Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

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abuss368
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

Slacker wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:57 pm
abuss368 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:04 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:59 pm
No thanks. Arnold was juiced. I'll trust sources that focus on training for regular people, not bodybuilders on drugs.
Does not matter if juiced or not. The knowledge is second to none. 7 time Olympia and 5 time Universe.

No deadlifts needed!

Tony
Probably not germane to the OP, but Arnold did include deadlifts in his training when he won those competitions.
He did and often talked about Franco deadlifting in the 700s. He said that as he got older it would not be wise to continue those exercises.

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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Slacker »

Some resistance training is important, just don't try to set records and leave the ego at the door.

Starting Strength is great for learning the lifts, but I would not have a 69 year old concentrating on adding 5lbs to their lifts every workout (as Starting Strength programs).

Machines are better than nothing, but I would supplement bodyweight exercises in as well (pushups, squats, lunges if you can do them, dips if you can do them).

Personally, I'm a big fan of barbell training. However, the 60 year old 110lb lady I train (she is more a friend who joins my wife and I when we work out), I put her on dumbbells because she can't handle the barbell's weight. Not even my wife's 15kg "ladies" bar.

For squats, maybe try bands (position spotter safety bars/arms with a band extended across them and squat by sitting into/onto the band; at the lowest and toughest point you get the most assistance and you can do this without any weight on your back if you have trouble with mobility, it helps get you out of "the hole").
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Veni Vidi Decessi »

Machines have their place, but free weights will generally improve functional strength more due to the involvement of stabilizing muscle groups in most free lifts. Done correctly, free weights should actually reduce your chances of injury during everyday activities due to the increased stabilizer training.

Doing squats/deadlifts in some form or fashion is a good idea. If barbell squats aren’t your thing or you are just starting out, try goblet squats or weighted lunges. Sumo deadlifts likewise put less strain on your posterior chain.

I don’t think the Starting Strength or other typical novice programs are good for older people. The weight progression is based on having the muscle recovery innate in teens/20/30 somethings that have higher testosterone.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Pdxnative »

By far the most important things at your age are consistency and risk reduction.

Machines are fine, although mixing in a few dumbbell exercises isn’t a bad idea. You definitely don’t need to be doing deadlifts though, especially if you’ve already experienced back issues.

I’d just look to do a few pulling and a few pushing upper body exercises. Bench press, shoulder press, for example, are pushing. Lat pull down and row are pulling. You can use the machines for some of those and dumbbells for some (maybe use the upright row machine one day a week and do bent over rows with dumbbells the other, for example).

A caution on the leg press machine: I’ve seen a lot of injuries with that one. I’d agree with those suggesting split squats and/or goblet squats with dumbbells instead. Count those as lower body pushing exercises. Stationary Reverse lunges with dumbbells are a nice lower body pulling exercise.

I’d also stay away from the low rep/high weight schemes. Much less risky to do a few sets of 15-20 working to failure than to do sets of 6 and less. And you’ll get pretty much the same benefit in terms of preserving muscle mass and strength. (In fact, the training program that’s all the rage in some football programs now is 1x20, with more exercises. Others are still doing singles and doubles of dead lifts. Results are about the same, except more kids get injured with the heavier weights).

Might be worth a session or two with a different trainer to get a program put together.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by RobLyons »

stoptothink wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:31 am
RobLyons wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:07 am Having strength trained since age 12, followed top experts now for > 10 years, and experienced all the highs and lows including minor injuries, I encourage you to continue doing machines, especially if you experienced an injury/set back or you're not comfortable with them. Humans don't "need" barbells to get strong or maintain strength. Machines can accomplish this. Even body weight exercises can keep you fit. As you said doing machines are better than doing nothing and there is a lower chance of injury. In weight training there is no one "must do" exercise. Deadlifts are great but high chance of injury if not closely monitored, reviewed, corrected. Same with squats and adding too much weight, even the shoes you wear may not be optimal.

And just some unsolicited training advice: try to do 2 "movements" per muscle group at a minimum, twice a week. One chest press, one fly movement and chest is done. One row, one pull down and back is done. One leg extension, one curl and legs are done. Hopefully your gym has enough machines to work all muscle groups sufficiently. Shoulders, back, chest, legs, biceps and triceps.. with traps, calves, and others being less important.

Depends on what the OP's goals are. If it is overall health and maintaining mobility, leg extensions and ham curls are just about functionally useless. Same thing with flys. Balance, proprioception, power transfer, etc. become even more important as you age for general health and safety; those generally can't be trained effectively with machines. OP would probably be better off some very basic implements (ie. rings) and bodyweight training than completely ditching free weights for machines.

