If we want to buy a home gym in most of the cases, we bump into weight stack machines which give basic options to exercise. However, if we wish to have more versatile equipment for strength training, Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage, which is an improved Smith machine, is a much better buy.
Firstly, you can choose from a lot of types of exercises. Marcy supports over 100! So, you can have a total body workout. It has many workout stations to choose from. It lets you have bodyweight, cable and free weight workouts.
Moreover, compared to stack machines it has far more weight capacity, so you do not have to be afraid that you outgrow your gym. In most of the cases, stack home gyms support a maximum of 150 lb, while Marcy allows up to 300 lb.
Obviously, it costs more, about a thousand bucks, but it is an excellent/price value weight machine with mid-range maximum capacity. Hence, it should be suitable for most of the people.
What do you get for this price?
An adjustable bench with leg development attachment, cable crossover station, low and high pulley station, pec fly, pegs for storing the weight plates. And of course, a Smith system with an Olympic barbell and linear ball bearings letting you perform the most beneficial compound exercises such as bench press, and squat safely at home. On top of that, you can use it as a half power rack as well.
Keep in mind that it supports both Olympic weight plates and bars, but they are not included which means extra cost for you.
Types of Workout Stations of Marcy Diamond Elite & Their Features
1. The Marcy Smith Cage System MD 9010G
The best way to improve your strength and muscle mass is using free weights such as a bar or dumbbells. The Smith system provides a safer way to exercise since the motion is more controlled, and you can quickly put the bar back in case of an emergency. Hence, you may train without the need of a spotter (although for lifting heavy a helper is always required to prevent injuries.)
Thanks to professional linear bearing on the smith machine the barbell moves smoothly without annoying snagging. It does not need much maintenance, just use a silicone spray once in a while.
What kind of exercises can you do with this station?
Most importantly, the compound ones such as bench press, squats, military presses, deadlift, etc. Listing all would be hard.
The maximum weight capacity of the Smith station is 300 lb which is suitable for home trainers, but not for advanced weightlifters. Some customers use it over that load (350-400 lb), but I would not recommend avoiding breakage and injuries.
The highest barbell catchers are below 80 inches, so taller guys, above 6.2 feet find it a bit low when squat. Also, the space between the bar catches are a bit long, there are only 9 levels. Hence, someone may find a bit uncomfortable to find the optimal settings for his height for specific exercises. More dense barbell catches would be useful.
The system comes with 2 sets of safety stoppers that you can use on the front bar so you can use another Olympic bar neglecting the control of the Smith machine. This way it can be used as a half power rack.
2. The Adjustable Weight Bench
With the system, you also get the adjustable Marcy Diamond Elite bench. It is an FID bench so you can adjust it to incline, decline and flat positions providing even more types of exercises. For example, you can do incline bench press that works your upper pecs better.
The bench comes with a leg development attachment that works smoothly and provides an excellent training experience. The maximum weight you can use on the leg developer is 100 lb.
Also, you get a preacher biceps pad which is large and has comfortable padding and angle. Trainers like it.
However, removing the mentioned attachments is not that easy since they are bolted. This way relocating the workout bench is a bit complicated (it is heavy), and the backrest is short for taller guys if the attachments are on. Hence, some users got a lighter flat bench instead for bench and military pressing.
The maximum load the bench can stand is 300 lb. A more robust bench would be good, but enough for most of us.
You can also use it for doing a wide range of dumbbell exercises.
To sum up, the bench itself is not bad it provides a good workout experience for most of the trainers. However, removing the attachments and moving it is a bit complicated.
3. The Butterfly Station
This station is useful if you want to add more variety to your chest workouts. It comes with two well-padded simple arms that use the resistance generated by the rare upright weight bar. There is nothing special about it.
If you like the chest fly exercise, do it. But, I would get rid of it to have more space inside the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith system. Bench press and its variations that you can do with this home gym are enough to gain your pecs.
3. The Pulley System - Cable Crossover, High and Low Pulleys
A lot of people like working out with the cable machine since they can focus on one particular muscle group better, plus it is beginner friendly workout equipment.
Marcy MD 9010G comes with a set of two high pulleys so you can do exercises like bent forward cable crossover, flyes, lat pulldowns, etc. But, it does not have a set of two low pulleys as the machines have in the commercial gyms. So, you cannot do exercises like low cable chest flys. But, it has a single low pulley at the rare part of the machine so you can do the separate arm versions of these exercises.
The high pulleys function smoothly and pivoting. Although, shorter users think they should be a bit longer for a more comfortable starting.
The low pulley station is useful to have single limb exercises like one arm biceps or leg curls. You can also use it for seated rows to build your back. Ankle straps are also included with the set.
The maximum load is 200 lb.
When we buy a home gym with a weight pulley system, it is crucial to know generated resistance.
- The low pulley of MD-9010 generates 200%. That means if you put on 20 lb, the real resistance you feel will be approximately 40 lb.
- For the lat pulldown and the butterfly (pec fly station), the value is 100%. So, 20 lb feels 20 lb.
- And for the front cable crossover arms 50%-50%. So, the added wights are divided between the two arms.
These resistances are totally acceptable.
What would be good to have?
Well, I'm a big fan of bodyweight training, so I neglected the pull-up bar and dip bars. Although, you can use the barbell for doing such exercises like bodyweight rows. Or the bench for leg raises and decline push-ups.
Stability, durability & robustness
When we purchase a weight training machine, in this case, a multifunctional home gym, the durability, and stability are two key features that we must check out.
The Marcy MD-9010G is made of 14 gauges heavy duty tubular steel and weighs almost 250 lb. Both are good signs that we are talking about a sturdy construction. The weight plate pegs actually can hold up to 600 lb, the Smith capacity is 300 lb, and the pulley has 200 lb, so the system must be well-made. Most of the parts are covered with anti-corrosion enamel, and the bars are chrome coated for durability. To sum up, for home use it is unquestionably suitable.
As you can see, the Marcy cage home gym has a sort of off-the-floor stabilizers giving great stability to it. On top of that, its own weight is about 250 lb, so that also provides better balance. Hence, there is no need to drill it to the ground, but using the rubber gym mat is recommended for floor protection and maximum security.
To sum up, Marcy Diamond Elite home gym is a robust piece that is perfect for home use.
What kind of accessories are included?
You will get the following: ankle strap, triceps rope, two handle grips, a lat bar, and a shiver bar.
What else will I need?
An important thing you should not forget that weight plates are not included with Marcy. So, you need to buy an Olympic weight set if you do not own yet. The system supports 2″ Olympic plates. That is an extra cost without a doubt, but you can find good sets at an affordable price here.
Also, the Marcy Diamond 9010 Smith cage machine comes with its own barbell attached to the sliding bars, but it is not removable. Hence, if you want to lift weights without the Smith station, you need to buy an Olympic bar to use it as a half rack.
How hard is it to assemble?
Well, this is a rather complex machine with a lot of functions so assembly will take a few hours without a doubt. Tools are not included, so you need screwdrivers and wrenches. But, the manual is clear and easy to follow. Customers do not find it too difficult to put it together.
Keep in mind, it is big and heavy gym stuff so you relocating is not easy once it is assembled.
What about maintenance?
Nothing serious. Just use some lubricant on the linear ball bearings regularly.
Is it for you? / Conclusion
The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Machine is an excellent price/value home gym that is suitable for most of the people. Its weight capacity, the numerous exercises it provides for total body training as well as its $1000 price makes it a good buy for home strength training. It is not for powerlifters but for most of us it is a valuable buy. You can check out more Marcy home gyms here.
Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API