Force USA Monster G6 Review: All-in-One Home Gym


The Force USA Monster G6 is one of four models in the Force USA Monster all-in-one gym product line. In my opinion, the Monster G6 is the best overall model for most lifters — it has the best mix of high-value features.

My Force USA Monster G6 review will tell you everything you need to know about this unit. I’ll start the review with a high-level overview of this all-in-one gym. Then I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of each major feature. I’ll wrap things up with my thoughts on who should or should not buy the Monster G6.

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Use the table of contents below to jump to any section of this Monster G6 review:

What Comes with the Force USA Monster G6?

The Force USA Monster G6 is an 8-in-1 machine.

Force USA Monster G6 All-In-One Gym

Unlike the Force USA Monster G3, ALL exercise stations you could possibly use on the Monster G6 all-in-one gym are included standard. There are no optional attachments sold separately.

The G6 includes the following exercise stations:

  1. Power rack
  2. Functional trainer
  3. Smith machine
  4. Vertical leg press
  5. Chin up station
  6. Dip station
  7. Core trainer / Landmine station
  8. Suspension trainer ring

Force USA Monster G6 Dimensions

External Width 72”
External Depth 63”
External Height 91″
Internal Width
(Between Uprights)
41”
Internal Width
(Smith Machine)
36″
Internal Depth 34” (incorrectly listed as 37″ on the product page)
Internal Height 85”

Force USA Monster G6 Features

Minimal Footprint

The Force USA Monster G6 fits 8 training stations into 1/3 of the footprint that would be required if you had a dedicated piece of equipment for each station.

This is one of the main draws of an all-in-one home gym and functional trainer like the Monster G6. It’s perfect for people with limited room who don’t want to sacrifice on exercise variety.

The alternative would be buying separate pieces of dedicated weight training equipment. Of course, who wouldn’t want to have a dedicated piece of equipment for each exercise station? Dedicated equipment will always give you extra benefits because it’s specialized…

…But many people don’t have a ton of extra space to fit several large machines. When you choose an all-in-one gym like the Monster G6, you still get most of the key benefits that the dedicated equipment gives you. You may lose out on the marginal benefits. But you gain the major benefits of convenience and space efficiency.

I assume convenience and a compact footprint are high on your priority list if you’re in the market for an all-in-one gym.

Cost Efficient Setup

Similar to how the Monster G6 will save you space, it will save you money, too.

Monster G6 Saves Money and Space (2)

You save hundreds if not thousands of dollars when you buy the Monster G6 instead of separate, specialized equipment of similar quality.

You’ll still have to set aside a chunk of change for the G6. It costs $3999. But the point is you’re paying much less than the alternative. More money in the bank is always a good thing.

It’s best to think of the G6 it as an investment. Because that’s what it is. Luckily, it’s a one-time investment because it comes with everything included. There’s no attachments sold separately like on the Monster G3.

Furthermore, you won’t need to buy any other machines in the future since you have all the major exercise stations you need in this one unit (which, by the way, has a lifetime warranty).

The only other major items you may need are a barbell, a flat or adjustable bench and weight plates — Many people will have that equipment already. Smaller accessories you may want in order to get the most out of the G6 are resistance bands to use on the band pegs, and a suspension trainer to use on the suspension trainer ring.

Versatile Design

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to an all-in-one home gym like the Monster G6. You’ll have no shortage of exercise possibilities among the 8 different stations.

You can do hundreds of exercises on this machine. Here’s an idea of the number of exercises you can do on each station:

  • Virtually all of the barbell movements you can do in a full sized power rack are possible in the Monster G6 power rack. Squat and bench press are just the beginning. 40+ barbell exercises is a conservative estimate.
  • The functional trainer component gives you the ability to do 75+ different cable exercises. Your creativity is the limit on this exercise station. Many more than 75 exercises variations are possible thanks to the flexibility inherent in its design.
  • On the Smith machine, you can do most of the exercises you can do in the power rack; plus some unique to just the Smith machine. Consider that another 30+ Smith machine movements.
  • There’s easily 30+ landmine exercises you can do, including a few row variations, a ton of core movements and several landmine variations of more traditional movements (squats, deads, etc.).
  • The multi-grip chin up bar gives you the ability to do 9 pull up variations just with the different grip configuration combinations. Even more are possible if you get creative.
  • The dip station gives you access to 2 basic dip exercises (wide grip and narrow grip). Though, many less conventional dip variations are possible, too.
  • The suspension trainer ring gives you access to a whopping 80 suspension trainer exercises assuming you have a TRX or other suspension trainer unit to hang on it.
  • The vertical leg press gives you access to 3 leg press variations (narrow, normal, and wide stance).

