How to Remove Weights From a Home Gym? (Effortlessly)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 26, 2024
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Having moved twice in the last ten years, I have first-hand experience with the stress and frustration that comes with looking at your home gym and trying to figure out how to move it.

On the first occasion, I gave up and called a moving company to help with the process, and watching those guys in action gave me a load of ideas.

It also meant that the second time around, I knew exactly what to do, especially when it came to the weight stack on the cable machine I had.

Here are the main tips I can share.

Quick Summary

  • To effectively remove weights from a home gym, follow a step-by-step process involving disconnecting cables, removing the weight stack assembly, and carefully handling each weight plate.
  • Documenting the disassembly process with photos or videos is crucial for the efficient reassembly of your home gym equipment.
  • According to the Cleveland Clinic, careful lifting during the reassembly process is essential to avoid potential strain or injury, which can take up to 2 weeks for recovery.
  • Personally, I recommend considering compact gym machines for their ease of assembly and disassembly, as well as their space-saving benefits.

Weight Stack Removal Process

A close up shot of weight stacks in a gym

From my experience, using a smartphone to video-record or photograph the disassembly process is invaluable for efficient reassembly. It’s a lot easier to then look over the process in reverse for reassembly.

  • Step 1: Obtain the original instructions or a digital copy from the manufacturer.
  • Step 2: Disconnect cables from the weight stack, starting at the lowest weight setting.
  • Step 3: Remove the rear weight stack assembly using a wrench.
  • Step 4: Remove stoppers from the guide rods to slide off the weight plates.
  • Step 5: Carefully remove each weight plate, keeping them in order for reassembly.

Installation Process

A man reading the manual for a weight stack in the gym

In my own relocations, I've found that referring back to photos or videos of the weight removal process is crucial for a smooth reassembly.

  • Step 1: Ensure guide rods are aligned and secure, measuring for parallel alignment.
  • Step 2: Replace weight plates in reverse order, carefully lifting to avoid the potential strain as stated in the Cleveland Clinic [1].
  • Step 3: Secure the stoppers at the top of the stack.
  • Step 4: Attach the cable at the lightest setting and test the movement.

“Strain from heavy lifting, twisting the spine, lifting from the ground, or an item overhead are common causes of low back strain. Safe lifting practices include tactics such as keeping the item close to the chest and avoiding twisting the upper body while lifting.”

- Kojo Hamilton, MD at spine-health.com

Take the Safe Approach to Removing Weight Stacks

Always prioritize safety.

Follow the instructions carefully and get help from a friend or a fitness professional.

When moving gym equipment on stairs, securely fasten it to prevent shifting, use proper lifting techniques, and have assistance, as navigating stairs is often the most challenging part of relocation

As a fitness expert, I echo Bishnu Pada Das's  ( founder of the fitness blog Crazy Athlete) advice on seeking professional help and adhering to correct lifting techniques to prevent injuries.

Additionally, consider compact gym machines for easier assembly and disassembly. Our tests found several smaller models that offer a full range of exercises.

FAQs

How Do You Take Apart An Exercise Machine?

You take apart an exercise machine by first removing the heaviest parts, which will generally be the weight stack. From there, it’s important to follow the instructions to remove the cable pulley system in a safe way.

How Do You Move Heavy Gym Machines?

You can move heavy gym machines by using a furniture dolly or sliders. These will carry the majority of the weight, allowing you to focus on slowly maneuvering the equipment by damaging it or suffering a common furniture moving injury.


References:

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10265-back-strains-and-sprains
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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