My father is giving me his old weight machine. He has not used it in quite a few years (10+) and it has been outside (we get winter 4-5 months of the year, with 3-4 feet of snow on average) for the past 3 years. The weights themselves were protected from the elements, but everything else (cables, chair cushions) were uncovered.

Once I get it, what parts of it should I be looking at for wear and tear (and what should I be looking for) with an eye to replacing so that once I start using it, it will be safe.

The machine looks similar to the image below:

Weight machine http://www.weighttrainingequipmentcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/multi-gym-2.jpg.

1 Answer 1


The biggest enemy is rust. Inspect the equipment for signs of rust, and either remove the rust or replace the pieces.

  • Plan on replacing the cables--after 10+ years in the elements, they are probably too weak to trust.
  • Inspect the rust damage on the structural pieces. If the rust damage is only on the surface, you can simply remove the rust with a chemical rust remover. If the rust has eaten through the square tubing, it's only a matter of time before it collapses.
  • Examine the pulleys and determine if they can get away with just new lubrication, or if they also need to be replaced.

The padding and material is actually the least worrisome. You can get new foam padding and a new vinyl cover and fasten it with staples.

If the structure of the gym equipment is no longer sound, politely refuse to take it. It would be cheaper and safer to get new gym equipment than to restore that one.

  • Are the cables for something like that generic cables that I could get from any hardware store, I are they specific to the brand/piece of equipment?
    – mudbunny
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 14:42
  • The cables can be generic--just make sure to match the right size (diameter and expected load). The important thing is that you'll have to cap the ends yourself. I believe special tools are required to do the job, but try and make the new cable as much like the old one as possible. Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 15:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.