Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by JP
Setting up a home gym means selecting equipment that specifically meets your training needs, and plate-loaded exercise equipment is ideal for those who want control over the weight they are lifting.
While many brands opt to include weight stacks, there are still many plated options out there that allow you to add more weight onto the rack when you feel you need to challenge yourself more. This not only allows you to customize your workout but also makes the machine usable for a longer time.
We round up the best plated-loaded home gym machine for an in-home gym on the market right now. We’ve also outlined their key features and weighed up some of the pros and cons to help guide your decision about which one suits your needs best.
Best Plate-Loaded Home Gyms (Our Review)
Body-Solid Pro Clubline Leverage Squat SLS500 (Best for Form)
The Body-Solid Pro Clubline Leverage Squat SLS500 machine is a high-end lower body-focused offering from a reputable brand.
The machine is fully commercially rated and made with a steel frame, making it a high-quality, durable option that won’t fall apart on you anytime soon, if ever.
The platform is angled precisely to ensure the most effective form of squat, ensuring that you are optimally working the muscles without the risk of injury or strain due to poor form. The machine also has a calf block that further increases the range of motion possible during your workout.
It is compatible with 11” Olympic plates and even features a storage space built into the machine that allows you to hang your weight plates. This is not only convenient during the workout when you need quick and easy access to additional weight, but it also saves you general space in your home gym.
The price tag is quite steep, retailing at around $2,631. But, the reputation of the Body-Solid brand gives you peace of mind that the investment you make will be worthwhile. Plus, the machine is top-notch in terms of quality. Body-Solid also offers a lifetime guarantee, which is a massive added benefit and assurance.
- Reputable brand
- High quality and durable
- Weight storage space
- Only works the lower body
Powertec Workbench Multi System (Most Versatile)
The Powertec Workbench Multi System is a large machine that allows a variety of workouts for all major muscle groups.
The machine has more than twelve stations, allowing a wide range of different workouts for all muscle groups. The versatility is a major benefit. You can invest in this machine alone and you’ll be able to work your entire body without having to buy additional pieces of equipment.
It operates with a plate-loaded system, so you can add on the number of weights that suit your workout and fitness level. This also results in a smoother motion as there is no friction that typically comes with weight-stack machines.
The machine is quite large, with the major benefit of allowing up to 3 people to use it at one time. This is ideal for big households where multiple people need to work out at the same time. It also allows you to have a workout partner or two, which is always helpful to stay on track and make exercise enjoyable.
Unlike many other home gym machines, this one features a lever system rather than the common pulley system for a home gym. This, paired with the plate-loaded feature, contributes to that smooth range of motion.
Comfort is key with this system. The seat has heavy, quality padding which supports the back well. This is important when exercising, as it can be common to experience back pain or injury, which in turn can affect your fitness levels and ability to work out in the long run.
While it has a slightly higher price tag, retailing for around $2099, the number of features it has makes it a worthy investment.
- High quality
- Lever system
The Titan Leg Curl / Extension Machine (Most Supportive)
The Titan Leg Curl/Extension Machine is a fantastic budget-friendly option for lower body workouts.
It is a seated leg curl and leg extension machine, which offers a good workout for the lower body.
Leg curls and leg extensions are beneficial for muscle strengthening and weight loss, but also provide a supportive, low-impact exercise to reduce the risk of injury to the back and joints. This is key for protecting the body and ensuring there are no obstacles to a long-term fitness plan.
It works with plate-loaded features, so you can push your workout and weight needs as much as you need to. It is compatible with Olympic plates, which are fairly common. You can save money if you already have these weight plates for other machines or for use on barbells as they can be easily transferred and used on this machine.
The backrest and seat are adjustable to suit the position and comfort of the user. This allows anyone, regardless of height, to use the machine effectively. Adjusting positions can also shift the focus of the workout between different muscles of the leg, allowing more targeted focus.
The machine itself is compact, which is convenient for a home gym, especially with limited space. Its compact size also means that it is easier to move around or store away if you do not necessarily want to designate a permanent space for the machine or a larger home gym.
It is a high-quality, commercial-grade machine that is akin to those you find in a gym. The machine is very well priced for this quality, priced at around just $450. This is an absolute bargain for the machine you are getting and is ideal for a home gym that is looking to incorporate a number of machines to suit each major muscle group.
- Reasonably priced
- High quality
- Only works leg muscles
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage Combo MD-9010G (Best Value for Money)
The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage Combo MD-9010G is extremely versatile at a reasonable price.
The Marcy Power Cage home gym is commercial grade and makes you feel as if you are working out in a gym. It is made with quality steel and is constructed well. This means that an investment in this machine will be worthwhile as it is likely to last you a very long time.
The attachments include a lateral bar, leg extension, and leg curl attachment, handles, row handle, and tricep rope, and preacher curl attachment, among others. This allows for a huge range of different exercises that work the entire body, all done in one machine.
