What Makes the Ares™ 2.0 Cable Machine The Best Integrated Functional Trainer Yet?

The Ares 2.0

The best just got better.  

The Ares™ cable machine is known as a leader in the fitness world as the best, fully integrated functional trainer and lat pulldown/low row attachment that affixes right onto your power rack. REP originally launched this innovation in 2022 as one of the first of its kind – popularizing the concept of a rack-attached cable machine and ultimately bringing it to the masses.  

But our Colorado-based engineering team is constantly learning and dedicated to offering the most innovative equipment possible.  

So, for the past few years, we have been experimenting, planning, and above all, listening. Reading every customer comment. Talking to other lifters. Regularly using the Ares™ in our company gym and home gyms. And while the Ares™ cable machine was already considered the best in the market, we have a growth mindset (like any good lifter).  

Enter: The Ares™ 2.0 attachment.  

We changed the game when the original Ares™ attachment came out. And we are changing it again.  

What is the Ares™ Cable Machine?  

A woman lifting on the Ares

First, meet the OG: the Ares™ cable machine.

The Ares™ cable attachment is a fully integrated, functional trainer and lat pulldown/low row attachment that affixes to your existing PR-4000 or PR-5000 power rack. This saves major space, by bringing a ton more versatility and cable exercises inside the rack, while preserving nearly all the original functionality.  

The Ares™ cable machine features dual weight stacks of 260lbs each (with an option to  upgrade to 310lbs per stack) that you can use for unilateral exercises. Or connect both stacks together for bilateral movements that demand heavier weight, like lat pulldowns.  

The patent-pending Ares™ cable machine features trolleys that are designed with a smooth plastic liner that’s easy to adjust up and down with one hand. 

The front pulleys swivel 180 degrees for versatile movements and work outside the rack. Hot-rolled steel plates with a machined finish assure consistent and durable weights that the magnetized pin slides into smoothly. A metallic black finished shroud, with a recessed stainless steel REP logo, features laser cut windows to see the weights moving.  

The 2:1 ratio means 100lbs feels like 50lbs, ideal for functional training.  

The Ares™ cable machine comes with a footplate to brace against during low rows, four micro-adjustment 2.5lbs weights, D-handles, a knurled chrome lat pulldown bar and low row bar, and a connector banana.  

As the reputation has proven, if Ares is the God of War, this is the attachment to train you for it. 

The Best Functional Trainer Attachment Gets Better 

The Ares 2.0

We have been listening to customer feedback and making improvements with the goal of providing the best, all-in-one, rack-mounted functional trainer/lat pulldown and seated row attachment.  

At the heart of all of our changes: functionality.  

What does this look like for your training? Maximum functionality of your rack, even with the Ares™ cable machine attached. We’re talking:  

  • Plenty of space to lift in the rack 
  • The ability to perform incline bench movements with both 6-post and 4-post configurations 
  • The option to comfortably lift with a Safety Squat Bar facing either direction 
  • Upright space to use the maximum J-cup height on 80” racks 
  • An increased range of motion for exercises like cable chest flies – even for tall lifters – thanks to wider cable exits on the trolleys 
  • An increased range of motion for lifters of all sizes (regardless of shoulder width), due to swiveling pulleys not just on the front pulleys, but also on the lat pulldown and seated row 

In the spirit of maximum functionality, like the original, the Ares™ 2.0 cable machine features dual, 260lb selectorized weight stacks can be upgraded to 310lbs each (feels like 155lbs each).

Dual weight stacks are ideal for functional training because they allow for both unilateral and bilateral training without having an uneven pulling experience on two-arm movements like cable flies.  

Unilateral training is important because no one’s body is perfectly balanced on both sides. When you train each side independently, your stronger side doesn’t get to do more work, leaving your weaker side forever playing catch-up. Muscle imbalances aren’t just aesthetically unappealing; they can lead to injuries.  

With two cables and two weight stacks, you can work both sides of the body independently but at the same time (think: chest flies) without compromising cable length, like with a single weight stack. With just one stack being moved by two cables, you risk hitting the end of the cable length, especially if you try to do cable exercises in front of the rack. Dual weight stacks eliminate that issue. This is why the top, traditional functional trainers feature dual weight stacks.  

Dual weight stacks also allow multiple lifters to train at the same time, which is a huge bonus if you have a lifting buddy and limited space and time.  

The Ares™ Attachment Vs. Ares™ 2.0 Attachment

So, how specifically do we make all of these improvements happen? What do they look like on the new Ares™ 2.0 cable machine? 

Seated Row  

The Ares 2.0 cable machine features an integrated lat pulldown feature, as well as a seated row. This slightly higher cable point is more comfortable and functional than a low row and allows you to sit more comfortably on the floor or a bench -- your choice. Use the lat and seated row cables for isolation exercises, as well as standard, straight-bar movements.  

Improved Footplate 

The new footplate design is angled for better foot positioning and adjusts for multiple starting points.  

It is wider for more versatility. You can position your feet however is most comfortable for you. This bigger platform is also more welcoming lifters with larger feet.  

The new footplate also is designed with the row cables in the middle (between your legs), not outside of feet. This is just more comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about the cable bumping your shoes.  

The 2.0 footplate also features cutouts on the sides. This makes it easy to perfectly center your bench in the rack. It also makes space for your bench's legs, so you can push the bench deeper in the rack for both incline and flat exercises.  

More Space 

In addition to the footplate changes, we turned the weight stacks 90 degrees and pushed them farther back to create even more usable space inside the rack for benching and use of the Safety Squat Bar 

And we moved the swiveling, front trolleys outside of the uprights to create more space and versatility for different sizes of lifters, plus a greater range of motion that’s more comparable to a traditional, stand-alone functional trainer.  

More Swivels 

The front trolleys for the original Ares™ attachment swiveled 180 degrees to allow for more versatility in movements. The 2.0 has added this swivel feature to the lat pulldown and seated row pulleys, too. This makes movements more ergonomic, a feature only seen on high-end commercial cable machines. 

More Functionality 

The  Ares™ 2.0 attachment features upgraded cables have a thinner coating that creates a smoother feel.  

Better functionality is also why we switched the resting position of the front trolleys; when not in use, you now store them at the bottom of the uprights, rather than the top (like on the original), to create more usable space on the rack. This frees up higher upright holes, which is great for taller lifters and a variety of rack attachments.  

Another useful feature is the 2.0’s smaller, add-on weights. These 5lb weights (which feel like 2.5lbs) are actually integrated onto the weight stack, so you don’t have to worry about where to store them. Losing those small plates is an issue in commercial gyms – but you can’t lose them if they’re built onto the equipment.  

Finally, we added an easy way to lock the weight stacks when the Ares™ 2.0 cable machine is not in use. This is a safety feature that assures no one (ahem, curious kids) accidentally gets their fingers pinched in the stack.  

Thoughtfully Designed Functional Trainer Attachment 

The Ares™ cable machine has stood as the pinnacle in the industry, crafted by real lifters for lifters. With the introduction of Ares™ 2.0 cable machine, we're pushing the boundaries of gym equipment excellence even further. Just as we led the way before, we're leading once more.