So your a member of a gym and just like most other members, you have some goals you would like to achieve.
Maybe you’re not very familiar with traditional strength building exercises like squats, dead lifts,Olympic lifts, etc. So instead of working out where all the meat heads might be grouped up, you gravitate towards the machine area(s) of your gym and that’s where you find some solstice: The machines are close together for less travel time, they are usually are arranged by body part for less confusion and heck, they even come with a nice picture and set of instructions of how to perform each exercise. So whats my big issue with these machines and using them as your predominant source of strength training?
- There is almost NO functional carry over and some of these movement patterns my confuse your body. What I mean, is sitting in a machine and performing an exercise does a few things:
- It dis-engages a lot of your core and post musculature which is now being supported by the seat and/or other components of the machine being used. The more support the machine gives your body, less your body actually has to do. This is a problem because in real life activities outside the walls of your gym , you bodies core and postural position play a major rule in making movement patterns proper and sustainable keeping risks of injury low via balance and core stability which are negated in machine work.
2. Some of the movement patterns promoted by machines are non-functional. For example, when is the next time your going to need to be seated and push a load horizontally as seen in a machine chest press? Or when’s the next time your going to sit and have to wrap your arms around a barrel as seen in the pec fly machine? Most likely answer for both situations and most members = NEVER! Time is a very precious commodity and we as gym goers wants result, so why kill both in the gym with exercises or movement patterns that will have very little impact on your day to day activities and possibly robbing you of precious progress?
Get a better bang for your buck!
Start out with basic body weight movement patterns and routines. Master these primal movements before adding some light resistance or load to increase caloric burn and strength. These movements will promote functionality and help you to work a little harder in the gym in less time, which means getting you to your fitness goals in a safer and more effective manner.
My recommendation: Try this 100 challenge most days of the week. This template can be used as a warm up, a work out finisher, or it could even be the meat and potatoes of your program if your a beginner:
60 Body Weight Squats
10 Pull ups (trx incline rows, inverted rows or assisted pull ups <– working on decreasing assistance from week to week)
30 Push ups
I will end by saying, I think machines can find a place in anyone’s routine for certain benefits, but should by no means be the bulk of anyone’s program for the reasons stated above.