T Nation

Losing Hypertrophy Potential?

I base my workouts SOLELY on free weights. While machines do not have a serious impact on strength, am i losing much as far as hypertrophy goes?

[quote]guaglione wrote:
I base my workouts SOLELY on free weights. While machines do not have a serious impact on strength, am i losing much as far as hypertrophy goes?[/quote]

Anyone who walks into a gym and says anything like, “I avoid ALL of insert noun here” has missed some important factors in their gym education. Everything has a place.

If you don’t know what that place is, you need to either learn or avoid it until you do.

Free weights are what most serious BEGINNERS should focus on. I am not a beginner. I don’t avoid all machines. I have grown a lot…especially my shoulders which I now train (the lateral head) mostly on machines.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
guaglione wrote:
I base my workouts SOLELY on free weights. While machines do not have a serious impact on strength, am i losing much as far as hypertrophy goes?

Anyone who walks into a gym and says anything like, “I avoid ALL of insert noun here” has missed some important factors in their gym education. Everything has a place.

If you don’t know what that place is, you need to either learn or avoid it until you do.

Free weights are what most serious BEGINNERS should focus on. I am not a beginner. I don’t avoid all machines. I have grown a lot…especially my shoulders which I now train (the lateral head) mostly on machines. [/quote]

Funny, because i was reading one of your posts earlier where you wrote something similar, relating to isolation exercises.

By the way, an important reason i train only with free weights is that i train home, where i have all the equipment required for ALL the necessary free weight exercises. I have a (free)gym membership as well, but i go rarely, mostly for cardio.

I saw ur pics and ur a huge dude, there’s no comparison of ur size to mine. I agree there’s no doubt someone at ur level should incorporate machine excercises and all that, since u’ve already achieved mass and i guess fairly high strength levels as well.

Whether i’m a beginner or not is something very relative, depends on who’s judging, although deep down I consider myself a beginner, also because it gives me motivation to further improve myself as much as possible. Plus i’ve never done a cycle, never used hormones prohormones or anything like that.

It might be interesting if you and others could tell me about what u were doing when you were at ur 3rd training year, like me. Were you using machines back then?
The way i plan it is like this: When i get to lift 120lb for 5-8 reps at dumbell press, bw+65lb*6-8 reps for pullups and 400lb+ at romanian deadlifts for reps, i will consider adding machine exercises.

Fair enough?

[quote]guaglione wrote:
It might be interesting if you and others could tell me about what u were doing when you were at ur 3rd training year, like me. Were you using machines back then?
The way i plan it is like this: When i get to lift 120lb for 5-8 reps at dumbell press, bw+65lb*6-8 reps for pullups and 400lb+ at romanian deadlifts for reps, i will consider adding machine exercises.

Fair enough?
[/quote]

I used machines as needed…like seated rows, cable cross overs for chest or even cables flyes for shoulders. I also always used the cable for triceps pressdowns.

I never walked into the gym even as a beginner and said, “I’m about to avoid all of this or that”. I also didn’t rely on “strength trainers” with books currently being promoted for everything I knew.

I asked people who had achieved more than me what they did. In fact, I asked questions of everyone more experienced and everyone in the gym knew me.

Hell, I do the same at work if I have a question that I feel one the docs or surgeons may have a better handle on. If I don’t know something, I have always asked questions, often asking several people the same question to see several different view points.

I get the feeling that many today walk into the gym and start pointing and laughing at people doing isolation movements as they say to themselves, “if only they knew as much as I do”.

Granted, I know the gym scene isn’t like it used to be in many cases. Back then (and I am only talking about the early 90’s), it was more of a “brotherhood” mentality between those who trained seriously.

Now, you may be lucky to see even 2 guys in the gym who look like they take their training and eating seriously in most commercial gyms.

Most of the members are just aimlessly walking around from station to station as clueless as ever, especially since “big muscles” are now such a negative stigma in society apparently.

It gives trainers a prime market to sell shit. It gives beginners an easy port to be taken advantage of. It makes serious lifters pissed off at the pussy-like behavior of those around them.

I;m more or less a beginner and am on a fat loss phase myself not a hypertrophy phase, but have used machines as paret of my program.

Why would you WAIT for some magically determined moment to begin doing machine movements - don’t limit yourself at any stage, provided you have access to machines which I feel you should try to get, funds allowing.

Anyway, the idea is to stimulate muscles and switching to a machine from a free weight equivalnt will create a different stimulation on the muscles, so who cares? It may not sound “hardcore” and “old school” but what matters for someone not competing is physique improvement.

Ive seen lots of guys build good physiques with some machines. And sometimes, the machine equivalent corrrects several shortcomings in the free weight equivalent.

Case in point, machine flyes (the one where you grip the handles with your hands and can adjust pretty much everything) imo are superior in many ways to dumbbell flyes since the tension can be maintained while you bring the handles together…

Certain machines have assisted me in gaining strength in free weight or bodyweight movements, like a couple of weeks on the mautilus pullover improved my chinups, believe it or not. I started feeling my lats after adding machine pullovers to my routine…

As far as STRENGTH is concerned, strength is very very exercise specific, and plane of motion etc specific so machines DO build strength (in THE planes of motion they use etc) and won;t have much carryover to the free weight equivalent if it has a drastically different path of motion.

In closing, any trainers agree that the leg press is unparalleled for quad hypertrophy.

[quote]guaglione wrote:
I base my workouts SOLELY on free weights. While machines do not have a serious impact on strength, am i losing much as far as hypertrophy goes?[/quote]