand. Yet, it’s not so thick that you can’t give it a good squeeze, which I find can boost overall power on dips.
I like that the G12 dip station is installed on both uprights because it positions you over the midline of the unit. Compare this to a Y-dip bar style of attachment, which installs on a single upright and is common on most traditional power racks — The G12 dip station is better in these ways:
- It’s a more stable setup since you’re over the middle of the unit, which is its center of balance.
- You can lean forward as far as you want without any possibility of hitting an upright.
- You can face forward or backward. Nothing will be in the way of your feet or head.
Wide and close grip dips aren’t the only exercises you can do on the Force USA G12 dip station. There are several others, some of which aren’t even dip-related movements:
- Scap dips
- Inverted rows
- Inverted shrugs
- Incline push ups
- Band-assisted dips
- And many other unique dip variations
Chin Up Station
The Force USA G12 comes with a multi-grip chin up station that consists of:
- Two oblique bars
- Four short bars that are parallel to each other
- Two longer straight bars that are perpendicular to the short bars; both of these bars angle downward at their ends
All of these bar segments allow you to use many different grip positions. At a minimum, you’ll be able to do the following chin up variations:
- Close pronated grip chin ups
- Close supinated grip chin ups
- Close semi-pronated grip chin ups (with a diagonal & straight bar segment)
- Close neutral grip chin ups
- Normal width pronated grip chin ups
- Normal width supinated grip chin ups
- Normal width semi-supinated grip chin ups
- Wide pronated grip chin ups
- Wide neutral grip chin ups
Here’s me demonstrating a few of these chin up variations:
The list above includes just the basic chin up variations that are possible on the Force USA G12. There are other less conventional chin up variations you can do as well.
The angled wide grip portions of the chin up bar are rubber coated to enhance grip and comfort — They’re 38mm (1.5″) thick while the bare steel portions are 33mm (1.3″) thick.
The style of the chin up station on the G12 is the same as on the G6, G9, G10 and G15. It’s also the same as on the front of the G20 (there’s also a globe-grip style chin up bar on one side of the G20).
The G12 chin up station differs from the G3’s “Monkey style” chin up station, but it’s primarily a visual/stylistic difference:
Functionally, both the G3 and G12 chin up bars let you do most of the same chin up variations — except you can do close grip neutral grip chin ups on the G12, but not on the G3.
One detail that the G3 chin up station has that the G12 lacks is knurling on some of its segments for additional grip. It would’ve been nice if the G12 had knurling, too. But that’s more of a personal preference because the powder coated steel on the G12’s chin up bar will provide enough grip in most situations. If you ever feel you don’t have sufficient grip, you can use lifting chalk, which should always be in your arsenal of gym tools.
Landmine / Core Trainer
The Force USA G12 landmine / core trainer station has the following components:
- Landmine attachment: The landmine consists of a steel sleeve that’s designed to hold one end of your Olympic barbell (there’s also a second sleeve on top that can hold a 1″ diameter standard-sized bar). The landmine is permanently fixed to the base of the power rack. You can install it on the inside or outside of the rack — with the outside being preferable since it’s out of the way. It has a swivel joint, which lets you move the opposite end of the barbell in any direction.
- Dual-grip handle attachment: The handle is designed for T-bar rows, which is a powerful back building exercise and one of the most popular landmine exercises. The handle slides onto the opposite barbell sleeve. You secure it by putting the weights on after it. The handle is hinged so you can rotate it up or down. It has two sets of grip positions: a straight set for overhand rows and a parallel set for neutral grip rows.
The landmine / core trainer station delivers a disproportionate number of exercises relative to its size. Many of the movements are core-focused. There are also plenty of landmine movements that target other muscle parts. Here are some example exercises:
- Overhand T-bar row
- Neutral grip T-bar row
- Landmine single arm row
- Landmine standing shrugs
- Landmine bent over shrugs
- Landmine rotation
- Landmine crunch
- Landmine press
- Landmine half-kneeling press
- Landmine front squat
- Landmine hack squat
- Landmine overhead squat
- Landmine split squat
- Landmine Romanian deadlift
- Landmine single leg Romanian deadlift
Suspension Trainer Ring
The suspension trainer ring gives you an easy way to further expand the exercise possibilities on the Force USA G12.