They were just examples of 2 leg exercises to be done twice per week.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by ScubaHogg »

retire14 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:31 pm
I took a few sessions on barbell with a trainer so I could do “starting strength” but was never comfortable with deadlift or squat as I did try too much and hurt my back once.
Did you go to an actual Starting Strength coach or just the “trainer” at your local gym? A proper SS Coach should be able to teach you the movements so you don’t hurt yourself and would start you at a low enough weight to give your body the ability to adapt.

Free weights to answer your question
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Mr.BB »

abuss368 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:45 pm
Mr.BB wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:38 pm The biggest advantage of free weights vs machines is neuromuscular control. Machines are a great place to start learning to lift and are also great if a person is recovering from an injury and need support. Learning how to lift and using various various pieces of equipment (kettlebells, free weights, ropes, bodyweight, etc) is key. That is where you should talk too and get help from a personal trainer. I've watched people in the gym who look strong almost fall over because they can't even stand on one leg while moving through motion with a dumbbell. Find someone who can do an analysis of you, (range of motion, strengths, weaknesses, balance, flexibility, etc). Then start creating a program that works for you.
Free weights early in life also build a ton of strength in tendons and ligaments. There is also ancillary muscle involvement to a greater extent than machines. Later in life machines are better and reduce risk factor.

I recall benching 225 for 29 full and complete reps. That takes a ton of balance and ancillary support.

Tony
Isometrics is also great for building muscle, ligament and tendon stability/strength
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I'm the oldest guy at my gym using weights and machines. Mostly dumbbells, cable machines and landmine (as noted in earlier post). I don't do cardio much since I am in the garden digging, building, hauling almost daily; but I do row daily at the gym and do balance exercises with the Step 360 and Bosu. Working on balance after 70 is IMHO all important.

Below is a link with an example of why I prefer both free weights and a cable machine.

https://www.thetrendspotter.net/shoulde ... s-for-men/

The late Oliver Sacks was a powerlifter when he was younger - broke the state record when lifting 600 lbs., but noted the wear and tear it caused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShUHg32-Y0U
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by jodhpur »

I have a pair of imitation Nordictrack adjustable dumbbells. Mine go up to 90lbs and got them on Ebay.

https://www.nordictrack.com/strength/se ... DYQAvD_BwE

Adjustable dumbbells + a bench + a 4 pack of bands ( can be an excellent gym.
One key is progressive overload, which a pretty difficult concept to grasp. It's alot like compounding money-- do it consistently, avoid setbacks (injuries), take risks smartly (add weight).
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by james22 »

Training Older Adults

The present body of literature focuses mostly on the use of progressive resistance strength training (1,13,15,18,20,28). However, improving muscle strength alone produces only a trivial change, often non-significant in reducing late-life disability.

Why? Because when the training predominantly focuses on increasing muscle strength, older adults might find difficulty in learning how to transfer this newly found strength to improve their performance of mundane tasks (17).

The most plausible reason for this non-linear transferability is that even though age-related decline in muscle strength is strongly associated with functional decline in older adults (11), the aging process also influences other motor elements such as balance, agility and coordination (27). Therefore, if the exercise program only targets one essential body motor element, the training effect will not necessarily translate into an improvement in everyday function.

On the contrary, functional training approaches such as that seen in CrossFit “train muscles in coordinated, multi-planar movement patterns and incorporate multiple joints, dynamic tasks, and consistent alterations in the base of support” (29), which is more approximate to the way people perform daily tasks (17). Fundamentally, functional training is built on the core principle of training specificity, which means that training in a specific activity is the best way to maximize performance in that specific activity (12,23).

This is what the core CrossFit movements are based upon. Squatting, for example, mimics standing from a seated position, and deadlifting mimics picking an object off the floor (7). In other words, the closer the mode of training mimics the desired task or motion, the better the outcome will be. While it might initially seem confusing to talk about specificity in CrossFit, a program that focuses on general physical preparedness (GPP) rather than specific training, “CrossFit’s specificity” is that it uses compound, multi-joint movements that replicate in the gym the way the body must move to accomplish tasks outside the gym.


https://journal.crossfit.com/article/li ... ive-well-2
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

As we age the use of dumbbells becomes even more important. Dumbbells afford much more additional flexibility and less poundage. Barbells lock one into a range of motion.

This is critical and can be the difference between healthy results and injury.

Tony
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Exchme »

The body gets really good at doing your workout and not much else, so if you want total fitness - cardio, flexibility, toning, muscle mass, balance, etc. you need a lot of variation in what you do. My observation with machines is that they don't do as much for neighboring stabilizing muscles as free weights, but machines force better form and give better workout injury prevention for beginners.

