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Minggu, 13 Januari 2008

[Supertraining] Free weights versus machine weights (Was Smith Machine etc)

--- In, LEE ROBILLARD <trelee3@...> wrote:
> Wow Gordon! You make statements about these machines making athletes
slow and unco-ordinated, causing injuries etc. I trust you have formal
studies and research to prove your statements. Or is it just your
opinion, which you are certainly entitled to?

I was just about to post a similar request. I had a quick look in the
archives but I can't see an extended discussion about either the
dangers of using machine weights or the comparative benefits of free
weights versus machine weights. (Jamie might find something.)

This is what the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has to say
in their position stand summary:

"Free weights and machines. In general, weight machines have been
regarded as safer to use and easy to learn, and allow the performance
of some exercises that may be difficult with free weights (e.g., leg
extension, lat pull down) (73). In essence, machines help stabilize the
body and limit movement about specific joints involved in synergy and
focus the activation to a specific set of prime movers (73).
Unlike machines, free weights may result in a pattern of intra- and
intermuscular coordination that mimics the movement requirements of a
specific task. For novice to intermediate training, it is recommended
that the resistance training program include free-weight and machine
For advanced strength training, it is recommended that emphasis be
placed on free-weight exercises, with machine exercises used to
complement the program needs."

Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults. Med. Sci.
Sports Exerc. Vol. 34, No. 2, 2002, pp. 364–380. Kramer W.J. et al.

This position seems widely held: that machine weights are either 1)
dangerous, or 2) useless.

Now bearing in mind that although this forum is called "Supertraining",
I am sure there are many readers who are novices, seniors, people
wanting to lose weight, diabetics and others for whom starting out with
5X5 deadlift, bench and squat -- as recommended here for beginners in a
previous thread -- would have them quickly out of the gym never to
return. If you don't believe that, your head is in the clouds -- or
maybe up some orifice of dubious distinction.

Okay, as Lee requested, put your cards on the table folks. Show us that
machine weights are injurious or useless. If you wish, make a
distinction between fixed path machines and those with a less than
fixed path, eg, cable machines.

Paul Rogers
Gympie, Australia

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