T Nation

Favorite Machines?


#1

I’m going to be switching Doggcrapp (DC) training after I get back from Vegas and I’m planning my new routine. For those not familiar, it involves a lot of rest pause sets and max intensity which can be tricky without a training partner.

I may just stick with DBs or even the smith machine but I’m not opposed to trying some machines either. I’ve never really used machines and I was underwhelmed when I tried some out last night.

I was looking for some recommendations. I did really like the feel of the hammer strength iso-lateral high row, though I did feel it more in my rear delts than my back. My gym has a mixture of cybex and hammer strength.

Thanks


#2

Hammer strength are considered the industry standard of machines but I’ve never really been all that keen. I have fairly limited experience with them though.

In general, you sometimes have to get creative with your body position to get the most out of machines, so don’t be scared to play around a little.


#3

lat pull downs for vertical pulls but that’s because I can’t get more than 5 pull ups with good form yet

Cable pec deck flyes because I feel my pecs more than using dumbbells, and tension is the same throughout the range of motion


#4

HS machines seem to lack any negative resistance. I don’t like them. The decline press and shoulder press seem ok, but overall I think they’re inadequate.


#5

i like machines for a lot of back work, and cables are great for delt and arm work. i’ve never really enjoyed bench pressing machines, they tend to put me in awkward positions and paths. Don’t feel good on my joints. Shoulder pressing is alright though. if you have healthy knees, hack squat machines aren’t bad either.


#6

Hack squats are amazing for building legs.


#7

sadly my gym doesn’t have one or that would def be one of my 3 quad exercises. As it stands i think i’m going bb back squat, leg press, and probably leg extensions with the 20 rep widowmakers on smith machine and leg press


#8

Some of my favorites:

Smith machine front squat for quads (legs positioning are tricky, so expect 2-4 sessions before you master the form)
Seated leg curl machine for hammies
Hammer strength reverse pulldown machine plate loaded for back
Hammer strength decline press plate loaded for chest
Don’t like using machines for arms and delts I like using cables and free weight for those


#9

I really like seated rows. Lat pulldown isn’t bad either.


#10

More of a piece of equipment than a machine but I use this after dips and before pushups on a bench as a mechanical advantage tri-set. Great stretch in the pecs. Sort of the perfect middle ground between a dip and a push-up.


#11

I recently fell in love with doing these with a barbell, great tension throughout.


#12

Second what flip said, I find machines work my back best, in terms of hypertrophy. Lat pulldowns and any type of rowing machine. You know those rowing machines that aren’t quite a horizontal row, or vertical? Kind of a diagonal pull? I don’t know what they’re called but I like them a lot. I’ve found grabbing onto the bars leading to the handles instead of the handles themselves help a lot.

And high rep leg presses. Never been a fan of the hack squat but I’ve tried it before for RDL’s. Worked pretty well but just could not get over the fact that my face was buried while I was shoving my ass out. Normal RDL’s, no problem, but these ones weren’t my jam.


#13

My favorite machine is the leg press, for reasons I’m sure everyone would be aware of.

My favorite piece of equipment I rarely see other people use is an angled bench that allows for supported rows.

I also like the machine that allows counter weight for chin ups because then I can do chin up negatives.


#14


#15

I have an Olympus seated lever row machine…works great… (apart from the chest pad which was ridiculously insufficient, which I removed and replaced with a homemade pad)…though that’s the same with most chest pads IME.


#16

I’m a big fan of the lateral delt raise machine, not many gyms have them, but sure glad mine does. The donkey calf machine has added a solid inch to my calves, good luck finding one at a commercial gym however. I also feel machines work great for rear delts and back. Doing a guillotine press with the Smith machine feels good on the pecs, could be a bit tough on the shoulders though.


#17

Love adjustable cable machines
Nautilus Pullovers
Seated Lateral Raise machines (so I can load up the weights without straining my wrists)
Seated Straight Leg Calf Press machines (so you can load 'em up and still get a good stretch and full concerted contraction)

and as I’ve gotten older, anytime I can find a really high quality single arm row machine, where I can brace my chest against a pad, and get a great fluid movement while not worrying about straining my achy old-man lower back doing barbell rows, well, let’s just say I really appreciate it -lol.

S