A Sergio Oliva interview
He started out with a combination of free weights and machines but soon had to ditch the former because it would have been impossible to finish the workouts
He trained on the machines to the point where he couldn’t do any more reps. Not, “didn’t want to”, but physically couldn’t.
His arms grew a full inch very soon after starting this routine, and these results were repeated with every other bodybuilder at the time who switched to a similar routine
When he went back to free weights, he noticed that training on the machines had made him stronger
Sergio was never bigger than when he trained with machines
He states that the machine exercises were “much more intense” than their free weight counterparts. When he switched back to free weights, he had to compensate for the reduction in training intensity by increasing his volume
He noticed that other people were using the machines wrong. They were using them like free weights, “pumping and resting”, instead of employing high intensity techniques such as supersets and dropsets.
Take Home Points:
Machines will forever be superior to free weights for hypertrophy
On a high intensity isolation routine, it is possible to change one’s appearance noticeably within one or two workouts, due to the effects of fluid hypertrophy