The 5 Best Home Gym Cable Machines
A cable machine is a valuable tool in a home where space is a luxury. While they can be
expensive, they are worth the money for their durability and function.
A single cable machine can add several exercises into your workout routine, for more variety and targeting more muscle groups.
What Muscles Do You Workout With A Home Gym Cable Machine?
Depending on the home gym cable machine you have, you can have a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home (1).
In the gym, it is common to see people working out their chests, biceps, and legs. But you can also target triceps, the core and back muscles, and the shoulders using the cable machine.
What to Look For When Buying a Home Gym Cable Machine
When you pay that much for a piece of equipment, the machine should be able to withstand heavy weights and abuse.
The construction of a good cable machine is usually steel because it offers more stability and capability to hold additional weights.
Other parts to pay attention to when you are buying cable machines are the pulley system and the cables.
You may have to ask about maintenance, as looking after your equipment will prolong its usefulness.
There are two types of cable machines available in the market: weight stacks and without.
Choosing which type solely depends on your workout goals and home gym planning. While the ones with weight stacks are usually more compact, they have a maximum weight you can go.
If you are planning a home gym from scratch, it may be economical in the long run to have all weight plates that fit your cable machine, dumbbells, and barbells.
When you are building muscles, you may need the flexibility of adjusting your own weight jumps.
Most cable machines are steel construction for strength, stability, and durability. However, the smaller parts like the pulley system or protection shroud can still break.
Does the frame hinder maintenance? A good cable machine will have sturdy strong frames that will not bend or break under stress and allow you to perform routine maintenance easily.
Size and dimension
You need a lot of space to house a cable machine since it is heavy and difficult to move around once you set it up. Some cable machine needs to be mounted on the wall or the floor for added stability.
Not only do you have to consider the dimension of the cable machine, but you also have to take into consideration the space that you are using with that machine.
Knowing your limitations will allow you to focus on finding a cable machine that fits.
Most cable machines come with two types of warranty: frame and cable.
The steel frame normally carries a longer warranty than the cable. All the cable machine’s warranty is only valid if you assemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Best Home Gym Cable Machine
#1 Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover Machine
2 high and 2 low pulleys that can rotate 180O, the cable ropes have nylon bushing technology and the pulley system uses eight sealed ball bearings for smoothness.
Comes with 2 handles and 1 ankle strap, the chin-up bar is an optional add on. The PCCO90X is a plate- loaded cable machine.
Dimensions: 112w” x 39d” x 82h”. 90 inches of space between two pulleys.
Warranty: 10 years on frame, 1 year on cable.
Weight capacity: 250 lbs each side.
Pro: 90 inches of space allows you to have room for a bench or a stability ball for more workout options. The plate-loaded option allows you to customize weight jumps. It can hold both Olympic and standard weight plates.
Cons: No middle pulley and the pulleys are fixed, so it reduces exercise options. The machine does not come with other accessories like weight clips.
–This site has the best price and availability, if interested.
#2 Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer
Pulley has 31 height positions and can rotate 180O. It has aircraft cables that can withstand 2000 lbs tensile strength, nylon coated for smoothness.
The unit comes with 2 handles, one long bar with ball bearing ends, triceps rope, etc.
Dimensions: 55″w X 40″d x 82″h.
- Lifetime warranty on the frame and parts for residential use.
- 10-year frame and 2-year parts warranty for light commercial users.
Weight capacity: 150 lbs each side, upgradable to 200 lbs each side.
Pro: It has a space for all the additional accessories in the machine, and it has other additional parts such as the power row option or a bench. The machine is compact for the amount of function.
Cons: Weight stacks only go up to 200 lbs maximum. The unit is difficult to assemble alone.
#3 XMark Functional Trainer Machine
Pulley has 19 height positions and can rotate 180O. It comes with 2 hand straps and six other accessories. Chin- up bar built into the machine. The machine has dual 200 lbs weight stacks, not upgradable.
Dimensions: 65”w x 43.5”d x 83”h. 48 inches between each pulley.
Warranty: Lifetime residential warranty for frames, other parts have 1 year.
Pro: Reviews are good for their after-sales services. Users like the smoothness and the quietness of the cables during exercise. It has protection shroud around the weight stacks for safety and a poster for exercise options.
Cons: Weight stacks only go up to 200 lbs maximum. Users report that the assembly is tricky.
