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cad2
10-05-2004, 12:53 PM
I have been working out for about a year and a half now, I started out using machines only doing a full body workout 3x a week then with the help of everyone on this site I put together a great routine that I enjoy so much and has given me the long lean look I wanted(well almost). In the begining I had a trainer that was over training me I felt big bulky and akward that was by using machines, well anyway now there is another trainer that is always coming up to me and telling me that I shoud go back and forth between machines and free weights to get even better results, he told me I need the heavy weight of the machines to shock the muscles, that my dumbbells and barbells just won't give me that kind of resistance. I tried that last week and used machines for the whole week and just didn't find them to be as good as my free weights. I know I can lift alot more by using the machines then dumbbells but I do perfer them. Is there any logic to this should I be alternating.


Thanks Cad2

imperfectly_lou
10-06-2004, 12:07 AM
The good thing about alternating is that it keeps your body guessing.

There are certain machines that are extremely valuable, in my opinion e.g. lat pull down, cable machine (including things like the rope pressdown etc), the smith machine (good when you don't have a spotter), assisted pullups/dips.

There are other machines that I don't waste my time on e.g. the tricep extension and bicep machines....

Laurie
10-06-2004, 12:31 AM
I first used machines two years ago when first starting to lift for the leg press, chest press and shoulder press. This while taking a college women's class in lifting and as most of us never did this before, it made sense for safety and easing into weightlifting. But I could not improve my weaker left arm with just the chest and shoulder machines. I was able to do this with freeweights though. They seemed "balky" and awkward with the stationary bars. The Chest machine bars came down too far for me at "start". Well below parallel and I would use my stronger right to push more into position.

Going to bb and dbls forced my weaker arm to work harder. To become stronger by strengthening the stablizers. Yes, I could push more with the machine but what I wanted to do was done better with freeweights.

As for the leg press, leg curls and extensions using machines. I did well enough but decided to do squats by the end of my first semester. This is an excellent compound "core" exercise that I learned to prefer over the leg press for a variety of reasons.

I guess it is the inner satisfaction of knowing you can lift well and in good form with freeweights alone. Another is being incharge, as it is all dependent on you physically....alone...being able to accomplish this without benefit of machine stops or accomodations. It felt to me, the body was being challenged more and felt differently than if I used a machine. You have to be more focused using the freeweights.

Yes, I probably could lift more with the machine shoulder press or chest press. At my heaviest squat (275lbs) I knew I could leg press more. But my body did not feel as "worked"/"challenged" because so many muscle groups are involved when doing a parallel squat compared to sitting doing a machine leg press.

At least this is my opinion.

Now, since working out at home, for the past year, with my bench and Olympic bb/plates. I do miss some machine options like the pulldown and cable row. But I have found alternatives and adapted.

trnurbdy48
10-11-2004, 03:33 AM
now there is another trainer that is always coming up to me and telling me that I shoud go back and forth between machines and free weights to get even better results, he told me I need the heavy weight of the machines to shock the muscles, that my dumbbells and barbells just won't give me that kind of resistance. I tried that last week and used machines for the whole week and just didn't find them to be as good as my free weights. I know I can lift alot more by using the machines then dumbbells but I do perfer them. Is there any logic to this should I be alternating.


Thanks Cad2[/QUOTE]


This trainer is a moron. Machines (not all) set your body up in a specific movement pattern. The machine is in control, not you. Yes, weight can be added/subtracted but form cannot change. I am not a proponent of machine workouts. Adaptation is too quickly seen. Free weights are the opposite. You decide the movement patterns, weight, body placement (standing, sitting, supine). Adaptation only occurrs when you allow it. This is not to say that some machines aren't great! Leg press, cables allow much more freedom of movement than, let's say, a Pec-Dec machine. I've seen more injuries occur on machines than with the use of free weights as people rely on the machine rather than relying on their bodies and most (not all) machines are ergonomically incorrect. My advise, for what it's worth. Train with free weights. Perfect your form and gains will be seen.

bscrusher
10-11-2004, 05:19 PM
bump trnur.

cad, that "trainer" is full of s___.

stick with freeweights, stick with the basics. you will not go wrong.

Blaney4
10-11-2004, 07:28 PM
All of the posters on this thread are much more advanced then I but I wonder at why you find such a weight difference betweeen free weights and machines. When I first switched to free weights I had to lift less then the machine said I was lifting, but once my stabilizer muscles were brought up to speed, I found that there wasn't much difference in the amount of weight I could lift between the same type of exercise, machine vs. free weights. 50lbs is 50lbs - unless the cables on your machine are not adjusted properly? or your stabilizer muscles are not strong enough? Someone please correct me if I am wrong here:) I use certain machines frequently...leg press, leg extension, leg curl, some occasionally...pec dec, chest press(to change things up or because I can't get near the benches:( But freeweights are definetely the best form of exercise to build muscle and workout multiple body parts simultaneously IMHO.