The leg developer has a good range of motion, allowing you to target all lower body muscles in a focused movement. The backrest is adjustable, which suits individual comfort and allows different positions to match different exercise types.
The machine features nylon pulley wheels that have steel ball bearings – this results in an incredibly smooth motion, which is only intensified by the plate-loaded feature.
It is a smith machine for your home gym, so the bench is removable and adjustable, allowing a greater variety of workouts. You can exercise standing up, as well as sitting down, by removing the bench when needed.
The machine has a cable cross dual pulley system, and it can accommodate up to 2000lb in weight. It is compatible with Olympic weights.
Plus, there are weight racks built in to store your weights. This is not only convenient for when you are working out and need a quick change of weight to suit your fitness needs and workout type, but it is also a space-saver in your home.
The machine is priced at an incredibly decent, mid-level $1,200. Considering that it is a reputable brand, high-quality machine, and is so versatile, this is an absolute steal. You can but this machine alone, without any other supplementary equipment, and work out your entire body effectively for what is a relatively low price.
- Value for money
- Many attachments
- Slightly pricier
BodySolid GSRM40 Seated Row Machine (Best Budget)
The BodySolid GSRM40 Seated Row Machine is a popular plated machine that would make an excellent addition to a home gym.
The quality of the machine is impeccable, with a sturdy and durable design that will last a lifetime. The machine is fully adjustable to suit the user, making it ideal for any height or body composition.
Comfort is prioritized in the design. The foot braces and seat are both padded, and the chest support pad is thick and heavily padded. This keeps the body well supported, and prevents pain and injury.
It has a very high weight capacity and is compatible with 1’ weight plates. If you do have Olympic plates (which are quite common), you can purchase a size adapter to use them, saving you the hassle and cost of purchasing new weights.
BodySolid offers their incredible lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind when buying this machine. It is incredibly budget-friendly, retailing at around just $399, which is the cheapest option on our list.
- Lifetime warranty
- High weight capacity
- Reasonably priced
- Not as versatile as other options
Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench (Best for Lower and Upper Body)
The Gold’s Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench machine is a plate-loaded exercise option to strengthen your lower and upper body
The machine is made from alloy steel, making it a durable option. The seat and backrest are well padded, ensuring a comfortable exercise experience. Quality upholstering also contributes to the durability of the fabric.
The machine has a 300lb weight capacity, which means you can really push your fitness and strength levels while working out.
It features a 6 roll leg developer, which allows you to work the major lower body muscle groups like the hip flexors, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The design features a rolled preacher pad, which aids in upper body movements that work your biceps, triceps, and forearms while keeping your body comfortable and your posture correct.
The curl yoke is detachable, which allows you to switch between upper and lower body exercises easily without the bulk of the attachment getting in your way during your lower body workout. You can also adjust the bench between incline, decline, and flat positions to suit your workout and target a wider range of muscles.
The machine also comes with an exercise chart, which guides you in the wide range of workouts possible to increase your range, and ensures you never get bored with your exercise.
The machine is priced at around $408, which is one of the cheapest options on our list. But, the durability of the machine is not compromised as its construction is sturdy. Plus, the wide range of possible exercises and high weight capacity make this machine an excellent value for money buy, and a great addition to any home gym.
- High weight capacity
- Reasonably priced
- Only works the lower and upper body
When exploring plate-loaded home gym machines, you will find a variety of types that will work for different muscle groups. Some are larger systems that can work for multiple groups, while others are designed to focus on a particular area of the body, such as legs or arms.
The type you opt for depends on your needs. If you have a limited budget or little space for a home gym, it is worth investing in a larger machine that offers a versatile range of exercises so that you can work the entire body in one place.
If you are looking to buy a few pieces of equipment for a multi-station home gym, and your budget and space allow for it, it is preferable to get a machine for each major muscle group. This can be one for the upper, one for the lower body, and one for abdominals. Specialized machines will often offer a more focused workout for each area, which will result in a more effective workout routine overall.
Plated home gym (FAQs)
Are plate-loaded machines good?
Yes. Plate-loaded machines tend to be cheaper than weight-stacked machines, making it a more budget-friendly option. They also allow more user control over the weight resistance, and you can use weights that you already have and use barbells on the machine.
What is plate-loaded gym equipment?
Plate-loaded machines use conventional round plates (like those on a barbell) instead of weight stacks. This not only allows smoother motion due to the elimination of friction found in weight stacks, but it also allows controlled movement, which lessens the risk of strain or injury.
What are the training benefits of using plate-loaded machines?
Plate-loaded machines allow you to choose and control the weight you would like to use, especially on a more advanced level. It also allows a controlled range of movement during exercise, which is a safer way to work out.
The use of round weight plates is beneficial to the body, as it directly works on the muscles you are training.
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