Customer Reviews: Marcy MWM980 150-Pound Stack Gym and Shroud
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on November 29, 2010
I've been using this for a few weeks now. I bought this because I wanted an all-in-one system where I don't have to worry about being spotted and dropping the weights on my chest, and needed it to fit into a smaller area. All in all, I'm fairly happy with it. However, I do have issues that prevent me from giving it 5 stars.

First for the pros. It is very sturdy. It has a hollow steel frame with 2 inch bolts and nuts, so it doesn't shake around. It is compact without being cramped. The weight stack shield has a diagram of the muscle groups and the 14 main exercises you do, with a picture, brief instructions and which muscles it works. The diagram is really nice and a handy quick reference. The seat pads are comfortable, feel good, and easy to clean. The logo is actually stitched in, which is a nice touch. The pins to lock the butterfly/press bar are quick-release ones that are easy and quick to use. All in all, the cables are smooth and quiet, and everything works well.

Now for the cons. I was specifically looking for the preacher curl attachment, and not too many below $1,000 have it. So I'm very disappointed that its design is such that I never use it. Basically, because the front cable comes from the area down where the lower pads on the leg bar are, you only get resistance on about the first third of the curl. After that, you're really moving it laterally due to the cable position and therefore not really working any muscles. I ended up getting a $60 set of steel dumbbells instead and work isolated bicep curls with those (and you can do standing upright curls and lats using the bar). Also, instead of some sort of quick-release pin to attach the curl pad, it has a screw with a big knob which takes about 6 rotations to screw it in, after fumbling to find the threads on the other side. It is anything but convenient, and one more reason I just leave the curl pad off completely and don't use it.

My other complaint is the steel ring attachment you use for the lat/curl bar. You use it to hook into either the upper or lower cables to the chain attached to the lat/curl bar. Depending on the exercise and your height, you'll move it to various links on the chain. It has a screw to close the loop. I end up just leaving it open to easily move it between links. But there are only two of these, despite the fact that you need three (one for the ankle strap and one at each end of the chain). I ended up using a carabiner on the ankle strap and will pick up another for the chain.

I would have to say that this is a much better upper-body workout machine than a lower body. Other than seated leg extensions, all the leg exercises are via the front pulley and an ankle strap. It is a little awkward, however, because you do have to typically position one leg to prevent the leg curl post (which has the cable running through it) from popping up with the cable, but not a big deal. If you want a better lower body workout, there are other machines with presses and such, but they also typically take up more room.

As a side note, I was worried that 150 lbs may not be enough weight. I'm 5 foot 11 inches and 170 lbs. I'm no Adonis, but I like to think I'm thin and fit. The most I bench and crunch on this is about 70 lbs, so there's plenty of weight. Most of the time I'm using 20-40 lbs for about 10 reps and that's ample resistance. I'm not worried about maxing out the 150 lbs in the near future.

The weights are plastic filled with concrete. That has its own pros and cons. Steel is more rugged, but its also more noisy. I wouldn't put the weights in direct sunlight or the plastic can eventually warp and crack. And I wouldn't be slamming these all the time either (which you shouldn't do anyway). Otherwise they're quiet and smooth. I seriously doubt you can add more weight due to the pin bar and the cable lengths.

It took me probably about 3-4 hours to put together, and I'm very handy. A few times I put something on backwards, but no real problems. Instructions are fairly clear. Everything was machined near perfectly. Didn't have any problems with mis-aligned holes or stuff like that. It comes with wrenches so you don't need anything else. I'd recommend a pad underneath unless you don't care about the floor (I bought the Cap Barbell Puzzle Mat (24-Inch x 24-Inch x 3/4-Inch) which is just the right size and thick enough).

All-in-all, I am happy with this machine and like it enough to use it often. The few cons prevent me from giving it 5 stars. Also, it is compact, quiet and was roughly $400. I was truly surprised by the quality that you get for that, despite a few drawbacks.
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on December 27, 2011
At one time I would have never considered using a weight machine. I used only free weights. As time has gone by I have begun to depend on weight machines to help me balance the weight being lifted.At the ripe old age of 60 I have decided to start lifting inside my heated home during the cold Michigan winters. Several days ago I assembled this machine in 3, 3.5 hours. Step 1 tells you NOT to tigthen the bolts until instructed, tighten them right away or you will be tipping 150 pounds on it's side.Other than that, assembly is fairly straight forward. You might want to have a 16mm wrench/socket handy, it makes things go faster as you will want to adjust the torque on the pully wheels.

The 150 pounds of plates offers a total of 200 pounds of resistance. In essence you can do 200 pound seated bench presses, 160 pound butterfly presses, and 160 pound lat pull downs.

