Updated: Jan 5, 2019
It’s the beginning of the year and most people are gearing up for a new year of personal training. Whether you decide to start your fitness journey solo or with a trainer, machines are beneficial to your success. Machine’s get bad reputation from everyone outside and inside the fitness lifestyle. No matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced lifter, below are simple guidelines to prove why you should incorporate machine workouts into your fitness regime.
You’re new to personal training, and you’re more than likely going to see many built and fit people. Depending on your perception, your ego or self esteem will be shaken most likely. Naturally, you meet the free weights and start trying to throw around heavy dumbbells just to fit into the crowd.
Something I think everyone can agree with–even if you can “curl” the 45-lb dumbbell, but can’t do so without proper and safe form, chances are you’re not going to impress the so-called gym rats. You are also not going to see the progress you are hoping to see, because you’re not concentrating on the right exercises to utilize, and the correct muscles to target. Allowing any distractions and emotions to take over your workout can hinder your success.
You know what will give you the gains, while also training effectively and safely? Machines. Machines are great for working on form and teaching your body the proper motions for the free weight lifts.
Machines are fixed to only go in a certain motion, making your body have to follow that motion. Machines also help concentrate on the muscle that the exercise is supposed to be targeting. If you use machines as a beginner, you will make the progress you want and you will set yourself up for a lifetime of great lifting ability in your pers training.
For Advanced Lifters
As an advanced lifter, we spend most of our time at the free weights trying to push our bodies to new maxes. We start to believe that the machines are for newbies and that they were a thing of the past for you, but machines can actually be most beneficial in your routine.
What happens often if you look around the gym, the people who have been lifting for the longest have a strange form with majority of their lifts. This is because over time we all forget the basic motions and make tweaks to the perfect form used for a lift to aid us in hitting new maxes. This is not always a bad thing, but if the tweak becomes a habit, you can end up injuring yourself.
Machine exercises help reinforce the fundamentals you learned prior to your experienced training, and keep your form strong, reducing your risk of injury. At the end of the day, you can’t go to the gym and hit that new max if you get injured, so it’s important to be safe when exercising.
If you are already injured, machines are also great for when you are getting back to your personal training. Not only will they get your form back in line, which let’s be honest–is probably why you injured yourself in the first place. Using machines are also great to ease your body back into lifting. Machines seem to be easier on your muscles then free weights, also enabling you to pick your weight easily–which will help get yourself back up to your normal speed prior to injury.
Machines are for Everyone
Lifters of every experience level can benefit from machines in many ways. Next time you sit with your trainer or plan your next work out solo, do not be afraid to try a machine. If you are still hesitant on machine exercise, give it a month and decide about continuing after that month.