Cables are a perfect alternative for free weights. The Body-Solid Pro Club Line SDC2000G/1 Dual Cable Column with Dual 160-Pound Weight Stacks packs twice the punch and delivers twice as much exercise variety. They’re right in the middle between those and things like the traditional bench press or calf raise machines. Furthermore, cables allow for a more natural range of motion and provide lots of proprioception that machines can’t.
By employing the different types of handles, manipulating body leverage, and working against gravity with cable motion, astounding workouts can be had in a compact area. These days it’s about efficiency. Why use ten different machines, or do ten different free weight exercises when they can all be done using one cable machine in one area?