I agree with others that a beginner (especially an older one) would have better luck with some basics - a few light to medium dumbbells, a bench, yoga mat, a pull up bar that mounts on a doorframe, maybe some exercise bands in addition to something for cardio.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by H-Town »

abuss368 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 9:02 pm
Slacker wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:57 pm
abuss368 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:04 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:59 pm
No thanks. Arnold was juiced. I'll trust sources that focus on training for regular people, not bodybuilders on drugs.
Does not matter if juiced or not. The knowledge is second to none. 7 time Olympia and 5 time Universe.

No deadlifts needed!

Tony
Probably not germane to the OP, but Arnold did include deadlifts in his training when he won those competitions.
He did and often talked about Franco deadlifting in the 700s. He said that as he got older it would not be wise to continue those exercises.

Tony
Deadlift has so much benefit and value. You don't need to pull 700s. Even pulling 1x - 1.5x body weight with deadlift exercises has a tremendous carryover. I'd say an hour of deadlift exercise has more benefit than 10 hours spent on row, lat pulldown, exercises with machine etc.

I've seen older folks continue to do squats and deadlifts in my gym. And I bet many can't guess their age if they just look at how healthy and in a great shape they are.

One thing to point out: don't stay with an exercise, same rep range, same routine forever. You'll run into a plateau quickly. Resistance training is the most flexible training out there. You can adjust different exercises, change the rep range after 3-6 months, and change the modality.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

Exchme wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 9:18 am The body gets really good at doing your workout and not much else, so if you want total fitness - cardio, flexibility, toning, muscle mass, balance, etc. you need a lot of variation in what you do. My observation with machines is that they don't do as much for neighboring stabilizing muscles as free weights, but machines force better form and give better workout injury prevention for beginners.

I agree with others that a beginner (especially an older one) would have better luck with some basics - a few light to medium dumbbells, a bench, yoga mat, a pull up bar that mounts on a doorframe, maybe some exercise bands in addition to something for cardio.
Instinctive training principle. I used to talk with IFBB Pro Shawn Ray on that topic. He used that principle consistently.

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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by fireman »

Free weights!! Many have already laid out the many benefits of free weights over machines so I won't repeat.

My personal preference is barbell training, including squats and deadlifting. With good form, injuries are less likely than carrying out your daily activities outside the gym. No one says you need to try to deadlift 600 lbs. at age 69 but some squatting and deadlifting would likely be very useful.
but machines force better form and give better workout injury prevention for beginners.
Machines force a form but I do not agree that it is usually a "better" form.

If interested in Starting Strength, get a copy of The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40. Adapts the program slightly for older lifters.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Galaxy8 »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

Wrong kind of doctor, but one must read those studies carefully.

I agree that functional fitness is presumably what the OP is after. I agree that free weights are arguably better than machines for producing functional fitness. (Depends on the machine. Cable machines can be pretty functional.) What I don't know how to quantify -- the risk of injury from adopting a new routine compared to the baseline of what OP is already doing, which already has some muscle-and-function-preserving effects compared to doing nothing. Six months off at seventy due to a muscle pull is a lot different than six months off at 40. (Not that it was much fun at 40 either. :oops: )

Even The Barbell Prescription is extremely conservative for those in their 70s.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

As we age, the health of heart and lungs becomes more important than the size of the arm!

This coming from someone who competed and has enough trophies in the room.

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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Goldwater85 »

Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
A citation that some forms of exercise carry greater risk of significant injury to a 69 year old man than others? Are you envisioning something like articles reviewing statistical outcomes in a peer reviewed orthopedic journal? Call it an educated guess, but I’d wager that military presses and dead lifts to failure are higher risk than some others for that age group. Not to say there aren’t 69 year olds who use my deadlift weight for warm up sets.

I don’t really see the bearing of the psychology of burnout on OP’s question.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by GKSD »

Free weights are of course are better. With free weights I would say, an important factor is to focus on your form - if you are unable to hold your form for 8-12 reps than you are using heavier weights; if on other hand, you can easily hold your form for more than 12-15 reps, you are using lighter weights.

But of course you have to weigh the risk of injury at this stage and stick with least risky and safer options, if your goal is to generally maintain fitness.

If it would be me, I would avoid the risk of getting injured at this stage and stick mostly with machines, may be only light weights
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by tibbitts »

The problem with free weights is that sometimes you wobble slightly, and the cream-filled chocolate-covered donut you'd placed on top of the weight to give you the necessary incentive to lift it falls off before you can get it to mouth level. Completely kills your motivation.

