Force USA Monster G3 Review: All-in-One Home Gym

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Force USA Monster G3 Review - All-In-One Home Gym

The Force USA Monster G3 is one of four models in the Force USA Monster all-in-one gym product line. In many ways, the G3 is the most unique model in terms of features and specs compared to the others.

In this Monster G3 review, I’ll tell you all about this unit. I’ll give a broad overview of this all-in-one gym, followed by a deep dive into its main features, and end with a discussion of who should buy the G3 instead of the other models.

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Feel free to jump to any section of my Monster G3 review by using the table of contents below:

What Comes with the Force USA Monster G3?

The Monster G3 is different than the rest of the Monster all-in-one gyms in that it does not come with all major attachments included standard. I’ll discuss later how this can be seen as a pro or a con.

For now, I’ll tell you which exercise stations come standard with the G3:

  1. Power rack
  2. Functional trainer
  3. Smith machine
  4. Chin up station
  5. Core trainer / Landmine station (with handle)

There are several cable accessories that come with the Monster G3 for use on the functional trainer. I’ll cover those in the later section on the functional trainer feature.

Monster G3 All-In-One - What's Included
The Monster G3 comes standard with all items shown except for the vertical leg press plate and stabilizer bar, which are sold separately. A couple of the included cable accessories are not shown in this image.

There are some optional attachments that you can buy separately to upgrade the G3 into an even more versatile machine. I’ll list and briefly discuss each below — I’ll discuss some of these attachments in greater detail, later on in my Monster G3 review:

  • Monster G3 Vertical Leg Press Attachment: This is the most valuable optional attachment you could buy, in my opinion. If your budget for attachments is limited, I would recommend putting this one at the top of the list.
  • Monster G3 Lat Pulldown Seat Attachment: The Monster G3 is the only unit with a dedicated lat pulldown seat attachment, as opposed to just a knee pad/leg holder. If you love training lats and want to do lat pulldowns, you should strongly consider this attachment. While it’s the most convenient way to do lat pulldowns on the G3, it’s not the only way. There’s a creative way to use the G3 Stabilizer Bar (discussed below) for that purpose.
  • Monster G3 Stabilizer Bar: This is an adjustable height/depth steel tube with a roller pad on the end. You position it as needed to stabilize your body in position that allow you to achieve better performance on cable exercises. A secondary use is to position it to hold your thighs down against a bench when doing lat pulldowns in the center of the rack. I rank this attachment as my #2 priority, right behind the leg press attachment.
  • Monster G3 Straight Chin Up Bars: This includes a fat bar (50mm) and a skinny a bar (32mm). Note that you can only have one installed. And you’d have to remove the multi-grip chin up bar that comes standard. Some people buy these because they have low ceilings and can’t do full range of motion with the default chin up bar without bumping their head. The other reason to get the straight chin up bars is if you just prefer a straight bar, or if you want to work on improving your grip with a fat bar.
  • MyRack G3 Band Pegs: The G3 comes standard with four band pegs. That’s enough for most people, but you can buy these if you want more. FYI, these are the same band pegs used for the Force USA MyRack Power Rack, which I own.
  • MyRack Landmine: You don’t “need” this attachment because the G3 comes standard with its own landmine station, which mounts to the front of the rack. However, this one — made for the MyRack power rack — will work on the G3. The only reason to get it would be if you wanted to install a landmine in the rear of the rack, in case you have limited space to work in front of the rack.

Force USA Monster G3 Dimensions

External Width80″
External Depth55″
External Height87″
Internal Width
(Between Uprights)
44″
Internal Width
(Smith Machine)
43″
Internal Depth34”
Internal Height85″

Force USA Monster G3 Features

Space Saving Footprint

The Monster G3 all-in-one home gym and functional trainer is a space efficient solution for combining several different training stations into one.

The G3 takes up a fraction of the floor space that you’d need if you bought dedicated equipment for each of the 6 possible G3 exercise stations. This makes it an ideal solution for home gym or garage gym owners who want a lot of exercise variety but have very limited space.

At the same time, you lose the benefit of having dedicated pieces of equipment. In an ideal world, you’d be able to have a separate piece of equipment for each the exercise stations in the G3. Specialized equipment obviously has benefits over multi-purpose equipment. Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world. You have to consider floorspace and budget restrictions. The Monster G3 gives you a solution that works within these restrictions.

You still get most (though not all) of the benefits of having separate, specialized equipment. As long as you understand the trade-off, you’ll be happy with your decision.

Buying All-In-One Gym vs Buying Separate Specialized Pieces of Gym Equipment

Cost-Saving Concept

The Monster G3 won’t just save you space, it will also save you money. You will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars compared to if you purchased a dedicated piece of equipment of comparable quality for each exercise station.

Although the G3 will save you money compared to the alternative, it’s not “cheap” in absolute dollars. The Monster G3 provides great value for everything you get. However, you do need a reasonable budget set aside for this purchase. Remember that you’re buying an all-in-one home gym setup, which has a more complex design than, say, just a power rack or just a functional trainer. This translates to higher design, materials and manufacturing costs, which all add to the price you pay.

The Monster G3 nevertheless gives you A LOT of bang for your buck. It is the lowest priced model in the Force USA Monster G-Series lineup. It starts at $2199. The next least expensive model is the G9, which comes in at $3199 with everything included. Even if you buy all the major optional accessories for the G3, you still save hundreds of dollars compared to the G9’s price.

Having major attachments available for sale separately contributes to the G3’s cost-savings. This is because you can buy just the attachments you want. If everything was included standard, the base price would be higher. However, this can also be seen as a negative if you thought the $2199 price included a fully loaded unit like the rest of the G-Series models.

Most people will end up paying more than $2199 since they’ll want at least one of the optional accessories. I know the leg press attachment and stabilizer bar would be on my must-have list.

Remember — you can always buy just the base unit now and save up for the attachments later if your budget is tight. Or maybe you’re fine without any extras, in which case the base price is all you’ll ever need to pay!

Versatile Design

The Monster G3 is built for versatility. It is an all-in-one gym, after all.

