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    WEEK FORTY-THREE :: What Is The Best All-Machine Workout?

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    * Note: How can I win? Answer all questions in the order that they are asked.

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    TOPIC: What Is The Best All-Machine Workout?

    For the week of: 07/24 - 07/30
    Sunday @ Midnight Is The Final Cut (Mountain Time, US & Canada).

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    Free weight and body weight exercises have their advantages, as do machines. Machines can be useful to achieve certain fitness goals.

    What is the best all-machine workout? Be specific.

    What are some advantages to using an all-machine workout?

    What is your favorite machine exercise?

    What are some of the differences between machines and free weights?

    Cables vs. Machines: Which do you prefer? Why?

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    Don't discuss any other topic in this section. ONLY discuss the question above.

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    NEW PRIZE MONEY!!!!!
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    The best response will get $75 in credit, and second place will get $50 in credit to use in our online store and will have their workout posted on our main site for the world to see!

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    NEW RULE!!!!!
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    * New Rule: Any exercise not listed on our exercise listing (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm) must be accompanied by a full and complete description and pictures (or a link to the exercise(s) where pictures and description are given).

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    Bulking All Day Every Day TUnit's Avatar
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    Wotw 43

    My entry this week.
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    Registered User bitterplacebo's Avatar
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    Here's my response for this one.
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    Good luck!
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    That Man is a Machine BurningHeart's Avatar
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    Here's mine
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    The one and only bigcalves's Avatar
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    What Is The Best All-Machine Workout?



    INTRO


    Walk into any gym in America and you will most likely see three main sections. Cardio, free weights and machines. If you really think about it, machines and free weights are in the same category as both help muscle growth and target different muscle groups. As gyms began to gain popularity around the country more and more gyms bought more machine equipment in order to satisfy workout enthusiasts. In this article the positive benefits and the perfect workout using machines only will be discussed.




    What is the best all-machine workout? Be specific


    In order to make a great workout using only machines you must split up your body into 2 main areas. Upper body and lower body. Along with that we will use pulling and pushing movements for the upper body. This brings us into 3 main things that will become 3 main days. The routine will consist of 3 days on and 2 days off then repeat. You can do cardio in the 2 days that you are not lifting. The goal is to get an upper body pulling day, then a lower body day and finally an upper body pushing day. After the 2 off days have passed you would repeat the whole workout again. Pushing movement for the upper body will be used for training chest, triceps and shoulders. While the pulling movements will be saved for back, biceps and abs. This way you will be able to focus on your whole body and not leave any muscle underdeveloped.




    MONDAY- Pulling Day

    Machine Row 4x 12 12 10 8
    Machine Pull Downs 4x 12 10 10 8
    Machine Bicep Curls 4x 12 12 10 10
    Pull Ups on Assisted Dip Machine 3x 10 10 10
    Machine Shrugs 3x 8 8 8
    Ab Machine 5x failure


    TUESDAY-Lower Body Day

    Hack Squats 4x 10 10 10 10
    Seated Leg Press 3x 10 10 10
    Leg Extensions 4x 10 10 8 8
    Leg Curls 4x 10 10 10 8
    Calve Machine Raises 4x 15 15 12 12


    WEDNESDAY- Pushing Day

    Machine Bench Press 4x 10 10 8 8
    Machine Incline Bench 3x 8 8 8
    Machine Triceps Extension 4x 10 10 8 8
    Machine Military Press 4x 10 10 8 8
    Machine Lateral Raise 4x 10 10 8 8
    Reverse Pec Fly Machine 3x 15 12 12 (for rear delts)


    2 DAYS OFF/CARDIO then REPEAT




    What are some advantages to using an all-machine workout?



    Safer/No Spotter Needed

    If you are using free weights you are susceptible to getting injured. You can drop a dumbbell on yourself or a plate on your toes. As comical as this sounds Iíve seen it happen in gyms and the results is pretty painful. No one is laughing after your thumb is split in two and looks like the peels of an eaten banana. Since the machines already have set weights all you have to do is select the weight that is appropriate for you and start.

    Along with no danger from plates falling or dumbbells dropping, you canít get stuck under a machine. There is no bar and if you go to failure on the last rep you will be able to just drop the weight and not worry about it. This makes it very safe since if you are trying out new weight or feel that you are going in a little heavier today you wonít have to worry about missing the front part of your teeth. If you donít have a spotter or go to the gym at odd times, the machines can be your perfect workout buddy. Since you will be going to failure you wonít be afraid to explore new limits and that way you will push your muscle harder and hopefully get better results.



    Isolating a Muscle

    If you are doing free weight curl you have to use your whole body to balance out and then focus on your biceps doing the work. Now go and curl on a machine. You can relax your whole body and put all your emphasis on your biceps. This makes machines so great. With free weights you have to stabilize, while with machines you donít. This means better muscle isolation and in the long term, growth.



