[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Hopefully you’ll get a reply from someone who has in fact used them. Such a reply would be far more valuable.
Not having used them, the only thing I can offer is an opinion that it would be a near miracle if the selectorized machines are as good.
Selectorized machines tend to suffer from friction. While this sounds unimportant, Arthur Jones pointed out that the friction adds to the force required to do the positives, while decreasing the force for negatives. So let’s say a machine has 10% dynamic (moving) friction and the weight selected is 100 lb.
You then have to apply 110 lb to lift it, which is fine, but do you get 110 lb resistance on the way down? Nope, you only get 90 lb. This is not as good as being equal as is the case with free weights and essentially the case with the leverage machines.
There probably is more to it than this. But I have not found a selectorized line that compares to a good leverage line. If HS has done it, they would be the first so far as I know.[/quote]
I have used both HS plate loaded and HS selectorized machines and BR is correct in his assumption.
in particular, ive used the seated iso row version of both (as well as the seated bench) and i would say the plate loaded is “better” mainly because it feels more natural. the reason is the one given above about friction, the negatives didnt feel as heavy as the positives.
if you are lifting with bodybuilding goals and wish to utilize methods such as slow negatives for hypertrophy for example, you would have to consider this. the plate loaded iso row feels like straight weight and is fantastic.
now that i think of it this is perhaps seen best on the leg press. the plate loaded HS seated leg press feels exactly like straight weight and 500lb for reps is tough. whereas the selectorized stack version is not as hard and is similar to other leg presses in that you can have the ego boost of using 800+ pounds even though the stimulus is probably not as good.
i would say though that their selectorized line is significantly better than other companies i have used. it may not be as great as plate loaded HS stuff, but its still very good.
ultimately, the plate loaded is best IMO but you can reach your body building goals with the selectorized versions, they are perhaps just not as effective.
i hope that helps.