Cable machine number of pulley effect on weight

Rocky

Well-known member
Trusted Member
I was thinking of getting a bowflex machine, probably won’t be going to gyms when they re-open but that’s another topic of its own.

Pretty much just need a basic workout anyways, I’m like 120lbs now and don’t need a full gym.

I got dumbells but back/legs which burn the most calories with dumbells, isn’t very enjoyable to say the least.

anyways, I was wondering, does the number of pulleys affect the resistance on the cable machine? I’m pretty sure it does but just wanted to double check

the Bowflex xtreme 2 se machine has way more pulleys per cable than the Bowflex xceed (4/5 pulleys vs 2/3 pulleys).

I’m assuming the one with less pulleys would provide more resistance/tension with the same weight?

hope this makes sense what I’m trying to explain
 

Harley00

The Rebel
Trusted Member
I was thinking of getting a bowflex machine, probably won’t be going to gyms when they re-open but that’s another topic of its own.

Pretty much just need a basic workout anyways, I’m like 120lbs now and don’t need a full gym.

I got dumbells but back/legs which burn the most calories with dumbells, isn’t very enjoyable to say the least.

anyways, I was wondering, does the number of pulleys affect the resistance on the cable machine? I’m pretty sure it does but just wanted to double check

the Bowflex xtreme 2 se machine has way more pulleys per cable than the Bowflex xceed (4/5 pulleys vs 2/3 pulleys).

I’m assuming the one with less pulleys would provide more resistance/tension with the same weight?

hope this makes sense what I’m trying to explain
Im extremely happy with the revolution, its ture weight, not resistance like the rods up to 300 pounds has it all rowing and leg press etc
PicsArt_06-28-01.57.09.jpg
 

Harley00

The Rebel
Trusted Member
Also got the marcy cable chest press and i added bands to it to add more resistance it works well too.
PicsArt_07-18-06.51.10.jpg
 

aGuyFromWinnipeg

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Trusted Member
scientifically, more pullies do make lifting easier, yes. But if a machine says it does 200lbs, the number of pullies should be irrelevant. At my gym, there is a rack with a single pully, then one with 3 total (cable goes up down up sort of thing) The weights look identical, but they have different markings on them. hope that makes sense.

edit: as soon as any pully is used the deadlift equivalent is just estimated
 

Rocky

Well-known member
Trusted Member
Im extremely happy with the revolution, its ture weight, not resistance like the rods up to 300 pounds has it all rowing and leg press etc
View attachment 5440
Wow what a beauty, didn’t even know it had the leg press.

too bad Bowflex is charging like $4000 for the revolution, it looks like an amazing machine
Even second hand it’s going for $2000 on kijiji

just picked up a bowflex for a few hundred, figured if I didn’t like the rods I wouldn’t be out too much reselling

by true weight do you mean the resistance is consistent throughout the movement?
I know the rods aren’t as heavy at the top of the movement, but I figured that’s not going to change much, since I don’t go balls to the walls anymore


scientifically, more pullies do make lifting easier, yes. But if a machine says it does 200lbs, the number of pullies should be irrelevant. At my gym, there is a rack with a single pully, then one with 3 total (cable goes up down up sort of thing) The weights look identical, but they have different markings on them. hope that makes sense.

edit: as soon as any pully is used the deadlift equivalent is just estimated
I know my gym has a cable machine (trainer) with 3 pulleys and one with 2 pulleys
The one with 2 pulleys is a lot heavier but it’s not as smooth, 30lbs on each feels significantly different
im hoping this is the same for the Bowflex, cause I went with the one with less pulleys since I noticed people kept complaining about the weight not being what it claimed it was (50lbs being much lighter than 50lbs)


do you mean your gym accounted for the extra pulley and thus added more weight (to balance out the extra pulley)?
 

aGuyFromWinnipeg

Well-known member
Trusted Member
Wow what a beauty, didn’t even know it had the leg press.

too bad Bowflex is charging like $4000 for the revolution, it looks like an amazing machine
Even second hand it’s going for $2000 on kijiji

just picked up a bowflex for a few hundred, figured if I didn’t like the rods I wouldn’t be out too much reselling

by true weight do you mean the resistance is consistent throughout the movement?
I know the rods aren’t as heavy at the top of the movement, but I figured that’s not going to change much, since I don’t go balls to the walls anymore




I know my gym has a cable machine (trainer) with 3 pulleys and one with 2 pulleys
The one with 2 pulleys is a lot heavier but it’s not as smooth, 30lbs on each feels significantly different
im hoping this is the same for the Bowflex, cause I went with the one with less pulleys since I noticed people kept complaining about the weight not being what it claimed it was (50lbs being much lighter than 50lbs)


do you mean your gym accounted for the extra pulley and thus added more weight (to balance out the extra pulley)?

well, don't think the gym did it, the manufacturer did. I haven't looked it up, but I think things only become a math problem when 2 or more pullies are used. so, on this machine, with 1 pully at the top, the actual weight is probably accurate. Move to 2 or 3 pullies and mechanical advantage kicks in. So I'm guessing they tried to compensate for that.
 

Rocky

Well-known member
Trusted Member
well, don't think the gym did it, the manufacturer did. I haven't looked it up, but I think things only become a math problem when 2 or more pullies are used. so, on this machine, with 1 pully at the top, the actual weight is probably accurate. Move to 2 or 3 pullies and mechanical advantage kicks in. So I'm guessing they tried to compensate for that.
The amount of weight is calculated by the manufacturer. If they add more pulleys they add more weight.
Got it, thanks guys!

in the case with the Bowflex, the manufacturer uses the same rods (regardless of the number of pulleys) so I’m guessing it’s going to be easier with the machine with more pulleys
 

Harley00

The Rebel
Trusted Member
Wow what a beauty, didn’t even know it had the leg press.

too bad Bowflex is charging like $4000 for the revolution, it looks like an amazing machine
Even second hand it’s going for $2000 on kijiji

just picked up a bowflex for a few hundred, figured if I didn’t like the rods I wouldn’t be out too much reselling

by true weight do you mean the resistance is consistent throughout the movement?
I know the rods aren’t as heavy at the top of the movement, but I figured that’s not going to change much, since I don’t go balls to the walls anymore




I know my gym has a cable machine (trainer) with 3 pulleys and one with 2 pulleys
The one with 2 pulleys is a lot heavier but it’s not as smooth, 30lbs on each feels significantly different
im hoping this is the same for the Bowflex, cause I went with the one with less pulleys since I noticed people kept complaining about the weight not being what it claimed it was (50lbs being much lighter than 50lbs)


do you mean your gym accounted for the extra pulley and thus added more weight (to balance out the extra pulley)?
Yup consistent weight from first pull , got mine for 1200 i was happy as shit i got it at that price , vwey nice piece of equipment.
 

Rocky

Well-known member
Trusted Member
Yup consistent weight from first pull , got mine for 1200 i was happy as shit i got it at that price , vwey nice piece of equipment.
That’s an amazing price, I’d pay $1200 for one of those for sure
Maybe when gyms reopen they’ll drop in price and I can pick one up haha
 
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