It provides a fast and convenient way to install a suspension trainer like the TRX (or even a pair of gymnastic rings). You can clip the suspension trainer’s carabiner directly onto the ring, or you can loop its extension strap through it. NOTE: You will need your own suspension trainer since one is not included with the Force USA G12.
The ring also ensures that your suspension trainer setup is:
- Safe: The suspension trainer ring is a U-bolt that’s installed through the G12’s upper crossbeam. The “U” part of the U-bolt is what you see on the underside of the crossbeam. What you don’t see is the heavy duty hardware securing the U-bolt on top of the crossbeam. The strength of the crossbeam and the hardware ensures the ring can safely support your body weight and then some.
- Secure: You don’t have to worry about the suspension trainer sliding around since it will be contained within the confines of the ring. Whereas, sliding would be a concern if you attached it around a straight bar or beam.
Here’s a sample of the 80+ suspension trainer exercises you can do, including some of my personal favorites:
- Suspension trainer chest fly
- Suspension trainer inverted row
- Suspension trainer inverted shrug
- Suspension trainer biceps curl
- Suspension trainer chest dip (legs behind you, off the floor)
- Suspension trainer triceps dip (legs in front of you, on the floor)
- Suspension trainer triceps extension
- Suspension trainer reverse fly
- Suspension trainer Bulgarian split squat
- Suspension trainer hamstring curl
- Suspension trainer plank
- Suspension trainer mountain climbers
The suspension trainer ring is NOT just for hanging a suspension trainer. You can also loop a resistance band through it for band exercises such as:
- Band triceps pulldown
- Band lat pulldown
- Band straight arm pulldown
- Band high-to-low row
- Band face pull
- Band high-to-low woodchop
- Band-assisted dips/pull ups (performed by stepping into the bottom loop of the band to effectively reduce your body weight)
The November 2022 release of the G12 upgrade kit introduces a new level of versatility to your workout routine, with the inclusion of jammer arms that allow for the execution of lever-style exercises directly on the G12 power rack.
These versatile arms have been a highly sought-after feature on the G-Series models, with the G10 and G15 being the only models that initially had them. However, the G12 now joins the ranks with its own set of jammer arms (as have all other models). This development is a welcome upgrade for existing G12 users as well as new buyers.
The G12 jammer arms use a j-hook installation mechanism. After putting them on the power rack uprights, there’s a secondary pin that you inserts through the jammer arm bracket on the outside of the upright. This keeps the arms from moving on the uprights around during use.
This is bit different than the jammer arms on the G3, G10, G15 and G20, which don’t install like a j-hook. Rather, they have two pins that insert through two different holes in the power rack uprights. One of these pins is threaded so that you can secure to the rack with a star knob.
The jammer arms offer a budget-friendly solution for those looking to emulate machine exercises in their home gym.
You can achieve just about any angle needed to target a desired muscle and perform a certain movement. You just need to modify these variables to find the right setup:
- Adjust the height of the jammer arms
- Position them either against the uprights or prop them on the uprights so they’re extended straight out in the starting position
- Position your body as needed — whether that’s sitting or laying on an adjustable bench, standing, floor-seated or kneeling.
Jammer arms are best used for bodybuilding-style training, in my opinion. There is no need to stabilize the load because the arm is moving along a fixed path. So you can concentrate 100% on the specific muscle or muscle group that you’re targeting.
However, that’s not the only use training case for jammer arms. While it’s not my style, some lifters — usually athletes — use them for training power and explosiveness by moving light weight at a maximum velocity on exercises like the push press.
