Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 Random Drawbacks To Machine-Based Training

Let me know what other drawbacks you can come up with in the comments section!


The average person spends anywhere from 75-90 percent of their day either lying or sitting down.  

Read that again.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead and add up the average number of hours of sleep you get each night with the average number of hours spent at work – that for the majority of the population is a sedentary desk job. Eye opening isn’t it?

This is followed by going to the gym to get a ‘workout’ – by sitting down. That is after all the first step in using a weight stack machine. Anyone see the problem here? The last thing anyone needs when going to the gym to 'exercise' is more sitting!

Sit Less, Move More

Fixed Range of Motion

Everyone’s body is different and unique. This includes your joints and the path in which is it most efficient and safe for them to move through.

Machines are designed for the ‘average’ person. Kind of like the whole white picket fence and 2.5 kids thing. Are you average - or do you have unique needs and considerations that should be taken into account? Then why use equipment for ‘average’ people?

Being forced into a range of motion that is unnatural and awkward eventually leads to imbalances and many times down the road- injury. Not to mention no progression or results.

Hopefully you don’t have 2.5 kids either, or else something is very wrong. 

Don’t be average.


Machines function in the make believe world of isolation. Perhaps this has some value to a bodybuilder, but how many of you are – or even wish to be – a bodybuilder?

In the real world, like when you have to pick up a child or carry groceries, your body must function together as a unit. Training in isolation only leads to decreased coordination, imbalances, and yes possibly injury once again.

This is most often demonstrated by the individual who sits down in the chest press machine and loads the weight stack up nice and high and goes to town, but when asked to complete one standard pushup resembles a flopping fish.

You don’t have gills, don’t be a fish.


I’m convinced that the most valuable currency we have is our time. The last thing we should want to waste it on is waiting for an awkward and average machine. Not when there are a plethora of superior options available to us.

You should be able to easily get your strength, mobility, and cardiovascular work down in 45 minutes or less. Get in and get out. More time to spend with your family or do the things you really enjoy.

The next time you are standing around waiting for a machine to open up ask yourself – Don’t I have better things to do?


Walk into a gym on any given day and it’s a pretty good bet you’ll find the majority of people schlepping through the same ol’ machine circuit, in the same order, with the same weight, and the same number of repetitions. A whole fitness chain was even founded on this idea.

How does that seem to be working? Any stronger? Shoulder or knee still hurt?

The definition of insanity is often stated as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Or as I came across this week over on Tony Gentilcore's blog:

If you continue doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue getting what you’ve always gotten.

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