Common Workout Myths Part 3- Gym Machines Are Best For Strength Building!

NO, NO, NO!!

You walk into most gyms and you’ll see a long line of these beautiful, shiny, complicated weight machines just waiting to be used. MY ADVICE— leave them alone! They’re good for one thing… to use as a chair for tying your shoes.

Here’s the problem with the majority of exercise machines— They promote an unnatural, limited range of motion and restrict your muscles ability to do the job they are intended for— stabilization.

Let me explain the difference (and you can try this yourself at the gym to prove my point). Try sitting at a bench press machine that is designed to work your chest & triceps primarily and set the machine at a challenging but not extreme amount of weight. Do a few reps. Then, using the same amount of weight but on a barbell while lying flat on a workout bench, do a few bench presses with the barbell and plates. Notice how much more difficult the barbell is to use? That’s because the barbell requires your body’s use of significantly more muscles to provide the stabilization of the bar as you’re lifting whereas the weight machine runs along a track restricting the range of motion. Get the point?

Gym weight machines train the same isolated muscles repeatedly. Not only is your range of motion fixed, your plane of motion is fixed too. You are simply isolating a muscle group during each machine exercise. There is no real motor learning process going on here. Anyone can sit down at a chest press machine and be instantly taught how to press. There is no skill, no total body motor program sequence. The biggest limitation with the isolated movement of a machine exercise is the lack of carryover into real life muscle function.

See those guys grunting at the gym as they try maxing out on weight machines? Don’t follow their lead!! They simply don’t know what they’re doing.


Use a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, or just utilize your own body weight and do a variety of resistance exercises. Resistance bands work great too! Doing so will allow you to maximize the number of muscles worked during each different exercise. Ask a trainer at the gym to put together a variety of body weight resistance & dumbbell exercises for you and rotate them throughout the week. I promise you’ll see immediate results.

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