While I can’t give you a complete listing of all the jammer arm exercise possibilities on the G9, here’s a few examples:
- Jammer Arm Single-Leg RDL
- Jammer Arm Standing Calf Raise
- Jammer Arm Incline Press
- Jammer Arm Seated Shoulder Press
- Jammer Arm Chest-Supported Row
- Jammer Arm Bent Over Row
The jammer arms have a ~30 degree bend in them. This is one of their distinctive features compared to most others jammer arms on the market. It makes it easier to prop the jammer arms up on the spotter arms so that they start from a fully extended position. This is helpful for perform movements where you need the load to be directly above you at the start of the exercise (e.g. flat bench press or seated shoulder press).
Importantly, there are two protective rubber stoppers on either side of the bend on each jammer arm. These stoppers provide cushion between the jammer arm and whatever surface it’s touching, whether that’s the spotter arm or the power rack upright.
The jammer arms have a comfy, secure grip thanks to their rubber-coated handles.
The handles have a distinctive U-shape. This shape creates a neutral grip segment and two straight grip segments on each jammer arm. This gives you a good variety of hand positioning and leverage options.
You have the choice of a more shoulder-friendly grip with the neutral grip.
The weight feels heavier when you lift using the straight grip handle segment nearest to the power rack. The weight feels lighter when using the straight grip that’s further away. One time-saving technique is to use the lighter-feeling straight grip first as a warm; then use the heavier-feeling straight grip for your working sets.
There is a 12′′ weight horn for loading plates on each jammer arm. That’s more than enough room for virtually any lifter.
Since the G12 lacks band peg holes in the base of the rack, you can’t add band resistance to jammer arms. That is, unless you get creative and find a different way to anchor the band.
When you buy the G12 upgrade kit, you don’t just get the jammer arms — you also get a pretty cool leg curl/extension attachment.
All of the G-Series models now have this new attachment. They all use virtually the exact same design. The only difference is that the attachments for the G12, G9 and G6 are designed to fit into 1″ power rack holes. Whereas, the attachments for the G20, G15, G10 and G3 are designed to fit in 5/8″ holes.
The G12 leg curl/extension attachment is constructed as follows:
- A frame that mounts onto the power rack upright
- A lever that’s attached to the frame
- A weight horn extending straight out from the bottom of the lever
- Two upholstered high-density foam roller pads: the top roller is connected to the frame and is removable; the bottom roller is connected to the end of the lever
- A pop-pin mechanism for adjusting the height of the bottom roller as needed for the user’s leg length
This attachment installs easily on the power rack upright. It mounts similar to a j-hook.
The frame bracket wraps around the power upright from opposite sides. Then it’s locked in place by inserting a pin through the lower part of bracket along the edge of the upright. This ensures it’ll stay securely in place when you’re using it.
It’s a plate-loaded attachment. The weight horn is located at the bottom of the lever and extends forward. Simply slide weight plates onto the horn to achieve your desired resistance. One minor design detail worth nothing is that the horn is tilted slightly upwards to prevent plates from sliding off the end.
You can do these 3 leg exercises with this attachment:
- Seated Leg Extensions: You must sit on a weight bench for this exercise. top roller is at roughly the same height as the bench. Single-leg leg extensions will give you a more balanced workout. You can definitely do bilateral (both legs) leg extensions you may notice the resistance varies between your left and right leg since the weight is loaded to the side of the roller.
- Single-leg Standing Leg Curls: You can only do standing leg curls on this attachment. And since you’re standing, that means you can only use one leg at a time. While training each leg separately make take a bit longer, you do get a balanced workout since you don’t have to worry about your stronger leg compensating for your weaker leg.
- Hip Thrusts: Hip thrusts are possible on this attachment if you remove the top roller, which is easy to do. You’ll also need a bench in place for your back and you’ll need to get your hips under the bottom roller pad. This setup works well to a point — that is, until you’re strong enough to max out the weight horn. Eventually, you’ll need to graduate to barbell hip thrusts; though even then, this is still a viable technique for warmups and/or glute activations.
The cable accessory storage area is located on the rear panel inside the Force USA G12.
