What Is The Best Leg Press Machine Weight? (Plus Other Fun Facts You Need To Know)

When lifting weights, it’s always important to know the right load in order to maximize your gain and reduce the risk of injury. So, what is the right leg press machine weight for you? Continue below to find out.

You can use a leg press machine for leg exercise, leg extension, strength training for leg muscles,s and so on. For leg workouts, leg press exercises can be easy for you to do.

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and know what is the best leg press machine weight plus other fun facts you need to know.

Leg Press Benefits

man with leg press machine

Leg presses are common and effective exercises that target your lower body. They specifically work your gluteal muscles or the muscles of your butt, the gastrocnemius or calf muscles, the hamstrings located at the back of your thighs, and your quadriceps that make up the front thigh muscles.

Also, leg press machines offer you the opportunity to lift heavier weights without as much risk of too much pain or injury. To reap the maximum benefits, you need to start with a comfortable weight that you can lift for eight to twelve repetitions. Then, you can increase this weight gradually every six weeks as you progress and make a habit of your home gym.

Factors That Help to Determine How Heavy Your Leg Press Machine Weight Should Be

muscle man with leg press machine

 While there is no way to know about your weight plate. Either you can lift heavy weight or lighter weight while doing a leg press. But there are several factors that determine how light or how heavy your legs can lift.

We have different anatomies and muscle structures so the strength of your leg could vary greatly from mine. This also depends on your physiology, exercise regimen, and your overall fitness. So, here are some of the ways that you can try to find out how heavy you should be lifting on a leg press machine.

Your Body Weight

One way to determine the proper weight your legs should be lifting is by factoring in your body weight. A study done by the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin assigned a range and average weights for men and women aged 18 to 29 years old.

According to the data presented, the lowest percentile of women who do leg presses is 1.79 times their body weight. Besides, the lowest percentile in men completes 2.47 times their body weight. On the other hand, the highest weight for women is 3.72 times their body weight and for men, 4.84 times their body weight.

Trying Out A Weight

I mentioned that you might be able to find online calculators that claim to determine weight lifting for your leg strength. However, I think a trial-and-error method that goes from the lightest weight and gradually adds more. It will give you a better insight into how much your leg press machine load should weigh as a beginner.

Before doing this, make sure to talk with a trainer or expert so you can at least approximate your maximum weight limit.

Here’s how you can do this trial-and-error method:

  • Do some warm-up exercises for at least five to 10 minutes. Then, rest for sixty seconds.
  • After resting, sit on the leg press machine and start with a weight that you can lift and do presses three to five times by adding 30 to 40 pounds. Then, take a rest for two minutes.
  • Then, add another 30 to 40 pounds to push the weight closer to your maximum and press this for two to three repetitions. Rest for two to four minutes.
  • Increase the weight by 10% to 20% or by another 30 to 40 pounds. Try pressing with this weight once. If you cannot lift this weight, you have found your maximum load. If you still can press the weight, add more weight in 10% to 20% increments until your legs cannot complete a single leg press. Make sure to rest for two to four minutes in between adding each weight.

In addition, you may also want to watch this video:

Starting Or Default Weight Of A Machine

girl with leg machine

If you are curious as to how much the starting weight of a leg press machine is before you even add plates, same here.

There are many kinds of leg press machines from different manufacturers or brands as vertical leg press machines, seated leg press machines, body solid leg press machines, Powertec fitness leg press machines, 45-degree leg press machine,s and so on. They have different starting weights.  It can make it hard to track your progress.  Especially if you tend to switch from machine to machine every leg day.

As you may already know, a leg press machine has a sled on top of which you put more weight. Since manufacturers made this sled with metal, it obviously has some weight to it.

So, before lifting anything, you should first know this default weight. It is the weight of the sled and all included assembly without any plates.  This is important in order to be able to adjust the weight you will be adding for more accurate measurement when you press.

For most leg press machines you would see in gyms, the sleds weigh anywhere between 100 pounds to 118 pounds. However, as I have mentioned, this can vary wildly depending on the brand, model, or manufacturer. Some sleds can weigh as heavy as 125 pounds while others can be as light as 65 pounds.

