Dumbells Vs Barbells Vs Machine Poll

Discussion in 'General Training' started by Garratt, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. i like those hammerstrenght-types a lot.
    try the legpress, the benchpressmachine and the seated rowing, if youve access to them.
     
  2. Vince Basile

    Vince Basile New Member

    Old beliefs never die, they merely get passed on to new brains, just like religions do. I understand all of this but it is so silly. Why do people insist on believing false theories and dogma?

    Don't tell me what Ronnie and the other knuckleheads are doing in the gym. What does that prove? Nothing. I am talking about the requirements to cause hypertrophy. We need to put mechanical tension on a muscle at a certain intensity and for a certain length of time. Where does it mention how this tension is to be applied?

    I have used free weights. It is an evolution that happens because those old beliefs are real and exist in gyms. It takes a strong person to do his own thing and become more effective and efficient. I well remember Zabo Koszewski doing zillions of sit ups for his abs. He used to win the best abs award in the old days. When he was 40 he was still doing hundreds of reps each time he trained abs. Were all those reps necessary? No. Dieting revealed the abs and not situps. But old theories don't die easily.

    When is the last time we saw a study that used free weights?

    Anyway, fellas, I am not interested in gym practices. I know exactly what bodybuilders do. I am not impressed. They have collectively always been a bit thick and nothing I have read in magazines changes that perception. At least Mike and Ray Mentzer brought some intelligence to bodybuilding and they embraced machines that helped them get bigger.

    When someone can come up with a way to build calves without machines then I was abandon my theory. I also have built a biceps-supinator machine which is patented that is far superior to any free weights for biceps. It is the only apparatus that allows progressively changing the resistances for flexion and supination of the biceps. Those are the two main functions of the biceps.

    If some of you lads ever get around to designing gym equipment you might have more respect for machines. I await the day we can toss all those free weights into the ocean where they belong.

    Do any of you people know why gym owners end up disapproving of bodybuilders? They all do. It isn't the drugs but that is an embarrassment. It is the cockiness and closed-mindedness of most of them. They are noisy, leave a mess and wear out the mirrors! All I have to do now is get rid of the free weights and I won't have any more bodybuilders.

    I have long battled with the business of combining bodybuilders with fitness customers. They really don't mix and can put novices off. Gyms that seem to make money don't have hard-core bodybuilders. Some cleverly limit the size of dumbbells to discourage them from training there.

    I thought the best solution would be to have two gyms. One with great equipment and the other a free weight dungeon across the street. People could make a choice and it would be good for all concerned. :)
     
  3. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm confused now...weren't you the one starting all the fuss about scientific studies being worthless since scientists aren't interested in maximum hypertrophy - and that we had to learn from observing the biggest bodybuilders? [​IMG]

    Who should we learn from then? (from you, right?) [​IMG]

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    Ahem...ehrrmm.. anyone? [​IMG]

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    Yes, yes...I can imagine. Hugging that cold steel felt pretty good..while you oiled their butts. [​IMG]
     
  4. JDK

    JDK New Member

    i have to agree with andre,
    i have access to the complete med-x equipment line, and the
    feeling they produce in the targeted muscles are much more direct and intense to me( especially things like pullover, rear-delt,butterfly etc.) than free weights. concentration on the trained muscle is much easier.
    but i have to admit sometimes i cannot resist doing squats or deadlifts in my home and it feels great, too. ;)
     
  5. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

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    You lucky bastard!!! [​IMG]

    Where are you located, I would love to give them a whirl.
     
  6. Paul Brewer-Jensen

    Paul Brewer-Jensen New Member

    As a home gym trainer, barbells and adjustable dumbells and the machines that accomodate free weights are the only affordable choices. Lifting your bodyweight is economical too.

    Mass membership gyms and health clubs are too distracting and too much of a social scene for me to be able to take them seriously. Home training is much more effective for me.

    Please excuse me now while I go do some bodyweight squats on the porcelain throne.

    Chow,
    Paul
     
  7. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

    I agree with Vince. Where the tension comes from is unimportant when looking specifically for hypertrophy (provided the machines are relatively &quot;frictionless&quot;).
    Vince, what is your patent number? I am an associate for a firm who works in patents and would love to look up your patent and see the schematic.
     