There are 4 storage hooks on the panel. This provides enough space to fit all the included accessories, except for the long straight bar, which you’ll have to prop up against the panel since it’s too long to hang on one of the hooks.
You’ll also be able to fit any other cable accessories you may own on these hooks since you can fit multiple accessories on a hook. Still, I would’ve liked it if there were one or two more storage hooks so you could spread things out more.
The rear panel is not just the storage area. It also displays a large exercise diagram showing 37 movements — most of which are done on the functional trainer.
The exercise diagram is particularly useful for anyone using Force USA G12 who’s not very familiar with the capabilities of a functional trainer. This could include you, a training partner, a family member, personal training clients or people using it in a facility.
The Force USA G12 chart shows the same 37 exercises that the G6 displays on its accessory storage board. In comparison, the G20 displays 42 exercises, the G10 and G15 both show 52 exercises, the G9 displays 35 exercises and the G3 displays none.
Weight Plate Storage
There is a dedicated weight storage area in the rear of the Force USA G12. It consists of 6 total plate holders, with 3 on the left side and 3 on the right. This gives the vast majority of users more than enough space to store all their weights.
Each weight storage holder is 8 inches long. The number of plates you can fit on the pegs depends on the type of plates you have:
- If you have basic cast iron plates, you can fit four 45 lb plates on each holder
- If you have competition bumpers, you can fit three 55 lb plates or four 45 lb plates on each holder
- If you have super thick hi-temp bumpers, you can fit two 45 lb plates per holder
Having 6 plate holders is enough to organize your plates by weight: 45s on the bottom, 35s on the middle, and 25s and under on the top — or a similar configuration.
It’s so much easier to add and remove plates from the bar or pulley when your plates are stored in an accessible way. Your workouts become more efficient and you have more time to rest between sets.
A great but not-so-obvious feature of the weight plate holder pegs is that they’re angled ~30-40 degrees forward. The benefit of this is that it saves space because the unit can sit flush against a wall. If the weight holders were pointed straight out to the sides, the unit would have to be several inches away from the wall so the plates could fit.
Another side benefit of this angled weight holder setup is that puts the plates a little bit closer to the Smith machine. This makes the transfer of plates from bar to peg (and vice versa) more efficient.
The outer part of the plate holder can be removed to reveal a narrower 1” diameter peg that fits standard-sized weight plates. This is a neat feature if you have a bunch of standard plates in your gym, though most people will have Olympic plates only.
The Force USA G12 has vertical barbell storage on one side of the rack, toward the rear. This provides a convenient spot to store your barbell when not in use.
There is a holder for an Olympic barbell (~2” sleeve diameter) and a standard barbell (1” sleeve diameter).
You need additional ceiling clearance above the max height of the Force USA G12 to store a full-sized Olympic bar. As long as your ceiling is at least 7’11” tall, you’ll be able to store your bar here. This accounts for the extra distance you need to lift the bar into and out of the storage sleeve.
If your ceiling is too short, you can always buy a wall-mounted storage solution like this vertical storage hook or this horizontal storage rack. Or you can simply store the bar on the j-hooks when you’re finished training.
Olympic AND Standard Compatibility
As mentioned in the sections above, ALL aspects of the Force USA G12 are compatible with both Olympic and standard bars and plates, including:
- Barbell storage
- Plate storage
- Smith machine
- Landmine attachment
Most people won’t ever use this feature. However, there are plenty of home gym owners who have a ton of standard plates to go along with their standard spinlock dumbbells and/or barbell set.
Missing Features on the Force USA G12
Band Peg Holes
Like the G9, the G12 has no band peg holes. You won’t be able to perform band squats, band bench or other band-resisted barbell movements. You also won’t be able to add band resistance to the Smith machine or pulley weights.
If that’s something you really want to do, you should go with the G20, G6 or G3, all of which have band peg holes along their base…
…But what if you love everything else about the G12, and just wish you could do band work on it?
Well, don’t give up on your dream of owning the Force USA G12 just yet.