Seriously, I know nothing about this topic, but it seems to me that any kind of resistance exercise at all will put you ahead of the 90+% of people in the age group being discussed who don't do any at all. So everybody is really arguing over something so marginal that it just doesn't matter to anyone who isn't an exercise hobbyist.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by dru808 »

Have you considered calisthenics? It’s the only way I’ve been working out the past few years.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

dru808 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 9:41 pm Have you considered calisthenics? It’s the only way I’ve been working out the past few years.
That is easier on the joints. This is critical at an older age as joints have been worn down after a lifetime of lifting. I would consider sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, and squats.

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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Norsky19 »

retire14 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:31 pm I have been lifting just enough to keep in shape ( 69 yrs old in good health). I have been doing stairmaster HIIT plus lifting a couple of days/ week.
I took a few sessions on barbell with a trainer so I could do “starting strength” but was never comfortable with deadlift or squat as I did try too much and hurt my back once. So I stopped pushing myself as I was losing confidence if I was doing the right form.

So I went back to machines...chest press, lat pull, pull up, leg press, etc...I realize that this is not optimal, but it’s better than not doing weight. I could push more with machine without being afraid of getting hurt.

Any advice on how to get the most out of machines or maybe I should do dumb bells? Thanks.
Any workout that is closed chain (feet on the floor, hands on a fixed bar) is the best. Simulates real life movements. Free weights do this where machine workouts do not. Kettlebell workouts like KB swings are fantastic for any age. I would recommend researching Kettlebell workout/routines. Improves balance/athleticism and focuses a lot on the hinge movement that helps keep us young by activating the muscles around the hip joint. As we age this becomes critical for balance and longevity...not falling down etc.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by chipperd »

I was taught/trained by my step father, who is now 76 and trained and lifted with some of the best and brightest bodybuilders, pioneers and wrestlers in the iron game on the west and east coasts from the mid 60's-mid 80's.
He taught me it's almost always your best bet to lift with dumbbells as you will use all those smaller stabilizer muscles/tendons. You get some of that effect with a bar but almost none of that effect with a machine. Exceptions would be those looking to set lifting records or hone their body for an aesthetic competition of some point. I'm far from either category.
Also, since everyone's body is unique in many ways, machines aren't typically a good fit from a form perspective and can even put undo stress on joints and ligaments. The lifter's body will compensate for the machine's limitations and restrictions to range of motion. Injuries suck.
In some cases, exercises like leg lifts/curls you will need an apparatus, but not a machine.
His opinion, start with body weight exercises and as I've gotten older he's told me higher reps and lower weight. As someone implied, ego needs to be left outside the gym.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Galaxy8 »

Goldwater85 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:20 pm
A citation that some forms of exercise carry greater risk of significant injury to a 69 year old man than others? Are you envisioning something like articles reviewing statistical outcomes in a peer reviewed orthopedic journal? Call it an educated guess, but I’d wager that military presses and dead lifts to failure are higher risk than some others for that age group. Not to say there aren’t 69 year olds who use my deadlift weight for warm up sets.

I don’t really see the bearing of the psychology of burnout on OP’s question.
Right. I think that there's a generally accepted over-exaggeration of the injury potential of resistance training. We under recognize the risk of sarcopenia (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/11/e021252). These narratives have the potential to cause harm by discouraging necessary resistance training.

The injury rate from running is at least four-times higher than weightlifting (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/4/211, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473093/). There's a paucity of data on sports-specific injuries in the elderly, however this study suggests the injury rate from weight lifting in the elderly is similar to golf, and less than cycling: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332159/
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by coffeeblack »

Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by H-Town »

coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm
Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Now one can argue that one "correct" way is not correct for a particular person. Because everyone's mobility is different. While I can squat all the way down comfortably, my wife can only squat 90 degree. Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate your range of motion in a squat and deadlift exercise.

Your mobility will help you expand your range of motion. Lifting weight in full range of motion generally brings the most benefits. And it's 100% safe if you can control, engage, and focus in your range of motion.

Now if you mean that "correct" way to deadlift are general pointers such as: don't round your back, drive back from your heels and hips, brace core throughout the pull. Then yes, those pointers are generally good advice for most people. But I wouldn't call one way of exercise is the correct way, because there could be a person that don't have the range of motion to perform exercise in such way.
coffeeblack
Posts: 361
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by coffeeblack »

H-Town wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:31 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm
Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Now one can argue that one "correct" way is not correct for a particular person. Because everyone's mobility is different. While I can squat all the way down comfortably, my wife can only squat 90 degree. Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate your range of motion in a squat and deadlift exercise.

Your mobility will help you expand your range of motion. Lifting weight in full range of motion generally brings the most benefits. And it's 100% safe if you can control, engage, and focus in your range of motion.

