You've been working out consistently and have reached the maximum weight setting on your home gym. Now you're wondering if you can add additional weights to the machine to get ahead in your training. If the main question on your mind is, "can you add weights to a home gym?” - then this article is just for you!
Table of Contents
- Is It Possible To Add Extra Weight To Your Home Gym?
- Increasing Weight Range of Popular Home Gym Brands
- Can’t Add Weight To Your Home Gym? What To Do?
- Common Adding Weight To Home Gym Questions
Is It Possible To Add Extra Weight To Your Home Gym?
Adding extra weight to your home gym can be done in several ways, depending on the machine you have. While some home gym brands sell an entire weight stack upgrade, others require you to get a bit creative. Let’s discuss the different ways to add extra weight:
Weight Stack Upgrade
These are weight stacks that are sold by the manufacturer and are intended to be added on to your existing home gym stack machine. The benefit of this option is that it’s designed specifically for your machine, which gives you peace of mind in terms of safety.
The downside to this option is that it’s not compatible with all machines, and it's also going to be the most expensive option too.
Weight Stack Adapter Plate
Weight stack adapter plates are small weights that are placed on the top of your existing stack. These are designed specifically for this purpose, giving you peace of mind that they won't fall off mid-set.
These addons aren't usually very heavy, though, and usually only come in 2.5lb and 5lb adapter plates.
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A simple solution that likely won't cost you any additional money is to simply place a dumbbell on top of the weight stack.
Anyone with a home gym is more than likely going to have a set of dumbbells available. You’ll want to be sure to place the dumbbell on its flat side and slow your reps down to prevent the dumbbell from falling off the stack.
Using change plates is, in my opinion, a much better solution compared to using dumbbells. Since the plates are small and compact, they allow you to complete your sets without worrying that they might fall off the weight stack.
You’re also able to pile multiple plates on top of each other to increase the weight. The downside to this option is that change plates are relatively lightweight and won’t offer you much more additional weight.
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Magnetic Add-On Weight Bricks
This option allows you to attach a magnetic weighted brick to the front of your weight stack. Similar to the change plates, these bricks aren’t particularly heavy and usually weigh around 5lbs per brick.
Our Favorite Magnetic Weights
Weight Plate & Pin
Using a large weight plate, you can add it to your weight stack by securing it with an extra pin. This is a common “hack” used by many lifters to easily increase the weight of their home gym.
It's relatively easy to do, and since you most likely already have weight plates available, it's also a very economical option.
Increasing Weight Range of Popular Home Gym Brands
Bowflex currently has two home gym options: the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym and the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. Rather than a weight stack, the Bowflex Home Gym machines feature power rods. These rods eliminate inertia and allow you to focus more on strength (rather than momentum) during each rep.
Between these two machines, only the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym can be upgraded. At an extra cost, you can purchase additional Bowflex Power Rods to add more weight (up to either 310 lbs or 410 lbs) to your home gym machine.
Aside from the Xtreme 2 SE, the Power Rod is also compatible with the following Bowflex Home Gym models:
Marcy has a variety of ten different home gym machines within its catalog. Their range of weight stack home gyms includes both 150lb and 200lb options. Unfortunately, none are designed to be weight-upgradeable.
The best (unofficial) way to increase the weight on a Marcy home gym would be to use the weight plate and pin method mentioned above. This will allow you to add up to 45-pounds of additional weight to the stack.
However, it’s important to remember that Marcy does not recommend adding additional weight to their home gyms as they can’t guarantee that the frame will be able to support the extra weight. As such, doing so is entirely at your own risk.
Read More - Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym Review
Weider has a broad range of home gym machines, including options with high/low pulley systems, as well as single or dual-weight stack systems. Some popular stack weight models include:
Some models, like the Weider 2980 X, feature an 80-pound vinyl weight stack with a total resistance of 214 pounds. While other models, like the Weider XRS 50, offer a 112-pound weight stack with a 280-pound total resistance.
To increase the weight range of a Weider home gym machine, attaching a weight plate with an extra pin is your best option. Much like the Marcy home gyms, Weider machines are not upgradeable by default.
This means that loading any additional weight onto the machine is done at your own risk and could potentially void your warranty.
Read More - Complete Guide To Weider Home Gym Exercises
Can’t Add Weight To Your Home Gym? What To Do?
If adding weight to your home gym is simply not possible, there are several alternatives you can do in order to improve and enhance your workout. Here are the top three alternatives you can try:
- 1Slow Down Your Rep Speed
More specifically, slow down the eccentric portion of your rep (the part where your muscle contracts while lengthening). This will feel more challenging but will also help your muscle gains. According to a 2020 study, researchers found that a slow rep training method delivered a more significant effect on muscle hypertrophy than a fast reps training method.
- 2Add A Half Rep (1.5 Reps)
A half rep, also known as a partial rep, involves performing the exercise with a shortened range of motion. A 2012 study was conducted to determine the effect of the range of motion on muscle strength and thickness. It was found that both a partial as well as a full range of motion (ROM) lead to increased strength, with a full ROM leading to a greater effect. Instead of doing one or the other - do both! Incorporating 1.5 reps will help to maximize gains and enhance your workout.
- 3Use Free Weights
If all else fails, and you're unable to get the same results with your cable machine, think about moving to free weights instead. Although cable machines tend to help more with muscle isolation, this often leads to a muscle imbalance. Incorporating free weights into your routine can help to fill in the gaps and supplement your workout where it’s needed most.
Common Adding Weight To Home Gym Questions
How much weight is each plate on a machine?
This varies between each machine, and factors, like the number of pulleys involved, also affect the weight. Generally speaking, the device will usually have the corresponding weight labeled on each plate.
This will be listed either in kilograms or in pounds. The weight increments also vary, with some increasing by 5 pounds and others as much as 15 pounds.
How do you create additional weight stacks?
While some brands offer the ability to add extra weight, you can also create additional weight stacks yourself. There are a variety of ways to do this, including adding a dumbbell or change plate to the top of your existing weight stack.
For even more weight, you can also use an extra pin to secure a large weight plate to the stack.
Do brands offer upgrades that allow for more weights?
It depends on the brand. Some brands (like Bowflex) offer additional Power Rods to add extra weight to the home gym machine. Other brands (like Marcy) don’t. This means that, for machines that don’t offer upgrades, you'll have to find a work-around if you want to add extra weight to the machine, which is entirely at your own risk.
That wraps up this informative article on adding extra weights to your home gym. Now that you know different ways to add weights, tips for specific home gym brands, and some alternative options you can try if adding weights is not possible - you can continue to lift safely and achieve your weightlifting goals in no time!
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