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  1. #1
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Plate-Loaded Machines

    Dear forum members,


    I designed and manufactured heavy-duty plate-loaded muscle-building machines from a period of time 15-30 years ago. I failed, and lost a lot of money. A member on this forum, who saw some of the machines I was building then, encouraged me to give it another try.

    Because I still possessed the fabricating machines that I owned then, I decided to try again. So, working out of my garage (how else could I afford it - ha, ha, ha), I have built some copies of the machines which I built then.

    I did not have the 'internet' then, and no way to expose the muscle-building industry to what I was building. Because the 'internet' is now available, I would simply like to place some pictures of a couple of 'copies' of what I built then and see if I can generate any questions or receive any 'feedback'.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  2. #2
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Dear Henry Maag,

    Those machines look pretty.

    Warmest Regards,

    Urbanlifter
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  3. #3
    Registered User Sdca7718's Avatar
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    Those look good, I would add end caps for a more finished look.
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  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Nice looking machines 😎👍. Thank you for posting them.

    Maybe offer an econo line and a deluxe version with all upgrades.

    I agree to add all the finishing touches and then show them off... Maybe add items such as:
    Welded end caps (increased cost) or standard plastic end caps at all open tubing ends
    UHMW at contact points or wear points
    Chrome weight pegs or stainless steel solid weight pegs {increased cost}.
    Heavy duty rubber for grips with aluminum collars and aluminum grip caps.
    Offer rubber or aluminum deck plates as alternatives to the steel deck plates.
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    Totally aesthetic but I'd select different colors especially for the pads. Something to really set them off like a bright red.
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    Dear forum members,


    I designed and manufactured heavy-duty plate-loaded muscle-building machines from a period of time 15-30 years ago. I failed, and lost a lot of money. A member on this forum, who saw some of the machines I was building then, encouraged me to give it another try.

    Because I still possessed the fabricating machines that I owned then, I decided to try again. So, working out of my garage (how else could I afford it - ha, ha, ha), I have built some copies of the machines which I built then.

    I did not have the 'internet' then, and no way to expose the muscle-building industry to what I was building. Because the 'internet' is now available, I would simply like to place some pictures of a couple of 'copies' of what I built then and see if I can generate any questions or receive any 'feedback'.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
    These look interesting but I've seen nice looking machines that weren't worth using. Without some real life feed back from users no one can really offer you much advice. Now, if you're willing to ship these to me, I'll try them for an extended period and give you some opinions based on experience.
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    They do look interesting. Id say post some vids of them in use with people who understand the mechanics of lifting and movement, not the guys at CT Fletchers gym. Those are some of the worst demo vids I have seen, and the only thing shown is the durability of your machines. Maybe even invite some of the forum So Cal members to your place to try them out and give some input on here.
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    Unregistered User Cleveland33's Avatar
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    didn't this end in a sh*tshow last time?
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    Is the Lincoln Town Car for sale?
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  10. #10
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by irongrandpa View Post
    These look interesting but I've seen nice looking machines that weren't worth using. Without some real life feed back from users no one can really offer you much advice. Now, if you're willing to ship these to me, I'll try them for an extended period and give you some opinions based on experience.


    Dear irongrandpa,


    Your right, "beauty is only skin deep". There are machines which look gorgeous, put are horrible muscular inroad devices, are not durable, and have lousy features.

    If you were within 50 miles of me (Huntington Beach, CA) I would take you up on your offer. As it is, and I don't know if it will help or not, I will be taking some videos of these machines in use at a couple of local gyms where I am conducting an experiment.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  11. #11
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nebamartinez View Post
    Nice looking machines . Thank you for posting them.



    Dear Nebamartinez,


    Here are a few more pictures of the machines from different angles.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  12. #12
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by a7stringkilla View Post
    They do look interesting. Id say post some vids of them in use with people who understand the mechanics of lifting and movement, not the guys at CT Fletchers gym. Those are some of the worst demo vids I have seen, and the only thing shown is the durability of your machines. Maybe even invite some of the forum So Cal members to your place to try them out and give some input on here.



    Dear a7stringkilla,


    Unfortunately, the guys at the two gyms are all I have right now. I will ask them to do some more deliberate reps at lower weights to show the function of the machines (instead of the max weights they tend to train with).


