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Plate-Loaded vs. Selectorized Strength Equipment

Plate-Loaded vs. Selectorized Strength Equipment

November 17, 2023

Strength training looks different for everyone. Some people like to lift weights, while others prefer circuit training. With so many possible ways to build strength, there are myriad strength training equipment to choose from. The machines you offer at your fitness center can greatly affect your clients, their opportunities, and their strength training journeys. Your choices influence your clients’ experiences.

Plate-loaded and selectorized strength equipment are two popular types of strength training equipment that come in multiple variations and offer various training opportunities. Both options add weights to workouts, promoting muscle building and strength, but they provide varying user experiences. Discover all you need to know about plate-loaded vs. selectorized strength equipment to determine which is better for your gym.

What Is Plate Loaded Equipment?

Plate-loaded equipment provides customizable strength training; it allows users to add or remove weights. This type of equipment offers excellent flexibility, allowing users to adjust their workouts’ weight load and resistance according to their specific needs. As their name suggests, plate-loaded equipment uses plated weights.

TRUE’s XFW-7800 Leg Press is a durable plate-loaded machine that allows users to personalize their strength training by adding or removing weights on the press’s weight carriage. Users can adjust how much weight and resistance they need to press. Plate-loaded equipment does not have minimal or maximum weight limits. Users can add as many weights as the equipment can hold, giving them lots of workout flexibility.

What Is Selectorized Equipment?

Selectorized strength equipment features built-in weights that offer a specific weight range. They use a pin insertion mechanic that allows users to stack weights and increase their training resistance by moving the pin up or down the built-in weight stack. Selectorized equipment is designed for efficiency and ease of use, making it a popular choice among gym-goers.

Compared to the XFW-7800, TRUE’s FUSE-0300 Leg Press is a leg press machine with built-in weight selections. With selectorized equipment, users still have the option to customize their workouts and adjust their weight resistance. The built-in weights offer added convenience and ease of use.

Comparing the Two: Pros and Cons

Both plate-loaded and selectorized equipment have their strengths and weaknesses, offering varying experiences.

Weight Flexibility

One of the many pros of plate-loaded equipment is the weight flexibility. Users can load and offload as many weights as they see fit. Selectorized strength equipment also offers some weight flexibility, but it has limitations, offering only a selection of maximum and minimum weights.

User and Equipment Safety

While plate-loaded equipment offers more flexibility and customization in weight management, this lack of limitations can potentially result in equipment damage and physical injury if not handled correctly. With the ability to continuously add weights, users can push their boundaries and intensify their workouts. However, without proper supervision or knowledge about one’s physical limits and correct form, users risk injury from lifting too much weight or performing exercises with incorrect technique. Applying too many heavyweights on the equipment can also lead to potential equipment damage.

Selectorized equipment’s weight limitations can be seen as an advantage, especially when concerning equipment and user safety. The pre-selected weight stacks guarantee users don’t push their physical limits too far or overload the equipment. Plus, the built-in weight stacks ensure the weights are secured in place and at a safe distance from users, reducing potential crushing injuries.


Both plate-loaded and selectorized equipment can offer user-friendly experiences, depending on their interfaces, design, and structure adjustability. However, selectorized equipment offers the convenience of pre-placed and readily available weight selections, enhancing user-friendliness. Users do not have to hunt for weights or carry them to and from the equipment like they would if they were using a plate-loaded machine.

Plate-loaded equipment requires additional time to set up and adjust the weight, which can interrupt the workout flow. Selectorized strength equipment allows quicker weight changes, ensuring a smoother workout experience. This equipment also provides a clear starting point and progression path, making the machines extremely beginner-friendly.

Versatility and Variety

Both plate-loaded and selectorized equipment offer excellent versatility in their own ways. Plate-loaded equipment’s open structure gives users a broader range of motion and the ability to adjust the weight load precisely to their needs. The adaptability to various exercises and movements offers users a tailored workout experience, which is especially beneficial for those seeking to strengthen specific muscle groups or pursue strength training at a more advanced level.

Selectorized equipment typically follows a more fixed path of motion, but it also provides versatility in its comprehensive machine selections, from leg presses to multifunctional modular systems. Selectorized equipment’s simple pin-selection method also offers versatility, as the easy setup and usability make selectorized equipment suitable for all fitness levels.

Space and Organization

In terms of space management, plate-loaded equipment offers a distinct advantage. Since the weight resistance on these machines is determined by adding weight plates, you only need one set that can be shared among multiple machines, saving space in your gym. Multiple selectorized machines can take up more space, as their designs accommodate housing for their weight selection.

However, a disadvantage of having external weights rather than built-ins is finding space and storage for the weights. Weights can also easily go missing and create disorganization if users do not return the weight plates to their assigned storage spots.

Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Fitness Center

Choosing between plate-loaded and selectorized strength equipment depends on your fitness center’s goals, preferences, and clientele. If your facility caters to beginners, selectorized equipment is an excellent choice due to its user-friendliness and safe design. On the other hand, more experienced clientele looking to push their limits can gain a lot from plate-loaded equipment. Selectorized equipment is also great for gyms that focus on set progression growth. In contrast, plate-loaded equipment is better for gyms that want to maximize their clientele’s training flexibility.

At TRUE Fitness, we offer both selectorized and plate-loaded strength equipment. No matter your choice or preference of plate-loaded vs. selectorized strength equipment, we have an array of commercial weight training equipment to match your members’ workout needs. Check out our strength training collection and make your gym a go-to place for various strength training needs. Reshape your clients’ fitness journey.

Plate-Loaded vs. Selectorized Strength Equipment