T Nation

Hammer Strength Machines


#1

I searched for any previous posts about Hammer Strength machines, but found none.

I just joined a new gym, and they have a wide variety of HS machines. I have been using some, and really like some of them (especially the back machines).

What is everyone's opinion on HS--good for hypertrophy and strength, good for joints? Bad for everything?

-JB


#2

They are great machines that BEGINNERS should not get caught up in due to the effectiveness and benefits of free weights. In other words, using them is fine, however, if you are new to training, do NOT construct an entire routine around them.


#3

So, for a lifter with two years experience under his belt, taking a week or two to use the Hammer Strength machines and then returning to free weights isn't a bad idea every so often?

-JB


#4

Is there a reason why you want to solely use them for a week or two? Why not just incorporate them into your workouts while continue using freeweight? Or alternate between freeweights in one workout and HS in the next.


#5

ditto. I use them very occasionally to press really heavy loads or just to switch things up. I think that even most experienced lifters don't construct entire routines around HS machines.


#6

I had contacted the company that makes the Hammer Strength Machines for information on how to use them properly. They claimed there was no information.

One can raise or lower the seat positions. If you are in the wrong position you can get into trouble. On the Hammer Strength Bench Machine you can get a rotator cuff problem. (I know first hand.)

I used the Hammer Strength Machines for a long time and set myself up for problems. Pattern overuse injuries for one. I would get strong in the motion the machine permited. When I tried free weights I was in for a big shock.

Machines can have mechanical advantage and the amount of weight on the machine may not translate to free weights.

The Hammer Strength Machines are great but also use free weights and vary up the exercises. Include close and wide grip positions. Also consider varying your hand position (for example pullups with parallel hand grip, palms facing you and palms facing away from you).


#7

Why would you only use a machine for two weeks? Your question alone implies lack of a decent training program. I use Hammer Strength machines all of the time. I also started out on mostly free weights and credit them for the base of strength that I have. Anyone who would think two weeks of HS machines would do anything to even warrant thinking of it shows they are probably still a beginner.


#8

That means you were a beginner and hadn't yet built the skills developed from free weights. I use HS machines all of the time and don't have these problems. That difference needs to be made before we get rumors of HS machines CAUSING injuries. Injuries are often caused due to the trainer not being experienced enough to understand what might put them at risk.

Bottom line, stick to mostly free weights until you are far beyond "beginner" status.


#9

I don't see the reasoning behind this. Why not use mostly free weights and just use the machines occasionally, for a change of pace, or when you don't have a spotter.

Why dedicate an entire took to only Hammer Strength machunes? I just don't get it? Are you going on vacation or somewhere where that is all that is available for a short period of time?

If that's the case, then I guess it is ok, but I still suggest only a part-time usage. Use bodyweight exercises or somrthing else. I didn't even know Hammer Strength made enough machines to work the entire body, although I could be wrong.


#10

free weights are generally superior to any machines, but hammer strength makes some machines that can do a few things free weights cant. i used one for football called a ground base jammer that dramatically increased my explosive leg and hip strength.....if i was forced to use any machine i would like for it to be made by them


#11

JimmyBoom:

I have a friend who is in charge of a sports team at our local College. He has a large budget and could purchase any sort of machine that he wants. He purchases "Hammer Strength" exclusively for his athletes.

I see no problem with you using this product. I have used a variety of free weights, machines and other "gizmos" through the years.

Remeber one thing: If you are going to train for life you are going to need variety in your training! Sure Barbell Squats are better than using a Leg Press machine. However, After so much time training with Barbell Squats the Leg Press machine looks mighty good. It can renew your interest in training to have some variety over the long haul.

Ask some of the greats that have been in this "business" for longer than you have been alive: Dave Draper, Arnold, Franco, Lou Ferrigno, Reg Park etc. These guys are bigger and more successful than anyone on this board! All of them have used (and continue to use to the best of my knowledge) machines.

I have some Atlantis pieces in my home Gym and use them all the time.

A good example of my use is after finishing up four sets of the Cleans. I move directly to my bicep machine and knock off two fast sets. No muss no fuss!

Another good way to use machines: Sometimes when you are just a bit fatigued and are going for a few final additional sets a machine is exactly the right answer. There is less of a chance of injury due to the "track" the machine follows.

There are limitless ways to train with machines, no different than free weights in that regard.

Basically, I am a free weight guy, but I never say never when it comes to a really good piece of equipment. No thinking man does!


#12

I appreciate everyone's input. I use the HammerStrength exactly as someone suggested, every few weeks, usually if I am without a spotter, I will work on the HS machines. I do not build an entire routine around them.

Free weight compound lifts are the basis of my routine, my question was as to whether or not there was any gain to be made from using Hammer Strength, or am I just wasting my time?

-JB


#13

not much on machines, but Hammer makes great supported rowing machines, and i like their rotator machine too. Use them when i can after my WSB style training.

jack


#14

For the most part, I think the line of movement in some of the Hammer Strength equipment is great.

I've used the HS bench and found the contraction/squeeze in its line of movement has provided me with good results. It can work each arm independently like dumbells and build up strength in an arm if lagging. Doesn't work the core as dumbells do but you can load up much heavier weight than what the gym stocks in dumbells. To supplement free weights I don't mind using the incline HS bench and HS shoulder press as well.

Some of the machines are more for show and I'd rather do say bent over rows instead of the lower and middle back pull machines they have, but overall if performed correctly I think they serve their purpose in isolating the target muscle.


#15

these are nice machines to do some heavy negatives in the pressing motions without worrying about getting buried with the weight. they are also good to use later on in the workout to hit the big muscles after the stabilizers have gotten fried from the compound lifts using dumbells. laters pk


#16

Hammer Strength are the only machines which I have consistently enjoyed using over the years. They always "feel right" to me.

I really like the shoulder (not military) press, the "dip", and the isolateral leg press in particular. The incline bench is another good one.