The Pad Lock Gripper is a bench attachment that turns any ordinary bench pad into one with a much grippier top. The Pad Lock Gripper is both cheap and effective, making it a great option for anyone that wants to increase their stability on the bench.
With the introduction of the Rogue Thompson Fat Pad, most consumers and companies are realizing both the effectiveness and popularity of a having a grippy bench pad.
Let's be honest, most bench pads are weak.
They're thin, have wimpy padding, bad stitching, and have a shiny, thin vinyl top. But the worst part of all, the bench top has no grip. None.
You can typically tell how nice a bench is by the vinyl that's used. If it's shiny and slick, it's likely cheap.
However, many people can't get afford or have no desire to pay for an expensive bench. OR, they go to a commercial gym that hasn't updated their equipment since they opened in the 80's. This is where the Pad Lock Gripper comes into play.
First off, the Pad Lock Gripper isn't revolutionary. However, it's a simple and effective product that makes you step back and ask, “why didn't I think of that?”
If you've ever used the Thompson Fat Pad from Rogue Fitness, then you've felt a similar top to what's used on the Pad Lock Gripper.
The Pad Lock Gripper utilizes two different materials. The bottom side of the gripper features a dot-pattern grip material that keeps the Gripper locked against the bench pad. I'm glad they decided to use the material they did for the underside as we've yet to see any slippage while using it.
Although the bottom material of the Gripper is nice, the top material is what's most important. Rather than using a dot material for the top, Pad Lock uses a diamond knurl looking pattern that actually mimics a barbell knurl with rubber. Your back and shirt, when driven into the top, will grip and not let go, without being overly rough.
In fact, in comparing to our Rogue Thompson FatPad, the grip is actually even more on the Pad Lock Gripper than the FatPad which has much more than any other bench we've used.
To attach the gripper to the bench, two elastic straps are stitched onto the gripper and can then be wrapped around the bench top and velcroed. Thankfully, Pad Lock used a heavy-duty velcro, although I would have like to see them use wider strips that go across the entire elastic portion.
The elastic strip is actually reminiscent of a knee wrap, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the exact same material.
Now, the big questions is, why does the grip of a bench pad even matter?
Well, if you're not concerned with the grip of your bench pad, then you're likely benching with improper form.
The bench press, when done for strength, should be done with an arched back and retracted scapulae due to that form allowing greater use of the lower fibers of the pec major. Benching with a flatter back uses the weaker upper pec fibers and anterior deltoids.
But, in order to arch back, you have to press into the bench. If you've ever done this on a slippery bench, you know it can be difficult and sometimes not at all possible.
This is where the Pad Lock Gripper comes in. A simple piece of fabric, that allows your back to grip to the bench.
The Pad Lock Gripper is only $40, which is a pretty good deal, although if you're handy with a sewing machine, you could probably make a similar version for much cheaper. That said, for the price and effectiveness, we're big fans of the Pad Lock Gripper.