Here’s The Truth About Gym Machines
Do you want the truth about gym machines and their uses? If you surf the Internet to learn more about gym machines, you might be surprised at the amount of conflicting information, even on the same website. It’s no surprise that most people in the gym have no idea of what they are doing. While free weights are your superior training choice, machines are effective and they do have their place in a workout. Let’s learn a little more on this concept.
Training Information at Your Fingertips
When it comes to working out, there’s a lot of information out there on the internet. While content is at your fingertips, you really need to know and understand what you are reading. Over the last decade, I’ve seen some of the worst material posted online regarding weight training. If you are unaware of what’s right and what’s wrong, it’s easy for you to get sucked into a bad article full of misinformation.
There are a lot of commercial websites out there. While they are humongous, they do tend to have some inconsistent information. If their basic content is conflicting, you have to wonder about all the content and the website as a whole.
I was scrolling facebook and came across an article by MensJournal.com titled, “50 Best Leg Exercises and Workouts of All Time”. Out of curiously, I clicked the link and scrolled through their “best leg exercises”. On the list was the leg press. Interesting. I agree. I think the leg press is a wonderful alternative to the squat. While the squat is the king of all leg exercises, the leg press certainly has its place. In fact, in my training and when training my clients, I alternate the squat and leg press each week so the body receives a good rounded amount of compound stimulation from two different sources. It’s great to keep the body off-guard and you can still implement progressive overload. SCORE one for MensJournal.com. See below a snapshot of the article.
The next day I was scrolling facebook once again. There’s another article by MensJournal.com titled, “The Worst Machines in the Gym”. OMG, I need to read that. I need to make sure I’m not using some of the worst machines in the gym! I clicked the link and read. To my surprise, the leg press is listed as one of the worst machines in the gym. How can that be when I just read the day before, on the same website, that the leg press was the best exercise of all times? It’s probably because big commercial websites outsource their content and they have no idea what they are posting or how they are misleading their readers. Additional note, the overall concept of the article said nothing about pains or injuries, just the worst machines in the gym. See below a snapshot of the article.
The Truth About Gym Machines
You should be pissed. I am. If you are going to put information out on the web, make sure it’s correct and consistent. If you want to know the truth about gym machines, keep reading. I will tell you the facts. Let’s discuss each, machines and free weights, so you get a better understanding of them and how you can use them effectively in your workouts.
I’m not anti-machine when it comes to weight training. Machines are great for those just starting to lift, women, and people with certain limitations or injuries. They teach form. If you never want to move to free weights and you want to stay on machines, that’s fine. You can. However, you can really up-your-game by including more free weights.
Now, machines do eliminate the need for muscle stabilizers to come into play because your body is locked into one position. However, machines are safe and convenient, you don’t need a spotter, and you can use many Weider Training Principles safely. Machines dedicate 100% to you, either by pushing or pulling. You don’t have to call on other muscle groups to help control and keep form and stabilization. Sounds like a win-win situation.
Free weights are not necessarily better than machines. It’s all really dependent on the muscle group, the exercise (compound or isolation) the choice of machine, the person’s level of training, etc. If you want to progress your training to the advanced level, then moving on to more free weights is a good idea.
The squat (free weight) digs deeper into the muscle fibers and calls on many stabilizers than the leg press machine. With the leg press, you can push more weight. They are both necessary and useful for building big legs. Anytime you can call on more muscle stabilizers, the more muscle activation, strength, and growth you are going to receive. Anytime you can leg press a lot of weight, the more muscle activation, and strength, and growth you are going to receive. See, it’s a 2-for-1 shot!
Learn How to Implement Both for Growth
Do I think a powerlifter needs to be training using the bench machine? No. They have built their power and strength and they need to stick to their free weight training. It’s perfectly fine if a powerlifter wants to use a machine as a finisher to pump out more light reps, drop sets, or failure reps. For advanced lifters, the machines can be a good inclusion for certain tactics.
If you are on machines and love them and are perfectly happy with your training and level of fitness, then stay on machines if you want. If you want to advance your training and improve the quality of your training, it’s a good idea to start tinkering with the free weights. Now, if you want to learn even more on training, nutrition, cardio, and supplements, get my free course below.