I’ll provide specific exercise examples when I discuss each exercise station in depth in the following sections:

Power Rack

The Monster G6 power rack is technically a “half rack” since it’s not fully enclosed with uprights in the front and the back. Nevertheless, it gives you the ability to do just about every barbell exercise you can do in a full sized power rack. And it does so in a smaller footprint.

Monster G6 Power Rack

Here’s a sample of the many barbell exercises you can do in the Force USA Monster G6 power rack:

The Monster G6 has a max weight capacity rating of 992 lbs. This is the same rating as all the other Monster all-in-one gym models.

Unless you’re an elite level powerlifter, this is more than strong enough for you on all lifts. If you are an elite level powerlifter, you surely know you should be looking for a full-sized power rack instead.

The Monster G6 power rack is the narrowest of all the G-Series models. First off, I want to stress that the width measurement of “36 inches” listed on Force USA’s website does NOT refer to power rack upright dimensions. I initially thought this was the case, which made me falsely think the G6 would be way too narrow for most lifters. Thankfully, the 36″ width dimension refers to the distance between the chrome pegs on either side of the Smith machine

The Monster G6 power rack’s actual internal width, or distance from the inside of each upright, is 41″. Its external width is 45″.

Monster G6 Power Rack Width Dimensions

In comparison, the Monster G3 power rack dimensions are 44″ of internal width and 48″ of external width.

The Monster G9 and G12 both have 48″ of space inside the uprights and 52″ outside the uprights — though their effective internal and external widths are 45″ and 49″, respectively. This is because each of their j-hooks and spotter arms is “indented” 1.5″ so you can rack and unrack the bar with enough clearance on either side for the inner collars.

The G6’s 41″ internal width is plenty wide for almost all lifters. Most full sized power racks have 42-43 inches of internal width; up to 44″ if you count the width gained if the rack has sandwich j-hooks.

So, you’re only missing out on 1-2″ inches of width with the Monster G6. Would it be ideal to have that extra width. Sure. It could come in handy to have a little extra clearance on a somewhat uncommon exercise like snatch grip rack pulls. Or if you need to space your hands super far apart on squats because you have terrible shoulder mobility. Other than these outlier situations, 41″ is fine.

You may be wondering, “Is the internal width to narrow to safely bench press with a wide grip?”

Good question — Virtually all lifters who use a wide grip on bench press won’t have to worry about pinching their fingers on the j-hooks. I know because I have long arms (6’4” wingspan) and have recently been using an extra wide bench press grip in my training (~38” from pinky to pinky). So, I made sure to confirm this when I was testing the G6. Indeed, I had sufficient clearance with room to spare.

Monster G6 Power Rack - Bench Press with Extra Wide Grip
Testing the 41″ internal power rack width with an extra wide bench press grip

Unless you’re in the tiny minority of lifters who use a significantly wider bench press grip than me, these uprights are far enough apart to bench safely. If you think you might have an issue, you can simply measure your grip width to confirm. If need be, you can choose any of the other Monster all-one-gym models with greater internal width.

As I’ve already alluded to, the power rack comes with j-hooks and spotter arms. You can install these in any of the 1″ diameter holes on the uprights in height increments of 3.75″. I’ll talk more about the spotter arms, j-hooks and hole spacing below:

Spotter Arms

Monster G6 Spotter Arms

The Force USA Monster G6 comes with a pair of safety spotter arms to catch the bar at the bottom of the range of motion in case you fail.

One small feature unique to the G6 spotter arms is a pop-pin locking mechanism on the back of the spotters. While the spotters would be safe without this, it provides an additional layer of security and ensures the spotters remain completely stable. More security and stability is always a plus when it comes to safety!

The spotter arms have 15” of usable length. This length is adequate. It will keep you safe on squats. However, I personally think an extra 2-3”+ of length would be ideal. I say this because I usually squat in a power rack with ~30″ internal depth. So I’m used to taking a longer step back when walking out my squat.

