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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Training with exercise machines


While in the past most weight training enthusiasts used barbells and dumbbells exclusively, most make extensive use of machines in their training. Their use took off with the advent of Nautilus Machines, which were designed and produced by Arthur Jones. He worked with an associate, Ellington Darden, in developing exercise routines using the new machines.

He advocated three full-body workouts per week, with one rest day in-between.  Each exercise was performed for one set only, two exercises per muscle group. They were done in a pre-exhaust fashion, that is an isolation exercise was done first followed by a compound one. An example of an isolation exercise for the chest is dumbbell flyes with the bench press an example of a compound one. Nautilus machines reached their peak in popularity during the early to mid eighties.

In more recent times, other manufacturers have also produced great pieces of equipment, many of them using cutting edge designs meant to train a muscle more closely along its strength curve.

Machines offer the fitness devotee a safe, effective tool to train with. Many advanced training techniques including forced and negative reps, are much easier to do on machines.

The two types of machines are plate-loaded and selectorized. Plate-loaded machines’ resistance levels are changed by adding or removing barbell plates while selectorized loads are changed by the insertion of a pin. I prefer, as do most people, the selectorized type because of the quick-change ability of the selector pin.

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