As mentioned, it comes standard with 5 exercise stations. You can add a 6th station if you buy the vertical leg press plate attachment separately.

All of these stations give you access to a ton of exercise variety. From free weight to bodyweight movements, and from cable to Smith machine exercises, all your bases are covered.

All of the stations in the Monster G3 give you access to hundreds of possible exercise variations. Here’s an estimate of the number of exercises you can do on each station:

  • The power rack easily gives you access to 40+ exercise variations, assuming you also have a barbell and a flat or adjustable weight bench.
  • The functional trainer component alone allows you to do 75+ exercises.
  • You can do another 30+ exercises on the Smith machine.
  • The chin up station lets you do 9 different basic chin up variations (I’ll list these later in the Chin Up Station section).
  • The landmine station is particularly versatile. When you consider the various back/pulling exercises and many core movements, you can do 30+ exercises on it.
  • The vertical leg press station lets you do 3 very effective exercises: narrow, normal and wide leg press.

If you get creative, you can do many more variations.

Power Rack

The Monster G3 power rack (technically a “half rack”) lets you do nearly all of the barbell exercises you could do in a full-sized power rack. It has a max weight capacity rating of 992 lbs, which is strong enough for all but the most elite lifters in the world.

Monster G3 Power Rack

Of course, the top two exercises most people will want to do in the Monster G3 power rack are squats and bench press.

However, you can do so much more than just these two exercises. Here’s just a few of the many other exercises you can do in the G3 power rack:

The Monster G3 power rack comes with j-hooks so you can rack and unrack the bar. And it has safety spotter arms so you can safely dump the bar and not get pinned underneath if you fail. It has Westside hole spacing, so you can set the j-hooks and spotters in 1″ or 2″ height increments on the uprights.

Below, I’ll talk in-depth about the spotter arms, j-hooks and hole spacing.

Spotter Arms

Monster G3 Spotter Arms

The G3 has the longest safety spotter arms of all the G-Series machines. They have 17.5” inches of usable space, compared to 15” for the other models. This means you can move further away from the uprights on squats while still having the spotter arms under you in case you fail.

I’m used to squatting in a ~30” deep power rack, so this spotter arm length felt pretty comfortable right away. Whereas, the 15” spotter arms on the other models took some getting used.

J-hooks

The j-hooks are overall better than on the other models. They have an upper portion with protective nylon plastic to minimize scratching on the bar when racking the weight.

The j-hooks on all the other G-Series models have an unprotected upper portion. Not only are they unprotected, but they have a large bolt head sticking out.

Monster G3 J-hook vs Monster G6 J-hook
Monster G3 j-hook on left; Monster G6 j-hook on right, which is similar to the ones on the G9 and G12.

Westside Hole Spacing

The Monster G3 is the only Monster all-in-one gym model with Westside hole spacing.

Monster G3 Westside Hole Spacing

Westside hole spacing gives you as much precision as you need to adjust the j-hooks and safeties to the ideal height, particularly when benching.

The type of Westside spacing on the G3 is actually different (and better!) than the “traditional” type of Westside spacing: It has 1 inch spacing in the middle AND lower part of the rack. Whereas the traditional type has 1 inch spacing only in the middle. Having the 1 inch spacing go all the way to the bottom lets you set the safety spotters precisely for other exercises, such as floor presses and rack pulls.

When comparing the G3’s hole spacing to the other 3 models in the G-Series lineup, it gives your greater precision at any height. Even the 2 inch hole spacing in the G3’s upper portion beats out the hole spacing everywhere on the G6, G9 and G12, which all have uniform 3.75” hole spacing. Hole spacing isn’t everything. 3.75” still allows you to do all lifts safely and effectively. However, it’s a nice convenience to set the j-hooks and safeties so they’re “just right” for every lift.

The Monster G3 has 10 j-hook holes with 2 inch spacing in the upper part of the rack. It has 40 holes with 1 inch spacing in the middle and lower part of the rack. That’s a total of 50 holes.

However, it should be noted that only 49 holes are accessible. Let me explain…

…You can’t put the j-hooks in the uppermost hole on the uprights. This is because the pulley always needs to be set higher than the j-hooks. And you can’t install the j-hooks above the pulley because the pulley cable will block the hole. When the pulley is at the highest setting, it actually blocks the top hole, making it inaccessible.

Where You Can Install the J-hooks Relative to the Pulleys on the Monster G3

The good news is that there’s few if any reasons to want to use the highest j-hook hole setting. Still, if it’s there, you’d think you’d be able to put the j-hooks on them.

When the j-hooks are installed in the highest accessible hole (i.e. the 49th hole), the distance from the floor to the bottom of the barbell shaft is 66″, or 5’6″. This height should allow anyone as tall as 6’10″-6’11″ to squat without having to bend their knees too much to get under the bar. (Note that the exact max user height depends on where the user holds their bar on their back, their stance width an body proportions).

When the j-hooks or spotter arms are installed in the lowest hole on the uprights, the bar will be just 14″ above the floor. This is useful info in case you wanted to know the lowest height you could do rack pulls at.

Pulling 14″ above the floor is equivalent to doing pulls off ~6″ blocks. This is great if you want to do rack pulls from a low starting height. Since you have the Westside spacing, you can increase the spotters by one inch per setting for incrementally higher rack pulls.

Functional Trainer

Monster G3 Functional Trainer

The functional trainer is the centerpiece of the Monster G3 all-in-one home gym. It consists of two pulleys on the front uprights connected by cables to plate-loaded weight brackets. Each of the two plate-loaded brackets has two weight pegs to hold the weights. Each weight peg is 6 inches long.

Monster G3 Pulley Weight Peg Length

You can adjust each pulley up or down to any of 22 possible height settings. This is more settings than any of the other models have — The G6 has 19; the G9 and G12 have 16.

The Monster G3 functional trainer has a 2-to-1 pulley ratio. This means that you get 1 pound of resistance for every 2 pounds loaded on. So if you load 90 pounds on one of the pulleys, it will feel like 45 pounds. This is typical for many functional trainers on the market, including the G6. However, some — like the Monster G9 and G12 — have a 1-to-1 ratio, where the amount loaded on the pulley is same as the resistance you feel.

