Machines.machines, machines…Everyone wants machines. For the past couple of weeks, I am paying for the mistake of placing “body building” as one of things we are offering at our new gym Synergy Fitness Club, which absorbed my previous MMA gym Shaheen MMA. Because we are offering Cross Fit and have a decent number of free weights at the gym I figured I may as well put “Body Building” as one of the things you can do at the gym which is true because we have enough weight and basic racks (bench, squat) for the heavy exersices if one wanted to “bodybuild” I also put ”bodybuilding” on the sign because here people don’t really know what bodybuilding is. For many people here in Pakistan bodybuilding is about lifting weights and going tot he gym. That’s it. But by my definition, bodybuilding is lifting weights for the sole intention of looking large and muscular and when pursued seriously where you take part in competitions where you wear a thong, get oiled up and flex in front of a bunch of other men. That’s how I see it. But I figured since “bodybuilding” here is usually just getting big and ripped, the same reason guys in the West, “Hit the gym” or “Go lift.” So you can walk around like a douchebag, I figured I could put that on our sign since by training with us at Synergy you could get big and ripped and have all the tools necessary to be the biggest douche bag ever (please note my sarcasm)
Anyway, so what happened was after putting up the sign we started getting people in the gym after seeing the sign and wanting to know what the deal with bodybuilding was. The first thing they asked was, “Where are the machines?” I would tell people that we do functional fitness at the gym, with a focus on athletic performance and not beach bodies however, if you eat right and train hard, the way you look is naturally going to change. This seemed to fly over their heads. They would just look at me as if I were retarded and everything I had just told them was a total waste of their time. Honestly, maybe it was. Most of the people coming in seemed to have no interest in athleticism or physical performance and could not fathom that you would have to work, and work hard in a gym to get results. The people coming in were pretty much the same type of people that buy stuff off of infomercials convinced that THAT machine or gadget, yes, THAT one, was the answer to looking like an action star.
Well for all of you looking to be strong and athletic, I have some news for you. Machines are not the way to reach your goals. Now if you are a beginner and are at risk of possibly injuring yourself by lifting incorrectly, then yes machines are something that would help you get started before moving on to more functional training. If your trying to be just big and of course the added bonus of strong than looking for machines is not your answer. Look up your favorite body building hero and see what they REALLY do. I am not talking about opening a copy of flex magazine and seeing Bodybuilding “X”‘s training routine next to his sponsorship with “Meaner Weiner Muscle Juice.” I mean what they actually do in the gym. Chances are they use a lot of free weights.
What’s the difference between the two? That is an article within itself and something we will cover. But in the meantime, just google “Machines vs Freeweights” and see for yourself what the fitness world has to say.