I had to take a shorter step back and stand closer to the uprights when squatting on the G6. That’s not a huge deal. It’s just something you have to be aware of when starting out. You’ll get used to it after a couple sessions.

J-Hooks

Monster G6 J-hooks

The Monster G6 j-hooks are most similar to the G9 and G12 j-hooks, but with a couple differences:

  • The G9 and G12 j-hooks are indented, or offset, to ensure the j-hooks aren’t too far apart on these wider units.
  • The G6 j-hooks have a pop-in mechanism (just like the G6 spotter arms) to provide an extra layer of security. This is a welcome bonus, since there’s no such thing as “too stable” or “too secure” when it comes j-hooks.
Monster G6 J-hooks vs Monster G9 and G12 J-hooks (2)
Note how the G9/G12 j-hook is “indented”

What I don’t like about the G6 (and G9/G12) j-hooks is that they only have a protective rubber insert on the bottom surface of the j-hook. There is no protective material on the upper portion. On top of that, there’s a bolt head sticking out of it. You should be aware of this when racking the bar after a set if you want to avoid scratching your barbell. Luckily it’s easy to avoid hitting the back of the j-hook since the bottom portion extends out so far.

In this respect, the Monster G3 j-hooks are a bit better. They have protection on the top and bottom.

Monster G3 J-hook vs Monster G6 J-hook
G3 j-hooks vs. G6 j-hooks

If you’re hyper-sensitive about keeping your barbell in pristine condition, you can do a pretty easy DIY project to cover the bolt head. Here’s a couple ideas:

  • The simplest solution would be to lay foam tape over it. This will last for a while but will eventually need to be reapplied.
  • A more long-term solution would be to get some cheap rubber bumpers — Simply cut the bolt head shape into one of the bumpers and apply it atop the bolt head. Then stick another bumper on top if you want additional padding.

Feel free to ignore these ideas if you’re not as not as neurotic about maintaining your barbells as I am! (Yes, I know most people don’t care about this as much.)

The last thing to mention about the j-hooks are the 5 holes on the underside of each. These are to adjust the height of the lat pulldown pad when you attach it to the j-hook. I’ll talk more about the lat pulldown pad later.

Hole Spacing

The Force USA Monster G6 power rack has 16 holes with 1″ diameters, spaced 3.75″ apart — just like on the Monster G9 and Monster G12.

You can install the j-hooks, spotter arms and dip attachment into any of these 16 holes on the G6.

Monster G6 Power Rack Hole Spacing

I generally prefer closer hole spacing because it allows you to be more precise in where you install the j-hooks and safeties. Closer spacing lets you maximize efficiency and technique because you can always rack and unrack the bar from the ideal position.

However, tight hole spacing isn’t everything. I consider anything under 4″ of hole spacing to be adequate for safety and performance. Not perfect, but it gets the job done. Even in the worst case scenario for an exercise — where you have to set the j-hooks ~3″ below your ideal position — any wasted efficiency from the extra range of motion when unracking is minimal.

Sub-4″ hole spacing is also acceptable for the spotter arms, because it still allows you to find a position that’s not too far below your range of motion. When you have more than 4″ spacing, that’s when you’ll run into situations where the spotters will either prevent full range of motion, or they’ll be so far below the bottom of the range of motion that they don’t protect you sufficiently if you fail.

Additionally, tight hole spacing is quite low on the list of priorities for many lifters. The people who care about it most are usually serious about powerlifting. That is just one small segment of the lifting population. Even within that segment, not everyone considers close hole spacing a prerequisite.

That said, I know close hole spacing is a must-have for some lifters. If you’re in this camp, then you should consider the Monster G3. It’s the only Monster all-in-one gym model with Westside hole spacing (1″ in the bench press zone; 2″ in the squat zone).

When you install the j-hooks or spotters in the highest hole, the distance from the floor to the bottom of the bar is 69″. Unless you’re into 7-foot height range, you won’t have any issues with the bar being too low for squats or any other power rack exercise…

…When you install the j-hooks or spotters in the lowest hole, the distance between floor to the bottom of the bar is ~12″. This measurement is relevant if you’re wondering the lowest height you can do rack pulls at.

