Opinions about weight machines are very diverse. Some love them and see many benefits of using them. Others almost condemn them and believe they have no place within a training program. In this article, we look at 7 Top Reasons to use Weight Machines to help achieve your goals!
Minimal setup time is required and on many machines it is simply a matter of inserting a key into a weight stack to select your desired weight. This saves tremendous amounts of time compared with having to load up barbells or finding two matching dumbbells in a busy gym.
Most machines only require a low skill level therefore they are ideal for novice lifters, newcomers and less confident gym-goers. Training with machines can build a good, solid foundation to prepare you for free weights. An added bonus is that no spotters are required!
3. Focus on lagging body parts
Sometimes it is difficult to target unresponsive muscles effectively with free weights. Machines minimise any balance or coordination issues needed to shift the weight and provide higher levels of muscle activation throughout the movement arc. Definitely an advantage for building muscle!
4. Stimulate muscles differently
Some unique exercises can be performed on machines which wouldn`t be possible with barbells or dumbbells. Kaz presses, guillotine curls and motorcycle rows are less common exercises which are worthy of a place in your training!
One of the most popular machines in the gym universe is the Smith machine. This versatile piece of equipment allows you to perform a massive range of exercises. Indeed, a whole body workout can be performed on it: squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, bench presses and bent over rows are just a selection of basic exercises.
Even calisthenics enthusiasts can benefit from training on this useful machine. Push ups, inverted rows and tricep extensions are just a few examples of the numerous bodyweight exercises that can be performed.
Drop sets, rest-pause sets and negative accentuated reps are all excellent techniques that can be applied to machine training. Try 2 up/1 down negatives on lying leg curls for a truly effective hamstring blaster!
7. Safety and peace of mind
Long-time iron lifters will find many benefits in using machines. Years of training with free weights takes its toll on the joints and machines don`t place the same massive demand on the joints. Machines can also be a welcome addition to a routine bringing in that all-important plateau-breaking variation.
Seven times Mr Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger used machines. Three-time World’s Strongest Man, Brian Shaw uses them. British powerlifter Andy Bolton (who holds world records in the squat and deadlift) uses them. These and many other elite-level athletes see the value of weight machines. Why not utilise their advantages for yourself and give them a go?