Walk into just about any fitness centre and what's the first thing you notice? Apart from hot guys and gals walking around in their gym gear, it's the massive weights machines, right? The chest press, the leg extension, the oddly named pec dec, the leg curl and leg press, to name but a few. But what do they do? Well, each machine is designed to work a different part of the body. If we do an exercise on each, we've done a good solid whole body workout, haven't we?
Unfortunately, you've all been conned. Fitness centres and hotel gyms love installing these useless contraptions because they require no supervision and therefore have reduced ongoing cost. The sad thing is you're probably better off sitting on the couch than sitting on one of these machines.Let's think through what it is you are required to do on one of these machines. Generally, sit or lie down, then push or pull a weight through a pre-determined plane of movement. The question is what is this good for? Not much at all.
Life is multi-planar. We reach, we bend, we twist and we move this way and that. It's what we're designed to do. Why then do we train movements that are so simple and so far from natural? Well, it's the fault of the bodybuilder. They require simple movements and super heavy weights to recruit muscle. The gym equipment makers in their wisdom decided to design equipment that would allow them to do so. The equipment was never designed for you and me. The scary thing is these movements, on these machines, are so simple that they actually dumb our muscles down and leave us worse off to perform life's multi-planar work. I'm all for moves you can do at the gym that really, literally, work your body. And I'm talking all over.