How Easy Is It To Max Out A Machine In The Gym?

maxing out machine
April 15, 2023 0 Comments

Table of Contents


In this article I will be answering the question “how easy is it to max out a machine in the gym?”. Machines are an integral part of gyms nowadays and form the basis of a well rounded workout program.

You can isolate the muscles better with certain machine exercises. This is why bodybuilders especially utilise a lot of machine exercises in their training. 

This article will explore how easy it is to max out a machine, as well as the nuances of this topic as well.

How Easy Is It To Max Out A Machine In The Gym?

This depends on which machine you use. Some machines are a lot easier to max out than others. Machines such as the calf raise, leg curl, leg extension and leg press are easier to max out.

Harder machines to max out include the rowing machine, chest press and shoulder press. The cable stack on exercises such as tricep pushdowns and cable curls isn’t easy to max out on either.

This will vary from gym to gym depending on the max weight on each weight stack for the various exercises. It should be noted that some people try to max out machines using sloppy form and ego lifting.

This is not advisable as it can lead to an increased risk of injury. You shouldn’t aim to max out a machine for the sake of maxing it out. Aim instead to make steady progress and let the gains compound over time.

maxing out machine

Some Machines Are Easier To Max Out

In general, in most gyms there are certain machines that are easier to max out on. These include machines like the calf raise, leg curl, leg extension, etc.

Machines like the chest press and shoulder press tend to be very hard to max out on in general. I am a big fan of the chest press and shoulder press machines.

In my gym there is plenty of weight on the stack on both those machines. Therefore, a lot of improvements can be made over time. Machines that involve smaller muscles like the biceps and triceps are also harder to max out.

The preacher curl machine and tricep extension machine are very difficult to max out. The muscles in the arm are smaller than much bigger muscle groups like the legs and back.

You will find that it is possible to max out the lat pulldown and rowing machines in some gyms. The back muscles are big and powerful and it is possible to exert a lot of force on these exercises. 

>> Should You Get Psyched Up Before A Heavy Lift?

calf raise machine

Ego Lifting On Machines

Ego lifting in general is not advisable. This is because it can result in a much greater chance of suffering an injury.

Some people use ego lifting on machine exercises to max out a machine and try to impress others. The reality is that it shouldn’t impress anyone.

If you are using terrible technique just for the sake of maxing out a machine then you are doing a lot wrong. You should always aim to lift within your means with good technique and progress incrementally over time.

The end goal on machine exercises should be to get stronger with good form. If you are able to max out a machine with good technique then you should be pleased. That is what is truly impressive!

There is a good article from MuscleHack about what you can do after you have maxed out a machine. You can read it here

>> How Can You Balance Working Night Shifts And Lifting Weights?

Beating The Machine Is Satisfying

There is no mistaking the fact that beating a machine in the gym is very satisfying. When I was at school there was a bench press machine in the school gym that went up to 120kg.

Very few people were able to max out this machine. It was seen as a rite of passage almost to be one of the few that could do it. I managed to work up to being able to perform some reps with this full stack towards the end of my school years.

This was very satisfying for me as it was a goal that I set and achieved. I worked hard in the pursuit of this goal. It also taught me that it was possible to achieve things if I set my mind to something and put forth consistent effort.

You shouldn’t aim to “beat a machine” for the sake of maxing out a machine. You should simply aim to get stronger on your exercises. If you are close to being able to max out a machine, it is a worthy goal to try and achieve!

Lee Hayward shows in the video below himself repping out the lat pulldown machine on the full weight stack. He also cracks a joke at the end for the form police who will have an issue with the use of some momentum.

It is ok to incorporate a little body english when going very heavy. However, it shouldn’t be excessive.

>> Do Bodybuilders Get Lots Of Calluses?

Final Thoughts

How easy is it to max out a machine in the gym? It isn’t too difficult on certain machines that involve the bigger muscles of the body like the legs and back.

However, it will require work and dedication. The average person will not be able to max out many machines at the gym. So to be able to do this on multiple machines you will have to take a serious approach to your training.

Realise that this is a marathon and not a sprint. You should be in this for the long haul and should celebrate all your small victories along the way. This will keep things enjoyable and help you to stay motivated.

If you have any comments on this topic please leave them below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

>> Are Cables Easier Than Free Weights?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.