This means you just have to load on more weights if you want to lift heavier on the Monster G3 functional trainer.

The functional trainer comes standard with several cable accessories to ensure you have access to a wide variety of exercises. The accessories include:

  • Long Cambered Bar
  • Long Straight Bar
  • Short Straight Bar
  • Close Grip Row Handle
  • Nylon Stirrup Handles (2)
  • Ankle Strap
  • Triceps Rope

The functional trainer and the included cable accessories give you access to 75+ exercises. Really, your imagination is the limit when it comes to this station. It provides incredible versatility in terms of exercise selection.

I can’t possibly list all of the functional trainer exercise variations, but I’ll list the most popular ones as well as some of my personal favorites:

  • Low to high cable chest fly
  • High to low cable chest fly
  • Cable chest press
  • Cable shoulder press
  • Cable stirrup shrug
  • Cable lateral raise
  • Cable rear delt raise
  • Cable upright row
  • Lat pulldown
  • Cable low row
  • Triceps pushdown
  • Lying cable triceps extension
  • Cable biceps curl
  • Cable pullthroughs
  • Cable glute kickbacks
  • Cable squat
  • And many, many more!

The quality of the functional trainer on the Monster G3 is great. It feels very smooth.

In fact, the “smoothness” of the pulley action on the Monster G3 is comparable to more expensive G6 and even the commercial units (G9 and G12). These higher priced units may be slightly smoother, but any difference is really too subtle to make a definitive comparison…

…There is a caveat to this, though. You will notice some drag on the G3 if you unevenly load the left and right weight horns on the pulley bracket (e.g. 20 lbs on one weight horn, 25 lbs on the other). The greater the imbalance, the greater the drag.

You will also experience some drag on the G9 model if you unevenly load its weight horns, but it takes a bigger weight imbalance to be noticeable compared to the G3. The selectorized models (G6 and G12) never experience this issue since they have weight stacks, which necessarily are always balanced.

I want to point something out about the G3 as it relates to the topic of even loading: It can be a challenge to evenly load both cable pulley brackets evenly when you’re doing double pulley exercises IF you have just one pair of all the weight plate sizes. Let me explain:

You won’t have any issues with even loading on a single pulley exercise if you have just one pair of each plate size because single pulley exercises only require loading plates onto just two weight pegs.

However, you will *sometimes* need more plates when doing a double pulley exercise (e.g. cable crossovers or anything else using the stirrup handles on both columns; or anything using the long bar or cambered bar which attach to both pulleys) because that involves loading weight evenly over four weight pegs…

Evenly Loading Monster G3 Functional Trainer
Each pulley is evenly loaded, with one 35 lb plate on each of the four pegs. If I didn’t have two pairs of 35’s, I’d have to improvise to find a way to achieve even loading.

…I say “sometimes” because you can often get the desired weight on both pulleys by combining weight plates — Here’s what I mean, as an example: You can load 70 lbs of plates (equating to 35 lbs of resistance) evenly on each column by using a 35 lb plate on the left weight horn and a 25 lb plate + a 10 lb plate on the right horn; and do the same on the opposite column.

Of course, there will be some weight increments you can’t achieve this way if you only have a single weight plate set with no duplicate plates (though many people have duplicate plates of the heaviest weight plate in their set i.e. 45 lbs or 55 lbs depending on your set).

Obviously this isn’t ideal since you can’t be as precise with the resistance. You also need to do a little extra mental math on fly. Plus, you have to take the time to grab more plates and put them on all four weight horns. My point is that you can get away with having just one pair of each weight plate size, but it would be more efficient to have two pairs of every plate size when doing double pulley exercises on the Monster G3.

One of the most unique features of Monster G3 functional trainer is that both of its pulley cables can extend a full 145 inches (12.1 ft) in front of the rack. This is MUCH further than you can extend the pulleys on the other models:

  • The Monster G6 cables extend just 60 inches (5 ft).
  • The Monster G9 cables extend only 51.5 inches (4.3 ft) if you use both pulleys at the same time. If you use just one pulley, the cable will extend 103 inches (8.6 ft).
  • The Monster G12 cables extend just 53 inches (4.4 ft).

Having so much usable distance for the cables gives you the ability to do some creative exercises, such as:

  • Walking cable lunges
  • Cable sled pulls
  • Cable squat walks
  • Lateral cable squat walks
  • And many others

As a side note, you may want to invest in a sled harness or functional training vest to get the most out of these types of cable exercises. The video below shows several more functional trainer exercises you can do with a vest and a long cable:

Stabilizer Bar

The G3 is the only G-Series model with a stabilizer bar. When looking at the attachment options at first, I didn’t think much of the stabilizer bar. Well, that’s because I’ve never used one. Once I was able to try it in person on the G3, I instantly saw the appeal.

If you’re not familiar with this handy piece of equipment, let me fill you in…

…The bar has a pad on the end. You can extend, retract, raise or lower the bar. This lets you position the pad exactly where you need it for a given cable exercise. You lean against the pad to support your body in positions that would otherwise require a great deal of core stability.

The stabilizer bar allows you to execute certain cable exercises with greater efficiency and intensity. You can focus 100% on the target muscles.

Here’s a few examples of my favorite exercises that use this attachment:

  • Low to high cable flyes, which target the upper pecs. You’re able to lean your torso back so you can efficiently achieve the ideal incline motion.
  • Any chest pressing cable movement, with either individual stirrup handles or a single long handle attachment. If you were cable pressing without a stabilizer bar, you’d need to really lean forward in a staggered stance. But when you’re cable pressing with the stabilizer pad against your back, it keeps you from moving backward, leaning forward or using an uneven stance. The stabilizer lets you press much more weight this way, at any angle you want: low, straight out or incline.
  • Chest-supported cable movements. You can turn around and put your chest up against the pad to keep your torso in place while you perform rowing movements. I’m a huge fan of chest supported rows because they really let you isolate the back by removing momentum. Usually this requires a dedicated machine. But getting creative with the stabilizer arm and the cable pulleys lets you mimic several variations of the chest supported row.
  • And many more exercises. The above are just a few examples. You can get very creative with it.