    Do you know how I can contact any members on this forum that may be in my area of the country?



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  13. #13
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sdca7718 View Post
    Those look good, I would add end caps for a more finished look.


    Dear Sdca7718,


    At one point in time I did have custom "end caps" made for both the ends of the weight bars and the ends of the transverse frame member at the base of the machines. While I agree with you that they do make for a "more finished look", I did not feel that the added expense was worth it. This is primarily because I wasn't going after a "pretty image" for my machines, but, rather, a "rugged, durable" image. For this reason I felt that the raw steel look (without the 'decorations', as I considered them) was better.

    Nowadays I would rather have an end user actually see that the frames of these machines are made of 1/4" thick steel walls instead of the 1/8" thick walls that most of the industry still uses.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  14. #14
    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    At one point in time I did have custom "end caps" made for both the ends of the weight bars and the ends of the transverse frame member at the base of the machines. While I agree with you that they do make for a "more finished look", I did not feel that the added expense was worth it. This is primarily because I wasn't going after a "pretty image" for my machines, but, rather, a "rugged, durable" image. For this reason I felt that the raw steel look (without the 'decorations', as I considered them) was better.

    Nowadays I would rather have an end user actually see that the frames of these machines are made of 1/4" thick steel walls instead of the 1/8" thick walls that most of the industry still uses.
    Have much hubris? "Pretty" is not the same as "safe." You are putting your users at risk. Or don't you think that a user would never walk into one of your machines and bloody his foot because the edge of the steel is a hazard.

    I work out in my bare feet or I wear minimalist shoes. I have stubbed my toes on equipment many times, usually without harm because of the end caps or the rounded edges. Walking into an end of your open support tubes would hurt. I can see how that would be a deal breaker for many commercial gyms.
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  15. #15
    Valhöll Nebamartinez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    Dear Nebamartinez,


    Here are a few more pictures of the machines from different angles.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
    Thanks

    Those are better pics 👍

    I think either two toned red or black upholstery would look sharp with red frame and black for moving parts.
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  16. #16
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RestoringTally View Post
    Have much hubris? "Pretty" is not the same as "safe." You are putting your users at risk. Or don't you think that a user would never walk into one of your machines and bloody his foot because the edge of the steel is a hazard.

    I work out in my bare feet or I wear minimalist shoes. I have stubbed my toes on equipment many times, usually without harm because of the end caps or the rounded edges. Walking into an end of your open support tubes would hurt. I can see how that would be a deal breaker for many commercial gyms.



    Dear RestoringTally,


    I had to look up "hubris". Don't you think you're being a little extreme.


    As far as safety (regarding getting cut by uncovered edges), both the inside diameters and the outside diameters of the pipes and tubes on all of my machines are fully deburred (after all, I have to handle these parts in fabricating the machines and do not wish to be cut myself). You may be confusing my fabrication methods with those of other manufacturers who simply cut parts off with a cold saw and slap a plastic plug on the end in order to build quickly and consequently save money.


    Regarding working out in "bare feet", while I do not know of many examples of this behavior, I would advise against it in a gym environment because you could "bloody your foot" (if a machine manufacturer did not deburr the ends of their tubes or did not utilize plastic end caps on their exposed rough sawn tube ends) or you could possibly "stub your toe" (if you were to walk into a machine).


    Thank you for your advise regarding commercial gyms.



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  17. #17
    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    Dear RestoringTally,

    I had to look up "hubris". Don't you think you're being a little extreme.

    As far as safety (regarding getting cut by uncovered edges), both the inside diameters and the outside diameters of the pipes and tubes on all of my machines are fully deburred (after all, I have to handle these parts in fabricating the machines and do not wish to be cut myself). You may be confusing my fabrication methods with those of other manufacturers who simply cut parts off with a cold saw and slap a plastic plug on the end in order to build quickly and consequently save money.

    Regarding working out in "bare feet", while I do not know of many examples of this behavior, I would advise against it in a gym environment because you could "bloody your foot" (if a machine manufacturer did not deburr the ends of their tubes or did not utilize plastic end caps on their exposed rough sawn tube ends) or you could possibly "stub your toe" (if you were to walk into a machine).

