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The doomed by the " gym machines"

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  • The doomed by the " gym machines"

    Hey,

    yesterday a friend was proudly telling me about her efforts to start being more active and doing some sport. So I asked her what she was doing and... guess what.... she is doing the "machines". That means she is going to the gym to use machines that isolate single muscles, so one machine for the pectorals, one for the biceps, one for the quadriceps and so on and so forth... so sad. When I tried to convince her to switch to something more effective (and way more fun) like squats, lunges or deadlifts her objection was that the trainer at the gym already made a nice colourful plan for her with all the machines and even the weight settings that she needs to use...

    How sorry did I feel for her. When I first started going to the gym I also had some nice trainer showing me how to use machine after machine, hopelessly moving from boring movement to boring movement trying to isolate that damn muscle that would never grow. The one I hated the most was the biceps curl machine, or whatever it is called. Omg if I think about it now I can hardly believe I was wasting time like that...

    But who invented those "machines"?

  • #2
    1 ) Machines are here to make working out easy for people who dont want to work out
    2 ) Machines lead to more injurys because they isolate muscles and bodies loose muscular ballence
    3 ) the only use for a machine I can see is rehab from injury (maybe)
    4 ) woman tend to view them as less intimidating
    5 ) people tend to view them as safer (myth see number 2)
    6 ) they look fancy and therefore must work
    7 ) they lure people in who do not know how to lift free weights (not their fault just never taught)
    8 ) the biggest reason is people belive the myth of spot reduction.

    I think thats the big ones for you.

    Cheers

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    • #3
      would add:

      9 ) they make it easier for the gyms to deal with overcrowding

      which is actually a good thing, because less people will come to steal away my dumbbells and barbells

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      • #4
        Unfortunately I use a cable machine because that's all I have available at the moment. But I combine it with bodyweight/dumbbell exercises so I guess I could be doing worse.

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        • #5
          Would add:

          10) They give gyms an excuse to charge you large amounts of money to do something you hate when you could be working out where ever on body weight resistance.

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          • #6
            I would not mind starting a gym that is nothing but barbells as far as the eye could see. Would be a lot cheaper than having all those machines

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            • #7
              Originally posted by petriquor View Post
              Unfortunately I use a cable machine because that's all I have available at the moment. But I combine it with bodyweight/dumbbell exercises so I guess I could be doing worse.
              cable machines are actually an exception, they are good!! in fact they do not force you into specific movements

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              • #8
                Originally posted by fra0039 View Post
                cable machines are actually an exception, they are good!! in fact they do not force you into specific movements
                Actually the machine is one of those all-in one deals, I guess I thought "cable" was more of a catch-all term (shows what I know). The part that I guess is strictly considered "cable" is fairly limited. Either way, I've utilized almost everything it's got so I think I've done well considering. Might look to see if I can figure out some new movements though since my progress seems to have stalled a bit.

                And this reminds me that I totally should browse the fitness forum here more.

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                • #9
                  I struggle with this kind of gripe only because I get excited when people embark on activity of any kind - and I especially get excited when women embark on strength training! As an example, one of the online fitness communities I participate in rags on Zumba on a near-daily basis; but I say, who cares if *you* don't like Zumba, as long as the millions of people who DO like it are up off their asses?

                  Machines can be a great "gateway drug" to free weight training. People who are new want the security and idiot-proofness of a machine that will stabilize* them and that has a handy diagram to show you exactly how to use it.

                  (*I know we all know the beauty of self-stabilization, but someone brand new to weight training is going in pretty much convinced they're going to injure themselves.)

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                  • #10
                    You know, despite its flaws that Mark pointed out on the site, P90X really opened my eyes to the reality that you don't have to ever go to the gym and use those machines to exercise and be healthy. For the brief time I had a gym member ship - well, the brief time that I used it - I didn't think I was making any progress at all on those things. When I was trying to get through P90X, by about the 6th week - which is about as far as I ever got on it - I could definitely feel and see the difference in comparison.

                    It's funny though, since going on the primal nutrition plan a couple of months ago but not necessarily exercising, I'm at the same place physically as I was the various times I gave up on P90X. That 80/20 thing is really something, eh?

                    And no this is not an advert for the program because I'm sure CrossFit-ers could share similar stories.
                    Read. The. Book.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ErinC View Post
                      I struggle with this kind of gripe only because I get excited when people embark on activity of any kind - and I especially get excited when women embark on strength training! As an example, one of the online fitness communities I participate in rags on Zumba on a near-daily basis; but I say, who cares if *you* don't like Zumba, as long as the millions of people who DO like it are up off their asses?

                      Machines can be a great "gateway drug" to free weight training. People who are new want the security and idiot-proofness of a machine that will stabilize* them and that has a handy diagram to show you exactly how to use it.

                      (*I know we all know the beauty of self-stabilization, but someone brand new to weight training is going in pretty much convinced they're going to injure themselves.)
                      100% agree with this. When I first started strength training, I 'hid' among the machines, which provided a great motivation and more confidence to learn more and venture into the world of free weights and beyond, and ultimately to compete in Fitness. So yes, I too get excited when any woman leaves the cardio to start weight-training!
                      You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
                      Margaret Thatcher

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                      • #12
                        I can't hold the actual weights in my hands because of arthritis. The machines are the only way for me to do any sort of LHT so I am grateful to have them.

                        Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Way to be a buzz kill for your friend.
                        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                        • #13
                          At least she's in the gym putting in work. That's better than most people.

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                          • #14
                            Hey, as usual it is very interesting to see all your points of view on the topic. What you say is very true but there is also the opposite risk, that by starting with the machines you just get soon bored and frustrated by the lack of results and you just give up training completely. I mean I remember what an effort it was going to the gym to do the machines, compared to the fun it is now

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                            • #15
                              See, the funny thing is that I started in my gym using machines only for six months and I did get results. Now I use a combo of machines and free weights. Yes, I am getting better results, but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater...so to speak.
                              Primal since 9/24/2010
                              "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

                              Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
                              MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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