The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    dumbbells vs. barbells

    I know that dumbbells are said to be the "best" machines and work out the most muscles, but will they really help me get bigger than say a barbell or the hammer strength press machines. I do want to get stronger, but I am mostly set on looking bigger, and I feel that since I can do more weight/reps by using machines other than dumbbells, why should I stick with the dumbbell, even if it's "better"? I just think dumbbells are harder to do and harder to keep form. For example, why not do cable flys over machine flys if I can do more cable flys with more weight, or why not do hammer strength presses/barbell presses which are easier, rather than dumbell presses, if I can do more with the hammer strength or barbell. I guess you could say I'm a little confused, so if anyone has a good answer I'd love to hear it. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Banned Pasha's Avatar
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    In those machines, the pulleys and levers and **** make it easier. So if on a 'fly machine' you can do 180lbs doesn't mean you can take 90lbs dbs and do the same.

    There's a difference between machine strength and real world strength. Also by using free weights other, more smaller muscles (stabilizers) come into play and that is where your strength comes from.

  4. #3
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Machines have their place (pulldowns, calf raises, tricep pull downs), but I have to run into a person serious about getting bigger (in these rooms and in real life) that doesn't use free weights for a majority of routines.

    Plus, the title of your post is "Dumbbells v Barbells". Nothing about machines in it. totally different discussion there...
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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  5. #4
    Banned Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BG5150

    Plus, the title of your post is "Dumbbells v Barbells". Nothing about machines in it. totally different discussion there...
    Yea ..

    Actually pulldowns and calfraises are fairly straightforward with about 1-2 pulleys.

    But I've seen some complex **** in my gym, theres one bull**** machine where it has all these gears to target the middle,end, and front of the bicep etc... This stuff has like gyroscopes and magnets and crap like that. The fly machine for instance has about 3 pulleys in it, that makes the weight significantly lighter.

    And on the seated row machine I can do about 200lbs, I know I can't do that with DB's while still maintaining anything close to form.
    Last edited by Pasha; 06-22-2005 at 09:05 PM.

  6. #5
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasha
    Yea ..

    Actually pulldowns and calfraises are fairly straightforward with about 1-2 pulleys.

    But I've seen some complex **** in my gym, theres one bull**** machine where it has all these gears to target the middle,end, and front of the bicep etc... This stuff has like gyroscopes and magnets and crap like that. The fly machine for instance has about 3 pulleys in it, that makes the weight significantly lighter.

    And on the seated row machine I can do about 200lbs, I know I can't do that with DB's while still maintaining anything close to form.
    I totally agree about the "weight" on these machines. They are not even consistent from one machine to another. At my gym, I was doing tri pushdowns on one machine and was labouring with 70#. On the other machine, I did 90# no prob.

    the key to doing machine work is not getting hung up on the "weight" per se; it's only a #. Try to find a "position" that allows you to do the proper set of reps and ROM. And if you can use the same machine each week, that ould be great. That way you can know for sure if you are gaining.

    One last example: The other day I did BB curl with 85 X 4 max in the working sets. later, I was doing cable curls and, according to the machine I did 120 X 8!
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
    Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.
    Are you eating while you are reading this? You should be... --hrdgain81
    Remember, kids, if you type well the Grammar Fairy will leave a quarter under your pillow. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

    Well, the Blog's (finally) back (again!): Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams Feel free to stop by and comment.
    Here is my newly-created World of Warcraft Blog: BG's WoW Blog. Once again, feel free to stop by and comment.

  7. #6
    Wannabebig Member
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    dumbbell, barbell

    Quote Originally Posted by BG5150

    One last example: The other day I did BB curl with 85 X 4 max in the working sets. later, I was doing cable curls and, according to the machine I did 120 X 8!

    Exactly my point (although I am focusing more on dumbbell vs. barbell than on machines). My ultimate question is, do I stick with the dumbbells only and be forced to lift less weight? What about switching in between sets (2 sets dumbbell incline or military press, 1 set barbell incline or military press, for example)? Or would you recommend keeping the same type of exercise in a workout and switch between dumbbell and barbell only per week?

  8. #7
    Back in business WBBIRL's Avatar
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    More muscles worked equals more size, period. Machines neglect stablizers so they give less of a workout, except maybe to the ego of the user. You want real results, cycle out the machines everywhere possible... but some things must be done on a machine... they must. Getting bigger isnt really so much about how you workout... your diet is just as or more imporant to adding lean mass and or cutting fat.

  9. #8
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    Getting bigger isnt really so much about how you workout... your diet is just as or more imporant to adding lean mass and or cutting fat.

    remember that people, very very true

  10. #9
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    If i worked my chest twice a week i would do one day with db on flat bench and incline. ON the second chest workout that week i would to those two lifts with a BB. I would just switch it up from time to time. I have never swithed w/ in a work out so i cannot comment on that.

  11. #10
    3:16
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    barbells are fine for gainging size.

    it does not make much difference wether you do barbells of dumbells on most exercise.
    though for squats and deads your want a barbell.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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