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Gym member, what are the best machines to use for Primal workout

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  • #16
    Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    I am aware that rowing machines are rated highly by NASA in terms of maintaining all-round muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
    I would agree with NASA in that respect. I love the rowing machine the most because I can feel my muscles being used all over my body. For me, it's really easy to hit >800 calories/hr burn on the rowing machine versus running at 10 mph at ~600 calories/hr. Love it.
    My chocolatey Primal journey

    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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    • #17
      Originally posted by snoops View Post
      Also, I have read several people saying that body weight is good enough. I don't get that. Doesn't Mark advocate lifting heavy things? I would not be anywhere near as strong as I am now if I had only been doing body weight squats. You have to stress a muscle for it to grow. And then it adapts and you have to do it again. No?
      Have you tried pistol squats? Lifting the majority of your bodyweight with one leg is pretty decent- I would guess about a 1.5x squat weight, which is a pretty decent place for most people. I'm about 150 pounds. A one-arm pushup for me is about 110-120 pounds. That's a 200 pound bench, give or take a bit, plus I've never found anything yet to work my obliques quite as much as a one-arm pushup. Those numbers aren't impressive, but they aren't shabby either, and better than average.

      Get yourself some Al Kavadlo, or Convict Conditioning. Check out "Building the Gymnastic Body" and see the feats of strength that gymnasts are expected to do that aren't even considered competition moves- controlled muscle-ups, L-sits, handstands (on rings, no less)- and those are the basic skills.

      Bodyweight is more of a skill, but I feel it is more useful. Iron builds strength much faster, though, and in a more obvious progression. The goal is to become more fit, and bodyweight is definitely an option for pretty much everyone.

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      • #18
        What you want more than specific machines or evenspecific exercises is a specific athletic program with goals and progression. There are any number of ways to get fit but in general they all involve smart planning and not just random gym-going. Though at first, just hitting "whatever" hard will definitely help you make progress.
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tfarny View Post
          What you want more than specific machines or evenspecific exercises is a specific athletic program with goals and progression. There are any number of ways to get fit but in general they all involve smart planning and not just random gym-going. Though at first, just hitting "whatever" hard will definitely help you make progress.

          All true, but there's a caveat to that last part - it doesn't last long...at all. Progressive overload is the only way to make consistent measurable improvements.
          Josh Vernier, CPT

          My Journal

          Evolution Revolution Fitness

          "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

          -Ayn Rand

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          • #20
            Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
            I would agree with NASA in that respect. I love the rowing machine the most because I can feel my muscles being used all over my body. For me, it's really easy to hit >800 calories/hr burn on the rowing machine versus running at 10 mph at ~600 calories/hr. Love it.
            As far as cardio machines go, I always liked the rowing machine, too.

            Plus it was almost always free!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
              Have you tried pistol squats? Lifting the majority of your bodyweight with one leg is pretty decent- I would guess about a 1.5x squat weight, which is a pretty decent place for most people. I'm about 150 pounds. A one-arm pushup for me is about 110-120 pounds. That's a 200 pound bench, give or take a bit, plus I've never found anything yet to work my obliques quite as much as a one-arm pushup. Those numbers aren't impressive, but they aren't shabby either, and better than average.

              Get yourself some Al Kavadlo, or Convict Conditioning. Check out "Building the Gymnastic Body" and see the feats of strength that gymnasts are expected to do that aren't even considered competition moves- controlled muscle-ups, L-sits, handstands (on rings, no less)- and those are the basic skills.

              Bodyweight is more of a skill, but I feel it is more useful. Iron builds strength much faster, though, and in a more obvious progression. The goal is to become more fit, and bodyweight is definitely an option for pretty much everyone.
              Pistol Squat? Really that is really hard to do. How many people do you think on here can do this properly? Not only you need some serious flexibility for this to bring your leg up and plus control your balance while descending.

              I think body weight exercises are great when you can't get to a gym or you have some kind of injury. However overtime your body becomes skilled at the same thing hence this is where adding resistance in the form of lifting heavy comes into play. Of course heavy varies from one person to another.