    Thank you for your advise regarding commercial gyms.
    I stand by my comments. You said you lost a ton of money the last time you tried to enter the equipment market. Perhaps if you listened to the marketplace and did not discount what others say, you might be more successful. As for the unfinished footers on your equipment, I was not referring to burrs. There is a reason reputable manufacturers finish their equipment and put end caps on their footers. The caps are often welded on higher end equipment . You might be well served to investigate the reasoning behind that design choice by others. Hint, aside from a potential for foot injury, an unfinished edge is a tripping hazard when a person wearing shoes strikes a glancing blow to the end of an unfinished footer.

    Everyone in Planet Fitness wears shoes, expensive ones, too. Many powerlifting gyms have people deadlifting in bare feet, socks, or lightweight shoes. In my home gym, shoes are optional and often not worn. I guess it depends upon the type of gym you hope to place your equipment. But you should recognize that limiting your market due to preconceived notions will limit your profitability.

    As for hubris, no one in a commercial gym cares that you use thick steel. Users/buyers just want the machine to be solid and functional. Sure, us equipment heads on this forum may be impressed with heavy gauge steel, but in a commercial gym no one cares.

    Good luck with your marketing.
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    Dear Henry Maag,

    The most important topic in this entire thread is the Lincoln Town Car. Is it available? My granny had one just like it when she was alive. Great memories in that sled. She had a built in cellular phone in the floor board that I could call all my bitches and hoes on while we drove down the back roads listening to George Straight cassette tapes.

    Sincerely yours,
    2moresquirtz

    Edit: I'm also interested in the Crown Vic on the opposing curb with the 6" Sky Jacker and dub deuces.
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  19. #19
    Registered User HenryMaag's Avatar
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    Dear thread members (or anyone interested),



    Here is a video of the Cross Axes Tech rebuilt version of the old Lamb Bodybuilding Machines L-1000 variable resistance squat machine in use. I placed it at the Iron Addicts Gym in Long Beach, CA in order to get feedback from the kinds of end users that my machines have always been designed for (although I wasn't really aware of it 25-30years ago when I started designing and manufacturing heavy-duty plate-loaded machines).

    I will be on vacation from April 5 through April 12, so please excuse me if I do not respond to any possible inquiries during that time period.


    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag



    P.S. 2MoreRepz; The Lincoln town car is my mother's, and the Crown Victoria is mine, and neither are for sale.




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  20. #20
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    Looks like an above average lifter could have maxed out the weight horns on that squat machine. Seems like a reoccurring theme with the 'Cross Axes' line based on the other YouTube videos, I don't see any reason why access to the internet is going to make this venture successful the second time around (no offense). Seriously, WTF was up with these guys banging out seated shoulder press with 540lbs, lat pulldown with 360lbs, and 450lbs on row like it was a buck fifty?

    I was going to say this jokingly, but it honestly may be the ONLY hope for your line of plate loaded equipment. Paint them all purple and pitch them to Planet Fitness. These machines would be a massive ego boost to all the mediocre lifters out there, can you imagine the smile on 'Dave the Accountant's' face when he tells his wife he can incline bench press 500lbs for sets of 10 reps.
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    Where can we find a motorcar like yours?
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Paint them all purple and pitch them to Planet Fitness.
    Easy now!
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Looks like an above average lifter could have maxed out the weight horns on that squat machine. Seems like a reoccurring theme with the 'Cross Axes' line based on the other YouTube videos, I don't see any reason why access to the internet is going to make this venture successful the second time around (no offense). Seriously, WTF was up with these guys banging out seated shoulder press with 540lbs, lat pulldown with 360lbs, and 450lbs on row like it was a buck fifty?

    I was going to say this jokingly, but it honestly may be the ONLY hope for your line of plate loaded equipment. Paint them all purple and pitch them to Planet Fitness. These machines would be a massive ego boost to all the mediocre lifters out there, can you imagine the smile on 'Dave the Accountant's' face when he tells his wife he can incline bench press 500lbs for sets of 10 reps.


    Dear urbanlifter,


    I will let other readers make their own judgements regarding your response.


    The man doing the squats in the video was super-setting his reps on the squat machine with sets of 10 reps in the power rack with 405lbs (deep). I don't know how many members at "your" planet fitness (assuming you to be a member since you know it so well) are doing deep bottom full squats for sets of 10 reps with 405lbs, but I can assure you (from personal experience - not what I see in videos on the internet) that these guys are strong. Perhaps you will have to experience one of these machines someday before you make your judgements regarding how easy they are, or not.


