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Old 04-07-2009   #21
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Screw that. A home gym should consist of a power cage, a bench, a couple of bars and a lot of plates. And a puke bucket.

Leave the machines for the Chrome N Tone down the street.
First off, I agree with your take 100% on free weights and how they should be utilized, but there are some of us that have had more surgeries than the dude in the game Operation.

I use dumbells for the smaller muscle groups, but have to utilize machines for the larger muscle groups (bench, forward squat, etc.) due to past surgical repairs. Maybe you can tell me why I can handle the weight with machines, but not free weights. Maybe the free weights use the areas that have been repaired more than the inline movement a machine provides.

I'd love to go back to using free weights, but having arthritis building in 2 of joints repaired makes it darn near impossible. Ideas?
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Old 04-07-2009   #22
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

A couple of good things to hear. It's already been said that Adibi's bulked up a bit, but a couple others getting props as well.

Quote:
Left tackle Duane Brown looks lean - he said he was determined not to have a repeat of last year, when he reported for camp on the heavy side and had to battle to lose weight.

Meanwhile, running back Steve Slaton and linebacker Xavier Adibi have noticeably bulked up.

It's amazing to me how fit the players are at this point of the offseason, given that today is the first day they've been required to work out since 2008.
http://www.houstontexans.com/news/bl...?blogger_id=16
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Old 04-07-2009   #23
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

I'm ok with Slaton and Abidi bulking up, as long as neither loses any quickness.
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Old 04-07-2009   #24
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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I'm ok with Slaton and Abidi bulking up, as long as neither loses any quickness.
I suppose it depends if they have "fast twitch" muscles or not.
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Old 04-07-2009   #25
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
First off, I agree with your take 100% on free weights and how they should be utilized, but there are some of us that have had more surgeries than the dude in the game Operation.

I use dumbells for the smaller muscle groups, but have to utilize machines for the larger muscle groups (bench, forward squat, etc.) due to past surgical repairs. Maybe you can tell me why I can handle the weight with machines, but not free weights. Maybe the free weights use the areas that have been repaired more than the inline movement a machine provides.

I'd love to go back to using free weights, but having arthritis building in 2 of joints repaired makes it darn near impossible. Ideas?
The free weights put a lot more pressure on your joints and the areas surrounding the muscle as there is usually a greater range of motion when you are using the dumbbells so it will put a lot more strain on the other muscles that are used to stabilize your movement and keep it on track. With machines theres only really one way that the weight can go so the muscle that you are training gets a lot more of the load then the muscles surrounding. This is why for the most part you are able to do more weight on the machine and not as much with the freeweights.

For example going from the barbell bench press or the seated bench press to the dumbbell bench you can probably only do about 65-75% of the weight, generally.

Hopefully this helps.
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Old 04-07-2009   #26
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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C'mon TPN, go ahead and admit it. It's all pilates and no free weights for you.

You can tell us the truth about how you really feel....
If the bar ain't bendin, you're just pretendin.





And by bar, I mean whatever that bar is that ballet dancers use to warm up.
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Old 04-07-2009   #27
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

I love that they are incorporating more free weights, which everything that I have read on strength training says that for the most part they are more effective. Of course, they will probably still be rotating between the two which is the best way to go.

I'm liking this S & C coach a lot more then the previous so far.
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Old 04-07-2009   #28
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
First off, I agree with your take 100% on free weights and how they should be utilized, but there are some of us that have had more surgeries than the dude in the game Operation.

I use dumbells for the smaller muscle groups, but have to utilize machines for the larger muscle groups (bench, forward squat, etc.) due to past surgical repairs. Maybe you can tell me why I can handle the weight with machines, but not free weights. Maybe the free weights use the areas that have been repaired more than the inline movement a machine provides.

I'd love to go back to using free weights, but having arthritis building in 2 of joints repaired makes it darn near impossible. Ideas?
You don't have to stabilize with machines. That's why you can use them and that's why they're a problem. If I'm doing a barbell squat, I'm moving in three dimensions and my entire body has to work but if I'm doing a leg press, I'm moving in one dimension. I don't have to worry about the weight wobbling and moving in some unexpected direction.