Now if you mean that "correct" way to deadlift are general pointers such as: don't round your back, drive back from your heels and hips, brace core throughout the pull. Then yes, those pointers are generally good advice for most people. But I wouldn't call one way of exercise is the correct way, because there could be a person that don't have the range of motion to perform exercise in such way.
/Thank you. You just made my entire point. Lifting incorrectly can cause injuries. This was a simple statement made in English. If you choose to read into it and make up your own conclusion, it's on you.
chipperd
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by chipperd »

H-Town wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:31 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm
Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Now one can argue that one "correct" way is not correct for a particular person. Because everyone's mobility is different. While I can squat all the way down comfortably, my wife can only squat 90 degree. Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate your range of motion in a squat and deadlift exercise.

Your mobility will help you expand your range of motion. Lifting weight in full range of motion generally brings the most benefits. And it's 100% safe if you can control, engage, and focus in your range of motion.

Now if you mean that "correct" way to deadlift are general pointers such as: don't round your back, drive back from your heels and hips, brace core throughout the pull. Then yes, those pointers are generally good advice for most people. But I wouldn't call one way of exercise is the correct way, because there could be a person that don't have the range of motion to perform exercise in such way.
Not sure if the highlighted is in reference to every day squatting down or with weights.
I was taught NO ONE needs to or should squat all the way down with weights ala weight lifting squat, as it recruits the knees. 90 degree squat for training is all that's needed and perfectly safe.
"A portfolio is like a bar of soap, the more it's handled, the less there is." Dr. William Bernstein
RobLyons
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by RobLyons »

It seems this thread has gone off the rails into an argument / discussion about hip mobility and range of motion.

OP simply asked "Any advice on how to get the most out of machines or maybe I should do dumb bells? Thanks."

Just try them all and do the ones you most enjoy on a consistent basis. Done.

And should you do dumbbells? You can but you don't have to. Done.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
Galaxy8
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Galaxy8 »

coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Correct versus incorrect is ambiguous. Correct for what outcome? I guess if you do an exercise incorrectly and fall over, sure you can get injured. Humans have a wide variety of movement variability. Sure, there are more and less efficient techniques for any exercise or sport, but movement variability that one would arbitrarily classify as "incorrect technique" is not in and of itself injurious.

"Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury" is just dogma, and probably harmful by emphasizing perfectionism over resilience and encouraging kinesiophobia. I challenge you to find any robust evidence that supports the statement.

While we're on the topic of challenging dogma, degenerative disc disease and disc herniations are essentially normal age related change, and in general not causally linked to low back pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464797/

:sharebeer

/thread
Aaand...it'sgone
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Aaand...it'sgone »

I think this thread is missing measurable goals. OP: you asked about getting the best out of machines to just 'stay in shape'. What does 'stay in shape' mean to you?

Do you want to build strength and slow down loss of strength and bone density as you age? Do you want to maintain a particular body weight? Do you want to change your physique in some way? Knowing what you're training for can help you make decisions about the best training protocol.

FWIW, I think you'll get the best strength improvements with free weights (but I'm biased as someone who's done powerlifting training on and off for ~15 years). I think the risks of injury are highly overblown. But regardless, set some measurable goals, find what you enjoy and what works to move you towards that goal, and keep records so that you know if it's working or not.
Ependytis
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Ependytis »

I know this wasn’t your question, but I would recommend instead of free weights or a machines consider doing body weights exercises. What I mean by bodyweight exercises is dips, pull ups, push-ups, and for everything else use a suspension system. If you want a greater challenge, you can use a weighted jacket. When you’re on vacation and don’t have the jacket, you can fill a backpack up with 4 x 1 gallon water bags and have the equivalent of 32 pounds. The advantage of this is you can do it anywhere and anytime. With free weights or machines, you need to have these with you to do your exercises. I hope you consider this. My son does free weights and he’s 24. We both weigh the same amount at 200 pounds. I am 57 and can do a lot more pull-ups than he can do.
david99
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by david99 »

I have had back problems so when I started working out at the gym ten years ago, I started out with body weight exercises-- push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. They have machines at the gym that will assist you with pull-ups and dips if you can't do them on your own. Body weight exercises will not hurt your back. I then gradually introduced free weights. So I can now use free weights at the gym. I will hurt my back if I over do it with free weights.
alfaspider
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by alfaspider »

david99 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 7:35 am I have had back problems so when I started working out at the gym ten years ago, I started out with body weight exercises-- push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. They have machines at the gym that will assist you with pull-ups and dips if you can't do them on your own. Body weight exercises will not hurt your back. I then gradually introduced free weights. So I can now use free weights at the gym. I will hurt my back if I over do it with free weights.
That’s not categorically true. Sit-ups or back bends can hurt your back.