There’s an additional “hidden” use of this attachment that I discovered when testing out the Monster G3. You can extend it out and down so the pad holds your knees against the weight bench while performing lat pulldowns with a double pulley attachment.

Monster G3 Stabilizer Bar for Lat Pulldown Leg Holder

Note that the stabilizer arm doesn’t fully replace the utility of the G3’s optional lat pulldown seat. The seat attachment allows you to do lat pulldowns on either column using any single pulley attachment for lat pulldowns (e.g. close grip row handle, short bar, rope).

I’d personally rate this as a high-priority attachment. It would be the second one I’d buy, with the leg press attachment being the first.

Lat Pulldown Seat

The Monster G3 is the only unit that offers a dedicated lat pulldown seat. That is, it includes the leg holder pad and the seat all in one. The G6, G9 and G12 have lat pulldown leg holder attachments where you put your bench under the leg holder to create a seat.

You can see the Monster G3 lat pulldown seat in action below. (Note: It’s not me in the video — I forgot to get footage of myself using this piece, so I asked Force USA to send me a clip of one their team members using the seat.)

This G3 lat pulldown seat is sold separately. It’s definitely a worthwhile attachment if you like lat training.

Force USA Monster G3 Lat Pulldown Seat Attachment

If you’re familiar with the Force USA MyRack power rack, it has a similar lat pulldown seat that attaches to its cable cable crossover attachment. That seat is not the greatest, mostly because it attaches to a single column, which would sway back slightly. But also, it had no covering over the foam pads on the leg holder. Plus, the part of the frame underneath the was too short, which made the seat less supported…

Force USA MyRack Lat Pull Down Seat for Cable Crossover
This is the NOT the Monster G3 lat pulldown seat. It’s the one for the Force USA MyRack, which goes on its cable crossover attachment. It has several flaws. Whereas, the G3’s seat is much more stable and better constructed.

…Luckily all those issues are fixed on the G3 lat pulldown seat. Most importantly, the uprights that it connects will not sway forward since they’re not freestanding; they’re rock solid because they’re part of the enclosed frame of the G3. Second, the beam on the underside of the G3 seat’s frame extends further back under the seat, which provides better structural support. Lastly, the foam leg holder pads have a protective covering.

The only reasons not to consider this attachment would be if:

  • You don’t care much for doing lat pulldowns
  • You have a weight bench with its own knee holder attachment or a decline leg/foot holder attachment
  • You buy the stabilizer arm attachment, which you can position to hold your knees down to do a dual cable lat pull down with one of the long bar attachments (straight or cambered) in the middle of the rack. Note, however, that you won’t be able to do lat pulldowns with any other attachments (e.g. short bar, rope), as those can only be attached to one cable, on either the left or right pulley column.

The Monster G3 lat pulldown seat inserts into any hole on the uprights just like a j-hook would. You then secure it with a pop-pin that goes into a lower hole. Since you’d be using this on the lower part of the rack, you’ll be able to adjust the heights in one inch increments. That allows you to be very precise.

There’s a secondary pop-pin adjustment mechanism for increasing or decreasing the height of the knee holder pads. This lets anyone get a firm fit against their thighs, whether they have tree trunk quads or toothpick legs.

Force USA Monster G3 Lat Pulldown Seat Attachment - 2 Pop-pins

The pads have commercial grade vinyl upholstery to protect the foam inside from rips and tears. This is much better than many cheaper leg holder solutions that have the bare foam exposed.

Smith Machine

Monster G3 Smith Machine

You can use the Monster G3 Smith machine for tons of exercises — including almost any lift you can use a free weight barbell for. However, I personally like to do all the main compound lifts with free weights.

That said, I’ve come to appreciate Smith machines over the years for several different exercises. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Smith machine shrugs
  • Smith machine incline press
  • Smith machine RDL (though it should be noted that you may want to get a stable box/platform to stand on for the G3 to get more range of motion, since its lowest point is relatively high — for me, it was around knee level)
  • Smith machine hack squat
  • Smith machine standing calf raise
  • Smith machine seated calf raise
  • Smith machine rear delt row
  • Smith machine one arm row
  • Inverted row (using Smith machine to hold onto)

And I know many women LOVE to use Smith machines for any number of “booty” exercises, like hip thrusts and glute kickbacks, among others.

The Monster G3 Smith machine also makes it possible to do vertical leg presses if you buy the optional leg press plate attachment.

The sleeves on the Monster G3 Smith machine are 12″ long. The sleeves are also angled slightly up, which ensures all the weights will stay on without a clip even if you fill up the entire sleeve length with plates. It has a 770 lb max weight rating, which is more than enough for almost anyone.

Monster G3 Smith Machine Sleeves

The Monster G3 Smith machine works great for most peoples needs. It does exactly what it needs to do: Hold plenty of weight so you can move it up and down on a fixed vertical track.

However, it is not the same type of system as on the G6, G9 and G12. The G3 Smith machine uses the standard wheel and ball bearing system. Whereas, the other models use a slightly better linear bearing system.

The end result is that you get a smoother gliding action on the G6, G9 and G12. The G3 has a small amount of drag in comparison. But again, it doesn’t impair it’s essential functionality. The others just have a more premium feel, which is in line with their more premium price tags.

You can see the gliding action of the Monster G3 Smith machine in the video below:

The Monster G3 Smith machine is not counterbalanced. This means the empty bar weighs as much a regular bar (i.e. 45 lbs). The Monster G6 Smith machine is also not counterbalanced.

Only the commercial units — the G9 and G12 — have counterbalanced Smith machines, which reduce the starting weight to zero pounds. This is particularly helpful if it will be used by beginners or people recovering from injury who need super light weight on certain Smith machine exercises.

While the counterbalanced feature is nice, it’s not important unless you see yourself needing to use less than 45 lbs on the Smith machine.

The Monster G3 Smith machine has one cool little feature not available on the other models. It has to do with locking the vertical leg press attachment into place. I’ll discuss the details in the section below.