              I'm curious about this book you are referring to. I will have to read it at some point. I get it gymnasts have awesome bodies but these people have been training since they were children. Keep in mind that most of these athletes have the genetics to become what they are today. Training is their life but for the rest of us we have to train only with an athlete's mentality to change our body composition.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
                Pistol Squat? Really that is really hard to do. How many people do you think on here can do this properly? Not only you need some serious flexibility for this to bring your leg up and plus control your balance while descending.
                Obviously he wasn't saying you should just jump straight to pistols. There are many ways of regressing and working your way up. The point was that your own body is adequately heavy to a great extent. You can make it pretty damn hard and get ridiculously strong before you really have to add weight.
                Josh Vernier, CPT

                My Journal

                Evolution Revolution Fitness

                "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

                -Ayn Rand

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                • #23
                  Thanks for all the insight thus far. Let me share that weight loss is not what I seek, I have lost all I intend to, 170 5'10". When I began primal about two months ago I was160. That was not always the case in 2006 I topped the scale at 263. I am seeking to maintain and to reach my ultimate genetic fitness level.

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                  • #24
                    Any machine makes a great towel rack! They all work equally well.

                    What you want is the squat rack/power cage/olympic station.

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                    • #25
                      ok, I see the general idea and I don't use many machines, but one machine I do use at the moment is the pullup machine as, right now, I have to have an "assist" (I am aiming for unassisted pullups this year, but I'm not there yet). I know I could do jump pullups etc on an ordinary bar, but this seems safer somehow.

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                      • #26
                        The pullup assist machine unfortunately doesn't work all the muscles that you'll need to eventually do a pullup - mainly your core. If your gym has exercise bands (huge rubber bands) those can work much better as assistance than a machine. Jumping ones, and "negatives" are also better than machines. Al Kavadlo has an excellent post on working on pullups that makes these points.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                          The pullup assist machine unfortunately doesn't work all the muscles that you'll need to eventually do a pullup - mainly your core. If your gym has exercise bands (huge rubber bands) those can work much better as assistance than a machine. Jumping ones, and "negatives" are also better than machines. Al Kavadlo has an excellent post on working on pullups that makes these points.
                          bum. I do negatives sometimes. but they aren't helping me pull UP yet. Might try the jumping ones again then, but they feel ..... less safe to me (and I get weird looks from the big blokes up in that area of the gym).

                          Something new to try I guess.

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                          • #28
                            Oh, I don't know. I use the Smith machine.....for Australian pullups and incline pushups.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
                              Pistol Squat? Really that is really hard to do. How many people do you think on here can do this properly? Not only you need some serious flexibility for this to bring your leg up and plus control your balance while descending.

                              I think body weight exercises are great when you can't get to a gym or you have some kind of injury. However overtime your body becomes skilled at the same thing hence this is where adding resistance in the form of lifting heavy comes into play. Of course heavy varies from one person to another.

                              I'm curious about this book you are referring to. I will have to read it at some point. I get it gymnasts have awesome bodies but these people have been training since they were children. Keep in mind that most of these athletes have the genetics to become what they are today. Training is their life but for the rest of us we have to train only with an athlete's mentality to change our body composition.
                              1. Yes. Yes. A fair number. Yes. I've been working on it for over a year, via the Convict Conditioning progressions, and only recently been able to do them consistently. Building the Gymnastic Body is actually too advanced for me, I think (I haven't read it, but the website seems pretty intense) but I'm looking forward to one-arm pullups, and bending over backwards into a bridge with CC (those are the two exercises I'm struggling with the most at the moment).

                              I started with bodyweight squats with my hands on a table. I moved on to half squats, full squats, close squats, uneven squats, then back down to half uneven squats, then finally to half pistol, full pistol with a counterbalance weight, and now full pistol squats. These progressions exist for all kinds of different bodyweight exercises.

                              2. Yes, but by changing the leverage, or reducing to single-limb exercises, you can become amazingly strong. Jack LaLanne's famous fingertip pushups with straight arms are pretty amazing- I've never met anyone who could do that, but lots of people can do regular pushups. There are always ways to make a particular exercise harder. Adding weight is just one of those ways.

                              3. I really recommend Convict Conditioning, as I have had a great deal of success with it personally. I don't think it's the perfect exercise book, but the steps are reasonable and the goals achievable for me, I think. Building Gymnastic Bodies seems to be something to try when I'm done with CC.

                              In addition, my knee problems that started 7 years ago when I broke my kneecap are all gone, my legs have mostly balanced out again, and I'm faster than I have been in years. The bridging and pullups have mostly fixed some posture issues that I had. Bodyweight workouts have more benefits than just getting stronger.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Philosopher Dan View Post
                                As far as cardio machines go, I always liked the rowing machine, too.

                                Plus it was almost always free!
                                lol lucky you. My gym only has one machine and it's always taken by some person doing bicep curls at 100 calories/hr. Lame.
                                My chocolatey Primal journey

                                Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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