Functional Trainer

The functional trainer is the primary exercise station that the Monster G6 all-in-one gym is built around. It consists of two adjustable-height cable pulleys on the power rack’s uprights. The cables are attached independently to two weight stacks in the rear of the unit.

Monster G6 Functional Trainer

You can adjust the pulleys to any of the 19 height settings on each of the columns. In comparison, the G3 has 22 height settings and the G9 and G12 each have 16.

The pop-pin pulley adjustment mechanism is designed for easy adjustment with just one hand. The G9 and G12 have the same design, but the G3’s mechanism is more easily adjusted with two hands. This is a minor design detail, but it’s adds a little bit of convenience to every workout.


IMPORTANT:

I want to call attention to an awesome design feature that’s built into the Monster G6 — which none of the other Monster all-in-one gym models have: The Monster G6 pulley are positioned to the inside of the uprights. This means the cable will be out of the way of the j-hooks and safety spotter arms. So, you can install the attachments above or below the pulley.

Monster G6 Allows You to Install Attachments Above AND Below the Pulley

Whereas, the Monster G3, G9 and G12 models have their pulley positioned such that the cables will be directly in front of the uprights. This means you should always have the pulley height set higher than the j-hooks and safety arms on the G3, G9 and G12. Otherwise, the cable is right in front of the upright holes, preventing you from installing and using the j-hooks and safeties (though, there’s a caveat to this, explained below).

  • NOTE: On the G3/G9/G12, you can technically move the cable to the outside just enough to install the j-hooks in either of the uppermost holes because there is a little bit of slack in the cable. There’s also enough slack for the cable to push move back with the barbell when you rack the bar after a set. However, I only recommend using this trick on the G9 and G12 for if you need to use j-hooks in one of the top 2 holes. So basically, any guy over 6’5″ doing barbell squats, lunges, etc. Even then, it’s something that should be done sparingly

    …This is because if you do this regularly, you risk wearing down the cable sheath over time from the barbell’s knurling rubbing against it. So, if you have a very tall friend who you occasionally train with, you’ll probably be fine using this trick because it’s only every once in a while. But if you’re the tall guy, you’ll probably want to get the G6 or G3, which can accommodate much taller lifters without issue. Of course, you don’t have to worry about this workaround at all on the G6. It gives you the flexibility to install the attachments above OR below the pulleys by design!

Putting the pulleys to the inside on the Monster G6 makes everyday use more seamless than other models.

For example, let’s say you’re transitioning from low-to-high cable flyes to barbell bench press. You don’t have take the time to move the pulleys up so the cable is out of the way. Instead, you can leave them where they are and install the j-hooks and safeties without issue.

Being able to install the j-hooks above the pulley also makes it possible to use ALL 16 holes on the G6 without issue, including the uppermost ones. On the other models, you can only use all of the holes if you use the workaround described in the note above (i.e. setting the pulleys lower and moving the cables aside to fit the j-hooks in the uppermost holes).


The fact that the Monster G6 uses a selectorized weight stack system instead of a plate-loaded weight bracket is a major plus. The Monster G12 is the only other unit that also has this feature.

A weight stack is so much more convenient than a plate-loaded setup. You simply move the pin higher or lower in the weight stack to decrease or increase the weight. You don’t have to walk around to each side of the machine, and swap plates between the plate-loaded bracket and the weight storage holders.

It’s not that plate-loaded units are less effective. It’s just that selectorized weight stacks can make your workouts flow so much more efficiently.

You waste less time and energy calculating how much weight to add or remove, carrying plates around, and stripping them on and off. You can focus more on your workout and less on tedious preparation tasks.

Plus, you can do supersets and drop sets more effectively with a selectorized system. You can change the resistance immediately after your first set so you can start the next set right away.

Although the weight stack feature is by no means a necessity, it is a highly desirable luxury. It will make each and every workout a little more efficient and enjoyable.

Selectorized weight stacks for functional trainers are typically only found on commercial quality equipment. The ones you do find on home gym quality equipment are usually shoddy in quality and operation. The one on the Monster G6 is well-made and operates effortlessly.