All in all not a bad machine. The welds seem to be of good quality. Decent gauge steel, etc.
If your looking for an affordable weight machine that works all major body parts, consider this one.
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on October 3, 2011
During the assembly, there are minor manufacturing defects that needed either a metal file or a bench grinder.

The pulley holder on the arms has tiny weld drops stuck on the rotating surface, making it difficult to move smoothly. Other parts also had minor defect. They had to be ground off quickly with a bench grinder. But would be more work with just a file alone.

The holes to lock the arm bars in place, were misaligned, and I had to redrill them so the pin will drop through both side of one of the arm.

The arms were not bent symmetrically, so they did not meet in center as well as they should. The instruction on the guide rod on apparently described an old design, where the lock pin hole is closer to one end than the other. The current rod design, the lock pin is in the middle, so you don't have to worry about which end is up and which is down. But it was confusing to look at the instruction and the rods they provided.

Another thing I would suggest is to squirt a little WD40 (recommended by the manufacturer) or silicon oil into the pulley holes before you assemble them, it would make the cable slide better.

I would purchase about 20 large washers, as I believe it is helpful to put these over the pulley rod bushings to protect them from over tightening of the axle bolts. As is, you bolt the axle tight, and it warps the pulley bushing.

Over all, for the price of $229 at Dunham, it is a price impossible to beat for the features given.
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on December 16, 2009
I picked this gym up at Dunhams sports for $249.00 and it is worth every cent! I've been a user of free weights for almost 30 years and the marcy gym will give the workout your looking for. FYI, I am 6'5", 200 lbs and have a job in heavy construction as well as being very athletic.
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on July 31, 2011
Nicely designed except for the butterfly. Because the butterfly arms are connected through a common pulley, it is difficult to achieve the same travel in both arms. One has to struggle to put an equal load on each arm.

A manufacturing defect has the bicep curl rest rotated at a slight angle, but that does not materially effect its use. That should have been caught during QC.
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on May 24, 2013
Had it for about a week now. Assembly took me about 4.5 hours. Complicated at some points but overall doable. I assembled it by myself with no assistance needed. Was delivered undamaged via freight. As far as using it I've done two full workouts on it so far. It's very sturdy and fluid. No complaints no issues
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on January 20, 2011
This home gym is ok and I have had no issues with it after owning it for 3 months. I am using it 5-6 days per week. I had to tighten some bolts after use, but nothing serious. I had to adjust the cable too, but that was expected. This is not for that person looking for a big body building work out. Head to the paid gym for that one. This is for strengthen and toning. It helps a great deal when you're trying to trim down. It did not have a seat adjust to it, which I feel is really needed. Though I should note my wife and I are very differently framed and it did not cause an issue. No matter, I think an adjustable seat needs to be on all machines. I got it at Durham's Sports for $229.00, which was great. I did not expect much for that price, but I think it was a good deal. Now for building it! This is a bit of a challenge to build, taking me 5 hours spaced out over time. I suggest you take your time and be in no hurry to get it done. If you get in a hurry, you will end up with extra parts and not knowing where they go. The direction illustrations are not the best and could be done much better. What I did was take pictures at the store, so I knew what it needed to look like for assembly. Stringing the cable was a bit of a challenge, but again if not in a hurry it will come together. The in box illustrations did help on this one. I would recommend this to the person not looking to spend lots of money and looking to tone muscle and trim fat. It works best with proper diet I might add. I am sure there are cons that can be found by someone, but I had no issues. The bottom line, this is no frills working out that is at the price with functionality.

I am about 6 months and still no troubles. All is working fine. I found one thing though that I thought one would like to know. When doing a hamstring work out, the unit wants to tip backwards. You need to put your hand an the bar, but it does show that as a proper method on the display. The bars in the back if a bit longer would seem to prevent it. I think it still was an ok deal and I do not have do anything but go downstairs and work out. Gym... $40 to 80% per month... Right now, I spent $38 per month so far... It will pay for itself soon... Not to bad, since I paid $229.00!
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on April 28, 2013
Workouts are just what I needed. Assembling was more complicated than I expected. I like to workout at home and this fits the bill.
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on May 5, 2011
I am extremely happy with this gym. I just replaced another home gym with this one. This has most everything you are looking for - best gym I have seen under $400. A few very minor issue would be the curl bar grip need to be glued and assembly took over 4hrs. But, other than that I am extremely pleased, worth every cent.
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on December 24, 2012
Great gym for the price! A great gym for everyone, except a gym addict that needs more weight. Take your time with assembly. Enjoy!
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