    I suppose they (the members at Iron Addicts Gym) would be pretty entertained by your comments.





    Don't you think it would be wiser on your part to at least see if these machines are more difficult than you believe they are before making your comments. What if they become popular in the bodybuilding/strength field, how will your comments regarding "Planet Fitness" look then?


    I have already commented to past members in another thread that the mechanical reduction on the shoulder press places the actual weight being lifted at approximately 60% of what is loaded on the bar (taken over the entire range of motion - being a variable resistance machine), and this number comes through kinematic analysis of the moving parts (whether you understand that or not).


    If you will look closely at the displacement of the plates in the squat video, they are moving through approximately the same distance as the operator's shoulders as he stands up making the lift ratio approximately 1 to 1 (taken over the entire range), meaning that he is doing the equivalent of the weight on the machine's weight bars plus the weight of the machine's moving assembly (nearly 90lbs acting at the shoulder pads); I used the word 'equivalent' because the machine is variable resistance and the weight in the deep down position may be only 60-70% of the weight on the bar but steadily increases to approximately 120% at lockout (think of 'variable-resistance' as lifting with chains attached to the ends of the bar if you are a powerlifter).



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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    Originally Posted by AttyGuy View Post
    Easy now!
    For the record, Atty's purple is classy while the shade on Planet Fitness is tacky looking.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    Dear urbanlifter,


    I will let other readers make their own judgements regarding your response.


    The man doing the squats in the video was super-setting his reps on the squat machine with sets of 10 reps in the power rack with 405lbs (deep). I don't know how many members at "your" planet fitness (assuming you to be a member since you know it so well) are doing deep bottom full squats for sets of 10 reps with 405lbs, but I can assure you (from personal experience - not what I see in videos on the internet) that these guys are strong. Perhaps you will have to experience one of these machines someday before you make your judgements regarding how easy they are, or not.


    I suppose they (the members at Iron Addicts Gym) would be pretty entertained by your comments.





    Don't you think it would be wiser on your part to at least see if these machines are more difficult than you believe they are before making your comments. What if they become popular in the bodybuilding/strength field, how will your comments regarding "Planet Fitness" look then?


    I have already commented to past members in another thread that the mechanical reduction on the shoulder press places the actual weight being lifted at approximately 60% of what is loaded on the bar (taken over the entire range of motion - being a variable resistance machine), and this number comes through kinematic analysis of the moving parts (whether you understand that or not).


    If you will look closely at the displacement of the plates in the squat video, they are moving through approximately the same distance as the operator's shoulders as he stands up making the lift ratio approximately 1 to 1 (taken over the entire range), meaning that he is doing the equivalent of the weight on the machine's weight bars plus the weight of the machine's moving assembly (nearly 90lbs acting at the shoulder pads); I used the word 'equivalent' because the machine is variable resistance and the weight in the deep down position may be only 60-70% of the weight on the bar but steadily increases to approximately 120% at lockout (think of 'variable-resistance' as lifting with chains attached to the ends of the bar if you are a powerlifter).



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
    Cliff notes:

    1) Seems offended by my comments, despite asking for 'feedback'
    2) Questioned my theory, then CONFIRMED my suspicions that these machines make moving heavy weights easier.
    3) I will likely eat crow when these machines become popular due to the interwebz.
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Cliff notes:

    1) Seems offended by my comments, despite asking for 'feedback'
    2) Questioned my theory, then CONFIRMED my suspicions that these machines make moving heavy weights easier.
    3) I will likely eat crow when these machines become popular due to the interwebz.





    Dear urbanlifter,


    Regarding "being offended by your comments"; is it not possible that I was simply defending the legitimate actual strength of some of these guys (and they are legitimately strong in my opinion)?



    Regarding confirming your suspicions; Yes, I will willingly confirm that "these machines do make lifting heavier weights easier". But there is a reason behind this, and it is not to serve man's vanity at lifting weights.


