I bought the Weider pro 5500 just under 2 weeks ago now, and what a buy. Im glad to say that it has come down in price since the last review, I was able to get a brand new 5500 for £393. This proce seems the norm now looking on kelkoo and price checker.
I opted for the free home delivery as getting it home in my small hatchback would have been a close to a miracle.
I chose the 5500 beause for the price there is nothing that it doesn't match up to. The stack that it offers are just the right weight for me and there is nothing else I could really ask for.
Tt took about half an hour to unpack all of the components and place them out so they were easy to reach.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow and even thought most of the gym can be put together by one person, you will probably need an additional pair of hands to help with assembling some of the parts.
Cant praise the multi-gym enough A+
In a bid to shift a bit of weight a few years back I joined a local gym. Initially, I only participated in cardio vascular exercise and made full use of the rowing machine, treadmills and exercise bikes.
The gym I was a member of was primarily a body building gym, which is to be expected since it is owned by a competitive body builder. It was inevitable that I would 'dabble' with the weights and over the year or so I was a member I learned a lot. I was shown what exercises to do for each major muscle group, the correct form and the correct weight to use.
When using weights safety is paramount and it is very easy to do yourself a serious injury. Even the seasoned body builders follow this rule. I used to cringe when I saw some of the new members arrive, set the weight really high and then proceed to perform the exercise with poor form. Luckily, this was a gym where other members would jump in and assist by showing you how to do it properly and safely to minimise the risk of injury. With proper form you easily find that the weight decreases by up to 50%.
Due to moving away from the area, work commitments and general change in lifestyle I had to give up my membership.
Whilst walking around JJB a few months back I stumbled across a home multi-gym. Whilst I had seen these before (a few years ago) I never really knew how they should be used so always dismissed them.
Knowing the exercises to do and the machines I used at the local gym to perform those exercises the home multi-gym suddenly made a lot more sense. This machine combined several machines in one from the chest press to the leg curl to the lat pull down. I could now see how the home gym worked and what use it would be.
I had been looking at getting back to a gym but never got around to it. The decision was made to buy a multi-gym.
****Choosing the correct multi-gym***
There are many home multi-gyms in the market and I was at a total loss what to get. There are a few questions that need to be answered such as What are my goals? How much weight is required to achieve this? (determines the size of the weight stack) What exercises do I need to do to achieve my goals? How much am I willing to spend? How much room have I got available.
Once the type of gym has been narrowed down it is then important to look at manufacturers, such as York, Weider, Marcy, Powerline, V-Fit to name but a few.
I found this process an arduous task and decided to ask someone who knows. I discussed my requirements with a chap at Fitness Superstore who was very helpful. A few machines were suggested so I carried out more research.
After more research and speaking to other retailers I decided to purchase the Weider Pro 5500 since it appeared to fit my needs best.
****Price and where to buy****
The price of the Weider varies greatly. The cheapest I have seen it is Marshall Ward (where I subsequently got mine form) where it retails at £349 to £495 at Amazon. With a bit of looking at discountvouchers.co.uk I found a discount product code for Marshall Ward for £30 for new customers.
The specification, including maximum weights, is as follows:
1) Max Weight High Pulley - 102 kg
2) Max Weight Butterfly - 40 kg.
3) Max Weight Arm Press - 120 kg.
4) Max Weight Leg Curl - 110 kg.
5) Max Weight Low Pulley - 105 kg.
6) Single Stack of Vinyl Weights - 85 kg. This single stack of rugged vinyl weights provide a long-lasting resistance system.
7) Precision Bearing Pulley - Improvement of the pulley fluidity.
8) Butterfly Station - Comfortable padded horizontal butterfly arms.
9) Leg Developer - Padded, 4-foam station.
10) Arm press
11) High Pulley with Multi Grip Lat Bar
12) Low Pulley
13) Safety Shield - Ensures safe travel of weight stack.
14) Ankle Strap - To help you to get the most of the pulleys.
15) Dimensions Assembled (w x l x h) - 110 x 200 x 210cm.
16) Dimensions Packed (w x l x h) - 199 x 72 x 25cm / 37 x 19 x 23cm.
17) Weight - 150 kg.
18) Max User Weight - 135 kg.
Assembly is a large task and I'd say took me around 12 hours in total (this is because I left out 3 very important bolts at step 2 and then had to dismantle the whole frame - D'oh!), but after that it was pretty much plain sailing. There are bits where a second pair of hands would make the process much easier and quicker, but it is manageable with one person.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow in a step by step format clearly stating what bolts, washers and lock nuts to use. A nice touch is that each stage has its own pack of pieces, i.e. there is a card containing everything for the frame stage, one for the arm stage etc.
All necessary tools are supplied, so no hunting around for that 'funny' sized flat head screwdriver.
If you do struggle then there is a help line that you can call to give advice and assistance. I cannot comment on the level or quality of the advice since, thankfully, I did not need to use it.
All the major muscle groups, including chest, back, arms and legs, can be exercised to a certain extent using this multi gym.
The exercises available are as below. I appreciate that some of you may know the same exercise as a different name:
1) Lat pull downs
2) Tricep overheads and tricep push downs
3) Single and double handed bicep curls. These can be done standing or seated with the preacher pad (for better form)
4) Seated rows
5) Chest press
7) Leg extensions
This multi-gym does not allow the user to hamstring curls as the seat does not lay flat. This is a real shame as it is, in my opinion, the best exercise for hamstrings. Looking at the layout of the multi-gym it is clear that there is no way that this problem could be rectified based on this design.
It should be noted that the Weider is not a piece of commercial gym equipment. It will not be used all day every day and it will not be abused by large body builders that get a bit heavy handed with the weights and adjusting the machine.
In consideration of the above and the price paid for the multi-gym (commercial equipment costs thousands of pounds) the Weider is very well made and well up to the task of dealing with regular use.
The maximum weight recommendations are easily dealt with and it looks like it could deal with more, but I am unsure if it would be able to deal with it over an extended period of time.
Fully assembled this multi-gym requires a substantial amount of space, although this is the same of other home multi-gyms.
I would recommend deciding where the multi-gym is going to 'live' before it is built since once constructed it is not only very heavy, but also an awkward shape to move around.
I know that this may seem over the top and a boring point but when using weights safety is a key factor to consider. Whilst the exercise plan provided shows the user how to perform each exercise there is no substitute for getting advice from someone who knows. I would recommend going to a local gym see about booking in to see someone to go through all the exercises.
You are not going to get the size of Jay Cutler (or for those of you old enough to remember Arnold Schwarzenegger) using this machine so if you are a serious body builder then this is probably not for you, however, I find that the weights supplied are more than enough for me!
A dedicated body builder would opt to use a designated gym in any case since a multi gym can only get you so far. In order to get beyond a certain point it is essential to use free weights and a multi gym would not be suitable.
Unless you fall in to the category above then this multi-gym should be sufficient for most users. It is a good quality piece of kit which is getting a lot of use and I will ensure it does in the future.
If you are looking for a gym that can provide a serious workout yet is still space efficient, attractive to look at and offers value for money then the Weider Pro 5500 fits the bill. An 85kg stack is standard but provides much greater resistance on selected exercises, up to 120kg on the bench press. Precision bearing pulleys guarantee fluid movements. Preacher curl works the arms and the independent butterfly and bench press works the chest. Lat pulldown, leg curl / extension and seated row complete the picture.