Plate loaded machines, also known as freeweight machines, are designed to help you reach a higher level of fitness than typical exercise machines and basic training exercises. You can easily target specific muscle groups depending on your goals.
Freeweight machines operate by simply adding weight plates and then letting the machine guide your body through the movement. Freeweight machines are perfect for people new to weights as the guidance they give will allow you to train with the proper form, reducing the risk of injuries that can occur when using gym weights by themselves.
Plate loaded machines use weight plates to add resistance to the exercise. As you get stronger you can progress to heavier weights. Types of plate loaded machines are plate loaded lat pulldown machine, leg press machine, shoulder press machine, chest press machine and cable machine. Each plate loaded machine is designed to target specific muscles like your biceps, triceps, delts and lats.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Difference Between Plate Loaded And Pin loaded Machines?
Pin loaded machines also called selectorised machines feature a weight stack that you can adjust using a pin. They are a great equipment choice because you can easily change the weight by simply inserting the pin to your desired weight in the stack. Plate loaded machines have weight plates added to them or taken off, which takes more time to set up than pin loaded machines. In a gym environment, if the last person to use the machine used heavy plates and didn’t take them off after their session, the next person may find it difficult and time-consuming to remove the weights. The downside of pin loaded machines is they have a maximum weight capacity as the weight stack is part of the machine. This means some users may eventually outgrow the machine. Plate loaded gym equipment often has a higher maximum weight which makes them ideal machines for heavy lifters. They are also great for beginners as you can customise the machine to use very low weights, unlike the pin-loaded machine which has a fixed weight range.
Why Use Plate Loaded Machines Over Freeweights?
Plate loaded gym equipment controls the range of movement, thereby ensuring the exercise is executed using the right form to limit risk of injury. The machine will work the muscles on the angles and planes that are safe and effective. Freeweights like dumbbells and barbells allow the user to move in any direction at any angle. This can result in incorrect loading on the joints if your form is not correct. However, the advantage of freeweights is that you engage your stabiliser muscles that you wouldn’t be able to engage using plate loaded machines. It’s also worth considering the weight ratio as a pin loaded machine typically provides some assistance through the cables.
What Weight Plates Are Used On Plate Loaded Machines?
Almost all plate loaded machines use Olympic Weight Plates, you can also check the specs section of the product for the compatible plate size. Since weight plates can also be used on barbells for weightlifting and for other functional exercises, this makes plate loaded machines more versatile and a smart investment.