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Thread: machine verse free weight

  1. #1
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    machine verse free weight

    yesterday I did my chest workout.

    I decided not to use the barbell, as I was kinda getting bored with it, and instead I used the Hammer strength Flat bench (with the individual sides)

    When I was doing barbell flats, I was going 275 for 8 and then I would go to the Smith machine (since I have a shoulder problem, I need the extra support on the heavier weight,) and I did 300 lbs for 4 with a spotter.

    Yesterday though using the hammer strength I did 300 for 5.
    My question is I know that it isnt actually 300 lbs, so what is my weight differential for those exercises.

    I asked a few trainers and they had no clue.

    I would like to know basically how much weight I would need on the smith or hammer strength to match 300 lbs on barbell.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    It's different for everyone. Some people get a lot of carry over, some get none. Try it out and let us know.
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  3. #3
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    what do you mean carryover?

  4. #4
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    He means the difference in weight; some people see a big difference, some people see almost no difference.

  5. #5
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    I mean the 300 felt heavy, but I still did 4 reps.

    I dunno everyone tells me the weight difference is big so that i shouldnt be "proud" of the 300 lbs lift.

  6. #6
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    Well, I personally agree with "everybody".

    Five months ago, I could do easily lift 200lbs on the hammer strength flat bench press.

    I first did 200lbs on the flat bb bench press three days ago.

    I'm probably a smaller or taller guy, but you see the point: it is easier. I would never have said to people "I can bench 200lbs" just because I did it on the hammer. I think Anthony's point is that there's no set formula for figuring out the difference, because the carryover will vary depending on strength, body type, form, and a number of other factors.

  7. #7
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    generally speaking, I don't treat any 'weight' on any machine as a real weight... it's just a number

    they're different movements and different mechanics for machines vs freeweights so trying to compare them is very much 'apples and oranges'

    my advice to you: just keep lifting as heavy as you can and progressing the weight on the machine just like you'd progress weight on your freeweight movements

    if you can rep out 275 on bench you have nothing to prove to anyone -- that's a very respectable weight

  8. #8
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callahan
    if you can rep out 275 on bench you have nothing to prove to anyone -- that's a very respectable weight
    :withstupi

  9. #9
    nuthinlikehit'em....
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    Yeah Bro, 275 is respectable. The difference is the stablizing muscles in the shoulder girdle. While using free weights we must balance and control the weight while getting reps but on the machine it's just up/down or back/forth which is relatively easier.....at least IMO, peace.
    Patience isn't only a virtue......it'll get you "CHISLED" if you like to workout!!!!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callahan
    generally speaking, I don't treat any 'weight' on any machine as a real weight... it's just a number

    they're different movements and different mechanics for machines vs freeweights so trying to compare them is very much 'apples and oranges'

    my advice to you: just keep lifting as heavy as you can and progressing the weight on the machine just like you'd progress weight on your freeweight movements

    if you can rep out 275 on bench you have nothing to prove to anyone -- that's a very respectable weight
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. 275 isnt bad, im just still nervous to try 300 due to my limited ROM from an old shoulder injury. But ill do it eventually. I just wanted to change it up and i did do a machine 300, so ill take it as progress

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaasad
    Yeah Bro, 275 is respectable. The difference is the stablizing muscles in the shoulder girdle. While using free weights we must balance and control the weight while getting reps but on the machine it's just up/down or back/forth which is relatively easier.....at least IMO, peace.
    well isnt the hammer strength using stabilizers as well. I compare it to dumbells since its bascially the same movement with less emphasis on the stabilizers?

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    i wuz gonna ask the same thang, do you get a better workout wit free weights or wit a machine?

  13. #13
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    LilQban, Freeweights will always give the best workout, that is proven.... but it is how much of a difference the workout is from machine to free weight that im asking

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    can some1 explain why does free weight works better

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    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Do a search.
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    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

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  17. #17
    Senior Member BFG123's Avatar
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    When your using free weights your not only lifting the weight your balancing it as well in turn recrutes stablizer muscles. So your working the target muscle as well as all the smaller muscles around it to keep the weight balanced.
    300 lbs is 300 lbs smith machine or not. You don't have to use/recrute other muscles to help balance weight while lifting thats why you can lift more with a smith machine but your smaller stablizer muscles suffer and in the real world you need them.
    Now machines with pullies is a different story your using leverage created from the pullies...........

  18. #18
    Irish Rover 1r15h's Avatar
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    I find smith machines differ in the amount I can lift on them, maybe this is to do with the make of the machine, the friction on the movement I dont know, but def some I can lift more on than others
    " People just don't land on mountaintops… they had to climb."

  19. #19
    Senior Member Teh BDK's Avatar
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    You don't work the stabilizers on machines because you are sitting down, back on a pad, and you move in a defined, preset motion that tends to isolate the major target muscle groups.

    The major issue here is intensity. If you have a machine that is well built and works both arms equally, just match the intensity of your freeweight movements.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFG123
    Now machines with pullies is a different story your using leverage created from the pullies...........
    Can you elaborate on this statement?
    Also what do you think of the hammer strength flat bench? You are using independent arms and I think stabilizers since they are very similar to dumbbells....

  21. #21
    Panic Prone waynis's Avatar
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    YOu can't compare becuase of the stability factor. Your using more muscles in free wieght training then on machines.
    Never Giving In.

  22. #22
    Senior Member BFG123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bboy486
    Can you elaborate on this statement?
    Also what do you think of the hammer strength flat bench? You are using independent arms and I think stabilizers since they are very similar to dumbbells....
    It's like block and tackle. Using a pully and rope to make it easyer to lift heavy weight. Some of the weight is transfered to the pully. Surely your were taught that in high school. Most barns have a pully hanging over their loft door.............

  23. #23
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    while machines are not trustworthy, i wouldnt say the pully is making it easier. when you use a system of pullies for the mechanical advantage, the weight will move less distance as opposed to the distance you pull the string; the force times distance on both sides is still equal, but you move greater distance for what is an easier force. sometime, watch and see if the weights move as far as the component of the machine your moving, if they do, they only thing the machine is doing is providing you with added friction of pulleys, not giving you a force advantage. im not saying machines are great or anything, but you can tell if a pully system is going to give you an advantage.

    oddly enough, i barely use machines and always thought it was funny that the machine i have at home's bicep curl feature was much harder than the real deal. i never figured out why, i could find no explanation. i hate machines, but i also hate barbells for arm exercises because they cut down on peripheral muscle work and tend to put more stress on my shoulders. not proclaiming to be an expert here (or even any good for that matter), but i know what i know

  24. #24
    nuthinlikehit'em....
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFG123
    When your using free weights your not only lifting the weight your balancing it as well in turn recrutes stablizer muscles. So your working the target muscle as well as all the smaller muscles around it to keep the weight balanced.
    300 lbs is 300 lbs smith machine or not. You don't have to use/recrute other muscles to help balance weight while lifting thats why you can lift more with a smith machine but your smaller stablizer muscles suffer and in the real world you need them.
    Now machines with pullies is a different story your using leverage created from the pullies...........
    This is what I was trying to say about stablizing(balancing) muscles. You don't need a degree in Physics to understand that the machines assist in the exercise task. You'll never see a competition done on machines........it's a biased test of strength.
    Patience isn't only a virtue......it'll get you "CHISLED" if you like to workout!!!!

    Success(defined by my High school Football coach) : doing a certain thing, a certain way.........everyday!!!!

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