By using machines, you can train some muscles to be stronger than the other muscles that they normally work with. And that can lead to injuries because of muscle imbalances.

Now, when dealing with people who've had surgeries and have health issues, you've got to get very creative as a trainer. Frequently, the injured person can actually be trained to regain a lot of the ability to move that they've lost. You've got structures in your body that shut down your muscles to keep you from hurting yourself and they can be very conservative. By working them and training them that you can handle the load (IF you can handle the load), you can increase your range of motion. But you've got to be careful about that.

Personally, some machine work is fine but I'd suggest exploring bodyweight exercises and light free weights as a way to train the stabilizers. BUT... people with medical issues are a case-by-case basis and no one over the internet is in a position to evaluate someone's capabilities and actual limitations.
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Old 04-08-2009   #29
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

I think the Texans were working out a bit too much like bodybuilders so I'm all for more free weights, kettle bells and all that good stuff that helps build strength in your tie-ins and forces your body to find a higher level of coordination. Perhaps we will get less Herman Munster like players who play stiff (yeah I'm talking to you Ultimate Blah, blah and Todd Wade) like pumped up little Girly Men.
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Old 04-08-2009   #30
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Can't be any worse than dressing them up in red leotards and parading them in front of millions of people.

Lol, that made me think of the Super Bowl commercial with Ray Lewis, Matt Light and Justin Tuck.
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Old 04-09-2009   #31
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

I really like what I see as an increased focus on the functionality of the workout regimes.

Free weights will improve stability and co-ordination as well as develop the support muscles you use in every day life.

I especially appreciate the Yoga and Martial Arts aspects which will focus on flexibility and body awareness. These should really help players in the contact areas on the football field.

Strength helps but it needs to be applied in the right ways on the field. As long as they are strong enough, fitness and technique will win the day.
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Old 04-10-2009   #32
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

The focus of my blog post for today is mostly on this subject. I think that what the players are saying about the program makes more sense if you know a bit about the previous program. MB people do, but maybe some don't. I also pull some quotes out of the first two days of work that I thought were interesting as someone who pays too close attention to things:

Texans offseason conditioning program: What you might want to know

I'm interested in the subject of fitness and health, and those who are also interested, I'd invite your comments over there. I've found that a lot of my blog posts become interesting time capsules.
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Old 04-10-2009   #33
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

The bottom line is that the multiforces that are demanded of the muscles with free weights rather than machines, most closely resembles the challenges encountered during the course of a game.
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Old 04-10-2009   #34
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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The bottom line is that the multiforces that are demanded of the muscles with free weights rather than machines, most closely resembles the challenges encountered during the course of a game.
For me, I think that a combination of free weights and machines are best. It is difficult to enforce good form with free weights and is easier to train people with machines. There are some machines I really like because it is difficult to recreate that muscle feeling with a weight.

In my own workouts, I've found that I've been doing more of the body weight-medicine ball type workouts lately. Lots of balance and movement work where the strength comes from less isolation moves. And forcing myself to do exercises that do not come naturally do me, like yoga and pilates.

The key to their yoga and jiu jitsu classes is the quality of instruction. It has to be done in a way to accommodate competitive athletic people who are not conditioned for those activities.

Especially with yoga, you have to make sure that they don't do it in a competitive way and that they gently get into the discipline. You can get hurt if you push yourself too hard and don't ease into it. I'm not sure how much benefit can come from a once a week class other than being a mind clearing break and giving the players some things that they can incorporate into their lives outside of class.
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Old 04-10-2009   #35
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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For me, I think that a combination of free weights and machines are best. It is difficult to enforce good form with free weights and is easier to train people with machines. There are some machines I really like because it is difficult to recreate that muscle feeling with a weight.

I think one of the misconceptions about machines is that they force you to do the lift with good form. This is wrong. Frequently, machines force you to use bad form because they're configured for some average set of biometrics and most people don't fit.

It's unnatural for the bar to move in a straight line in almost any movement that you do. So for benching movements and squatting movements, the straight line that a machine forces you into can actually hurt you.

Even with very controlled curves, like you see with curl machines and leg extensions, the curve of the machine will rarely match up with the arc that your body naturally follows. This can also cause issues.