There’s really no mystery about how injury occurs. You build your strength by progressive overload. This require a very small amount of damage that the body responds to by building back stronger. Injury occurs when the overload goes too far and causes more severe trauma to muscle or connective tissue. Too much overload can be caused by trying to lift more than you are capable, but you can also overload with too many sets or a rep performed in such a way to cause a different loading than you have trained for.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

alfaspider wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 1:05 pm
That’s not categorically true. Sit-ups or back bends can hurt your back.
EXACTLY! Sit-ups do not hit the target area as well as other exercises and place a lot of stress on lower back and hips.

Look at crunches with legs up at 45 degrees. THEN, as you crunch in, slightly raise your bottom for an intense extra benefit. I learned this from watching and listening to the master himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Over 25 years later, Arnold was right (as if there was any doubt)!

I never had any back issues with this exercise again.

Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
coffeeblack
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by coffeeblack »

Galaxy8 wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:38 am
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Correct versus incorrect is ambiguous. Correct for what outcome? I guess if you do an exercise incorrectly and fall over, sure you can get injured. Humans have a wide variety of movement variability. Sure, there are more and less efficient techniques for any exercise or sport, but movement variability that one would arbitrarily classify as "incorrect technique" is not in and of itself injurious.

"Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury" is just dogma, and probably harmful by emphasizing perfectionism over resilience and encouraging kinesiophobia. I challenge you to find any robust evidence that supports the statement.

While we're on the topic of challenging dogma, degenerative disc disease and disc herniations are essentially normal age related change, and in general not causally linked to low back pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464797/

:sharebeer

/thread
Complete BS. If you do something incorrectly for whatever outcome you want to achieve then you won't achieve it. This is a blog. If the OP wants to learn what is right for them and their ability and goals then they need to get specific training. This blog is not where to get it.
If someone tell them (as they have) to do machines or not to do machines, is also very general. I understand people in here wanting to make comments and take a side but don't be ridiculous.

As far DJD goes, I did not argue that it does not have a normal aging component. I also don't know why you brought that into this specific discussion???

The bottom line is simple. If you are wanting to achieve a certain goal and want to do certain exercises, you will not achieve and may even get injured if you do not do them with proper form (correctly).

An by the way. Those who can't do a squat to a full 90 degrees will not see the full benefits of a squat. That does not mean they shouldn't do it. It just means a squat done to just about 1 inch below parallel has been shown to give the greatest gains in strength.
Socal77
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Socal77 »

Neither. Only body weight exercises. If you must, dumbbells doing almost exclusively biceps curls.
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by abuss368 »

Socal77 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 4:07 pm Neither. Only body weight exercises. If you must, dumbbells doing almost exclusively biceps curls.
With dumbbell curls, considering employing supination. That is, the dumbbells face you when at your side. As you start to curl upwards, twist until facing forward. Then reverse on way down. One arm at a time. One can see their bicep in a mirror and simply turning the wrist, will turn the bicep. You can use less weight and make much more intense.

Back in the day, I was using 95lbs - 105lbs for Alternate Dumbbell Curls. This was after starting the workout with 185 - 205 barbell curls. That built strength which built muscle. Then I used either barbell or dumbbell preacher curls at 165 - 185 and finished with an isolation like concentration curls 45 - 55/60 or so. That works. Biceps were sore for days.

Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
david99
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by david99 »

abuss368 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 2:04 pm
alfaspider wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 1:05 pm
That’s not categorically true. Sit-ups or back bends can hurt your back.
EXACTLY! Sit-ups do not hit the target area as well as other exercises and place a lot of stress on lower back and hips.

Look at crunches with legs up at 45 degrees. THEN, as you crunch in, slightly raise your bottom for an intense extra benefit. I learned this from watching and listening to the master himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Over 25 years later, Arnold was right (as if there was any doubt)!

I never had any back issues with this exercise again.

Tony
I agree some bodyweight exercises are not good for the back. But push-ups, pull-ups and dips have been great for me in terms of building upper body strength and not hurting my back.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Mr. Rumples »

If using a gym, a person has to be flexible...who knows, they might discover something new. Yesterday was "chest" day (moving from a push pull routine to shake it up a bit) and usually Sundays are very slow, but it wasn't so I could not get to the incline benches I like to use dumbbells for presses. So I mixed the cable exercises with a machine with multiple adjustments instead of the incline bench. Not perfect, but I could tell it was different and I shouldn't pooh pooh it altogether.

