T Nation

New Machines

My gym just got in some new weight machines. They use compressed air for resistance instead of plates. You can adjust the weight by pressing either the plus button on your right handle or the minus button on your left handle.

They have machines for everything from benchpress to leg press.

The only thing i don’t like is that the weight with these don’t match the weight with the older plate machines. If you bench 125 on a the old machine you might be able to do 100 on the new one. but for some machines (leg press) you might can do more.

the inconsistency b/t the machines is prolly why i will stick with the older plate machines.

i know, i know, i should use free weights but i’m trying to just get back in the mode of working out instead of going hard.

These machines could have been around for a while but these are the first i’ve ever seen.

[quote]gotoheel wrote:
i know, i know, i should use free weights but i’m trying to just get back in the mode of working out instead of going hard.[/quote]

Nice excuse. Man up and hit the free weights. You’re not doing yourself any favors by doing nothing but machines.

Like mentioned if you ever plan to go to free weights do it now. No matter how long you spend on machines your still going to have start light with free weights so why not start light right now?

Also I’m not sure about the design of thos machines but unless they have decent sized air tanks it seems that the resistance would be inconsistant through out the range of the motion.

I agree that for the most part you should be doing free weights but from a bodybuilding stand point machines have their place. With the exception of single legged squats or Bulgarian squats machines make up almost all of the lifts on my leg day.

Those machines have been around since the late 70’s. The theory was that you could make every rep a max effort, by changing the resistance between each repetitions and even “on-the-fly” throughout the ROM during each repetition.

Some big name bodybuilders (I recall Casey Viator being one) claimed to have made big gains with very short, high intensity workouts using this technique on these machines. I would guess, like any other routine change, there would be some period of plateau busting resulting from the change of routine, but good old compound free weight movements have the best overall, long term benefits.

Besides, the CNS fatigue resulting from any max effort routine usually limits the time period during which significant improvements can be made (unless you are genetically gifted or juicing)…

[quote]OneEye wrote:
gotoheel wrote:
i know, i know, i should use free weights but i’m trying to just get back in the mode of working out instead of going hard.

Nice excuse. Man up and hit the free weights. You’re not doing yourself any favors by doing nothing but machines.[/quote]

You beat me to it.

I think at one time or another I’ve piddled around with just about every type of machine there is including some of the older air cylinder based ones. There just is no substitute for moving iron against gravity. I agree well designed machines do have their place, especially for pulling movements, but do yourself a favor and build your routine on iron. If you’re at all serious you’ll wind up there anyway so why set yourself back right from the start.

Are these the hydraulic machines that you have to push the bar away as well as pull it back to position? I hate those things.

He said air…pneumatic, not hydraulic. Equally annoying, I would guess.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
He said air…pneumatic, not hydraulic. Equally annoying, I would guess. [/quote]

Right, there is no negative movement. You have to put as much energy into eccentric as the concentric.

I remember a long time ago we had one of the those home gym all-in-one hydraulic things. I did flyes and my back was sore the next day…

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
wfifer wrote:
He said air…pneumatic, not hydraulic. Equally annoying, I would guess.

Right, there is no negative movement. You have to put as much energy into eccentric as the concentric.[/quote]

Then techincally there is no eccentric movement. You would be using a concentric movement involving the antagonists to return the machine to its starting position. (i.e. push/pull)