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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 02-15-2006, 09:55 PM   #1
Jan Szyndler
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Anyone have any good article suggestions on how utilizing free weights is vastly superior to machines (i.e. hammer strength). I need some good ammo!!!
Thanks,
Jan
P.S. Apologies for the slang subject line!!
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:23 AM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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There aren't any. Most research studies are woefully inadequate to answer that question. The best they can come up with is, "well, our study couldn't measure any differences." Meaning, the study wasn't good enough to detect the difference.

Keep in mind that in weightlifting in the Olympics the difference between Gold Medal and 4th place "You Are A Loser" is usually less than 5%. Most research studies are not set up to detect differences that size. "Statistically significant" is not the same as "athletically significant". "Statistically significant" for strength research is usually akin to using an odometer to measure a dress pattern.

Let's put it this way: in clinical practice, i.e. the field of play, there are NO top level strength athletes who use machines exclusively or even for a majority for their training. The success of machine-based resistance training among top level strength athletes is practically nil. (Football players do not count as strength athletes, sorry.)

Flip your question on its head. Are there any research studies that show the vast superiority of machines over free weights? No, no, no and hell no.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:09 AM   #3
Peter Queen
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Jan, my argument would be that machine weights are too restrictive in that they deny the body's natural movement. Free weights incorporates more real world motion. The so-called isolation factor is still there in free weight motion as long as you are true to your technique. Also, there is no cheating in free weight because you have to be more loyal to true natural form. I think that free weights disciplines you better because you have to be more honest in your form as opposed to hinding behind a machine. Bottom line: when machines break down, we humans still have to exist and function through our own bio-mechanical process otherwise we will just become formless jellyfish. My 2c only mind you.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:22 PM   #4
Jan Szyndler
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Thanks!!! :happy:
Jan
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