In short, shake up the routine, experiment safely with concentration on form and have fun. When I first went to a gym at 55, I was clueless. Some of the best money I ever spent in my life was to hire a trainer to show me how to use every piece of equipment so I could decide for myself. I'm now over 70 and still loving it.
alfaspider
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by alfaspider »

Socal77 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 4:07 pm Neither. Only body weight exercises. If you must, dumbbells doing almost exclusively biceps curls.
I'm not sure what the fixation on bicep curls is. They are mostly just useful for bodybuilders as they are mostly an isolation exercise that doesn't do much for anything besides the bicep. Nothing special about curls, and you can certainly hurt yourself from curls same as any other exercise. They can put a lot of strain on wrists and elbows.

If you are fixated on bodyweight only, you can build your biceps with pull ups and variations thereof. If you are going to allow dumbbells, curls wouldn't be my first exercise to add.
benway
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by benway »

Through your library's online databases, you may have access to an article titled "Resistance Training By the Numbers" published in the Harvard Health Newsletter on 3-1-21.
Old-fashioned resistance training — lifting heavy weights multiple times — is the best way for men to slow and even reverse age-related muscle loss...

There are many theories about the ideal approach to resistance training. Guidelines published in the August 2019 issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offer some strong evidence-based advice. Researchers reviewed years of exercise data and determined that the following criteria for the five categories are ideal for older adults.
They then go on to summarize the key findings in the following categories: Type, Weight, Reps, Sets, Frequency.
Last edited by benway on Mon May 17, 2021 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
H-Town
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by H-Town »

coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 11:51 pm
H-Town wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:31 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm
Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Risk of injury is minimal. I'm doing deadlifts, which I've always avoided sure to fear of getting hurt.
The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).
Goldwater85 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 4:40 pm Unless your goal is competition, why not use free weights for lower risk exercises like bench press or curls, and use machines to reduce injury risk. Alternately, use modest and easily achievable weights for higher risk sets.
What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?
coffeeblack wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:54 am Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury.
Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Now one can argue that one "correct" way is not correct for a particular person. Because everyone's mobility is different. While I can squat all the way down comfortably, my wife can only squat 90 degree. Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate your range of motion in a squat and deadlift exercise.

Your mobility will help you expand your range of motion. Lifting weight in full range of motion generally brings the most benefits. And it's 100% safe if you can control, engage, and focus in your range of motion.

Now if you mean that "correct" way to deadlift are general pointers such as: don't round your back, drive back from your heels and hips, brace core throughout the pull. Then yes, those pointers are generally good advice for most people. But I wouldn't call one way of exercise is the correct way, because there could be a person that don't have the range of motion to perform exercise in such way.
/Thank you. You just made my entire point. Lifting incorrectly can cause injuries. This was a simple statement made in English. If you choose to read into it and make up your own conclusion, it's on you.
It's a statement that worth further discussion. Are you a person that wants to be right? Or are you a person that would like to learn from a discussion? It's sad to live in a world that you think you have nothing new to learn.

What do you think your statement "Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury." is helpful for average Joe? Do they go look at what other people do at the gym and try to imitate those movements? Or do they go on youtube to look for video from bodybuilders, powerlifting competitors movements? Do you think those movements would be safely done for average Joe? What make a movement correct? Go on, please indulge me.

From my past experience as a trainer, the first thing I do for my clients is to test their mobility. Do they have forward shoulder? Can they do the wall test? What's their mobility with their shoulder, hip, ankle, etc.? Then the exercises would be designed to their level of mobility, with a goal to increase their mobility so that my clients would increase their strength and be more functional in every day activities.

Machines only allow you to move in one plain of movement. Free weight, cable, body weight exercises allow you to build your strength in many plains of movement and mobility.
coffeeblack
Posts: 361
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by coffeeblack »

H-Town wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:59 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 11:51 pm
H-Town wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:31 pm
coffeeblack wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:10 pm
Galaxy8 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 4:12 pm

The rate of injury from running, bicycling, soccer, basketball and other sports is significantly higher than the rate of injury with powerlifting (i.e. deadlifting).



What makes something a "high risk" exercise? Do you have a citation to support your claim?



Who determines what "correct" and "incorrect" is?

A lot of incorrect statements in this thread. Here is a nicely written citation filled and evidenced-based discussion on lifting injury and "technique": https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/on ... technique/
You asked me "who determines what correct and incorrect is?
When deadlifting or squating or doing any lift there are clear standard on how to do them in the "correct" way so one does not get injured. That is a well known fact. Barbellmedicine has several areas they speak and demonstrate the right way to lift. If you are using this site or starting strength you will find several instruction areas by them demonstrating the way to squat, press, bench and deadlift or clean correctly. So perhaps you were not paying attention. So the statement remains the same. Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury. Because it can. The gyms are full of people doing them and there are many, many people who get injured. I really don't know why you included my statement in your post. It's ridiculous.
Now one can argue that one "correct" way is not correct for a particular person. Because everyone's mobility is different. While I can squat all the way down comfortably, my wife can only squat 90 degree. Your ankle and hip mobility will dictate your range of motion in a squat and deadlift exercise.

