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Thread: machines vs. free weights?

  1. #1
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    Hi, I am new to weight training and don't feel comfortable using free weights due to lower back problems and feel awkward and am self-conscious when in the gym. Can I use the HST program with machines? Thanks for your time and the great info on this site.
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  2. #2

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    Absolutely. Then when you gain some strength and confidence, start working in free weights on some basic exercises like bench presses and curls...save the advanced movements like squats and deadlifts for later, if ever, only if your lower back problem resolves. Don't challenge it.

    Randy
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Randy for your response.
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  4. #4
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    Unhappy

    I've been trying HST for the past 6 months for similar reasons. I had never really lifted any weights before. So far so good.
    What kind of advantages/benefits would I gain by transitioning to free weights?
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  5. #5
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    Better physical coordination, better transference to real-world strength, better balance, etc.

    Not necessarily better growth though, but general health and ability are important too.
    \"a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere . . . and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.\"
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Calkid.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Calkid @ July 21 2003,3:50)]Better physical coordination, better transference to real-world strength, better balance, etc.
    Not necessarily better growth though, but general health and ability are important too.
    i fail to see why it'd necessarily yield better transfer to 'real world strength.' i'd go so far to say that it's totally irrelevent for the average trainee the only downside to machines is that there aren't a lot of good, viable substitutes for squats/deadlifts, imho.



    -Michael Novak
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  8. #8
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    Because, in the real (ie unsupported) world, you're limited by how well you can balance yourself and activate stabilizing muscles during a lift. This is more important than you'd think. If you don't believe me, try doing heavy dumbell lunges with a fast-ish tempo. Only after a few weeks am I not continuously losing my balance.
    \"a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere . . . and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.\"
    -Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, hyperspace radio
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Calkid @ July 23 2003,5:02)]Because, in the real (ie unsupported) world, you're limited by how well you can balance yourself and activate stabilizing muscles during a lift. This is more important than you'd think. If you don't believe me, try doing heavy dumbell lunges with a fast-ish tempo. Only after a few weeks am I not continuously losing my balance.
    Aren't skill sets specific to the feat being performed? This seems a combination of what little knowledge I have of motor learning as applied to SAID. Any movement would make you primarily better at that particular movement. Also, 'balance' in general, I thought, was a coordination of the various agonists/antagonists of a movement by the CNS. The coordination, again, would be specific to that skill.

    Sure there might be transfer, but I don't think there'd be THAT appreciably more in, say, a routine built on free weights vs. machines. This is the same sort of logic that seems to be applied to training on unstable surfaces to yield 'functional strength.' I don't really buy it
    -Michael Novak
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  10. #10
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    Train with Clean & Presses for a while, and see if you still do not buy it.

    Of course, if you've never been exposed to challenge outside of the gym, then I suppose it could be considered pointless.

    I've seen both sides of this make the same arguments over various boards and articles for ages.

    Try it. I know it works because I have gotten the results. Others who have trained with/under me have reaped similar benefits. Maybe we're all exceptions, though. Maybe not.
    \"Kill the spiders...to save the butterflies. It's rational until you realize that, by striving for it, you become a spider yourself.\"

    \"You are what you do when it counts.\" -The Masao

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