There is a DIY workaround for getting band pegs: You can install a set of mountable band pegs outside of the G12. You’d simply bolt them into your into your concrete floor or your lifting platform if you have one. This is a surprisingly affordable option and an easy DIY project if you have some basic handyman skills.
You can’t bolt the Force USA G12 to the floor.
But luckily, there’s no real need to do so because:
- The Force USA G12 is a behemoth of a machine, as is. It feels rock-solid even without any weight plates on it. This is because it has a significantly wider frame than the residential models and a whopping 402 lbs of selectorized plates built into it — for a total unit weight of 950 lbs!
- It doesn’t have any band pegs on the base of the unit. So you won’t be doing any heavy band squats, which would require more stability to keep the band tension from potentially shifting the unit around.
It should be pointed out that the G12 may appear to be a bolt-down unit because there are holes in the feet:
However, I checked with Force USA and they confirmed these are not designed for bolting down. They don’t recommend trying to use them for that because:
- The hole diameter wouldn’t fit a 5/8″ bolt, which is the typical size needed for safely bolting down a rack.
- The feet plates with the holes in them aren’t welded to the frame (meaning they’d be a weak point).
- There are no holes on the rear of the rack; only on the two front feet.
I would’ve said it might be okay to put smaller bolts through these holes if you were doing it only to prevent shifting over time (as opposed to for safety/stability reasons) — But even that would be pointless since the unit weights nearly 1000 lbs before you add any weights on. It’s just not gonna budge from regular use.
Force USA Training App
For those owning the Force USA G12 with its plethora of exercise options, a common query is: “Am I maximizing its capabilities?”
Sometimes, people are just overwhelmed by all of the options and don’t know where to start.
The Force USA Training App aims to address these issues.
After testing this app, I was impressed by its features and how intuitive it is. While many brands churn out apps that seem cookie-cutter, this one demonstrates a genuine understanding of the user’s needs.
Here’s what it brings to the table:
- Workout Program Library: The app comes packed with a diverse range of workout plans, catering to various goals and experience levels. Force USA has made it clear they’ll be regularly updating with fresh content, ensuring a robust selection of workout programs.
- How-To Exercise Videos: A comprehensive and expanding collection of videos provides guidance on both common and more obscure exercises you can execute on an all-in-one trainer.
- Track Your Progress: The app keeps logs of every workout, making your historical data accessible for future reference. Using this data, the app highlights your peak performances for different exercises. The “Program Pyramid” feature on the main screen offers a quick visual gauge of your adherence to your chosen program.
- User-Friendly Interface: The app’s design is intuitive, making it easy for users to navigate and find what they’re looking for.
- Workout Flow: When you start your workout, the app guides you through each set to keep you on track. As you complete a set or move to the next exercise, a simple tap advances the flow. You can adjust weights and reps for each set as needed.
- Rest Timer: Incorporated into the workout flow, the timer prompts rest intervals between sets. It activates automatically after you tap the button to complete each set, ensuring consistent rest periods. It’s a great tool to minimize the likelihood of wasting time.
There is a limitation to the app worth noting — It doesn’t support adding your own custom workout. So, if you’ve got a specific routine in mind, this isn’t the right tool.
I delved into the app to familiarize myself with its offerings. Though I personally will be sticking to logging my own custom workouts into Google Sheets, I believe this app can be a valuable resource for others who own the G12 (or any other G-Series/X-Series unit) — especially if they’re relatively new to the fitness scene.
Even if you don’t have a G-Series or X-Series unit, you can still use this app as long as you have similar gym equipment at your disposal.
The Force USA G12 is sold only through ForceUSA.com in the United States. It ships to the 48 contiguous United States. The shipping cost is $349, which is quite reasonable considering the size and weight of the Force USA G12 package.
The unit ships in 2 wood boxes. The first is a larger, coffin-like box weighing 500+ pounds. The second is smaller but houses the two stacks so it’s a little over 400 pounds.