Your mobility will help you expand your range of motion. Lifting weight in full range of motion generally brings the most benefits. And it's 100% safe if you can control, engage, and focus in your range of motion.

Now if you mean that "correct" way to deadlift are general pointers such as: don't round your back, drive back from your heels and hips, brace core throughout the pull. Then yes, those pointers are generally good advice for most people. But I wouldn't call one way of exercise is the correct way, because there could be a person that don't have the range of motion to perform exercise in such way.
/Thank you. You just made my entire point. Lifting incorrectly can cause injuries. This was a simple statement made in English. If you choose to read into it and make up your own conclusion, it's on you.
It's a statement that worth further discussion. Are you a person that wants to be right? Or are you a person that would like to learn from a discussion? It's sad to live in a world that you think you have nothing new to learn.

What do you think your statement "Any exercise done incorrectly can cause injury." is helpful for average Joe? Do they go look at what other people do at the gym and try to imitate those movements? Or do they go on youtube to look for video from bodybuilders, powerlifting competitors movements? Do you think those movements would be safely done for average Joe? What make a movement correct? Go on, please indulge me.

From my past experience as a trainer, the first thing I do for my clients is to test their mobility. Do they have forward shoulder? Can they do the wall test? What's their mobility with their shoulder, hip, ankle, etc.? Then the exercises would be designed to their level of mobility, with a goal to increase their mobility so that my clients would increase their strength and be more functional in every day activities.

Machines only allow you to move in one plain of movement. Free weight, cable, body weight exercises allow you to build your strength in many plains of movement and mobility.
Ok. You're right.
tealeaves
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by tealeaves »

Whether you move forward with free weights or machines, I highly recommend getting a comprehensive scan of your spine from an orthopedist. I was for example back squatting (free) and leg pressing (machine) fairly heavily (for me) for a while and without any back pain/symptoms, and my scan showed some marked degeneration that I was told would be worsened by continuing with these two exercises. I have since abandoned the above exercises in favor of more back friendly (and less challenging) alternatives. Heading off injury at your age should be the number one priority IMHO.
Allan
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by Allan »

I am 70 and I've been working with both free weights and machines for 5-6 years. I work out with a trainer at the gym 3 days a week, I do 20 different exercises, 3 sets each, 10-12 reps. I prefer free weights but I'm ok with some machines. I also work out at home 2-3 days a week doing exercises I do not do at the gym (crunches, forearm exercises with dumbells, planks, squats, light yoga, stretching, and ab rolls with barbell). The barbell ab roll extension is by far the most difficult exercise I've ever done. I really like being in shape at my age, I'm worn out when I leave the gym but the work outs are worth it.
mr_brightside
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Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by mr_brightside »

Allan wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 5:52 pm I am 70 and I've been working with both free weights and machines for 5-6 years. I work out with a trainer at the gym 3 days a week, I do 20 different exercises, 3 sets each, 10-12 reps. I prefer free weights but I'm ok with some machines. I also work out at home 2-3 days a week doing exercises I do not do at the gym (crunches, forearm exercises with dumbells, planks, squats, light yoga, stretching, and ab rolls with barbell). The barbell ab roll extension is by far the most difficult exercise I've ever done. I really like being in shape at my age, I'm worn out when I leave the gym but the work outs are worth it.
Nice !! :sharebeer I hope I can do all that in my 70s.

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lightheir
Posts: 2641
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Weight lifting question. Machine vs free weight

Post by lightheir »

I would NEVER do weighted squats deadlifts at age 69 as a low-experience weightlifter .

Compound movements are great for fitness, but also come with the cost of involving lots of muscle and tendon groups as well usually requiring a fair amount of weight compared to an isolated motion like a barbell curl.

The area I think most 'young' weightlifters don't worry about, is the spine, particularly the discs and ligaments that support it. At age 69, it's quite a risk to do a weighted squat unless you really know what you are doing (meaning have been squatting recently with no problem for a long time before that.) Those discs in particular become fragile with age, and too much axial loading will squash them into your spinal cord if they weaken sufficiently.

Far safer at 69 to start with no weights, and if you can, squat with no weights at all. Only build slowly, and gently from there, and ALWAYS err on the side of caution.

This is coming from someone has done myself lots of heavy squats, legpresses, and deadlifts , and agrees t hey are perhaps the best bodybuildig/weightlifitng movements you can do. Young people should and can work up to doing these well, often with a lot of weight. Above 65 though, that axial loading of the spine is something you have to be really careful about.
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