A “home gym” is basically a person’s workout room within their home, and may include various items of fitness materials, such as treadmills, rowing machines, free weights, and other accessories that help them with their training. However, the term “home gym” also refers to specific strength training systems, such as weight stack cable machines, functional trainers, or Smith machines, created for residential use. These are typically available for a more affordable price than similar machines made for commercial gym usage.
The term is quite inclusive, and the fitness materials or machines that fall into this category are quite various from one another. Our home gyms category here actually addresses 7 types of fitness machines that can be labeled as home gyms. These are weight stack machines, smith machines, cable crossovers (or functional trainers), ability racks, ability towers, flex-rod home gyms, and body weight fitness benches. Evidently, every type has its own specifics, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Therefore, whether you’re looking to buy a certain home gym machine, in this post we’re going to point out their strengths and weaknesses, and the most important aspects to consider about them.
Weight Stack Home Gyms
Weight stack machines are multi-function home gyms, consisting of a system of pulleys, and cables that connect to a stack of weight plates. Every machine of this type offers more or body solid-exm1500s-03less workout stations. For example, some may include a pec fly workout station, others may have a circulation pad station etc. It goes without saying that the more workout stations comprising a weight stack machine, the higher the price.
Advantages: In common, even a basic weight stack machine model offers the possibility to perform a wide array of exercises, especially for the arms and core, but also for the legs. Differently put, whether you receive one, you may not require to perform exercises using dumbbells as often, as many of the exercises that involve dumbbells can be replicated on this type of machine.
Most weight machines of this type have their weight plate stack included, and you won’t have to buy the weight plates extra, as for most Smith machines, whether not, of course, you want an upgrade of the included stack.
Disadvantages: Most weight stack machines are heavy and rather large. Therefore, you’ll require at least two people for their unpacking and assembly, and you will have to carefully consider their assigned space. Once assembled, the machine will be hard to move.
Every weight stack machine includes a huge number of parts, and its assembly may not be exactly simple. Although all of them come with assembly manuals that will guide you step-by-step through the assembly process, definite steps may be left out or hard to comprehend. Also, the overall assembly always takes at least 3-4 hours
Aspects to Consider
Weight Plate Material: Some weight machines may have a standard weight stack, featuring cast iron weight plates. However, there are weight machines that feature vinyl-cement weight plates which are less durable. Thus, even though a machine with vinyl plates may be a bit cheaper, it’s always best to opt for one with cast iron plates.
Weight Stack Upgradability: Evidently, whether a machine comes with a 300 lbs weight stack, for example, it may be suitable for you for a while. But once you develop enough strength, the supplied weight stack may not suffice anymore. Therefore, it’s best to opt for a machine that gives you the possibility to upgrade the weight stack.
Weight Ratios: Every weight stack machine may have its own specific weight ratios for every group of pulleys. For example, even though the maximum weight of the plate stack supplied with the machine maybe 300 lbs, the maximum weight that you’ll get when chest pressing maybe only 150 lbs, due to the 1:2 ratio for the press station. Some machines come with a table with the ratios for every station, but there are also models that don’t specify it. Thus, always keep in mind that a clean 1:1 ratio is not very general. Also, ratios can go from 1:2 to 1:5 for definite models.
Overall Upgradability: Some weight machines offer upgrade possibilities. For example, accessories such as preacher pads, leg press attachments, or dip bars may be available, and such additions may be perfect for different exercises that you might want to perform in the future.