  8. JDK

    JDK New Member

    lil popa pump, i`m living in Stuttgart, Germany and working in a facility called Kieser Training. We just have med.x ,nothing else. So for me training there is free. There are over 70 Kieser
    facilities here in germany, so when you are here just take a look. :)
     
  9. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

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    Wie Geht's, Wie Steht's
     
  10. Sharivan

    Sharivan Guest

    Arthur Jones said :

    &quot;I believe that I am aware of all the arguments that have been brought forth in attempts to show some sort of an advantage for a barbell over an exercise machine, and, quite frankly, all of them are utterly stupid. For example: it has been frequently stated that a barbell provides a &quot;natural&quot; form of resistance for exercise, whereas an exercise-machine movement is somehow &quot;un-natural.&quot; A machine supposedly limits the path of the resistance in such a fashion that only part of a muscle is involved in the exercise; whereas, supposedly, a barbell provides a more productive exercise because the path of the resistance is not limited in such a fashion.
    Bullshit: in fact, a barbell limits the path of the resistance to a much greater degree than a machine does. While performing a bench press, for example, the use of a barbell requires you to follow a very narrow path while lifting the weight; if you deviate from this narrow path you will lose control of the weight and drop it. Whereas, with a machine, you are provided with the capability of following any one of a great number of possible paths while lifting the weight, without the risk of dropping the weight.
    But, some idiots will try to tell you, the requirement to balance a barbell so exactly during a bench press is supposedly some sort of an advantage because it serves to develop the muscles that are required to perform this balancing act. Bullshit again: in fact, the most likely result is an injury to the so-called &quot;balancing muscles.&quot;&quot;

    And he also said :

    &quot;Proper exercise requires at least nine different factors: full-range resistance, automatically-variable resistance, balanced resistance, both positive and negative resistance, direct resistance, resistance in both the fully stretched and fully contracted positions and unlimited speed of movement. Barbells provide only three of those requirements, while a properly-designed exercise machine can provide them all; so a machine is not &quot;as good&quot; as a barbell, it is a hell of a lot better if it is properly designed. If you believe otherwise you are ignorant (lack knowledge) but if after carefully investigating the facts you still believe otherwise then you are stupid (beyond help).

    Nothing but the facts, Ma?am!&quot;
     
  11. JDK

    JDK New Member

    Sharivan,
    definetely like those Arthur Jones quotes, great post.
    Reading his bulletins and other writings was very enlightening for me, not only because of its contents, but the style in which he approches things. i think arthur was, well is, a very unique and integer person, and much can be learned from him.
    But one has to admit that he didn´t bring the ultimate &quot;bodybuilding solution/formula&quot; in terms of training philosophy/methodology. Although he indeed builds one of the worlds best equipment .


    lil popa pump,
    mir gehts super, danke der nachfrage :D

    please excuse my terrible &quot;german&quot; english [​IMG]
     
  12. vicious

    vicious New Member

    It's a tossup really.

    Few machines, however adjusted, conforms optimally to the natural arc of an exercise motion. Sometimes, the machine doesn't offer enough range of motion. Moreover, additional friction increases the difference between positive and negative tension.

    However, the free weights' stabilization &quot;advantage&quot; is negligible if you grip the machine bars hard. Free weights (and even cables) do not provide proper direction of resistance for isolation movements, which is crucial for fly and curl movements. No free weights can offer variable resistance.

    If you have a well-designed machine, the key disadvantage is the friction. The MedX and Hammer machines are said to have very low friction coefficients. However, even a .05 coefficient increases the pos-neg difference by 10%

    HST's progressive tension probably mitigates that difference. Also, I'd highly recommend continuing to increase tension through the negs cycle with a machine.

    cheers,
    Jules
     
  13. McRhomboids

    McRhomboids New Member

    When practical, dumbells are preferable. EMG studies for bench pressing and overhead pressing have shown slightly more activity in the pectorals and deltoids with dumbells rather than barbells. Dumbells also reduce one's risk of future injuries by making sure small stabilizer muscles are sufficiently strengthened in conjunction with the prime movers. Machines are the worst at this. And according to Fred Hatfield, studies have shown that the adaptations from using dumbells better translates into athletic functionality.
     
  14. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

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    Name a small stabilizer muscle that cannot be trained with a machine. The concept of the small-untrainable-except-by-dumbells is ludicrous.
     
  15. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

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    I would say that the fact a machine does not conform to the arc of its coresponding free weight movement is one of the advantages of a machine. For example, compare the arc Hammer Strength Bench to arc of a barbell bench. It is not even close, with the Hammer you get much more stretch and contraction.

