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At the gym, some of the equipment doesn't have the weight listed on the individual weight plates, just numbers. For example, the "Hoist Fitness Systems CL2403 seated leg press" just has numbers for each weight plate, from 1 - 21. Here is a diagram of the actual CL2403 weight stack:

Hoist CL2403 weight stack

So:

  • How much weight am I actually lifting when I set the pulley to lift different numbers of weight plates?

  • How much does each small round "add on weight" weigh (that I can slide over onto the stack when the weights are at rest)? See at the top right of the weight stack:

    CL2403 weight stack showing add-on weights

  • Will these answers be consistent across all weight lifting equipment, or does it change from manufacturer to manufacturer?

I have searched online and found lots of pictures of equipment, and lots of equipment for sale, but haven't been able to find anything at all on the weight bars and their specifications, let alone anything definitive.

For what it's worth, I primarily use free weights rather than isolation machines. I simply had some upper body muscle soreness the other day and could not trust myself to use anything but lower-body machines that day. I have only a couple of months of consistent gym use under my belt.

Last, you might ask why I want to know? Because I am entering my exercises in a spreadsheet and charting them. I have lost 8 pounds already, without really dieting (besides working to avoid soda and frivolous sweets). Seeing my strength and workouts improve on the chart is motivating. I'd like to enter reasonable values when I do end up using some of the machines.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I found the owners manual. Check out page 36:

The [below] chart shows the actual weight you are lifting when the ratios are applied. To find the actual weight you are lifting you would come down from the ratio being used and across from the number of the weight plate you have pinned.

Hoist CL2403 weight stack actual weights

The top plate weighs just under 41 pounds, and all the other plates weigh 20 pounds, but you have to add 15% due to the mechanical disadvantage inherent in the machine. So effectively, the top plate is 47 pounds and all the others are 23 pounds.

From my experience, most add on plates tend to be quarter steps to the next. For example: Plate 1 (~47lbs) and Plate 2 (~70 lbs) are 23 lbs apart. This means that Add On 1 should take you to roughly 53 lbs, Add On 2 should take you to roughly 59 lbs, Add On 3 should take you to roughly 64 lbs, and then you move up to the next plate (Plate 2 at 70lbs). This of course is based on no solid facts, just deductive reasoning based on prior experiences.

Also some standard weight bars because that is what your title asked for:

  • French bar (the zig-zag looking one): approximately 18 lbs
  • Olympic bar: approximately 44 lbs
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Thank you very much! None of my searches turned up Hoist Fitness's own web site. Also, I probably ought to have looked for it. I could not find the weight of the "add on weights" (part #35 on page 15 and 16). Any thoughts? –  ErikE Feb 19 '13 at 17:39
    
I don't see anything in there @ErikE. From my experience, most add on plates tend to be quarter steps to the next. For example: Plate 1 (~47lbs) and Plate 2 (~70 lbs) are 23 lbs apart. This means that Add On 1 should take you to (roughly) 55 lbs, Add On 2 should take you to (again roughly) 63 lbs, and then you move up to the next plate (Plate 2 at 70lbs). This of course is based on no solid facts, just deductive reasoning based on prior experiences. –  Grohlier Feb 19 '13 at 19:18
    
Wouldn't that be one-third steps? Quarter steps would be 5.75 pounds, thus stopping at roughly 53, 59, 64, then the next plate at 70. Also, the "weight bars" I was talking about are rather the "weight plates"--I didn't know the right term. So feel free to remove the info about French and Olympic weight bars. –  ErikE Feb 19 '13 at 20:07
    
...Well apparently I do not know the difference between 1/4 and a 1/3 :D. –  Grohlier Feb 19 '13 at 20:09

I am sorry to see that you have to use that poor excuse of a machine, because no proper machine manufacturer labels their weights in this way.

-However, I have found on the page below that the whole stack on your machine is 455 pounds. Dividing this by 15 plates, you get about 30 pounds per plate.

-Usually the small weights you can add at the top are around half of what each plate would be.

-As for third question, weights vary manufacturer to manufacturer, even machine to machine. For example, if it's a leg related machine the plates will usually be 20-40 pounds each (since legs can handle a lot more weight). Machines that you would use for arms usually go up in 10-15 pounds gradations.

Good luck, Leo

PS: Page I found was: http://www.who-sells-it.com/cy/hoist-fitness-2947/hoist-fitness-systems-2005-product-catalog-14814/page-7.html

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I think the first weight is heavier than the others, so maybe it is 35 pounds and the others 30? I will take a picture next time at the gym and post it. It makes perfect sense that the weights are not consistent between the leg and arm machines or even different machines for legs. I in fact needed the info for all four of the machines found in the graphic, so thank you--at least it's a start. The small weights are probably 2 pounds or so--just guessing from their tiny size and how many there are. –  ErikE Feb 19 '13 at 3:51
    
Good suspicion about the first weight, however you see how it is smaller? That is because the machine mechanism adds some resistance, so machine reistance + small plate = regular plate. So in fact the top plate should be the same as all others, even though it is smaller. –  RealityDysfunction Feb 19 '13 at 5:32
    
The first plate in these machines is larger. The picture in my post is of a different machine (as stated)--given only as an example to show what I meant by "weight bars". I will get a real picture up ASAP. –  ErikE Feb 19 '13 at 6:16
    
Aye my bad, I guess your machine is an exception. –  RealityDysfunction Feb 19 '13 at 6:32
    
I have updated my post with actual diagrams from the owner's manual. I was also confusing different machines--the leg press machine only had 3 add-on weights, so they are probably 5 pounds each (effectively 5.75 pounds). –  ErikE Feb 19 '13 at 17:45

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