    I design my machines for lower inertia training because I am more concerned with muscle tissue development than I am with the connective tissue stress that is caused by bringing higher accelerations into exercise movements. When a movement is performed with lighter weights moving through greater distances (which is necessary in order to yield the same amount of 'work' done in an exercise stroke with lighter weights), the accelerations at each end of the range of a repetition (as the weight must change directions at the end of each repetition) increase the stress on the connective tissue (tendons & ligaments).

    Most bodybuilders and strength (not necessarily 'power') athletes want to develop muscle strength which requires keeping the stresses in the muscle bellies and not in the connective tissue, this is the reason why I design my machines to displace greater weights through shorter distances.



    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your comments with regards to the machines not becoming 'plate eaters'; but, that being said, you would have to use one of these machines yourself in order to come to any kind of conclusion as to the strength of the guys in the videos. And since your in Ohio, and not Long Beach, CA. you could not have access to these machines personally.

    Incidentally, if you were in Long Beach, CA, and training on these machines, you would be aware of just how strong these guys actually are.




    Regarding, "eating crow when these machines become popular"; Those are actually your words, not mine. I simply said, Wouldn't it be wiser to wait and see 'if' they become popular in the bodybuilding/strength field before consigning them to 'Planet Fitness'?



    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag
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  27. #27
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    Sensible response, I can appreciate that. Although one thing, what is the actual game plan to crack into the market? You have taken these to a respectable gym, tested by heavy hitters, are they clearing out space to purchase these from you?

    These machines have a designer/fancy look to them (with a heavy price tag), but on your site you describe them as 'Real Steel' and no fancy 'Bells and Whistles'. I don't see hardcore gyms dumping all their current plate loaded equipment to upgrade to unproven cross axes technology. Big box gyms are flooded with battle tested Hammer Strength, Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and other popular commercial brands. Regardless of the science behind the motion, a smart man recently said to me 'Stress is stress'. You can't pull or push something without stressing tendons, and if people want less stress on their tendons then they will use less weight on their current machines. Another downside is that they do require more plates to get the same effect of a similair machine, the gyms local to me have a hard enough time Spreading around 45's during peak hours...
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  28. #28
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    Originally Posted by HenryMaag View Post
    Dear thread members (or anyone interested),



    Here is a video of the Cross Axes Tech rebuilt version of the old Lamb Bodybuilding Machines L-1000 variable resistance squat machine in use. I placed it at the Iron Addicts Gym in Long Beach, CA in order to get feedback from the kinds of end users that my machines have always been designed for (although I wasn't really aware of it 25-30years ago when I started designing and manufacturing heavy-duty plate-loaded machines).

    I will be on vacation from April 5 through April 12, so please excuse me if I do not respond to any possible inquiries during that time period.


    Sincerely,

    Henry Maag



    P.S. 2MoreRepz; The Lincoln town car is my mother's, and the Crown Victoria is mine, and neither are for sale.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqdFUsGnWks
    Henry,

    I had no idea these machines were that HUGE!!! Holy crap 💩. They appear to be very sturdy when in actual use.

    Good gym choice in my opinion. Old school gyms are awesome! What's more, a gym setting with user feedback is in my opinion a great asset or tool that can definitely be used to gather invaluable user feedback and data to refine each machine. Are you distributing questionnaires asking people to participate by giving input on their experiences with these machines? Demo videos next to each machine would be cool.

    Your machines appear to be very smooth in operation and the ROM (arc) appears natural. Is there some diverging in the ROM? What sort of joints are used for pivot points? Are there bearings of some sort? Can the ROM be adjusted on these machines? Is there anyway to increase the resistance (besides adding more iron weight) or alter the power curve? A cam to move the fulcrum or lever? I think it would be great to incorporate band rollers and hooks to allow for variable resistance. This would drastically reduce the number of iron plates needed.

    Moreover, perhaps include an area to store bands on the machines... or if possible incorporate some weight horns on the machines for plate storage.

    If there is a post or thread I've missed that answers any of my questions I apologize for beating a dead horse.

    If possible can you find some powerlifting gyms in Cali and let some powerlifting meatheads give those machines a run for their money 😎👍.
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    didn't this end in a sh*tshow last time?
    why yes Cleveland33, yes it did. And this iteration of the same topic seems to be on the same road to the same dead end.
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    For the record, Atty's purple is classy while the shade on Planet Fitness is tacky looking.
    You are too kind!
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

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