    Faster Workouts

    As you progress into your workout, a catabolic hormone called cortisol shoots up. This is bad for your muscles since you will be using them as energy. In order to avoid this nasty muscle wasting hormone from spiking up you should train between 60-90 minutes max. Well, with machines you can minimize the time of loading and unloading weights. All you have to do is move the pin and you have yourself a nice 10lb increase or decrease. This makes machines very convenient and easy to use. You could save 10 to 30 minutes compared to a regular free weight workout.



    Stabilizer Muscles are not Involved

    Machines can put you in an unnatural position in which you canít get with free weights. This will allow greater isolation and also your stabilizer muscles wonít be working as much. This puts more stress on the main muscle that you will be working on and in return maxes it out to its fullest. This is a great way to put more stress on those shoulders or that chest. By using a machine oriented workout you will focus more on the main muscle of the workout rather than the stabilizer muscles.






    CONTINUED...
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    The one and only bigcalves's Avatar
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    CONTINUED







    What is your favorite machine exercise?



    My favorite machine exercise is the leg curl. It works out your hamstring like no other. Next time it’s leg day notice how every major exercise puts stress on the quads/glute area more than the hamstrings. You get some benefits from squats and more from leg press but in order to fully workout your hammies to their fullest you need to curl your leg.


    In order to do that you must include an unnatural movement. That’s where the leg curl machines comes to play! I also love the leg extensions since your quads benefit from the isolation that they receive and they help develop deep cuts into your quads especially the tear drop right next to your knee. Fortunately you can develop great quads with squats or leg press. In order to have great hamstrings you need to do stiff legged deadlifts or my favorite machine exercise: leg curls!



    What are some of the differences between machines and free weights?



    Safety

    Safety is always a concern when comparing machines vs. free weights. Machines are set in place and have a specific range of motion. Also all the machines have directions for the beginners that are just starting out in the gym. In order to have a safe and effective workout you must know what you are doing. Machines have directions and set range of motion that most people can learn from.

    Free weights offer a larger range of motion. With more power comes more responsibility. It’s very easy for a beginner to grab a set of dumbbells and lay on a bench trying to dumbbell press with terrible form. When that happens, injury is sure to follow. The main difference is that machines don’t require spotters or experienced knowledge, while when using free weights it’s smart to have a spotter and knowing what you are doing is a must.


    Isolation Movements

    Another difference between the two is isolation. With machines you can focus on the muscle that you are training and blast it. You don’t have to worry about stabilizer muscle groups coming in to help or your bodies natural movements coming in and cheating your way through the exercise.

    With free weights you cannot work one muscle and one muscle only. Let’s say you are benching, you are using your grip and forearms. You are balancing out the bar and you are pressing with our chest, shoulders and triceps. When you dilute the exercise to such an extent you are bound to get less muscle gains.


    Loading/Unloading

    When you are using machines all you have to do is move a pin to the selected weight. After that you can begin your set. When you done you can move it up 5lbs and then begin the next set. This gives machines the convenience and faster timing compared to free weights.

    When you use free weights you have to carry the right dumbbell to your bench. Then do your set, re-rack and select the next one. If you are using bars you have to load and unload plates. That’s when little accidents can happen if you are not careful. The worst thing I have ever seen is a person unload a bar on the flat bench press with 225lbs on it. It was two 45lb plates on each side but since that person was a beginner he took both plates from one side first and within moments the bar flew across the gym. Not a pleasant thing to see the bar crashing in to the mirror right next to him and creating a scene.


    Go Heavier

    With machines you can max out or perform 2-3 reps with little to no danger to yourself. You can’t drop the weights or make the bar land on your feet. After you’ve selected the new max out weight you can attempt to do it and if it doesn’t happen on that day, at least you didn’t get injured.

    With free weights there is no stop for the bar loaded with plates. Even if you felt good and strong that day and decided to max out with no one around you to spot, the bar doesn’t care and gravity will take its course. Trust me, I’ve been there and there’s nothing more inconvenient that holding a loaded bar on top of your chest while praying that someone will pass by and see you in distress.




    Cables vs. Machines: Which do you prefer? Why?


    I prefer cables over machines. Since I like the full range of motion and using my stabilizer muscles if I had to pick between the two cables will be my choice. Since I am in love with free weights, cables are the closest thing. They give you a chance to use a heavier weight and still not have to worry about spotters or any problems. You don’t have to load and unload plates. The weight part is the same as machines and you don’t have to worry about spending too much time in between sets.

    Machines are nice, but their range of motion feel unnatural for my body and I prefer using free weights or cables. In order to build a lot of strength you have to use your stabilizer muscles an that’s what cables do more than machines. I think that cables are very nice and I definitely prefer them over machines. They have all the positives from machines and free weights, without the hassle of loading and unloading plates or waiting for spotters.



    Good Luck!
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