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Absolutely, I think machines have a great benefit. In fact, I incorporate machines into almost every workout. While free weights and barbells are more often associated with a hardcore workout, machines have a place as well.
For beginners, machines are a great way to start. Because of the restriction of movement, you are almost forced to use proper form. Machines will also allow you to increase your weight without the assistance of a spotter. Similarly, if you are lifting with a partner who uses either a lot more or a lot less weight than you, it is easy to take turns on a machine simply by moving the pin to a different weight stack, rather than taking 45 lb. plates on and off.
For anyone with an injury, machines may be the answer to continuing a weight lifting routine. For example, because of an elbow injury I couldn’t grip a dumbbell, but I could use the palm of my hand to do a shoulder press on a machine.
My best advice for any weight lifting regime is to keep your body guessing. Changing your grip or angle will hit the muscle in a whole new way, helping you achieve better results. If you always use dumbbells for a particular exercise, give machines a shot to switch it up. One of my favorite machine exercises is single arm shoulder press pyramid. After properly warming up, I will start with the right arm as heavy as I can go, then left arm. I’ll then move the pin to drop the weight, repeating the motion with my right and left arm and continuing all the way down the stack.
Let me know what your favorite machine is? And don’t forget proper nutrition and to supplement with HMB throughout the day and PEAK ATP first thing in the morning! Until next time, stay healthy and strong!