I have been using the Hoist "Rock-It" weight machine circuit at my gym for almost three months now, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have been making steady progress on most of the machines, in terms of progressing to heavier settings, but there are a few machines where I'm making little to no progress. In particular, the arm, shoulder and chest exercises where I push rather than pull. I appear to be stuck at a beginner setting, where on some of the leg and back exercises, I've already maxed out the machine! I find I can do 3-4 reps at very heavy settings on the machines where I'm not progressing, but I need very light settings to do a full set.
Settings are not correlated with any specific weight on this equipment... on one machine, setting 1 is 10 pounds, on another, 25 pounds, but they all go from 1 to 18, with "beginner" from 1-6, "intermediate" from 6-12, and "advanced" from 12-18 - the machines also move you as you do the exercises, so bodyweight is a factor as well.
I aim to complete a minimum of 10 reps, and step up to the next weight setting when I can complete 12 reps with good form. I only do one set, except for the machines that I've progressed to the "advanced" settings, where I do two sets of 12 before progressing to the next setting.
For the machines I'm not progressing on, should I do heavier settings and fewer reps, or more reps/sets and less weight, or soldier on as I am, and hope for an eventual breakthrough?