It ships via freight and will arrive packaged on a pallet. Freight shipping brings down the shipping cost and reduces the likelihood of damage compared to traditional parcel ground shipping (i.e. UPS, FedEx). The freight company will call ahead of time to schedule the delivery date and time. Be sure to inspect for any obvious damage before signing upon delivery.
Shipping to Australia
Even though my review is geared toward American customers who buy from ForceUSA.com, the Force USA G12 is also sold in other countries. This includes Australia where the Force USA brand is very popular.
After receiving questions from many readers in Australia regarding the Force USA G12 and the other G-Series model, I got in touch with Gym and Fitness, the largest Australian retailer of Force USA products…
…They hooked me up with a discount code for my Australian readers that matches the one I have for my US readers. So if you’re an Aussie, be sure to use code KING5 at checkout on GymAndFitness.com.au for 5% off.
When it comes to shipping from Gym and Fitness, note the following:
- The average shipping cost varies from around $130 to $480 for all of the G-Series units (not only the G12). The region you’re shipping to plays a major role in the actual shipping cost. The regions, from least expensive to most, rank as follows: QLD, ACT, NSW, SA, VIC, NT, TAS.
- PRO TIP: You can get FREE shipping if you sign up for their loyalty program unless you’re shipping to the Northern Territory, Western Australia or Tasmania.
- If you need flooring for your home gym, I recommend getting some VersaFit rubber gym mats with your order. Combining this with your G12 purchase will help you save more on shipping.
Shipping to Canada
Force USA recently launched ForceUSA.ca to serve the Canadian market. This is the only place for Canadian customers to purchase the G12 or any of the other G-Series models.
My KING5 coupon code also works for the Canadian site.
Shipping to the Middle East
For anyone living in the Gulf region, your go-to retailer for the G12 will be either Garner Fitness Supplies (Garner.ae) or Alqudra Sports Equipment (Alqudra.sa). You can use my KING5 code at either site to save 5% on your order.
Both retailers have the same parent company and there is some overlap in their shipping territories. Specifically, Garner is based in the UAE and ships to the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia (if needed). Whereas, Alqudra is located in Saudi Arabia and can ship throughout Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE (if needed).
Who Is the Force USA G12 Best for?
The Force USA G12 has a few different use cases. I want to use this part of my Force USA G12 review to discuss these applications.
The first use is for physical therapy practices or personal training studios. Here’s why:
- It can take the daily wear and tear it would receive in a PT clinic or personal training studio.
- It has selectorized weight stacks. This feature is indispensable in physical therapy or personal training settings because it allows for rapid weight change when time is limited for the session.
- It has a counterbalanced Smith machine. This makes the starting weight 0 lbs. This is essential if you’re using it to train individuals who are too weak to lift a 45 lb bar. In contrast, non-counterbalanced Smith bars start at 45 lbs.
The Force USA G12 is a great option for home gym owners looking for a premium all-in-one home gym solution. In addition to wanting a premium model, these home gym owners will be using it for general fitness, bodybuilding-focused training or serious but traditional strength/resistance training (i.e. not necessarily powerlifting-specific). Here’s why:
- It has a robust build quality that will be able to take what you can throw at it.
- Like the G6, G15 and G20, it has the “luxury” feature of selectorized weight stacks. This lets you change the weight on the pulleys almost instantly.
- The inclusion of the selectorized weight stacks makes the G12 great for bodybuilders. That’s why I also recommended the G20, G15 and G6 for this demographic. A selectorized system makes it MUCH easier to do drop sets and supersets, which are staples in bodybuilding training. The G12’s weight stacks are even better for (stronger) bodybuilders because the G12 has a 1:1 weight ratio instead of a 2:1 ratio like all the other selectorized G-Series models have. This means each of the G12’s 201 lb weight stacks allows you to select up to 201 lbs of resistance. Most people will never outgrow the 201 lb stacks on the G12. However, it’s more likely that someone would outgrow the G6, G15 or G20 functional trainer weight stacks for some exercises (Note: there are workarounds for going beyond the max weight on all three of these models, but it’s not as convenient as just having heavier weight stacks). If you think that’s a possibility that you could outgrow the G12’s weight stacks, then definitely consider the G20, but you must also get the G20 optional Lat Row Station Upgrade because it has the 1:1 ratio (the G20 functional trainer uses a 2:1 ratio).