To say nothing of the fact that your body isn't designed to have force applied perpendicular to the shin bone like you see in leg extensions. This causes very unnatural stresses to be placed on the tendons in your knees.

I'm not saying that all machines are evil.

But...

It's pretty close.
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Old 04-10-2009   #36
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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I think one of the misconceptions about machines is that they force you to do the lift with good form. This is wrong. Frequently, machines force you to use bad form because they're configured for some average set of biometrics and most people don't fit.

It's unnatural for the bar to move in a straight line in almost any movement that you do. So for benching movements and squatting movements, the straight line that a machine forces you into can actually hurt you.

Even with very controlled curves, like you see with curl machines and leg extensions, the curve of the machine will rarely match up with the arc that your body naturally follows. This can also cause issues.

To say nothing of the fact that your body isn't designed to have force applied perpendicular to the shin bone like you see in leg extensions. This causes very unnatural stresses to be placed on the tendons in your knees.

I'm not saying that all machines are evil.

But...

It's pretty close.
A lot of the newer machines don't have curves or bars. Like a lot of the (I think it's) Cybex machines with cables.

Oh but I want to add that I think your first paragraph is right. You can teach the proper form for doing machine weights but that it isn't necessarily healthy, especially at heavier weights.
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Old 04-10-2009   #37
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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A lot of the newer machines don't have curves or bars. Like a lot of the (I think it's) Cybex machines with cables.

Oh but I want to add that I think your first paragraph is right. You can teach the proper form for doing machine weights but that it isn't necessarily healthy, especially at heavier weights.
I have to admit that I haven't been in a commercial gym in a few years so I haven't seen the latest machines.
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Old 04-10-2009   #38
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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I have to admit that I haven't been in a commercial gym in a few years so I haven't seen the latest machines.
Yeah, the machine weights I use the most are the ones that have a cable system. It's sort of like a traditional cable-cross over station, but they have the cables situated in a way to make them easier to use for different parts of the body.

I think the think I like the most about the program at least from hearing about it is that it isn't as iso oriented.

In the article I link there, Riley makes fun of the lineman that was pushing the car as a part of strength training. And he said well, it's not like he's going to be doing that during the game.

But it seems to me that pushing heavy weight laterally, mimics the explosive, functional strength for football better than whatever combination of iso exercises you could possibly do with machine weights.

How can being Mr. Bowflex Guy prepares you to explode off the line when drills start?

Another thing I disagree with is how the old system said that all players no matter what the position should have the same workout. If I were training guys, that's not how I'd do things.

You know, some NFL teams call their head S&C guy a "Strength, Conditioning and Speed Coach" or they have a separate speed coach.
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Old 04-10-2009   #39
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Especially with yoga, you have to make sure that they don't do it in a competitive way and that they gently get into the discipline. You can get hurt if you push yourself too hard and don't ease into it. I'm not sure how much benefit can come from a once a week class other than being a mind clearing break and giving the players some things that they can incorporate into their lives outside of class.


I thought yoga increases the strength of the muscles and tendons around the joints.

freeweights+yoga+jiu jistu= one bad mofo.
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Old 04-10-2009   #40
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Default Re: Out with the Machines!

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Yeah, the machine weights I use the most are the ones that have a cable system. It's sort of like a traditional cable-cross over station, but they have the cables situated in a way to make them easier to use for different parts of the body.

I think the think I like the most about the program at least from hearing about it is that it isn't as iso oriented.

In the article I link there, Riley makes fun of the lineman that was pushing the car as a part of strength training. And he said well, it's not like he's going to be doing that during the game.

But it seems to me that pushing heavy weight laterally, mimics the explosive, functional strength for football better than whatever combination of iso exercises you could possibly do with machine weights.

How can being Mr. Bowflex Guy prepares you to explode off the line when drills start?

Another thing I disagree with is how the old system said that all players no matter what the position should have the same workout. If I were training guys, that's not how I'd do things.

You know, some NFL teams call their head S&C guy a "Strength, Conditioning and Speed Coach" or they have a separate speed coach.
No wonder he got fired. They do that in high schools because of limited time and resources, but rarely in college these days will you find a place where all the guys do the same workouts. In the pros, that should never happen.
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