August 31, 2022 2 min read
Combining the features of a traditional weight machine with the free-range motion of free weights, plate loaded machines consist of a large frame with a standard barbell where the weights are held. What separates plate loaded machines from traditional weight machines is the ability of the user to decide the weight to be loaded on the barbell, therefore allowing the user to customise the weight they work with.
Versality is the key differentiator between plate loaded equipment and other weight machines; some plate loaded machines incorporate free floating levels, allowing the user to customise the way in which the machine moves. Loading the weights on each independent arm of the plate machine provides users with the opportunity to work each limb separately at different weights. In comparison to free weights, the nature of plate loaded equipment allows users to train without the need of a spotter; the user is forced to complete a lift with the correct bio-mechanic form when using plate loaded equipment which decreases the risk
Significantly less expensive than selectorised machines, pricing is a definite advantage of plate loaded equipment. Similarly, plate loaded equipment require much less maintenance due to the lack of pulleys and weight stacks within their structure, both of which are susceptible to damage and therefore relatively frequent repair.
Many users are reluctant to use plate loaded equipment based on the common
misconceived perception that the equipment is bulky and unsuitable for inexperienced weightlifters. In fact, plate loaded equipment is a useful, safe piece of machinery ideal for both men and women of all abilities whose primary goal is gain muscle and strength.
The fact that almost all traditional weight machines are now available to buy as plate loaded machines reflects the popularity of plate loaded equipment. Of the more commonly known plate loaded machines are the chest press, leg press and lateral pull down whilst varying degrees of leg press machines – 45 and 70 – and the power squat machine demonstrate the range of machines available.
Selectorised equipment includes a stack of weight plates attached to a frame and a system of pulleys. Users adjust the level of resistance/ weight by moving a pin or lever. Each machine also enables seat weight and handles to be adjusted accordingly to individual users. Selectorised weight machines will include a panel of instructions which typically indicate which muscle groups the machine is designed to target, how to use the machine and where tadjustment points are.