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    The effect of friction is highly dependant not only on the bearings (or whatever mechanism) but also on other factors such as temperature and velocity. It is not as simple as saying &quot;10%&quot;. However, I agree with the underlying premise, and you can definitely feel the difference between an machine has been beat up and ignored versus a new or upkept one. Often times in simple engineering calculations involving quality bearings, friction is basically ignored (the mechanism is considered frictionless).....of course they don't do this for complex and expensive stuff such as a space shuttle, but you get my point. So, I think, if you are talking about a quality machine, that is in good shape, and you are moving the weight in a relatively controlled fashion, the effects of friction are negligable. Of course Ken Hutchins would disagree, but I don't think a 10/5 protocol is necessary or even good for hypertrophy (nor am I selling retrofit kits! ).

    I recently joined a gym that has a Lifefitness (or whatever it is) circuit. These machines allow for a +20% weight increase for the negative movement. I have only tried the Leg Press which I was too strong for (I think hydraulics are the basis for resistance, haven't had time to look at them too much).
     
  16. vicious

    vicious New Member

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    It depends on the design of the machine and the physical characteristics of the individual. I usually use dumbbells for my press movements. The Nautilus/MedX/Hammer equipment is excellent in this respect.

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    From a physics point of view, the friction coefficient has the same fractional effect, regardless of the other variables associated with it. A frictional coefficient of 0.05 on a 100lbs force produces a 5lbs oppositional force, ergo you essentially lift 105lbs and lower 95lbs. Temperature, lubrication, pulley/bearing design, material and other factors only effects the coefficient, not how the coefficient widens the pos-neg difference.

    However, I don't know how low the coefficient (or range of) is for the Nautilus/MedX/Hammer machines. I believe Industrial low-friction parts approach 0.04 at high temperatures / low velocity.

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    Those machines are devastating. *Much* harder than free weights or Nautilus/Hammer equipment. I dislike their ergonomic design, and the machines can be a little dangerous (they sometimes threw me.) However, the 20% weight increase produces soreness very, very easily.

    cheers,
    Jules
     
  17. Vince Basile

    Vince Basile New Member

    Several people posted sensible comments about this debate.

    Any patent attorney can email me at [email protected].

    I agree with Arthur Jones and prefer machines. I have sustained injuries with bench pressing and dead lifting and consider those two exercises dangerous if done with very heavy weights. It is usually demonstrating strength that leads to injuries. That some do not get injured is no argument that it is safe. Bodybuilders should never do heavy deadlifts if they want their biceps to stay in one piece. Bench pressers will eventually have sore shoulders or torn pecs. This is not a matter of opinion because the evidence is there.

    I have been designing and building gym equipment since 1975 when I built my first leg extension machine. It was one of the first machines in the world to have an adjustable back and leg pad length. I was the first to popularise linear motion bearings on machines. I solved the friction problem in Smith machines by using these linear bearings. That was in 1981. I also use linear bearings exclusively on guide rods for weight stacks, and for sleds on leg presses and hack machines. The amount of friction with the best Thompson linear bearings is very low and virturally negligible. You cannot detect a difference.

    If machines do not pivot in the right place then the feel will be wrong. This is vital in pec decks, leg extensions, curl machines and shoulder machines, etc. Pec decks should ideally have accommodating pivot points but that might increase the price substantially.

    There are lots of things that go into designing superior gym equipment. Function, friction, looks, longevity, comfort, adjustability, size, footprint, portability, stability, safety, user-friendliness, ease of use, effectiveness, solidity, resale, and a few other considerations. There aren't that many great designers out there. The Jones family is responsible, through other engineers as well, for Nautilus, MedX, and Hammer. Then there is Cybex, Icarian, Flex, and several other known brands. Universal used to be the market leader but is no longer making much. There have been plenty of smaller brands that have been around for a while then have disappeared or have been bought out by larger companies.

    Life Fitness built perhaps the best line of user-friendly machines ever for gym use. They have an electrical resistance and offers machines that allow you to use more resistance in the negative phase. You do one test rep on each machine and it sets the resistance for a set of 12 reps. You will be *finished* at the end of the allotted reps! A couple of sets and you will be done. When I think about it these machines would be *ideal* for HST training protocols. You could alter the reps and resistance as you pleased and train to any target you desired.