Vertical Leg Press Attachment

The vertical leg press attachment is my favorite optional attachment on the Monster G3. This should be your #1 pick among the various optional attachments if leg training is important for you.

Monster G3 Vertical Leg Press Attachment

It’s an excellent way to train your quads, hamstrings and glutes with heavy loads without loading your spine. If you only train legs with exercises that axially load the spine (e.g. barbell squats), your results can be limited by your lower back strength and/or lower back recovery.

I’ve personally had great success in the past by training legs 2+ times per week; doing heavier barbell squats earlier in the week with leg press later in the week. This approach ensures performance on the leg press isn’t limited by the lower back, which may still be recovering from the heavy squat session.

Similarly, you can squeeze more leg volume into a single workout session by doing leg press after heavy squats. You can continue to get as much out of your quads/hams/glutes without being limited by a fatigued lower back.

The G3 leg press plate is 29” wide, which is just a half-inch narrower than the leg press plates on the G6, G9 and G12. It works great for leg pressing with anything from a narrow stance to a normal shoulder width stance to a wide stance.

Monster G3 Vertical Leg Press Stance Widths

The only thing you can’t do is an extra wide (i.e. sumo) stance. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people. It’s not common to perform leg presses with a sumo stance. I’ve personally never used such a wide stance.

There are a few key differences between the leg press plates on the G3 vs the G6/G9/G12 (other than the half-inch width difference mentioned above):

First, the shape is rectangular on the G3. Whereas, it’s more angular on the other models. There’s no real functional difference. It’s primarily aesthetic.

The G3 leg press plate attaches through the Smith bar. There are two pins that insert through the plate, then into two holes in the Smith bar, then through the other side of the plate. This takes a little bit longer to install than the leg press plates on the other models, which use pop-pins to snap into the hooks on the ends of the Smith bar.

Both mechanisms are safe and secure, but there’s a small amount of play if you wiggle the G3 plate with your hand. That said, any wiggling is not really noticeable when you’re actually using the G3 leg press with weight on it.

Monster G3 Vertical Leg Press Attachment - Installation with Pins on Smith Machine Bar

You can optionally lock the plate so it doesn’t rotate — it will be in a completely fixed position, parallel to the floor. This is compared to the G6/G9/G12 leg press plates that rotate down (so you can rack the Smith bar on the pins) and up (so you can unrack it, and so you can use a variable ankle angle during the movement as needed).

If you have good angle mobility, it’s nice to keep the plate in a flat, fixed position because you don’t have to worry about any minor ankle stabilization during the press.

How does this work on the G3? You insert the included pins through the holes on the Smith machine hook and its wheel and ball bearing mechanism, as shown below:

Use Pin to Keep Monster G3 Leg Press Plate in a Fixed Position

This is possible only on the G3 because you don’t have to rack the weight by rotating the Smith bar hooks down into a locked position like you do for the G6/G9/G12.

Instead, you can use the hand spotter rails to rack and unrack. You rotate the rails in to catch the bar when your rack the weight. You rotate them out of the way when when you unrack.

Monster G3 Vertical Leg Press Spotter Rails

If you don’t want to use the Monster G3 leg press in the fixed position, you don’t have to. It will work essentially the same as the other Monster models if you don’t lock it in place. Though, you can still use the spotter rails in this scenario if you want to.

Chin Up Station

All Monster all-in-one gym models have “multi-grip” chin up stations. However, the G3 has a different style than the other units. It has what’s typically known as a “Monkey style” multi-grip chin up bar.

Monster G3 Chin Up Bar

It has two long, angled bars that run parallel to each other across the width of the rack. Two straight bar segments and two oblique bar segments connect between the long bars. This creates several different grip configurations you can use:

  • Close pronated grip
  • Close supinated grip
  • Close semi-pronated grip (using oblique and straight segments)
  • Normal width pronated grip
  • Normal width supinated grip
  • Normal width semi-pronated grip
  • Normal width semi-supinated grip
  • Wide pronated grip
  • Wide neutral grip

You can do all of these grip configurations on the G6, G9 and G12 — except it can be a little more difficult to do the normal width semi-pronated grip on them.

Close neutral grip is the only grip configuration you can’t do on the G3 multi-grip station that you can do on the others.

Unlike the other three models, the G3’s chin up station is elevated above the top of the rack’s frame. This increases the max height of the unit by a couple inches.

If it’s borderline whether you’ll have enough ceiling clearance to perform full range of motion chin ups without hitting your head, you could buy the G3 straight chin up bars instead.

NOTE: Some people have asked if you can install the G3 multi-grip chin up bar upside down to allow for more headroom on pull ups when ceiling space is limited. Unfortunately, you cannot do this because there is a lip on top of the bar that makes it only fit one way. As mentioned above, the best workaround for this scenario is to get the optional G3 straight chin up bars.

My favorite part of the G3 multi-grip bar is that it has knurled portions. This gives you a better grip than smooth chin up bars. It provides a more natural feeling than foam or rubberized grips, in my opinion.

Monster G3 Chin Up Bar Knurling Closeup

It is the only unit with knurling. This is not an “essential” feature. Rather, I consider it a nice bonus.

Landmine / Core Trainer

Monster G3 Landmine and Core Trainer Station

The landmine / core trainer attachment comes standard with the Monster G3. It includes the landmine itself, which you insert one end of the barbell in. It also includes a handle, which attaches to the other end of the barbell and is only needed for some landmine exercises.

You can attach the landmine to either the left or right upright, at the base of the rack. It is permanently affixed there.

This attachment is small and simple yet highly versatile. There’s dozens of possible exercise variations you can do on a landmine. My personal favorite is t-bar rows, which involves using the included handle.

Here are just a few of the many landmine exercises you can do:

  • Landmine squats
  • Landmine hack squats
  • Landmine thrusters
  • Landmine one arm rows
  • Landmine one arm presses
  • Landmine anti-rotations
  • Landmine lunges
  • Landmine RDL
  • Landmine single leg RDL
  • And many more!

You can rotate the landmine upward or backward to position it out of your way when doing other exercises.

