Rogue Fitness Monolift Attachment Review
I mentioned in a previous video for the Rogue SML-1 Review that I was going to be purchasing the mono lift attachments as an add-on to our SML-1 squat stand. I had waited a bit before purchasing these from Rogue Fitness because there was talk of them coming out with an improved version that allowed for faster height adjustments. I waited a bit and decided that the original version was a better fit for us.
Why The Rogue MLite/Infinity Monolift Attachment?
We compete in a powerlifting federation that utilized the use of a monolift. It just makes sense to practice how you play and at our previous gym, we had access to a mono lift. The attachment is what I feel as close as possible to the use of a monolift without actually being one. There is more to a mono lift than not having to take any steps though, one of the best features is the pneumatic adjustment of rack height. You can play with your set up and height to the 1/2″-1″ increments and get what is essentially perfect for you.
Because of this feature (which you wouldn’t miss had you never used a monolift) I was concerned about the newer attachment and being able to adjust in smaller increments than the pre-drilled holes used by the monster lite system. I see that the newest version (Adjustable Monolift Attachment) is claiming 1″ adjustability now as well whereas before, only the original attachment had that claim.
Adjustability was important to me because setting up is a bit different when working with a monolift “style” piece of equipment. Too low and you are crouched down too much, too high and the hooks make it impossible to re-rack the weight safely.
Rogue MLite/Infinity Monolift Attachment Specs
These are taken directly from the Rogue product page. I would assume the most notable spec that people are worried about is weight capacity. As you can see, the attachment has been tested with 1000+ lbs, it really shouldn’t be of concern. This is one of those situations that when you can actually squat the type of weight that would be of concern with a piece of equipment such as this then you probably already know what you need.
Common Q/A That I Have Found
These are the questions on the internet I found most often when I researched this piece of equipment vs competitors.
How far out does the bracket extend from the rack?
I measured this and it was 10″ from the top of the bracket to the rack. The actual bar distance is about 9″ from the rack.
What is the clearance once the bar is unracked?
This greatly depends on your set-up. In a perfect world, if you were to set-up, un-rack and return exactly to how you started the clearance was 3″. It is enough that if you set-up THE RIGHT WAY then you shouldn’t have to worry about hitting the hooks on the way up.
How does it adjust?
I wasn’t sure of this myself either until I purchased the piece of equipment. The adjustments are made (we are talking the smaller increments here) by taking the actual arm (red piece) off. You need to unscrew the larger bolt (shown below) and then you will find that there are two other hole options on the arm. Is it a pain? Slightly, but I have got it down to where I can do it by myself through some careful adjusting and having the necessary hardware close by. Honestly, I would rather have that be a pain then have to squat with a bar that is too low.
I think this is a good piece of equipment. It is comparable to the other monolift attachments on the market and I feel has some nicer features. I appreciate the UHMW plastic pieces that sandwich the hooks and help to protect the bar. Another feature that is helpful are the backstop bolts. Other mono lift attachments do not offer this piece(that I have used) which keeps the bar from swinging further away during set up.
A lot of people have shown that this is a great piece of equipment to use while benching due to the fact that if you bench solo the mono lift attachment allows you to unrack the bar perfectly in the groove rather than needing a lift-off. If you want to utilize this for both squat and bench then I would probably recommend the Adjustable Monolift Attachment over the original for ease of adjustability (it works the same was as the j-cups). Otherwise, the original mono lift works just fine as is for squatting and saves a bit of money 305.00 vs 275.00.
Tips when first using the mono lift attachment
If you have never used a monolift or this type of attachment there is a learning curve that you need to be patient with. I was really excited to first use this attachment and compare our velocity based training data with squats walked out vs. a mono lift set-up. I was hoping for some great comparisons to show whether or not monolift squatting was easier etc…. After a few reps for both of us it was clear that we weren’t going to get that data.
Tip 1: You need to get under the bar
You will find yourself staring down at your feet in what I call “no-man’s land” because you don’t have the rack uprights to orient yourself. Use the bar as your gauge and look down at your feet. Wherever you think they are supposed to be, I can almost guarantee that they need to be underneath the bar even further. You will know as soon as you set-up that something isn’t quite right.
Tip 2: Find a visual point and keep looking at it
This isn’t supposed to be about squat technique and I’m not going to write about set-ups etc. What I will say is this: You will now have way more things in your peripheral vision than you are used to. You will start to worry about the bar coming in contact with your rack uprights and the hooks in general. This takes time before it goes away. At least it did for us. Find something straight ahead and focus on that while you squat.
Tip 3: Video Your Squats for clues
Utilize some video and review your set-ups to see what works best for you. Believe it or not, the wrong set up will change your form. If your hips are too far behind you to start, you will find yourself folding over more than usual. We each made mistakes that resulted in us making contact with the hooks on the way up. If you do everything RIGHT then this WON’T happen. However, if you perform a shit set-up combined with a shit squat then you deserve to hit the hooks. LEARN and CHANGE what went wrong instead of complaining that the equipment sucks. Again, if everything (set-up, eccentric/concentric phases) are correct then you have nothing to worry about.
In short, this is a great piece of equipment and is as close to a monolift as you can get without investing thousands of dollars. If you have knee issues or any other issues that make you fear the walk out of a squat then this will definitely help you.