It may not be a mainstay, but selectorized cable machines are starting to make their way into the home gym and garage gym markets. Probably the most common of the machines is the functional trainer. Being that it is as the name implies, functional, it makes the most sense for many home gym owners. The variety of exercises available is high and the space taken is minimal.
However, more cable machines are showing up in gyms across the country and popping up for sale online via Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. This could be a combination of gym closures due to Covid or simply some turnover from others. Nonetheless, I believe people are taking advantage of the opportunity to own commercial grade equipment at a fraction of the cost.
The main downside to owning a selectorized machine is the potential for maxing out the cable stack. Depending on the machine it may be easier on some, but is a possibility. That doesn’t mean your selectorized equipment becomes useless. Instead, I’ve included three ways to utilize a challenge with your cable machines and keep the gains going strong.
The Stacked Weight Pin
The Stacked Weight Pin is the best way to add variety and work on true incremental gain. With the standard 6” Stacked Weight Pin weighing 5lbs, it acts automatically as an adder weight for those 10lb plate stacks.
Have 15lb or 20lb plate stacks? No problem. Add on some change plates to make up the difference as you work toward the next plate. Then there’s the obvious goal of using the Stacked Weight pin in that you can add weight (up to 135lbs) to a maxed stack.
I think this is a diamond-in-the-rough kind of exercises. Perhaps because many home gym owners have no cable machine or one without the right setup. This is one of my favorite options to use chains with as the progressive resistance on a cable machine brings a whole other level of difficulty to the machines.
It works best when you pair chains with the Stacked Weight Pin. Either the full SWP or the Short Stack Weight Pin work very well with chains and can hold plenty of weight. You can easily manipulate the chain length with the carabiner, or wrap more chain on the pin if you wish.
Micro Stack Weight Pin
The Micro Stack Weight Pin can offer challenges all on its own.
With the weight for each pin set to 1.25lbs, this is the perfect add-on for those tough functional trainer exercises like lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, and more. Slowly add them to the top, side, back, or metal cable cover and keep the weight distribution nice and even for a perfect gliding stack.