- You can do anything you’d need to do on the G12 for a serious strength training regimen: All the basic barbell movements. Plus, any functional trainer movement — And again, you can go all the way up to 201 lbs of resistance per side, which people who are serious about improving strength will appreciate. However, I say the G12 is not necessarily the best choice for a powerlifting-focused type of strength training because it lacks close hole spacing and band pegs — both of which are important features for many powerlifters. The G20 has precise 1″ holes spacing and other powerlifting-friendly features that make it the best option for powerlifters seeking an all-in-one gym.
Other great Force USA G12 use cases are for hotel gyms and corporate/office gyms. Here’s why:
- The average hotel gym and corporate gym are relatively small and have limited equipment. The G12 provides a well-built all-in-one gym solution that will add a ton of exercise variety in a compact footprint.
- The users will be able to get an intense and heavy training session in. If you’ve been in many hotel or office gyms, you’ll know how poorly equipped they are for people who want to do an effective resistance training workout.
- The selectorized weight stacks are perfect for hotel and corporate gyms. It keeps the gym area cleaner and more organized because the users don’t have to load plates on and off the pulley system. This is important because these gyms usually aren’t staffed. Anything that keeps the training area less cluttered for other users is a win for these types of gyms.
The Force USA G12 is also a practical gym solution for fire departments, police departments and military bases. Here’s why:
- The G12 has a robust frame that can withstand regular daily use from multiple people in a commercial setting. Force USA stands behind it with a lifetime structural warranty.
- While the G9 is also a good choice for police/firefighter/military gyms since it too has a lifetime structural warranty, the G12 has one major advantage over it: It uses two heavy selectorized weight stacks that provide more convenience and efficiency than the G9’s plate-loaded system. The ability to complete workouts faster can be a major benefit for police/firefighters/military personnel who often can be squeezed for time. The G20 achieves the same if not more than the G12 for this situation, but it also has a higher price tag to consider. The G10 and G15 are also good fits for this demographic.
Lastly, the G12 is a good match for small rec centers and fitness centers. Here’s why:
- These gyms usually don’t have a ton of floor space to begin with. And much of the room they do have is likely taken up by cardio equipment. The G12 provides everything needed to cover all the bases for strength training equipment; all in a single unit that takes up minimal floor space.
- These types of gyms are usually low-traffic. You’ll rarely have the issue of multiple people waiting to use one of the 9 stations on the G12. In cases where there are multiple people in the gym at once, you can have two people doing different exercises at the same time; one on each cable column. This is a big advantage over the G9 and G10. Although the G9 and G10 can also work well for these types of small gyms, you can’t have two people simultaneously using the functional trainer. If you want the ability to have as many as 3 people training at the same time, you should consider the G20 with the optional Lat Row Station Upgrade, which gives you a 3rd weight stack.
Force USA G12 All-In-One Trainer
The Force USA G12 is the best premium all-in-one gym for bodybuilders or any serious lifter that wants heavy weight stacks with a 1:1 pulley ratio. Its counterbalanced Smith machine also makes it a good fit for personal training studios or PT clinics.
Product Brand: Force USA
Product In-Stock: InStock
Force USA G12 vs G3 vs G6 vs G9 vs G10 vs G15 vs G20
All of the Force USA all-in-one gym models have their own unique set of features and pros and cons. So it can be difficult to decide which is best for you.
If you’ve read this full Force USA G12 review and you’re still unsure if this is the best unit for your needs, I urge you to read my Force USA G3, G6, G9, G10, G12, G15 & G20 review and buying guide. It will help you compare the different models across all the key features and specs.
You can also read up on the different models by clicking the link below:
Don’t forget! My discount code KING5 will get you 5% off your entire order, regardless of which model you choose: