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5 Best Pec Deck Machines For Your Home Gym [44 reviewed]

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Hi, my name is Steve Hoyles, and I’ve owned a gym and have been a personal trainer for over 20 years now.

Two. Zero. Years.

Man, do I sound old or what?

But that’s between me and my achy joints.

What it means for you – the guy looking for the perfect pec deck machine

It means we’re best friends for the day.

It means I’ll be your industry insider for the deck of pecs.

Why me?

I know these machines paint-to-cable.

I know where and how they’re made, and most importantly, I know the deal-breakers…the things that make a pec deck bad.

It’s the same stuff that made it the ugly duckling of chest machines.

What this guide isn’t

It is NOT an attempt to tell you whether you should/should not get a pec deck machine in the first place.

In other words – I’ll assume you know enough to decide whether you need one.

That’s way past the scope.

It’s all about the machines today.

Budget Option

Fray Fitness Selectorized Commercial Pec Dec and Rear Delt Combo

Fray Fitness Selectorized

Best Overall

Life Fitness Optima Series Pectoral Fly and Rear Deltoid

Life Fitness Optima Pec Fly

Premium Option

Cybex Ion Series Pectoral Fly and Rear Deltoid

Cybex Ion Series Pec Fly

7 best pec deck/chest fly machines

NameBest in categoryRating out of 100PriceDefining feature / characteristic
Life Fitness Optima Pec FlyOverall80$$$$Commercial-grade, weight-stacks
Cybex Ion Series Pec FlyMoney no object75$$$$$Superior quality & heavy weight stack
Fray Fitness selectorized pec deckBudget selectorized 69$$$Commercial-grade, weight-stacks
Body-Solid GPM65Value65$$Includes three stations – delt fly, pec deck and press
Marcy Multifunction MachineMost versatile63$$Designed for full-body workout
Titan Fitness Plate-Loaded PEC FlyBest budget standalone machine62$Cheap, plate-loaded
Body-Solid EXM2500BMultifunction62$$$Cheap multifunction

1 – Best pec deck machine – Life Fitness Optima

Rating: 80 out of 100

Life Fitness Optima Series Pectoral Fly and Rear Deltoid

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants a commercial-grade pec deck for a home gym price.

Who won’t like it: If you’re on a really tight budget.


  • Great pec deck (pec fly) – full ROM*, smooth motion, rotating handles.
  • Commercial quality that won’t break (11 gauge steel).
  • Optional leg press station (doubles the resistance).
  • Well-built and stable.
  • Doesn’t take up too much space.

*Range of Motion


  • Bigger and pricier than weight plate variations.


Most people buying a pec deck machine want 3 things:

  • Quality
  • Convenience
  • Value

This machine ticks all of these boxes… and some!


You simply cannot beat the quality of this machine. With 11 gauge steel, weighing 425 lbs it doesn’t budge when it’s in use. 

In fact, I’ve even tried pushing it from the top and it doesn’t wobble or lift at any point. 

The same can’t be said from a lot of similar machines (such as the plate loaded options later on in this best pec deck machine guide). 


The convenience comes here from the selectorized weight stack. 

No need to have to keep loading plates onto the machine, taking them off to use on your barbell for squats and putting them back on next workout. 

Simply stick the pin into the weight stack for what you need and lift away!


The value comes from it being half the price of other options out there (such as the Cybex Ion Series). 

Simply put… you won’t be able to find a machine that you can buy online and get delivered to your door for the same price and quality of this. 

Bottom line

If you’re looking for bang for your buck and to maximize the use of space when getting a pec deck, this is the machine for you.

You can’t find a better value machine for the quality of this one.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)61 x 61 x 57
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)202 (7.5 lbs increments)
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frameStructural Frame: 10 Year Limited | Pulleys, Weight Plates, Guide Rods: 5 Year | Bearings, Cables, Grips, Electrical: 1 Year

2 – Money-no-object pec deck machine – Cybex Ion Series

Rating: 75 out of 100

Cybex Ion Series Pectoral Fly and Rear Deltoid

Who it’s for: Commercial gym owners or anyone who wants the best of the best.