    I have designed a great seated calf raise that allows you to duplicate the donkey movement. It provides a lot of tension on the hamstrings and users comment on the feel that it provides. This machine didn't just appear. A lot of thought goes into the designs. My hack machine required over 100 hours of design time. It is simply the highest quality exercise machine to ever be installed in a gym. Sorry, but you will have to visit Sydney to use it! It even has a stainless steel counterweight on it. You can also do heel raises by lying face down on the pad.

    Machines are not perfect but some are just about that. Lat pulldowns, for example. My version has large eight inch pulleys, stainless steel handles, linear bearings and 330 pounds on the weight stack. My personal lat machine has 450 pounds on it! No, I can't lift it and I doubt if anyone can.

    Smith machines that are sloped by about 10% are just as effective as barbell movements without the danger of dropping the bar.

    Beliefs are strange things. If enough people believe something it is easy to embrace the same thing. In matters like religion it is clear that billions of people can be mistaken. So it is not surprising that some thousands of bodybuilders favour free weights. I still smile at how Nautilus machines were virtually unused at Golds Venice. It was great for anyone who appreciated training of those effective machines. I can't say that the latest Nautilus machines are as good as the last ones that Arthur helped design. Things are converging towards better designs but some equipment companies do not know what they are doing. If faults can be found on several of their machines it just isn't good enough. It merely shows that there are virtually no bodybuilders working as equipment designers except for myself and perhaps one or two others that I don't know about.

    On most designs it takes a few prototypes to get the machines right. That can be very expensive for individuals. Someone reported that Arthur has a large factory of discarded prototypes. He is still the smartest guy in the irongame and that includes all the men with PhDs!
     
  18. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

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    Thousands of people powerlift every year without sustaining injuries, just because you have suffered some, or know people that have suffered some doest say much.
    The deadlift and bench press are fine exercises, especially for bodybuilders. Bodybuilders should not go from benching 3 sets of 8 reps to performing a maximum single and not expect either soreness or an injury. That would be stupidity causing the injury, NOT the exercise being inherently dangerous.

    IF you want to get a thick upper body, wide shoulders and wide lats and good base chest development, do heaps of benches and deadlifts.
     
  19. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

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    What does &quot;fractional effect&quot; mean?
    Second, the coeffcients you are using are from approximation charts. They are not absolute and are just quick and dirty numbers to use in calculations. So, the coeffcients are affected by acceleration (I mis-spoke earlier), among other things, (temp, etc.).
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    Since the coeffcient can be affected by &quot;other factors&quot; then by definition (Frictional Force = coeffcient of friction x normal force), the frictional force is is affected. As such the difference between the pos-neg is affected.
    Further, if you are moving the weight in a controlled manner (constant velocity throughout the majority of the ROM, ie acceleration = 0), then the effects of friction can minimized to such an extent that they are not as noticeable as say &quot;5lbs&quot; (a calculation that seems off to me, but I am a meteric guy).

    Lastly, I think it is a mistake to apply simple mechanics to movements that involve the human body because the human body is capable of metabolic work, which is not taken into account in simple mechanics problems. For example, let's say you are holding a barbell mid-point in the bench press (ie a static hold, but not at lockout). By definition, you are producing no mechanical work (W=Fd), yet anyone can tell you something is happening metabolically (using fuel, the muscles are tight, burning from the production of waste, etc.).
     
  20. vicious

    vicious New Member

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    I agree, however let me point down the number I mentioned was a minimal value for typical &quot;low friction&quot; bearings. Again, I have no data for the Nautilus/Hammer equipment, and I'd be interested in reading data on it.

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    In the sense that the frictional coefficient is affected by acceleration, yes. However, the weight would represent the &quot;minimal&quot; load (given all other resistance factors equal) by which the muscle must meet to mantain the weight in motion with constant velocity. Yes, variable resistance and leverages will affect, but the differences remain proportionately constant through the duration of a rep. That is, if a frictional coefficient is no lower than 0.05. The increase in pos-neg difference, compared to a piece of frictionless equipment, is no lower than 10%, regardless of leverage and resistance factors.

    Now, it's also true that the variable resistance in Nautilus and Hammer increases that effective load up to 50% over the selected value through certain points in the movements. Where a 100lbs barbell press would be 100lbs positive load, 100lbs negative load through the movement, a 100lbs Nautilus press could be 150lbs positive load, 135lbs negative load near lockout. Near the bottom of a press, where you are weakest, the load could be 75lbs positive load and 68lbs negative. The difference remains at 10%.

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    You're right.

    cheers,
    Jules
     

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