05 May Rage Against the Fitness Machines
Walk into any St. Louis gym and you’ll see a combination of free weights, private workout rooms, ellipticals & bikes, and machines for various strength training exercises. But what you will probably see the most of are exercise machines. Most gyms have at least 50 or more of these metal contraptions that look like they are going to shift into a Transformer at any given moment. Even though they might be taking up the most real estate at your gym, it doesn’t mean that they are going to deliver the workout that you need.
Classes and combinations of different machines let you create workouts that improve your health, while burning calories. Depending on which classes you take or machines you use, you’ll experience different levels of impact and muscle use. Understanding the pros and cons of the machines and class options will help you choose the right workout for you.
Let’s get the basics out of the way: these machines are usually easy to use and come with helpful directions. Most machines have a picture demonstrating its use, which is usually helpful. This makes them easy to use. Unless… you aren’t using them properly. Many people that are new to a gym will immediately go to these machines because they don’t want to feel like a “newbie” or sound stupid when asking for instructions. However, using these machines in the wrong way or having poor form can cause a serious injury! If you want to start slow at the gym and not just jump into a class, at the very least, ask one of the workers or trainers about proper form if you have any questions.
Most exercise machines only work a few muscles at a time, while neglecting key core & stabilization muscles. Your core is essential to all over your muscles, and so if you are ignoring that because you are in a fixed sitting position and only working one or two arm muscles, that isn’t going to benefit you in the long run. Not to mention, you will burn more calories during your workout if you use compound moves and utilize multiple muscle groups.
One positive is that since it does isolate muscles, they can be helpful for someone recovering from an injury and needs to avoid the problem area on the body. Obviously, this isn’t something you want to continue to do for awhile after you have healed from you injury. Mostly because if you use the same machine for every workout, you can experience repetitive-stress injuries.
With machines, you are really limited to what you can do depending on what is available Even 50 machines can’t makeup for a full-body exercise. So, instead of waiting for that guy that has been on the same machine for 20 minutes to get up, head over to the free weight area or… better yet… sign up for a class!
Yes, classes can be intense and hard, but they are also motivating, fun, and totally worth it! The instructors push you to do what you didn’t even know you were capable of doing. The music, the energy in the room, and the guidance from the instructor makes each class unique and different. You never have the same routine — and never get bored. You could burn hundreds of calories in a class, while maintaining a healthy target heart rate rate for most of the workout. The instructor will also have you work a wide variety of muscles, something exercise machines and ellipticals can’t offer you.
At Faster Fitness, our Group Personal Training program is our most popular program and delivers amazing results. This program gives you all the benefits of a personal trainer, but with the energy of a large group. Formulated around a healthy combination of strength training, cardio, and metabolic conditioning, Faster Fitness offers an effective, all-around program.
Even though you are working as a group, it is still a program tailored for you. There’s a reason why we still include the word personal in the title. We conduct a comprehensive interview when you sign-up, so that you are meeting one on one with a trainer that will find out what you want to get out of the program. Learning about your previous fitness experience, your past injuries, and your end goal is vital to us knowing the proper way to coach you. Finding out about you will help us guide you to success.
Your trainer isn’t the only one that’s looking out for you – you have a community that will support you in your fitness journey. Group personal training is all about building relationships. Whether you and your coworkers sign up for a class together to build a better relationship or you jump into our program to make new fitness friends, you will be walking away from your group personal training program high-fiving all of those around you!
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
Humans aren’t machines. As a result, they can’t be tracked like machines. Weight machines just don’t translate well into strength and fitness for daily activities. The primary difference between classes and machines is the fact that when working with an instructor, you have
Humans aren’t machines. As a result, they can’t be tracked like machines. Weight machines just don’t translate well into strength and fitness for daily activities. The primary difference between classes and machines is the fact that when working with an instructor, you have full range of motion: forward, backward, horizontally, and vertically. This is important, because this is how your body moves in your daily life.
Working on your own, you won’t get the feedback or instruction you get from an instructor, as you do during a class. You also won’t have the opportunity for the social interaction a class offers. In the end: Wouldn’t you rather workout with other people, not other machines?
Not all exercise machines are bad for you – in fact, some can be incorporated into your workout regimen. However, no machine can replace the skill and expertise a good personal trainer can provide you.
Learn how you can sign up for a class today!