As you might imagine, a “luxury” feature like this will cost you extra. That’s why the G6, which is a home use model, costs more than the G9, which is a commercial quality unit that uses a plate-loaded mechanism. Depending on your needs and preferences, getting the selectorized weight stack feature can be well worth the extra cost.

The pulley action on the G6 feels just as smooth as on the G9 and G12, which are both commercial units. I felt it was smoother than on the G3; though it was more of a subtle improvement, rather than a night and day difference.

The Force USA Monster G6 functional trainer has a 2-to-1 pulley ratio. You get 1 pound of resistance for every 2 pounds selected on the weight stack. So if you insert the selector pin at 81 lbs, it will feel like you’re lifting 40.5 lbs. A 2-to-1 ratio is typical of most functional trainers on the market. The G3 also has a 2-to-1 ratio.

However, some functional trainers, including the Monster G9 and G12, have a 1-to-1 pulley ratio. Every pound you select or load on translates directly to 1 pound of resistance. This lets you lift more total weight.

Each Monster G6 weight stack has 221 lbs of plates. The 2-to-1 ratio means you can achieve up to 110.5 lbs of resistance if you lift the whole stack. This is plenty for many lifters. However, stronger lifters will find that it’s too light for certain exercises (e.g. cable rows; lat pulldowns; cable bench press using both stacks). If this is the case for you, don’t worry just yet.

Your first option is to simply upgrade to the Monster G12, which has a two 202 lb weight stacks with a 1-to-1 pulley ratio. However, the G12 does cost an extra thousand dollars and you do lose out on the band peg holes. If you don’t want to go the G12 route, you have other ways of increasing the weight stack resistance on the Monster G6:

  • Add band resistance. As I’ll discuss later in the section on band peg holes, you can use the band pegs to wrap resistance bands over the weight stack. This will create tension and greatly increase the max resistance of each weight stack.
  • Buy a weight stack plate holder. These things are rare, but they’re an awesome idea. First, you max out the weight stack. Then you stick the pin of the weight stack plate holder into one of the plates in the middle of the stack. Once installed, you slide Olympic plates onto the holder.
  • Add a second pin to the weight stack and hang an extra weight plate on it. This an old school trick that not many people know about, but it works great. You can buy a cheap weight stack pin from Amazon. It should have a 3/8″ diameter and be at least 4″ long (longer pins will let you hold more/thicker plates). See the video below to get an idea of how this works:

TIP: If you only need extra resistance for low rows or lat pulldowns, you can do double pulley variations of these exercises. That is, you use the long bar attachment or the two stirrup attachments to utilize both weight stacks while you position yourself in the middle of the unit. This gives you a max resistance of 221 lbs without having to use any of the workarounds listed above.

The cable accessories included with the Monster G6 functional trainer include the following:

  • Metal Stirrup Handles: These are used for a ton of unilateral or bilateral exercises, such as chest flyes, rows, curls, lateral raises and many more.
  • Cable Crunch Attachment: Most lifters won’t know about this attachment. It’s meant to be held on either side of your head, against your torso. This is more efficient and comfortable than using a triceps rope for cable crunches.
  • Long Straight Bar: This bar is similar to the ones for the G9 and G12, in that is thicker in diameter compared to the one on the G3. It is excellent for chest pressing, rows, biceps curls and triceps pressdowns. It’s also a great way to do heavy lat pulldowns because it allows you to use both weight stacks.
  • Triceps Rope: The triceps rope is, of course, ideal for triceps pushdowns. It’s also good for face pulls, curls, and overhead triceps extensions, among other exercises.
  • Triceps V-Bar Handle: This is another excellent attachment for triceps pushdowns. It also can be used for curls and some row variations.
  • Close Grip Row Handle: This is by far my favorite cable attachment for low rows. It’s also excellent for close grip lat pulldowns.
  • Short Straight Bar: This handle is ideal for biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, upright rows and underhand low rows.
  • Sports Handle: This attachment is one you might’ve never seen before, but it’s pretty cool if you’re into core movements. You can use it for cable woodchops and cable rotation variations. It’s also a cool way to do cable hammer curls.
  • Lat Pulldown Bar: Obviously, this attachment will be your go-to for lat pulldowns. It’s also perfect for doing wide grip rows.

3 thoughts on “Force USA Monster G6 Review: All-in-One Home Gym

  • February 5, 2021 at 6:22 am
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