Who won’t like it: Anyone who wants “value” (and to pay less).


  • Heaviest weight-stack – more convenient and better for super, drop, or burner sets.
  • Commercial-grade quality of materials.
  • Knurled handles.
  • Heavy and stable.


  • Expensive.


If you’re into bodybuilding or know that you’ll need more weight than most machines have to offer, this is the machine for you. 

You simply cannot find a better machine that is available out there. 

It boasts a huge 262.5lbs weight stack meaning even Chris Hemsworth could have a decent workout on here when getting ready to be Thor.

This makes it ideal for a commercial gym too, which suits a wide range of people at different levels.

Being able to drop the weights in 7.5 lbs means even a beginner can make the most of this machine as well as a seasoned lifter.

Bottom line

If money is no concern this is the machine for you. The heavy weight stack makes this suitable for the stronger lifters too. Enough said.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)61 x 75 x 81
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)262.5 (7.5 lbs increments)
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frameStructural Frame: 10 Year Limited | Pulleys, Weight Plates, Guide Rods: 5 Year | Bearings, Cables, Grips, Electrical: 1 Year

3 – Best chest fly machine in the budget commercial-grade category – Fray Fitness Savage Series

Rating: 69 out of 100

Fray Fitness Selectorized Commercial Pec Dec and Rear Delt Combo

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a commercial-grade chest fly machine with a weight stack that won’t break the bank.


  • Commercial-grade quality of materials.
  • Weight-stack – more convenient and better for super, drop, or burner sets.
  • Knurled handles.
  • Heavy and stable.


  • Expensive.
  • A basic, rugged design is not for everybody.


The Savage Series is home to old-school, bare-boned pieces you’d expect from Fray…from the rack to this fly machine.

There are no frills here.

Fray sticks to the basics but gets them absolutely right.

The handles are a perfect example of that

The geometry of the handles is an illustration of Fray’s approach.

Notice the angle between the handles for the chest fly and the rear-delt fly.

Lower-end machines will have an awkward angle for the rear-delt flies, and most people end up using the vertical handles for both exercises.

That often means lowering the ROM or drilling extra holes on the sundial.

On the best fly and pec deck machines, the handles are fixed, and you find the sweet spot by adjusting the seat, backrest, and sundial angle.

The kickass knurling is just the cherry on top of the cake.

Bottom line

If you’re an old-school lifter looking for a no-BS chest machine, there’s so much to love about this wonderful bunch of steel from Fray. It delivers commercial-grade quality at about half the price of the competition.


TypeStandalone, true pec deck
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)198
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frameLifetime

4 – Best pec deck machine – most versatile for the money – Body-Solid GPM65

Rating: 65 out of 100

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Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a good pec deck machine that maximizes the use of space on a budget.

Who won’t like it: Advanced lifters…the resistance will be too low on the chest press.


  • Great pec deck (pec fly) – full ROM*, smooth motion, rotating handles.
  • Separate chest press station.
  • Optional leg press station (doubles the resistance).
  • Well-built and stable – 12-gauge steel.

*Range of Motion


  • Assembly instructions should be better (no text).
  • Bigger and pricier than standalone pec deck machines.
  • Single stack.


If you want to save money and already own a barbell and weight plates this is the machine for you. 

You simply add your weight plates to add resistance. 

It doesn’t have a “selectorized weight stack” which is how these types of machines are significantly cheaper than the options above. 

If you already have a home gym set up then this could be a great option. 

It’s also really great as you can use fractional plates to be really specific about the progress you make, rather than needing to rely on whatever the plates increments are. 

It’s ideal if you’re new to lifting.

Instead of needing to jump from 20 lbs to 30 lbs (a 50% increase), you can increase by 5 lbs or less depending on what plates you have available. 

The downside to these types of machines is usually they are small. If you’re over 6 foot 2” I would highly recommend one of the first two picks.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to get a great bang for your buck and maximize the use of space when getting a pec deck, this is the machine for you.

The low weight is a large concern (in fact scrap that – it’s a shame), but the build quality, versatility, and warranty save the day.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)85 x 61 x 83
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)210
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frameLifetime

5 – Best pec deck machine on a total home gym (all in one) – Marcy Multifunction Machine

Rating: 63 out of 100

41lECPjgjyL. SL500ir?t=shgpecdeck 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B0090OKEB2

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a pec deck as a part of a multifunction home gym.


  • Great value or money – costs less than most standalone pec decks.
  • True pec deck station (not chest flies) with good ROM.
  • Versatile – you can work the whole upper body and most major muscle groups.
  • Includes a solid Smith machine (linear bearings).


  • No rear-delt fly and chest press.
  • The guiding mechanism is basic.
  • Powder coating is average.


For a full and clear understanding of what’s better about the pec deck machine on the Marcy Smith cage, we need to go three layers deep:

  1. Compare it to similar machines that feature chest flies (instead of a true pec deck).
  2. Compare it to similar machines with true pec deck stations.
  3. Compare it to standalone pec deck machines.

1 – Compared to similar machines with chest flies

Compared to most machines we’ll look at today (chest flies), a true pec deck will give you better isolation of chest muscles.

That’s because the rotation in the forearm position practically excludes the front delt.

Moreover, the range of motion is greater towards the end, and your elbows almost touch.

That allows you to squeeze in some more contraction of inner chest muscles, especially if you consciously make it happen.

Simply put, it’s all pecs on this one.

2 – Compared to similar machines that feature a true pec deck

Complete units like this that feature a true pec deck are few.

The direct competitors fall into three groups – they’re:

  • More expensive.
  • Not as versatile (usually missing a Smith bar).
  • Of lesser overall quality.

Finally, the higher-end of all-in-one has no pec deck station. You can see our guide on the best all-in-one home gyms here.

3 – Compared to the standalones

The Marcy Smith Cage wins this right out because of its versatility and value for money.

There are some great standalone pec deck machines, but 9 out of 10 gym owners will find them either too expensive or too big for a one-trick pony.

Bottom line

If you want a pec deck machine and the absence of a delt-fly station is not a deal-breaker for you, give this one a serious look.

If you’re also in the market for a Smith machine, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

You’ll get a lot of use out of the Marcy Smith Cage, and it’ll save you a few bucks by removing the need to buy other bits of equipment.

P.S. Don’t let the salesy lingo on the description page put you off.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)70 x 79 x 84
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)300
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frame2 years

6 – Best budget plate-loaded chest fly machine – Titan Fitness PEC Fly

Rating: 62 out of 100

31HDdJFuFPL. SL500ir?t=shgpecdeck 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B0BLJ7BXMT

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a good chest fly machine on a budget.


  • Full ROM on the pec deck (rotating handles, 360 degrees).
  • Gentle on the home gym budget.
  • Small footprint.
  • Thick, stable frame – 12-gauge steel.
  • Good padding/upholstery – much better than previous versions.


  • ROM on real-delt flies could/should be better.


The Titan Fitness is the best pec deck machine (chest fly, to be precise) that’s well within most home gym budgets.

One of the few last Mohicans

The standalone machines are typically better in their niche than machines that do it all.

For example, a dedicated rower will hit better than a low row on any all-in-one.


Because of the freedom to tweak the angles until they’re just right for that one exercise.

The problem with that is two-fold – money and space.

Here’s what I mean…

Standalone chest fly and pec deck machines are typically made for commercial gyms.

So, they’re big, and they’re expensive.

The Titan PEC Fly is designed to be the solution to those two problems…or at least as close to a solution as it gets.

It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than the previous version.

The padding and upholstery can’t be compared to the flimsy pleather used to cover the thin spongy seat and backrest.

The Vinyl cover feels firm, almost premium.

And I’d say the foam got an upgrade too.

They don’t say it in the specs, but it feels like high-density foam.

Kudos for that.

Bottom line

If the word ‘basic’ could be summed up in an image, it’d look like the Titan Fitness Pec Deck. But you know what, that’s no problem at all.

They’ve stripped out the unnecessary here, and what you’re left with is a great product.

This Titan costs about 10-20% of what you’d pay for fly or pec deck machines from commercial brands.

On the other hand, machines of this type and quality level cost about 50% more.

It’s a great deal that won’t disappoint….as long as you’re aware of the imperfections.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)32 x 28 x 65
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)300
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frame1 year

7 – Best chest-press and deck/fly combo machine – Body Solid EXM2500B

Rating: 62 out of 100

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Who it’s for: A beginner to intermediate lifter looking for a selectorized machine on a budget.


  • Versatile chest station – pec deck, flies, and presses.
  • Cheap.
  • Compact – press station, not separate.


  • The weight stack is too small for most serious lifters.


If you’re using over 210 lbs for chest presses or flies on a machine, this IS NOT the machine for you.

If you’re not, you’ll love this one.

Its main advantage is the versatility of the chest station in a compact design.

Let me clarify…

Machines that house three chest movements (pec deck, fly, press) are:

  • Bigger because the press and fly stations are separate (like our top pick)
  • More expensive.

Body-Solid did a smart thing here

They gave up on a whole chunk of the home gym market – those who lift heavy.

For them, the stack will only be heavy enough for the classic pec deck.

This machine focuses on people for whom the 210-lb stack (105 lbs actual resistance) is enough.

Bottom line

If you’re not lifting heavy, this Body-Solid is a solid space and money-saver.

My concern is that most lifters (men especially) will outgrow this machine in a short period of time, so think long and hard about whether it’s for you.

For many people, it’ll be worth spending the extra.


Dimensions (L x W X H, inches)68 x 42 x 78
Capacity/size of the weight stack (lbs)210
Resistance-to-weight ratio2:1
Warranty on the frame2 years

Buyer’s guide to choosing a chest fly and pec deck machine

The guide below packs only the super practical and direct advice on choosing the best chest fly or pec deck machine.

I’ll keep it short and concise and make it ABOUT YOU…what’s best for you rather than what’s best in theory.

Let’s go.

10 primary factors to look for in a fly or pec deck machine

1 – Type of machine – true pec deck, chest fly, or both

(no specific points in our ratings)

You’ll see the terms pec/chest fly and pec deck used interchangeably.

The movement is similar, but the differences are significant.

To get straight to the point below is an image of the two – the left is a chest fly machine, and the right is a pec deck.

Chest fly and pec deck machines

I’ll refer to the latter as a “true pec deck machine” in this guide.

The main difference between the two is the range of motion

A pec deck machine allows for a greater range of motion toward the finish of the movement. At that moment, the elbow distance is minimal…if there weren’t for the pads and frame, your elbows would touch.

Chest fly machines allow for a greater range of motion at the start because there’s no rotation in the humerus (upper arm), and the elbows point backward.

What this means for you

The pec deck engages the fibers in the inner pecs more and isolates the chest muscles better – because you can’t bring your shoulder in as you tire.

That’s also why you can lift more on the pec fly.

Chest flies stretch the muscle more, isolate it less, and allow for greater overload. The overload can translate to growth, which is not a forte of the pec deck.

Bottom line:

  1. Pec deck is better for inner pecs and isolation.
  2. Chest fly is better for outer pecs and growth.

There are machines that include both, which is the case with our top pick.

Unilateral and bilateral chest workout machines – overhyped if you ask me

“Unilateral and bilateral” refers to whether you can move one hand of the machine separately.

People talk about it as if they’re doing it every day.

Nobody does it.

Yes, it engages the obliques, but there are smarter ways to do that.

A safety plus

The one advantage of bilateral mechanisms is the safety of getting into position.

You can pull one arm at a time before sitting.

Granted, you can do that even if the mechanisms weren’t separate…it just wouldn’t be as easy.

Bottom line – the differences here are marginal, and any good best pec deck machine allows for separate movement.

That makes it a moot point.

2 – Reverse delt-fly and chest/bench press station

(0 to 6.2 points in our ratings)

Nine out of ten times, a pec deck machine will be a combo with a rear-delt fly.

All the standalone pec deck machines also feature a rear delt-fly station.

On the multipurpose home gym units, the reverse fly is sometimes sacrificed to the Gods of versatility…to make “room” for chest presses.

Not often, but sometimes.

It’s theoretically possible to have all three on one pair of handles, but making that machine well would cost more.

What that means for you

Decide which of these is a must-have – pec deck, chest press, and chest fly.

If they’re all in the group, go for a chest-oriented machine like the Body-Solid StrengthTech, which has a separate pressing station.

Alternatively, go for one of the home gyms with a Smith bar and a bench press, like the Marcy Smith cage.

3 – Capacity of the machine – maximum resistance and user weight

(0 to 7 points in our ratings)

For most lifters, anything over 200 lbs will be high enough for the pec deck and chest flies.

If the stack is 200 lbs, it will give you 100 pounds of resistance because of the pulley ratio (more on that in a minute).

Sakav da te prasham, dali kje mozeme denovive da naplatime kirija, oti mozno e da zaminuvam nakaj Krushevo utre ili zadutre…

The problem with the product sheets

If you just go to the product page and look for “maximum capacity,” you can get confused or, at worst, misled.

Here’s how…

The maximum capacity of a pec deck machine is often mixed in with other pieces of data in the specs:

It can mean:

  • The maximum weight you can use on the pec deck/delt fly
  • Maximum user weight
  • User weight combined with the plates
  • Combined maximum weight from different stations

We need the first one to make things uniform and the ratings fair.

So we took our time to extract one specific bit of data.

Bottom line – if you’re shopping outside our list, make sure the language describing the capacity is precise, and you fully understand what you’re getting.

Pulley ratio and actual weight capacity

These machines use cables to transfer resistance.

All the good ones have a 2:1 ratio, which means that a 200-lb stack translates to 100 pounds of resistance.

Below is an image that plastically explains how the pulley ratio works.

1-to-1 vs 2-to-1 vs 3-to-1 vs 4-to-1 pulley cable ratio

4 – Type of weight – plates or weight stack

(0 to 6.9 points in our ratings)

If you have the budget, go with the selectorized weight-stack machines.

Which is better?

We balance our rating formulas to include both because the plate-loaded models are cheaper, but in terms of convenience, there’s no comparison.

It’s a bigger factor with pec deck machines than with other cable machines.


Because a pec deck/flies are primarily finishing (or pre-fatigue) exercises. So, you might use them for burnout or drop sets.

In this scenario, loading and unloading fractional plates will get old really fast.

If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor, spend more, and get a good weight-stack machine.

Thank me later.

5 – Size – footprint and height of a pec deck machine

(0 to 4.8 points in our ratings)

The footprints of pec deck machines are in the 6-25 range for the standalone units.

Size of the plate-loaded vs. weight-stacks – beyond the numbers

Plate-loaded models like Titan have a small footprint (just over 6 square feet), but you’ll need space to maneuver around them when loading and unloading.

Footprint vs. space used

Plus, the listed footprints don’t account for the space needed to actually use the machines.

In the outermost part of the movement, the distance between the handles of a pec flye machine will be in the 65-75 range.

That changes the math for you

The width from the specs (graph below) is still useful, but only for floor space.

To create enough separation from other pieces in your gym, work with these two rules:

  1. Use 75 inches for width instead of the one in the specs.
  2. Add 15-20 inches behind the machine for plate-loaded units.

6 – Build of the frame – steel gauge and cross-section of a pec deck/fly

(0 to 6.8 points in our ratings)

The gauge (thickness) of steel used for your average pec deck machine is in the 12 to 14 range (lower means thicker).

The 11-gauge steel makes the machine more expensive, heavier, and usually rated for commercial use.

Only one of those in our Top 7 – the Fray selectorized.

The second part of the stability equation is the cross-section of the frame. All machines we looked at are in the 4-9 square inches range here.

Less of a factor than with other machines

Gauge and cross-sections are about stability rather than durability. 

You’re not bending anything here – the more important factor is the quality of the joints/bolts.

In terms of stability, chest flies are less demanding on a machine compared to stuff like lat pulldowns.

No one in their right mind is doing flies vigorously.

Bottom line – 4+ square inches of 12 or 13-gauge steel is good enough for a pec deck machine. Even 14-gauge is not a deal-breaker.

7 – ROM and biomechanically accurate geometry

ROM (range of motion) is rarely a problem for chest flies.

It’s the rear-delt fly that can be a problem.

There are good machines (like the Titan PEC) that should go deeper on the delt fly.

And it’s not overly complicated.

It’s a simple matter of having one more hole on the sundial up top.

If you get the Titan and feel like you’re not getting full ROM on the reverse fly, just drill one more hole.

I know…I hate paying for stuff and working on it immediately, but you might have to. It’s either that or paying triple for something like the Fray.

Biomechanically accurate geometry

This sounds more complicated than it is.

Here’s a summary – geometry-wise, the best pec deck machine is the one that allows for perfect movement.

Now, what’s a perfect movement on chest flies?

Below are a few key rules and how they translate to machine geometry.

Movement rule: Keep your back flush with the bench and keep your shoulders back.

What it means for the machine: Bench height is adjustable.

Movement rule: Don’t go back 2-3 inches past the neutral T line. Going further back puts too much stress on your rotator cuff.

What it means for the machine: The sundial adjustments on the front fly don’t go too far back.

Movement rule: Keep your knees apart (8-12 inches, depending on what feels stable). This gives you a proper base, keeps the core active, and reminds you not to lean in.

What it means for the machine: The bench is well-padded and adjustable.

Movement rule: Keep your elbows down to take the neck and shoulder muscles out of the exercise.

What it means for the machine: The bench is adjustable and just wide enough to meet your shoulder blades but not restrict the movement.

You still have to consciously keep your shoulders back, especially if you’re working to failure, as the instinctive reaction is to lean in and help.

Note: Rotating handles help if you’re exceptionally tall or short but aren’t a must. Some of the best pec deck machines (like Fray) have fixed handles.

8 – Versatility beyond the chest muscles – stations for other muscle groups

(no specific points in our ratings)

One of the first decisions to make when choosing a pec deck is whether you have the space and money for a standalone unit.

For most people, it’s a numbers and priorities game.

  • Do you already have a cable and Smith machine?
  • Do you have a leg press/extension?
  • If you don’t, which of these is your priority exercise?

Pay special attention to the last question because a standalone machine will be better 8 out of 10 times.

For example…

If legs are a priority, get a good standalone leg extension/curl machine and pay no attention to the flimsy leg attachment you see on a pec deck machine (and most of them are indeed flimsy).

There‘s no way for me to be perfectly precise here, but you get where I’m going with this…

Note about our ratings: There is no one category in our ratings that awarded points for “versatility.” That would be too general.

We went granular and awarded points for the presence/absence of specific stations like a leg curl or Smith machine.

9 – Price

(0 to 25 points in our ratings)

A standalone pec deck/fly machine will set you back anywhere from $500 to 8K for the high-end commercial-grade stuff (such as our money-no-object pick – the Cybex Ion Series Pec Fly).

For most home gyms, the top value will be in the $500-2,000 range.

Case in point – our top pick, the Life Fitness Optima.

The question of price ties into the previous points – three above all others:

  1. Plates vs. weight stacks
  2. Versatility
  3. Standalone or multipurpose

Below is a reference graph comparing prices of our 20 top-rated pec deck and fly machines.

Price comparison of the best pec deck and fly machines

10 – Warranty terms

(0 to 13 points in our ratings)

The best pec deck machines are backed with a Lifetime warranty on the frame, padding, and parts.

Those are the terms that Body-Solid offers for the StrengthTech.

But that’s an exception.

In the home-gym price range, you get 1-3 years of coverage, and that’s good enough.

Bonus tip: Stay away from the pec deck machines that offer a 90-day warranty on the frame or something along those lines.

Yes…no matter how cheap.

Methodology – how we assess and rate a pec deck machine

Strong Home Gym is one of the few sites in the space with a data-based rating system.

Dare I say the only one?

I do.

There are good sites out there that test and rate equipment. Most of the time, the picks and ratings are based on opinion and what pays more.

We have a system in plays that finds the best stuff whether we benefit from it or not.

Here’s an outline of what we did for this guide:

  1. We created a database with 45 potential candidates for the best pec deck (and fly) machine from 34 sources.
    This step is always about casting a wide net and ensuring we’re not missing anything.
  2. We consulted users and industry experts on what makes a good pec deck.
  3. Based on step #2 and our in-house experience, we defined the first draft of the rating criteria.
    We boiled it down to 28 rating categories.
  4. We awarded “gravity” to these categories – i.e., the number of points they carry.
  5. We tweaked the formula through at least a dozen iterations until we felt it reflected what’s truly the best (both in absolute terms and value-wise).
  6. We gathered massive amounts of data to feed the formula – anything from the size of the machines to the pulley material.
  7. Based on steps 1-5, we chose machines that accurately represent the market.
    That’s the Top 7 list you see here.
  8.  We stay on top of the market and update this guide regularly. This means any new arrivals or changes are reflected in our picks.
    In other words, what you’re reading is fresh and relevant.

FAQs about chest fly and pec deck machines

Do pec deck machines work?

Yes, pec deck machines work as long as you choose one that gets the geometry right, like the Life Fitness Optima Pec Fly.

Pec deck is the runner-up in both measured muscle activation and perceived exertion in this 2012 study that compared 8 chest exercises (second only to a bench press).

The capacity for overload isn’t high, so it’s not a mass builder, but it’s great for isolating the pectoral muscles.

What does the pec deck work?

Pec deck works the whole chest area, with emphasis on the lower and inner chest.

The Pectoralis major is the primary mover, with the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior playing a significant supporting role.

A version of it (pec-fly machine, like the Titan) also engages the front shoulder muscles, biceps, and lats.

Finally, if you do one arm at a time, you’ll also hit your oblique as they kick in to stabilize the core and keep the spine safe.

Are pec decks safe?

Yes, pec decks are safe as long as you choose a good machine like the StrengthTech by Body-Solid and perform the movement correctly.

One group that should be extra careful is those with pre-existing shoulder problems.

If you allow for uncomfortable overextension on the pec deck, it can exacerbate or even cause shoulder impingement.

Other pec deck and fly machines – close-but-no-cigar

  • Powertec standalone pec deck – most people won’t even remember, but Powertec used to carry a standalone pec deck machine. It was one of my favorites while they were making it, which was about a decade ago. I checked all the regular spots for used stuff (eBay and the like), and this one disappeared like a ghost.
  • Steelflex Chest and Rear Deltoid Fly – awesome eye candy and one of my all-time favorites. Too expensive for most home gyms, though.
  • Legend Fitness Pec Deck (model 901) – another great machine that fell short because of the price. It’s unique to the market in two ways – it’s made in the USA, and you can choose the colors.
  • Freemotion Pec Fly / Rear Delt – a legendary piece from a legendary maker. The most expensive machine we looked at for this guide. You can buy half a gym for the price of this baby.

Best pec deck and fly machines – resume and key takeaways

I started working on this guide on a cold Monday morning about two weeks ago.

It was complicated to separate the wheat from the chaff because of all the different types of machines and the confusing lingo.

But I feel like we did a good job.

Here’s a quick resume…

The best value among chest fly/pec deck machines is the Life Fitness Optima Pec Fly. They created a pec deck machine targeting the pectoral muscles with unparalleled precision.

It worked, and it worked well.

If you want a standalone machine, go with the budget-friendly Body-Solid GPM65 or the Fray Fitness selectorized peck deck.

Pick the old-school Cybex Ion Series Pec Fly if you’re ready to spend more on a peck deck machine.

If you’re still unsure, click here to get back to the top picks table.

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Steve Hoyles is a certified personal trainer and gym owner. Since graduating with his Sports Science degree in 2004 he's worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. His writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries as he inspires to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle.

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