Home Gym Weider 214 lb Stack, 300 lbs, exercise chart, ankle strap, vinyl seats
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Now for the longer version.
Shipping and customer service: When this item arrived, the box was disintegrating; pieces were falling all over the place, and one item - the weight bar - was actually crushed. I couldn't put it together until I got a new part, so I called up customer service and they sent out a replacement part. Only...they sent the wrong part. So, I called them again, and they sent another replacement - the same incorrect part I received last time. I called them a third time, and they sent another. This time it didn't arrive (I have never, ever had an item stolen from my doorstep, and I order a lot from Amazon). I called yet again, and this time they successfully provided me with the correct part. The entire process took the better part of four months. However, I will say that customer service was very friendly and helpful throughout the process, which made it easier.
Assembly: As other reviews have said, this thing is a beast to assemble, particularly by yourself. I didn't have the correct socket wrenches, so I had to use an adjustable wrench and pliers, and it made life considerably more difficult. Several of the bolts require you to hold the other part in an adjustable wrench or pliers, with little room to even place the tool, and then tighten it with an adjustable wrench. Also, tightening the cable after you've assembled it is next to impossible. The bigger problem that I faced was that numerous parts were not labeled. There are three different cables, and the instructions tell you to use the measurements. Well, here's the problem - the cables are all wound up, so they don't lie flat to allow you to see how long they are. I was finally able to determine the correct one by looking at the attachments on the end. Relatedly, the grooved wheels for the cables are not marked; I had initially used the wrong one and had to go back and redo it with the correct one, after I realized my error. As a protip, look ahead to count the number of a given type of wheel and then figure out the correct one from the difference in numbers. Things were also scattered in all sorts of random plastic bags, and those smaller parts were never labeled. It also took me ten minutes to find the grease that had been hidden away in a bag unrelated to the bag with parts needed for the first step that requires grease. All told, it took me about five hours to assemble it by myself.
Dimensions: I put this unit in my tiny dining room. It's surprisingly compact, and doesn't require a lot of overhead room; I was able to shorten the chain on my chandelier to place this unit under the light.
Ease of use: Adjusting the arms and whatnot to do different exercises is rather straightforward, so no complaints there.
The different exercises: I use this primarily for leg extensions, leg curls, pec fly, bench press, seated row, and lat pulldowns. It's extremely annoying for bicep curls. Not only do you have to install the armrest each time, but the way the pulley system works left me with effectively no resistance for part of the curl and an odd angle of resistance for the rest. It didn't feel right and severely broke me out of my usual rhythm, so I'm using free weights instead for bicep curls. The seated row is a bit different from what I'm used to, so it took me a while to find my form, but now it's fine. The pec fly is...odd, to say the least. Instead of having arms that swing out to give you proper extension, it has pads where you place your arms on the outside and then perform the exercise. I place the pads right around my elbows, which leaves me with nothing to hold onto. It feels very odd, and I don't feel like I'm getting the same resistance or flow as I would on a dedicated pec fly machine.
I have no real complaints about the chest press or the lat pulldown. The leg extensions are also fine, with one exception: I hate the foam pads. When performing leg extensions while wearing gym shorts, I get some very uncomfortable movement of the pads. They also indent to the metal bar almost instantly, making them less comfortable. The problem with the pads becomes more pronounced on the leg curls. Now, you have to do these one leg at a time while standing (which makes it difficult to find a weight that doesn't feel too light or too heavy, in my opinion). But the pads really make things difficult. The other day, something happened to rub a hole in my back of my leg, above my heel, and it's quite uncomfortable. The pads simply don't cut it. My other complaint with the leg portion is that the bar is too small. I have to squeeze in just to use it, and there's a naked bolt protruding along the inside - meaning that I have to place my leg as far to the outside of the bar as possible to avoid scraping that bolt with every rep. It's absurd, frankly, that they couldn't include a longer bar.
The lack of a longer bar leads me to my next point. I am six feet tall and weigh 250 pounds, and while my weight doesn't cause difficulties, I've noticed that my height can either be a good thing or a bad thing. There is no adjustment for height whatsoever. Some exercises seem like they would be much more difficult if I were six inches shorter, while others seem like they would be easier in that situation. This thing seems to be keyed around people who measure in at 5'8" or 5'9" - which is not me. It hasn't prevented me from doing anything, but it's worth noting. The unit also seems a tad unstable at times. My only other comment is that I wish it had the ability to do shoulder presses, but you get what you pay for on that one.
Conclusion: For the price, I'm not going to complain or return it. I'm the sort of person who works in an office all day and doesn't have the time or energy to go to the gym. This thing lets me work out a bit every day, whenever I have the time, and it lets me do the exercises that I most frequently did when I used to go to the gym. It has issues, but nothing that makes me regret the purchase. Overall, if you're on a budget and just need something to help you keep active, then this unit should work just fine. I don't expect to become a bodybuilder with it; all I need is to keep the desk job weight gains at bay, and I think it can handle that.
1. It arrives in two boxes -- this isn't made clear in the item's description.
2. The actual weight poundage is unclear, as the weights themselves are compounded by the cables. Guesswork is fine, but I would prefer to know the precise effective weight I'm working with.
3. It feels a little bit flimsy in some ways, so I simply treat it gently so it will last longer.
Anyhow, the machine is terrific. Lat pulldown, chest press and fly feel SO good. By far the best-priced machine of its kind on the market. Do plan on a half-day or so to put it together with a friend or two -- fortunately, the instructions are clear.
Now that being said this was cheaper and you get what you pay for, padding is very thin, the meatal is also thin and just about everything thing else is cheap, Pullies cheap, bar and the weights them selves. cement encased in plastic!....not what I would expect from Weider, but under $300, so I guess that's why.
All in all you can do good training with this, for your back, arms, chest, just not very good for legs, but most like this are not anyway/
If your hardcore , pass.
intermediate it will work.
beginner, very good