T Nation

Machines Machines Machines!!!

Allright t-men, i will be transfering schools in the fall and the weight facility at the school i’m transferring to sucks ass. its nice and everything, but as far as free weights go, there isn’t much. they have some benches, a shoulder press, and a few sets of dumb bells. there is also one squat rack. everything else is machines. i have hardly ever used machines in the past, but it looks like now i’m going to have to. so just how bad are machines? has anyone here had any experience with working out with just machines and if so any advice? they have a bunch of the Ground Zero free motion machines that look like they might be better than regular machines, but still not as good as free weights. what should i do? i can’t really afford to pay for a gym membership. my only other option is doing cheerleading just so i can use the athletes workout facility which i am told has pretty much all free weights. i don’t think that would be worth the sacrafice though (no offense goldberg). any comments or suggestions?

Get creative and use what you have. The ground zero machines are very versatile and can easily keep you entertained for months. Throw in the dumbell and barbell work that you can and you will be fine.

The ground zero machines although not free weights are pretty functional pieces of equipment. As long as you have a squat rack a bench some dumbells and an olympic bar you can successfully do most if not all core lifts. If the weight ie. dumbells arent heavy enough try doing your lifts on a swissball that will get your nervous system goin. And as far as the machines do your accesory lifts on them and the free motion stuff is actually pretty nice stuff i looked at it all when i was designing a gym that never opened and they have a bunch of it at the gym i go to and its they are the only machines i go any where near. You will be all right brother! dont worry

Although free weights have it’s multiple advantages, don’t over look machines. As long as your form, intensity, variation and progressive resistance are all applied, you will gain strength and muscle mass. Your muscle doesn’t really care if you use free weights or machine as long as you overload the muscle with proper intensity, it will respond.

Add some bodyweight exercises into your routine such as Handstand Pushups and One legged squats. Also, do some shoulder barbell presses, dumbbell work etc. If there is a chin up bar, take advantage of that.

Mike Mahler

thanks for the replies. i really appreciate the suggestions and comments. Sounds like i should be able to make some pretty good gains still. with there being only one squat rack though i am really going to have to go buckwild if some fawker tries to do curls.