Monster G3 Landmine and Core Trainer Station - Position Out of the Way

Technically, you can use the MyRack landmine on the G3 if you wanted to. Most people wouldn’t have any need to do this, since the G3 already comes standard with the landmine / core trainer attachment.

However, the MyRack landmine attachment is removable. You can install it in any band peg hole on the base of these racks. If your gym space is really tight, you could install the MyRack landmine in the very rear of the rack to save a few feet of space in front of the rack.

Accessory Storage

The functional trainer is major component of the Monster G3. It comes with a plethora of cable handle attachments for use on different exercises.

You need a place to store all these accessories when they’re not in use. Plus, it’s nice to have a place to put any of the other accessories you may have around your gym, like resistance bands, a weight lifting belt and barbell clamps.

That’s where the accessory storage area comes into play on the G3. It’s located on the inside the G3, on the two horizontal posts that make up the back of the frame.

Monster G3 Accessory Storage Area

It consists of two holders designed to hold the long straight bar and the long cambered bar. Plus, there are two storage hooks that will hold the other accessories (you can put multiple accessories on a single hook). You can also drape any bands, chains, belts, wraps and other flexible accessories you may have over the two horizontal frame posts if you need more storage space.

There’s a sort of “hidden” feature in the storage area that lets you vertically store the j-hooks and safety spotter arms. It’s a pretty creative solution. There are four 5/8″ holes on the lower crossbar that the pins on these attachments can insert into. It’s a big space saver and no other model has a similar feature.

Monster G3 Storage Area for J-hooks and Spotter Arms

Weight Plate Storage

Having a place to store your plates is essential for keeping your training area safe, tidy and efficient. The Monster G3 has this feature built-in.

Monster G3 Weight Plate Storage

It has 6 weight plate storage pegs on the rear frame columns, with 3 on left side and 3 on the right. Each sleeve is 8 inches long. Most people will be able to store all of their plates, with room to spare.

The benefit of having this many storage pegs is that you’ll be able to group the plates together by size. That makes it possible to quickly grab the plate size you need. If it had just 2 or even 4 plate holders, you’d be constantly needing to strip all the plates off because the one you need is in the back.

You can optionally remove the outer portion of the plate holder pegs. There’s a smaller diameter (1”) peg underneath that will fit standard plates, in case you have any. If you don’t have any standard plates, you won’t care about this feature

The Monster G3 is the only Monster G-Series model with weight plate holders that stick out to the rear instead of to the sides. This is part of space saving design.

Monster G3 Rear Weight Plate Storage Makes Room for Pulley

As you can see in the image above, the weight holder bracket on the pulley track would interfere with weight storage holders if they were on the side of the rack. You’d need a deeper rack to allow for the holders to stick out to the side.

The smart, space efficient design is what Force USA did for this unit: put the weight holders toward the back. Doing so only adds a couple of inches of depth beyond the end of the rack’s feet.

Barbell Storage

The Monster G3 has a barbell storage attachment on the rear of the machine, near the base. It can hold one Olympic bar (~2” diameter sleeve) and one standard bar (1” diameter sleeve).

The bars are stored vertically, by inserting the bar sleeve into the holder sleeve.

Monster G3 Barbell Storage

Note that you’ll need more ceiling clearance than the Monster G3’s listed 87” max height to use this. The barbell will be slightly taller than the top of the unit when it’s stored. Plus you need additional clearance to lift the bar in and out of the sleeve.

As long as your ceiling is at least 98” (8’2″), you’ll be able to use the vertical bar storage feature.

If your ceilings are too short, there are other cheap options for bar storage such as this and this. Otherwise, you can just leave the barbell in the j-hooks, which many lifters do anyway.

Olympic and Standard Compatible

You’re in luck if you happen to have some standard-sized weight plates and bars in your gym.

As I touched up on in the previous two sections, the Monster G3 is compatible with both Olympic bars and plates (~2″ dia.) AND standard bars and plates (1” dia.).

You can store any standard bar in the bar storage area, whether that’s a straight standard bar, EZ curl standard bar or any other type of standard bar.

And not only can you store the standard sized plates, but you can use them as weight on the pulley system and even the Smith machine.

A lot of people won’t care about this feature because most home gym owners have only Olympic bars and plates. But there’s surely a few lifters out there who will appreciate it — I know many home gym lifters have spin-lock dumbbells and curl bars with lots of standard plates to go along with them.

Bolt-down Capability

The feet on the Monster G3 have holes that let you bolt it to the floor. This is not required, but you have the option if you want the rack to be as stable as possible.

You can optionally bolt the Monster G3 to the floor

Bolting it down can be helpful if you plan on doing heavy band work (e.g. band squats, band bench, band deadlifts). It will ensure the rack doesn’t move around during your work. You won’t have to worry about loading enough plates onto to the rack to weigh it down while doing band work.

Band Peg Holes

The Monster G3 is one of two Monster models with band peg holes. The other is the G6.

Band Peg Holes on the Monster G3

The G3 has more band peg holes than the G6. It has holes across the entire depth of the rack on the rack’s feet. This includes band peg holes in the front (for use on free weight barbell movements), middle (for use on the Smith machine) and rear (for use on the the pulley system). The G6 only has band peg holes in the front and the rear.

I should note that you can still add band tension to the Smith machine on the G6 despite it not having band peg holes in the middle section — You’d attach the band on one peg in the front section and one in the rear, and then around the Smith machine bar. It works, but adjusting for the ideal tension is slightly trickier than if it had a middle band peg section like the Monster G3.

If you plan on adding tension to the pulley system on the G3, it’s important that you distribute the tension evenly between the left and right weight holders. If you don’t, you’ll notice some drag in the pulley when performing your exercise. It can be a little tricky get the tension even on both sides at first. But it becomes easier to setup the bands properly once you get the hang of it.

Missing Features

Below, I’ll go over the main features that the Monster G3 lacks, that the other Monster all-in-one models have.

Dip Attachment (In Development)

All the other Monster units have dip bars included standard. However, there is no G3 dip bar attachment…yet. An optional dip bar attachment is in development, though.

So if a dip attachment is a must-have for you, that shouldn’t exclude the G3 from your consideration. You can still buy the Monster G3 now — You’ll just have to wait a bit until they release the dip attachment and buy it separately then.

Suspension Trainer Ring

The G3 is the only G-Series model without a suspension trainer ring. That said, you could easily attach a suspension trainer to the G3’s pull up bar attachment as a workaround. It’s not as elegant of a solution, but it will get the job done.

Foot Plate for Cable Low Rows

The Monster G6, G9 and G12 have the lat pulldown leg holder attachment, which doubles as an effective foot plate alternative. The Monster G9 goes a step further: It has a built-in metal foot plate for its dedicated low row station.

Cable Low Rows Using the Monster G6 Leg Holder Pad and Monster G9 Metal Foot Plate

There is no G3 attachment made specifically for use as a cable row foot plate. Having some type of attachment for this would have been nice. However, there are a couple decent workarounds:

One workaround is to put a band peg halfway through one of the holes on the base of the rack, in front of the pulley column. Then press your heels against either end of band peg, and you’re good to go. You do have to use a narrow stance, but you’ll be fully supported even when doing heavy low rows.

Monster G3 Low Rows Using Band Peg as Makeshift Foot Plate
Note: The v-bar attachment shown here is a G6 accessory.

The other way is to do cable rows with both pulleys (i.e. using long bar attachment or both stirrup handles). This way you’ll be able to stretch your legs apart and plant your heels against the rack’s feet.

Who Is the Force USA Monster G3 Best for?

The Force USA Monster G3 is for anyone in the market for an all-in-one gym who places a strong emphasis on strength or powerlifting style training. There are two main reasons for this:

  • The Monster G3 has Westside hole spacing. It’s the only G-Series rack with this feature. All other models have uniform 3.75 inch spacing. Westside spacing gives you 1 inch hole spacing in the bench region of the power rack with 2 inch spacing above that. This is important if you’re serious about maximizing strength on the powerlifts. You’ll always be able to execute any lift from the ideal starting and ending point. You’ll never have to worry about losing ANY performance or efficiency from the j-hooks being set a little too high or low. This matters if you’re seriously into powerlifting training, but not as much if you do more traditional strength training or bodybuilding workouts.
  • The Monster G3 has band peg holes. Only the G3 and G6 have this powerlifting-friendly feature. The band peg holes throughout the base of the G3 allow you to do band-resisted exercises like band squats, band bench and even band deadlifts. These are banded variations of the Big 3, which are commonly performed by powerlifters. The band tension allows you to train explosiveness and get used to heavier loads at the top of the range of motion.

The Monster G3 is also perfect for any type of fitness enthusiast looking for a more budget friendly all-in-one gym and functional trainer solution. The G3 is the lowest cost G-Series option. It delivers A LOT of bang for the buck.

The Monster G3 should also be considered strongly by tall lifters. Its internal height sufficiently high at 85″ (7’1″). And if you’re going to be squatting in the power rack area, the G3 will let you set the barbell as high as 66″ (5’6″) above the floor. This height should allow guys as tall as 6’10″-6’11″ to squat comfortably.

This is comparable to the G6’s slightly taller max bar height of 69″ (5’9″). However, it allows for a significantly higher max bar height than the G9 and G12, which both top out at 60″ (5’0″) — Those models are most comfortable to squat in for lifters up to 6’5″ tall.

Monster G3 vs Monster G6 vs Monster G9 vs Monster G12

Still not sure if this Monster G3 is the right model for you? You can learn more about the differences between the four Monster all-in-one gym units by reading my Monster G3, G6, G9 and G12 review and buying guide.

You can see all four of the Monster G-Series models on the Force USA website by clicking the button below:

Don’t forget you can save 5% off your order with code KING5 regardless of which unit you buy:

28 thoughts on “Force USA Monster G3 Review: All-in-One Home Gym”

  1. Impressive website. I just landed on it while doing a search for older men bodybuilding. I trained for a BB contest in my 40s, I am now 10 yrs older, and am still loving the challenge. I hope to visit your website again to see what it has for a guy like me, but keep up the great work. Saludos!

  2. Does the Smith machine have a locking mechanism on both side ends to secure it from moving when using the leg press plate? I didn’t even know it had this feature. How much play or movement was there when it was all locked into place?

    1. Hi Jason, I assume you’re talking about the feature shown in the image below, where you can insert the pins through the machine hooks to prevent the Smith bar and leg press plate from rotating — correct?
      Use Pin to Keep Monster G3 Leg Press Plate in a Fixed Position
      If so, then the answer is YES. There are 2 pins, and you can insert one on each end of the Smith bar.

      If you were to try to rotate the Smith bar with no weight on it, there would be only a very small amount of play. When you have weight on it and are using the leg press, you won’t feel any play there. It’s very secure.

      I also didn’t know about this feature until one of the Force USA guys pointed it out to me, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a smart design element and a handy little feature to have.

  3. With the roller bearing system. I’ve never seen this type of system before , only linear bearings personally. I do wonder how they feel, and the level of drag is difficult to get a sense of without using it. You did already say there’s a small difference from linear systems, could you elaborate any further on that if possible?

    1. It’s hard to describe. But I’ll try. When you’re pulling the G3 Smith bar up, you can basically feel the rollers the spinning. It is not a type of “drag” where the bar is catching or skidding intermittently on the track. Rather, it’s more of a “soft friction” that’s consistent throughout the motion.

      It’s almost like it adds a very light tension to the bar…but it’s a consistent light tension throughout the range of motion. You could almost call it a “smooth drag”, even if that term is kind of an oxymoron. This consistent friction/tension makes it non-disruptive to your lifts. Of course, a bearing system would have no added tension because of less friction, but the roller bearing system is decent and definitely gets the job done.

      Also, it’s worth noting that the drag is less apparent as you load on more weight.

      Hopefully, this description gives you a better idea of the G3 Smith machine’s feel!

    1. Hi Niels, the Monster G3 unit weighs 340 lbs. In comparison, the G6 weight 940 lbs, the G9 weighs 540 lbs and the G12 weighs 950 lbs.

  4. I noticed the dip attachment is still not available for the G3. Is it possible to line up the smith bar and barbell to form parallel bars for dips?

