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Home Gym Cable Pulley System vs Barbell Landmine: Which Should You Buy?

If you're reading this article, there's a good chanceyou're considering buying a cable pulley system or a landmine, or maybe even both for your home gym. Personally, I do strongly recommend eventually buying both. But as we know with home gyms, it's very unlikely you'll be able to buy all of your equipment at the same time. So which one of these should you prioritize when building your home gym? Today, I'm going to compare and score both of these types of equipment.

1. Efficiency

I'm going to time how long it takes to set up the cable system and then how long it takes

to set the landmine from scratch.

You ready? Start!

That took about 2 minutes and 46 seconds to setup the cable system. Let's see how long it takes to set up the landmine in contrast to that.

Ready? And start!

That was about 33 seconds, which makes it about 2 minutes faster to setup the landmine than it does the cable system. So very clearly, it's a lot more efficient setting up the landmine than it is the cable system in the middle of your workout.

One more thing to consider for efficiency is how long it takes to switch between exercises, too. So I'm going to show you a few typical supersets you might do on a landmine and then a few typical supersets you might do on a cable system.

Ready? Let's do it.

So two very typical types of supersets you might do on a landmine. We had the chest press into the T-bar row, then we had the kneeling shoulder press into the upright row. It was very quick changing between those exercises.

Let's see some typical supersets you might do on a cable system.

I did the cable curl into the tricep push down, then for the second superset, I did a single arm lat pull down into a low-to-high cable crossover. It took about 15 seconds to swap between the low and high setting. Even if I was using just the high or low setting for a superset, if I had to change over the handles as well, that's still about 15 seconds. It's a lot of time between supersets.

So for efficiency, that's actually two points to the landmine.

2. Cost

The cost of both of these items is about the same at ¥6,000. That's for the landmine and also the basic cable pulley system.

But this is not the basic cable pulley system. I've actually made my own changes to it. I've added in a second pulley and connected a second cable. By doing it this way, I can then switch between the high and low setting, and I can also disconnect here so it makes it very quick changing over for things like supersets. This total cost brings the cable system up to about ¥10,000, making the landmine much cheaper.

For cost, that's one point to the landmine.

3. Effectiveness

The landmine is a free weight that allows you to do compound exercises like, for example, the standing landmine chest press. In contrast to this, with the cable system, you can do isolation exercises like, for example, cable crossovers. Both of these are chest exercises, but the difference is with the landmine, it's a compound exercise and it targets the triceps and the shoulders in addition to the chest.

However, your home gym workout should already have a strong foundation of free weights. Buying a cable system and adding in cable exercises to your workout routine will provide a different stimulus to your body, and those isolation exercises should help further enhance specific parts of your physique.

So for effectiveness, both the landmine and the cable system get a point.

4. Versatility

Throughout this article, I've discussed several different exercises you can do with both the cable system and also with the landmine. Both of these pieces of equipment can train any part of the body.

You can train your chest, your back, your shoulders, your biceps, your triceps. To a certain extent, you can even train your legs. And what's more, you can train your abs, which is something you'll struggle to train with just your typical free weight equipment.

So for both the cable system and the landmine, I give them a point each for versatility.

5. Practicality

When you're not using these items, you're going to want to pack them away and take up as little space as possible so you can use that same space in your home gym for other things, too. Both of these items are very practical. Let's take a look at each of them.

First is the landmine. This just attaches right onto the rack. It takes up almost no additional space. It's really quite practical.

In contrast to this is the cable system. It takes up a small shelf by itself if you include the anchor and the handles I use with it from the band attachments set, plus also all these additional attachments that go on the cable, for example the rope and the bar.

With my cable attachments, I've done something quite practical. I've used hooks to hang them off the shelves. It looks nice and takes up as little space as possible, but it does take up just that little bit more space compared to the landmine.

So for practicality, that's one point to the landmine.


Let's look at the total score. That's two points for the cable system and six points for the landmine.

While the cable system is without a doubt my favorite piece of equipment for my home gym, because it takes your typical home gym and allows you to do things that frankly, you shouldn't be able to do in a home gym, if we're prioritizing which one to get first, it's no question - the landmine.


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