T Nation

I Read This Article and Didn't Get Mad


I accidentally stumbled upon this article: http://health.msn.com/blogs/get-back-in-shape-post.aspx?post=1244718&gt1=31036 in the MSN homepage. I never go there voluntarily, and even less read their articles as they are but a bunch of crap, but the title (The Truth About Exercise Machines) caught my attention.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. If I recall correctly, it's the first time I read a fitness article directed to "normal people" that I completely agree with.

Everyday is a new surprise...


Most people I know with chronic muscle pain use machines almost exclusively.


thats the thing most people who use machines only, don't understand. machines should only be a part of your routine not the whole. using machines only is just plain lazy


Maybe more guys will finally start doing the right thing, because men's health is like the bible of working out for skinny teens with shredded abz and overly obese middle-aged men.


In my gym it's the intimidation. The free weights area is in like a cave almost lol. Which is pretty cool. Scares everyone off so I get more free stuff to myself :smiley:


This article will fall by the wayside... It doesnt address the real issue and that is that most people simple do not:

1 - Train with enough intensity

2 - Have the willpower to manipulate their diet in such a way as the gain muscle and/or lose body fat

3 - Stick with training for any amount of time to actually see results



I bet I could make more progress on purely hammer strength, smith & cables than most of the people around here who act all "hardcores", and "only use da free weights ya pussy."

Like Lonnie said, there is a lot more to this than fixed plane of motion or not.


For the commercial gym general population, your statement tends to be very true.


i agree with you but i believe that newbies to lifting will have to learn from their own experience how to train with intensity which will take some time and dedication,lack of self motivation are the causes of the issues you stated IMO,which were correct.


the only thing i'd point out how it's like avoid this, but do this this and this for good leg development. This reminds me of a guy who trains at my gym at university. He was training legs and was did narrow stance squats, wide squats (he felt the need they were called power squats), conventional deads and sumo deads. I asked him why he didn't just squat and deadlift. His reply was that the most effective way to target inner quads was the "power squat" and he didnt want any imbalanves. I think he failed to realise with 135lbs on the bar when squatting and 156lbs for deadlifts wasnt stimulating shit.


If he is a beginner, and 135lbs & 156lbs was heavy to him at this point in his lifting career, then yes those weights are in fact, stimulating a lot of shit.

Everyone starts somewhere.


Good article overall, but I disagree with his point on flyes:

Flyes are great for isolating your pecs. It's not like you have to choose between flyes and presses: do both.


I liked this part.

I always get shoulder pain in the pec deck no matter how easy I go and work on form. Hate the fucking thing. I thought I was just a freak since hardly anyone else has issues with it.

I'd much rather just do another pressing movement


sorry that wasnt what i meant to say, if that was heavy to him that was heavy yes i agree. i think i got sidetracked whilst i was writing, what i infact meant was he shouldnt have been trying to train specific areas of a muscle when he had no muscle to train specific sides of.


I was referring more to his general comments about flyes, than to his criticism of the pec deck. I think dumbbell flyes have their place.


Don't hate. Varying stances in squats is a great idea. There is no official size when it's suddenly okay to vary stance.


I agree with most of what has been said but let's not forget to put things in perspective here, guys. This is an article that appeared not on a bodybuilding magazine but on the main page of msn.com. I can't think of anything less hardcore than that.

By that I mean that we all have our goals and they are all different. Like plenty of you, I wanna be a huge mofo and thus I train mostly with free weights and great intensity. But I rather have cardio bunnies and skinny office guys training properly than doing it incorrectly because they don't know any better. Even if it is only with machines. Not everybody wants to be hyoge and that is great. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth it, ain't it? ;o)

We easily get carried away discussing stances and particulars of an exercise but, believe it or not, for some, going to the gym doesn't mean suffering on the verge of a cardiac arrest or puking their last meal. And this is good. I'd like to see more average people going to the gym to "get fit", even if they don't dial the diet a 100%. Let's face it: the amount of time, personal investment and commitment that takes to reach for the top is not available to everybody.

So, if this can spare me the cringe provoked by the sight of a Guido squatting in the Smith machine, I for one very welcome it.


Something tells me this article was written for the mainstream crowd and/or the total body crowd. You know, those people that wander into the gym and just pick random exercises with very little thought and vague planning.

So, more then likely, the niche reader the author was going for would pick one or the other a good majority of the time.


While I do agree with him on those issues I will say this- anything is better than sitting on the couch.


Dude, this isn't an attack on you by any means, but I don't understand something.

Why do some of you guys even give a fuck what the people who aren't making progress are doing in the gym? Really, can anyone answer that question? What is the point of caring what someone who isn't accomplishing shit, or trying to for that matter, is doing?

They certainly don't give a fuck what you are doing. Because if you look like you lift weights, grunt and sweat, you are just a meat head to them. They go home and make fun of you to their wives and on their message boards. No their wives DO NOT want to secretly sleep with you, only your wife wants to sleep with you, and even then only like 3 times a year. They don't give a fuck about you outside of when you are in their way at the water fountain. Why give a fuck about them?

I can understand the entertainment factor, but the "cringe when someone does it wrong" and "even a soccer mom should do her SQUATZ and drink blended OatZ, she isn't gonna build massive gunz curling the pink DB's" shit is just retarded.


No problem, I didn't take it as an attack.

Why to care?

I actually don't give a shit about what these people do. What worries me though is that, the day some jerk gets injured doing something wrongly and they go and declare squats dangerous and forbid them as they've done in the past with dropping weights or other things, then good luck.

And no, I don't care about the skinny-fat cardio bunnies/wives either, I fuck my hot wife enough to be satisfied, thank you very much. :slight_smile: