Resistance Machines: The Debate

In the background behind Daniel, our lifter in this picture, we see two types of resistance training equipment. Immediately behind him, a triceps (etc) machine where the resistance comes from a weight stack, and where you select the desired weight by inserting a pin. usually in increments of 5kg or thereabouts. Simple. At the left, a rack of free weights which can be manually placed on a resistance machine to provide the exact resistance desired. Again, simple, but you spend time moving weights around before you can do your sets, and (ideally) placing them back on the rack when finished, ready for the next guy.

Simple ‘stack’ machine shown here, at the rear:


…and here, a plate-loaded leg-press machine at the right, and a stack-loaded pull-down machine on the left.

In many cases, either type of machine is available for a particular muscle-group exercise, and we are having to make decisions for the two gyms we are now specifying equipment for.

Stack-loaders are expensive in that you buy the weights every time since they are not removable for a different machine. Plate loaders of cheaper, but to avoid holding guys up when training, you need a lot of free weights.

Of course, we need a lot of free weights anyway, especially ready-made barbell and dumbbell sequences to avoid having to change weights…

…but we need also to consider that our ‘clients’ will be on vacation, and anxious to speed through their workouts and get out in the sun/pool/etc! And, of course, not forgetting things like wall-bars for dips, cross trainers, and so forth…

So, with two weeks to go before we’ll be over there supervising the fitting of the flooring and mats area, followed by the equipment for the first gym.  Let’s hope we’ve made the right choices!

The Russian backers are also suggesting that a ‘street workout’ area be added, and are apparently willing to stump up the additional cost. It gets even more interesting! However, for satisfying EU health and safety, we can’t  have bare earth floors like they do in Eastern Europe…

Incidentally, it would be really interesting to get some comments on what kinds of equipment you guys prefer to find in your gyms, especially when in ‘vacation’ mode. Feel free to add a comment here, or mail me on

We have also been asked to demonstrate the sort of things which might be included in the ‘entertainment package’ part of our new job. evening shows in the arena, certainly – when it is available (several months away I think) – plus little pop-up acrobatic shows poolside at lunchtime – that sort of thing. While the punters will be expected to pay for the evening stuff (shows up to two hours, with visiting artists), the pop-up balancing acts will be ‘freebies’ as part of our salary. Se we’re thinking to include some new balance pedestals in the equipment, and we’ll be shipping over some ‘fakir’ stuff for the evenings.

One great thing is that, on our days off, we can go practice on the beach…

Not, perhaps, such an exotic location to train as this guy found:

…but probably better than the middle of the main road…

So, I guess that, despite feeling our age these days, we can still going with the balance work for a while longer. Not quite here just yet:

Maybe “coming soon”!!

Meanwhile, book 4 production seems to be proceeding. Don’t forget the first three await your attention!

Our usual miscellaneous (‘muscleaneous’) fitness gallery follows:


About tony

Born Northampton UK
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