The Genesis Jack is possibly one of the coolest and simplest new gym inventions that we’ve seen in a long time. Priced at $90 US (at the time of writing this review), this simple and lightweight deadlift jack answers a huge need for those of us who don’t train in a gym that invests in deadlift jacks, or who train at commercial facilities. But does it stand up to the hype?
What is it?
A deadlift jack is a tool that allows a lifter to jack up a loaded barbell. The goal is to get the bar and plates high enough off of the ground so that you can add more weight to a heavy barbell. This can also be accomplished by rolling the bar up onto a smaller set of change plates. However, this method is both annoying and can damage your smaller plates. (Having 500+ pounds rolled on top of them on a regular basis can’t be good for them.) Now, there have been dozens of variations of the deadlift jack, the most common one being the heavy, monstrous type that you see used in competitions or hardcore gyms.
There are also lots of variations out there that are meant to reduce the size and weight of the deadlift jack, but all of them have their shortfalls. They’re either inconvenient, don’t work well with all plate styles (hex plates in particular), or are too heavy to travel within a gym bag.
What makes the Genesis Jack different?
- It’s universal. The Genesis Jack does things a little bit different than these other products. First of all, it works universally with all standard Olympic and powerlifting bars.
- It doesn’t matter what type of plates you use. Since the Genesis Jack hooks on to the bar, instead of going underneath the plates, it doesn’t matter what type or shape of plates you use.
- It’s super lightweight. The whole thing is made of lightweight and very strong 6061 aluminum. This is the same stuff that they use to make airplane wings and scuba tanks. So yeah, it’s very very strong and very very light.
When I first received the Genesis Jack in the mail, I was impressed with how light it was. At just over a pound, it was easy to see that this could be a regular part of my gym kit. Taking it out of the box, it felt incredibly solid and well built. It was easy to see that there had been a lot of thought put into the design, build, and finish of this device. Even though it’s metal, it was packaged with care, and included some air-packs to keep it from slamming around in the box. This, to me, showed that the company that builds these sincerely cares about their product and wants it to arrive in perfect shape.
The design of the Genesis Jack is something that truly sets it apart. Each and every piece is there for a purpose and seems to be very well thought out. The jack is long enough to provide leverage on a loaded bar but short enough to fit in most gym bags. The handle also has finger grooves that allow you to firmly grasp the jack and move heavy bars almost effortlessly. The “hooks” (where the bar rests) are lined with a urethane bumper that keeps the bar and collars from coming in direct contact with the jack. This buffer will help keep your bar in good shape and will extend the life of the jack itself since there’s little to no metal on metal contact.
The thing that really impresses though is the design of the foot. The foot is consists of three pieces of aluminum, and each one has grooves cut into the bottom. This gives the Genesis Jack a solid grip on the floor and provides a very stable surface for the bar to rest on when loading and unloading plates.
The build quality on the Genesis Jack is impressive as well. Everything from the custom-made handles, to the low-profile allen bolts that hold everything together, looked and felt solid. There was no play in any of the pieces (even though each one is built by hand), so everything felt tight and solid. I don’t see this thing coming apart anytime soon. Honestly, it could probably be used as a self-defense weapon if it comes down to it.
Using the Genesis Jack
Now for the fun part. What’s it like to use the Genesis Jack in the real world? Honestly, it’s very simple and oddly satisfying. I’ve now used the Genesis Jack for several heavy deadlift sessions and haven’t had any issues at all. It does take a bit to learn how to use it so that that it’s at its most stable point, but after that, it’s all gravy. It makes easy work of jacking up a bar loaded with over 500lbs. There’s something very satisfying about moving that much weight with that little effort.
The key to using the jack is to place the hooks as close to the collars of the barbell as possible. If you manage to do this, you’re getting the best leverage out of the jack and are setting it up in the most stable position. If you place the hooks too far from the collars, it has a tendency to lean to one side, which could damage the jack, or cause the barbell to drop back onto the floor. Luckily, Genesis Jack has a great video on how to use the jack, so give it a watch.
After using the jack for several training sessions I can say that I have never used a better jack. It’s lightweight, easy to transport, and looks great. Every time I take it out of my gym bag, I get several people asking “what is that thing?”. It’s easy to use and is a smart but simple design. It makes light work of loading and unloading heavy bars, and will be a staple in my gym loadout for years to come.