Needless to say, when we talk about the leg press machine weight, it does not refer to the actual weight of the whole machine.

Does The Default Leg Press Machine Weight Really Matter?

If you ask me, I think that knowing the weight of the sled on your leg press machine is useful but not really essential. Besides, getting stronger is really all about lifting progressive loads. As long as you do not start too heavy and you use the same machine as you go higher in weights, you should be fine.

All this, however, is of course based on the assumption that you are getting enough sleep, allowing sufficient time and rest for your muscles to recover, and eating a balanced, nutrition-packed diet.

If so, you can add more plates for doing your leg presses and you can get stronger, better-looking legs and lower body in no time!

Inclined VS Horizontal Leg Press Machine

The angle at which you are leg pressing is also important and for some people, even more, important than the weight you are lifting. Basically, the flatter the angle at which you press, the easier it will be.

You will usually see leg press machines that are inclined at a 45-degree angle, but this can vary depending on the model. Some machines also have adjustable angles. It does not require rocket science. And also you do not have to be a physicist to realize that pressing on a steeper angle. It will be harder and pressing on a flat position will be easier.

When you lift at an angle, you will be working against gravity and you will feel the full weight of your load. On the other hand, if you press forward, the only forces you need to overcome are friction and inertia.

Therefore, unless you have special health conditions or injuries that prevent you from pressing upward safely, it is always better to get an angled leg press machine. This will not only work your legs harder and target more important muscle groups but will also cover less space which makes it great for home use.

Some Leg Press Machine Hybrids

In case you haven’t heard, there are some interesting leg press machine hybrids or types that allow you to do more than just leg presses. I happen to stumble upon three of these types and some interesting facts about them that might be helpful to you as well so here they are:

Unilateral Leg Press Machine

Leg Press

Normally, you would find leg press machines

 with a single platform for your feet to push against. People call it bilateral leg press machines.  Unilateral leg press machines, on the other hand, are those that allow you to work on one leg at a time.

The word “unilateral” literally means one side or one limb. So essentially, instead of having a single platform, a unilateral leg press machine will have two platforms, one for each leg. You have the option to use them together or one at a time.

some imbalances in the muscular structure. Unilateral leg presses help even out this imbalance.

These machines typically have a higher default weight since each sled or platform will weigh around 70 pounds, giving a total of 140 pounds when you use both legs.

This is great because some people tend to use one of their legs more than the other, causing

Leg Press-Hack Squat Hybrid Machines

leg press machine

This next type of leg press machine is among the modern ones which you can also use as a hack squat machine.  Hack squats can simply describe hack squats as weighted squats that you need to do sometimes at an angle. Sounds familiar? Yes, this same angle can be used for leg presses.

Hack squats target almost the same muscles as leg presses including the glutes and quads as well as the muscles of the thighs and hips. When doing hack squats, you place your feet on the plates and bend your knees with the weight in your hands or your shoulders, kind of like an upright leg press.

Calf Raise Machines

leg exercises

Lastly, some leg press machines can be adjusted or transformed to allow you to perform calf raises. This is usually done by tilting the platform on which your feet press against in doing leg presses.

Calf raises are done by positioning your toes against the edge of the platform and lifting the heels or doing a tiptoe motion against a load or your own body weight. It is another great lower body workout.

One thing worth noting about these hybrid machines is that they have lower maximum weight capacities than machines that are solely for leg presses. However, this is only a concern for people who are pressing more than 500 pounds.


So that’s pretty much everything you need to know about leg press machine weight and different factors that affect or determine it. If you liked this article, please feel free to share it! Also, for more articles like this and comprehensive product reviews for all your fitness needs, you can go to this site.

Good luck in getting stronger and better-toned legs! That’s all for now, ‘til next time!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Which one is the best leg press machine?

There are many leg press variations in the market. All kinds of leg press machines you can use for your muscle work, muscle group, muscle mass, rouge fitness, etc. People use leg press machines for various purposes. It depends on your purpose. As like, the vertical leg press is best for back exercises.

  • Does foot placement matter on a leg press machine?

Yes, it does. Otherwise, it will not work on your free weight, footplate, and so on. Foot placement is important for leg press exercises.

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