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Thread: machines vs. free weights?

  1. #11

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    I can not believe I agree with Mikey!?!?

    I have trained with "quick lifts" and have not seen much in terms of improvement outside of the gym (including athletic performance). I have been lifting for some time, so any increase should have been noticable - especially considering how much improvement I was told I would see if I started doing them. Don't get me wrong, they are fun and presented a much needed change of pace. I just don't view them, and I don't think you CNS or muscles view them, any different than any kind of movement.

    I think it is generally difficult for someone to say, "I did Power Cleans (or Clean and Press, etc.) and I got results." How do you know that simply strengthening the muscles, connective tissues and bones via training against resistance is not the cause and that the quick lifts are or that they added "something more" ? The "experiment" is not controlled enough to make that claim.
    Bababooee
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  2. #12
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    I have trained the various components through other movements in the past. That did not deliver as well as the quick lifts.
    \"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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  3. #13
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    For what its worth my take on machines versus free weights is...

    machines allow you to use more weight for the target muscle
    free weights will work surrounding muscles 'stabilisers' as well as the target muscle.
    with machines you have to follow a fixed path of movement - this can be good as it ensures your form is good if you have it correctly set up but obviously free weights allow you greater freedom.

    personally I use both, usually dumbells rather than a barbell for greater range of motion and to ensure both 'sides' work equally.
    nil satis nisi optimum
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  4. #14
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    An aside- Does the tension implied by the numbers on the weight stack equate to the tension applied to the muscles by the transfer through the lever arm and (most importantly) the handle?
    \"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

    If I become as you, then who will be like me?
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  5. #15
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    Alrighty, in that case...

    Claim: freeweights improve neuromuscular coordination moreso than machine weights due to greater use of proprioception and challenge to balance.

    Muscles, tendons, ligaments... all have what are called mechanoreceptors. These provide the brain with information on static and dynamic muscle position, movement and sensation pertaining to joint force. It's why when you wake up you immediately realize your arm is in a weird position.

    These provide feedback to the brain (more specifically brain stem and cerebellum) so that movement can be coordinated. This phenomenon is called proprioception. Motor commands will be compared with sensory input to ensure smooth movement.

    When performing exercise in an unstable environment, much proproprioception is needed to execute a movement while maintaining core stability. Otherwise, one will fall or become off balance. If one's core is locked into a position of stability because of a machine, there will be a vastly reduced amount of proprioception. Proprioception and balance, like many other forms of nervous system activity, become more efficient with practice.

    Hence the reason for freeweights. In the real world you have to stabilize.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Calkid @ July 24 2003,12:58)]Alrighty, in that case...
    Claim: freeweights improve neuromuscular coordination moreso than machine weights due to greater use of proprioception and challenge to balance.
    Muscles, tendons, ligaments... all have what are called mechanoreceptors. These provide the brain with information on static and dynamic muscle position, movement and sensation pertaining to joint force. It's why when you wake up you immediately realize your arm is in a weird position.
    These provide feedback to the brain (more specifically brain stem and cerebellum) so that movement can be coordinated. This phenomenon is called proprioception. Motor commands will be compared with sensory input to ensure smooth movement.
    When performing exercise in an unstable environment, much proproprioception is needed to execute a movement while maintaining core stability. Otherwise, one will fall or become off balance. If one's core is locked into a position of stability because of a machine, there will be a vastly reduced amount of proprioception. Proprioception and balance, like many other forms of nervous system activity, become more efficient with practice.
    Hence the reason for freeweights. In the real world you have to stabilize.
    you're suggesting this gain in proprioception applies across all skills irregardless of stimulus? that seems a pretty clear violation of SAID.

    understand that i KNOW what you're trying to say, but i've seen people do both, and if neither were athletes, it didn't matter at all for day to day living.
    -Michael Novak
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Calkid @ July 24 2003,12:58)]Alrighty, in that case...
    Claim: freeweights improve neuromuscular coordination moreso than machine weights due to greater use of proprioception and challenge to balance.
    Muscles, tendons, ligaments... all have what are called mechanoreceptors. These provide the brain with information on static and dynamic muscle position, movement and sensation pertaining to joint force. It's why when you wake up you immediately realize your arm is in a weird position.
    These provide feedback to the brain (more specifically brain stem and cerebellum) so that movement can be coordinated. This phenomenon is called proprioception. Motor commands will be compared with sensory input to ensure smooth movement.
    When performing exercise in an unstable environment, much proproprioception is needed to execute a movement while maintaining core stability. Otherwise, one will fall or become off balance. If one's core is locked into a position of stability because of a machine, there will be a vastly reduced amount of proprioception. Proprioception and balance, like many other forms of nervous system activity, become more efficient with practice.
    Hence the reason for freeweights. In the real world you have to stabilize.
    As stated, what about SAID?

    Further, what about the research in the area of motor learning that tends to say your claim is wrong?
    Bababooee
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Baoh @ July 24 2003,12:24)]An aside- Does the tension implied by the numbers on the weight stack equate to the tension applied to the muscles by the transfer through the lever arm and (most importantly) the handle?
    If you are practicing progressive resistance, does it matter?
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  9. #19
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    Guys, SAID isn't gospel. It's just a guideline for explaning adaptations.

    If you want to get into SAID, how about this: the imposed demand is resistance in an unstable environment, the adaptation is an increase in neuromuscular coordination and balance.

    Just because doing a deadlift is slightly different from, say, picking up a heavy box doesn't mean there's no transference.
    But there's probably less transference than if one only did weighted hip extensions. Y'dig?

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]you're suggesting this gain in proprioception applies across all skills irregardless of stimulus? that seems a pretty clear violation of SAID.
    Yes, SAID applies when learning movement patterns. But there also is a general sense of balance and core stabilization that can be specifically trained.

    I'm not claiming freeweights will make you a tightrope walker. In fact, NASM (my cert) has balance training vastly more demanding than a mere squat (try a one-legged alternate arm DB overhead press while standing on a bubble). But freeweights will be noticeably better than machine weights for improving balance and coordination.



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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Calkid @ July 24 2003,5:15)]Guys, SAID isn't gospel. It's just a guideline for explaning adaptations.
    If you want to get into SAID, how about this: the imposed demand is resistance in an unstable environment, the adaptation is an increase in neuromuscular coordination and balance.
    Just because doing a deadlift is slightly different from, say, picking up a heavy box doesn't mean there's no transference.
    But there's probably less transference than if one only did weighted hip extensions. Y'dig?
    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]you're suggesting this gain in proprioception applies across all skills irregardless of stimulus? that seems a pretty clear violation of SAID.
    Yes, SAID applies when learning movement patterns. But there also is a general sense of balance and core stabilization that can be specifically trained.
    I'm not claiming freeweights will make you a tightrope walker. In fact, NASM (my cert) has balance training vastly more demanding than a mere squat (try a one-legged alternate arm DB overhead press while standing on a bubble). But freeweights will be noticeably better than machine weights for improving balance and coordination.
    i've been lifting free weights almost exclusively for 5 years. before doing so, i was no athlete. after doing so, i am no athlete.

    i don't think i've noticed particularly better coordination or general proprioception, but it's possible that i'm now secretly a ninja.
    -Michael Novak
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