#4 Valor Fitness BD62
Pulley has 16 height positions with a double bar track for stability despite the size. It has adjustable strap handles.
The Valor BD62 is a plate-loaded machine, and it can hold a maximum of 250 lbs. You can purchase the sleeve adapter if you have Olympic bar plates.
Dimensions: 24.5″w x 25″d x 80″h
Warranty: 3-year for the frame, 1-year for cable.
Pro: Small footprint and the pulley can pivot for cable crossovers. It has a double bar track for smooth gliding.
Cons: It has to be mounted top and bottom for security. The accessories come as extra if you need it.
#5 BodySolid Functional Cable Training Center (GDCC200)
Pulley has 20 height positions and can rotate 180O. It uses 4.8mm diameter aircraft cables that can withstand 2500 lbs. You can choose from 4 different dual weight stack options: 165, 215, 270, or 320 lbs. Chin-up bar built-in. (14)
Dimensions: 73” w x 43” d x 84” h. 65 inches between two pulleys.
- Lifetime warranty on the frame and parts for residential use.
- Lifetime warranty on the frame and 2-year parts warranty, and 1 year on cables and upholstery for light commercial users.
Weight Capacity: You can pick maximum weight from 165 lbs to 320 lbs. The machine can have extra weight stacks in 5 lbs until 320 lbs.
Pro: You can upgrade the weight as you get stronger or purchase the 320 lbs at one go. The construction is sturdy and smooth.
Cons: Other attachments are extra. The weight stacks are not protected. The assembly can be tricky and the look is a little messy compared to other brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I gain from using a gym cable machine?
When you invest in a gym cable machine, you will be able to take on a huge range of new exercises, whatever fitness level you are at.
Gym cable machines are superb at offering freedom of movement. This means you can be more creative with your workouts and build muscle in areas you probably didn’t know you could!
Some workouts and exercises you can do on most cable machines include:
- Chest presses and flys
- Abdominal exercises with cable weight
- Low-weight warmup routines
- Shaping glutes workouts
- Cable side plank exercises
- Full upper body workouts
- Cable squats and lunges
- Hip adduction and abduction routines
- Back workouts
These are just a few of the exercises you can do on these machines and the possibilities are almost endless.
How do gym cable machines work?
Cable machines provide protection to your muscles while doing workouts. Unlike other gym structures or hardware, the loads on a cable machine are associated with a range of cables that work with pulleys.
To train properly, you move these cables around but they remain under continuous strain against the heavy weights. Therefore, your muscles are also under some sort of pressure that is steady throughout a workout. Unlike freeholds, you do not enjoy the luxury of a resting point.
Usually, there are two weight stacks with two cables. Then, there is some space in the middle of the machine for you to stand and train your muscles. On the outside, you will find two external pulleys. These are flexible so the different cable connections can stay fixed during various movements.
This whole structure and mechanism allows you to work extremely. The cables can be pulled just about everywhere while still being neutralized. You can be very creative with these machines and with regular use, you should see those muscles grow very soon.
Are cable machines suitable for home use?
Yes, cable machines can be incorporated into your home workout routine but you may need some room to fit them in. These machines feature an unlimited number of exercise possibilities thanks to the outstanding versatility of their pulleys and the numerous planes of motions that are unrestricted.
Combined, you can vary the muscle you work on at home, more than ever before. Adding one of these machines to your home means you would not need additional equipment so you will end up with more space, time, and money.
While most people use these machines in gyms, there is no reason why owning your very own cable machine is not possible.
What is the weight capacity for cable machines?
The weight capacity of cable machines can vary from one to another. However, for most weight stack-type home machines, the stack is usually in the range of 150 to 200 pounds.
For plate-loaded cable gyms, the maximum is generally around 150 to 400 pounds. Just be sure to find one that supports the amount of weight you need.
When you compare the costs and the functionally of all 5 cable machines, you can safely consider the Powerline PCCO90X Cable Crossover Machine to be a top choice.
The Powerline PCCO90X may look wide, but it has plenty of space for different exercises. You can use it to target your core muscles using the stability ball for more complex workouts.
The Powerline offers a good amount of options for muscle building, and it has the flexibility of smaller weight jumps when you are starting out.
Overall, you might find the Powerline more adaptable to your growth and fitness level.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.
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