    1. That wouldn’t really work, since the grip width would be too narrow if you put the barbell in the j-hooks, and too wide if you put the barbell on the safety spotter. On top of that, the Smith bar would likely be either slightly lower or slightly higher than the barbell, depending on which height you set them.

      It might work better if you had two barbells, and you put one on either end of the safety spotters. Though, even that might be too narrow.

      I’m sure Force USA will release the G3 dip attachment soon. But in the meantime, there’s always bench dips!

  5. Do you think the following dip handles can now be use to G3?

    FORCE USA Dip Handle
    FORCE USA MyRack Dip Handle Attachment

    If I look at the holes in the G3 frame closely seems like it is possible to retrofit it as an alternative?

    1. Well, I didn’t personally test it, but the MyRack Dip Handle could potentially be retrofitted (if you know what you’re doing) to work on the G3, because:

      • It uses the same hole/pin size (5/8″) as the Monster G3
      • It is built for the MyRack’s 2.4″x2.4″ uprights, whereas the G3 has 2″x2″ uprights. So the attachment would fit over the G3’s uprights, but there would obviously be extra space on the front and sides. You’d have to install some type of padding or wedges on the dip attachment to make it fit securely on the 2″x2″ uprights. Since it’s not designed or safety tested for use on smaller uprights, I’m sure Force USA wouldn’t recommend it. But at least in theory, it seems like it could work.

      You also mentioned the “Force USA Dip Handle.” I Googled that and found a dip handle that looks like it uses 1″ diameter peg to install onto a rack. If that’s the one you were referring to, there’s no way it could work since the G3 has 5/8″ holes.

      Lastly, as you may already know, Force USA is working on a G3 dip attachment. It’s currently in development and will be released in the not-so-distant future (no date announced as of yet). So, another option is to get the G3 unit now, then buy the official dip attachment when it’s available. Of course, I understand wanting to find a DIY workaround if dips are essential to your training 😀

  6. The G3 leg attachment that you show in your review looks a lot wider than the one offered on the website for the G3. Did they change the width of the leg attachment?

    1. The leg press plate you’d receive is the wider looking one that’s shown in my review. It is 29″ x 16″. The video on the Force USA site shows an older version of the G3 unit, which had a smaller leg press plate. And as for the picture on their site, it’s either the angle of the photo that makes it look smaller (or possibly it’s a shot of the older version).

      In any case, I reached out to Force USA and confirmed that anyone who orders the leg press attachment will indeed receive the large (29″ x 16″) plate.

      1. Ruben Cervantes

        Thats wonderful! Thank you for the prompt reply and for your wonderful review of the product. Im sold!

  7. Fantastic review, very comprehensive. I am seriously thinking of upgrading my current force USA rack to a G3 (or an Armortech F30 Pro functional trainer) and you’ve certainly cleared up a few queries I had about it.
    Do you happen to know the weight rating on the side pegs? I have done a bit of research but cant seem to find it.

    thanks
    Matt

    1. Thanks, Matt. When you say “side pegs” are you referring to the Smith machine? If so, the Smith machine’s total weight capacity is 770 lbs. So, to get the weight capacity for each side, you’d just divide by 2 (i.e. 385 lbs per side).

      But maybe you mean the weight holder pegs on the pulley system? If so, I don’t think there is a stated weight capacity rating for those. But they’ll definitely be able to hold as many weight plates as you can fit them — Each peg is 6 inches long, and each pulley has 2 pegs, so it can hold at least as much weight as you can fit on that. If this is what you were asking about, let me know and I’ll see if I can reach out to Force USA to see if they have an actual number for weight capacity on this. Though it’s not a common spec on any system.

      1. Hi Alex,
        Thanks so much for your reply. I was referring to the pegs on the pulley system, I was a little unclear sorry. I was just thinking about when using it for last pull downs. If the pegs are 6 inches deep and I could get 3x25kg plates each side that’s a total of 150kg (330lb) which at a 2:1 ratio would feel like 75kg which is sufficient for me. My preference is for single pulley pull downs so I can utilise the lat pull down seat. Thanks again for answering my question and a great review.

  8. Hi, love the review. Does the Smith machine bar security hooks have a handle? Or do you need to actually grab the hooks with your fingers (if you know what I mean)

    1. There is a handle, which you would use if you performed the leg press laying on the floor, since the handle is located at the bottom. See the handle below:
      Monster G3 Leg Press Handle for Racking the Weight
      However, if you prefer to do leg presses lying on a bench, then you would grab the hook itself. It’s very easy to do this as there’s plenty to hold onto and it’s not hard to swing the hooks in and out of place. As far as safety, you would simply want to grab onto the hooks below where you’ll be racking the weight so you don’t accidentally pinch a finger — though, you would naturally grab the hook at a lower position since your legs will be extended when racking/unracking.

  9. King, I’d just like to say thank you for this in depth review and appreciate you getting back to me with all my questions. I love how you are detailed about things as am I.
    I’ve told others about you and how you are friendly and informative about things.
    I had so many questions and you def made my decision on purchasing the G3 with a clear view on things. Cheers brother. Melbourne Australia. Antonio’s (Hercules) 🙂

  10. Can someone work the smith machine side, say doing squats while another person works with the cables? I ask because my wife and I like to workout together and want to make sure its possible. We have a marcy system now and would like to upgrade but do not have a ton of space.

    1. The smith machine and the cables run on two different weights so you can make it work as long as they give one another some space.

  11. This is the BEST WEBSITE EVER!! Thank you for replying back to my comments on YouTube. Super helpful info on the pulley row exercise workaround. One more question – you mention that the cables can extend farther than the other models. If you just want to do cable cross overs or something that does not require distance, will it sustain tension or do you have to pull it out all the way? I ask this because my garage is small and I will not have that extended space if I have to pull all the way out in front of the rack. Thanks again!!!

    1. Thanks! If you just want to do cable crossovers (or any other exercise that doesn’t require the full cable length), yes it will sustain the full tension of whatever you select on the weight stack. You don’t have to pull the cable out all the way to feel the full resistance. So you won’t have an issue in your small space.

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