Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


January 25th, 2015

This post is for the few gym rats who might be out there — my thoughts on weight machines by Hoist.

Around Thanksgiving our local 24-Hour Fitness gym closed for a few days, and when it re-opened most of the old weight machines were gone, replaced with a new line of equipment by a company called Hoist.

My evaluation so far: I don’t like Hoist all that much — not so far anyway — although I can appreciate aspects of their equipment, and I presume as time goes by I will adapt.

The main factor that makes Hoist different is that the seat moves on most of the machines. I presume this is to get more benefit from the exercise through every angle of the lift, and this aspect is fine with me. I don’t have any objection to it.

Another positive aspect is that the hand grips on most of their machines are a material somewhat like hard-rubber, so it’s more comfortable to lift with bare hands than with gloves.

There are three factors that I don’t like:

1 – Normally, weight stacks are labeled with pounds, so you know how much weight you’re lifting. On several of Hoist’s machines, the weights are simply numbered: 1, 2, 3, 4… This makes it difficult for me to remember what resistance I was using from one session to the next on the different machines, so I have to experiment every time. Also, success in weight lifting has much to do with psychology. It’s fun to move hundred-fifty pound stacks of weight. It’s not nearly as fun to be at resistance = 3. So the mental boost gets lost.

2 – Some of the weight stacks — and I’m looking at you, lat-pull-down — are poorly thought out. On this particular exercise, once you pass 85 pounds (I think that’s the break point), the weight increments go up by 15 pounds. That’s a huge jump. The old machines went up by ten pounds, and that was tough enough. Fifteen pounds is a BIG difference, especially when you are not a big person.

3 – Here’s my biggest complaint and it focuses solely on the lat-pull-down mentioned above. The bar that Hoist uses on this has ruined the exercise for me because its diameter is too large and it rotates.

For some time now I’ve been working my upper body with the goal of being able to do pull-ups. I’ve managed to do five underhand chin-ups, but pull-ups still elude me. One of my main training exercises has been the lat-pull-down, because it emulates the motion of pull-ups and chin-ups depending on how you hold the bar.

The bar on the old machine was a reasonable diameter, maybe an inch? The diameter of the bar on the new machine is much wider. I have small hands. It’s hard for me to grip the bigger bar, but I could manage it, except that the bar rotates. And it rotates a little more with each rep. By the time I’m on the fourth or fifth rep the bar has rotated in the direction of my grip so that I am literally holding on by my fingertips. Try pulling 100+ pounds with just your fingertips. Not fun.

I tried to explain this to the manager of the gym, but I don’t think he gets it. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem. I don’t know. I just know that the amount of weight I’m able to handle on this exercise has plummeted since the new machines were brought in. It’s frustrating.

That said, Hoist does give me a serious work out, and it’s possible that six months from now I will have overcome my difficulties with the lat-pull-down. Still, Hoist, if you’re out there listening, this would be an easy issue to fix.

Posted on: Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at 1:07 pm
Categories: Fitness.

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