Does anyone have experience with the selectorized HS machines? My current gym has a great assortment of plate-loaded HS, but I'll be changing gyms later this month and the new one only has selectorized. I'm wondering if they compare favorably?
Hopefully you'll get a reply from someone who has in fact used them. Such a reply would be far more valuable.
Not having used them, the only thing I can offer is an opinion that it would be a near miracle if the selectorized machines are as good.
Selectorized machines tend to suffer from friction. While this sounds unimportant, Arthur Jones pointed out that the friction adds to the force required to do the positives, while decreasing the force for negatives. So let's say a machine has 10% dynamic (moving) friction and the weight selected is 100 lb.
You then have to apply 110 lb to lift it, which is fine, but do you get 110 lb resistance on the way down? Nope, you only get 90 lb. This is not as good as being equal as is the case with free weights and essentially the case with the leverage machines.
There probably is more to it than this. But I have not found a selectorized line that compares to a good leverage line. If HS has done it, they would be the first so far as I know.
I have used both HS plate loaded and HS selectorized machines and BR is correct in his assumption.
in particular, ive used the seated iso row version of both (as well as the seated bench) and i would say the plate loaded is "better" mainly because it feels more natural. the reason is the one given above about friction, the negatives didnt feel as heavy as the positives.
if you are lifting with bodybuilding goals and wish to utilize methods such as slow negatives for hypertrophy for example, you would have to consider this. the plate loaded iso row feels like straight weight and is fantastic.
now that i think of it this is perhaps seen best on the leg press. the plate loaded HS seated leg press feels exactly like straight weight and 500lb for reps is tough. whereas the selectorized stack version is not as hard and is similar to other leg presses in that you can have the ego boost of using 800+ pounds even though the stimulus is probably not as good.
i would say though that their selectorized line is significantly better than other companies i have used. it may not be as great as plate loaded HS stuff, but its still very good.
ultimately, the plate loaded is best IMO but you can reach your body building goals with the selectorized versions, they are perhaps just not as effective.
Thanks for the replies gentlemen, especially the first-hand account, Stringer. Seems like another attempt to appease the "fitness" crowd; because, they...like...don't want to put those heavy, round thingies onto the machines. In a few weeks, once I get to try them out, I'll give my appraisal. I probably won't appreciate them as much as the plate-loaded variants. But, I'm also hoping I don't despise them.
so, it's an even bigger step back. first we have people afraid to use free weights. so we have machines that you can put plates on. then we have people that are afraid to pick those heavy plates up to put on the machines. hence the introduction of the Hammerzzz Strength with a weight stack. next we will have people afraid to pick up that little metal pin that goes in the stack.
lifting would be so much easier if it didn't involve lifting.
i was at the gym and this guy was using the hammerzzz strength iso lateral pec dominant decline super machine. he had loaded 8- 5lb plates on each side. i had just grabbed the 100lb plates off a weight tree in front of him to take over to the deadlift platform. he says to me- "aren't those heavy, they have to weigh at least a 100lbs a piece".
I use Hammer Strength machines regularly and they are not how I built my initial base of size. The plate loaded machines are great especially for those of us who lift heavy but don't have a spotter or want to reduce the risk of injury.
The "selectorized" machines suck, plain and simple. They are NOTHING like the plate loaded machines.
Thanks, X. Deep down that is what I thought. I just was really hoping otherwise so I wouldn't get too damned depressed. I know it's not the end of the world. I really like the plate-loaded rows, shrug, dip, leg curl...I'll make do, like always.
How do you think your progress would have differed if used as many HS machines in the beginning as you do now?
I too started out with ALL free weights in my first several years training and now use more HS for the same reasons you do. I know that focusing on barbells and dumbbells and bodyweigtht +extra load exercises helped me gain a lot of size and strength, especially in the beginnning.
Plate-loaded HS are great because they are head and shoulders above "regular machines" in terms of their feel and range of motion. I like that they allow me to work with heavier weights without wasting enegery wrestling them in to position. Also, the previously mentioned benefit of safety without a spotter.
I started using HS machines after I had pretty much passed up most people as far as what I was lifting. I didn't have a serious partner at the time to spot me anymore which meant the only thing holding me back in progression was the fact that I could lose my life trying to bench press over 405lbs without anyone anywhere near you who looked strong enough to help you should you run into a situation.
Using free weights taught me balance and to not be afraid of the really heavy weights. There is no way in hell I would trade that for using machines early on. I use them at a time when I had already been lifting for several years and did not need any benefit of worrying about strengthening "supporting muscle groups".
As a result of the HS machines, I know for a fact I am bigger right now than I would have been had I never had access to them.
Machines (the good ones) are not the enemy of advanced trainers.