The Magic of Machines

It’s week seven and it’s crazy how quickly working out has become a part of my daily routine.  I think back to the beginning of my learning project and remember how uncomfortable I was walking into the gym.  I think the discomfort was more of an internal feeling more than anything.  One think I have learned personally is to be confident.  Why did I feel uncomfortable for making a life decision that improved my overall health? I think social media plays a role in the discomfort a new gym goer may feel.  Society influences us to believe that you have to have a certain appearance to lift weight at the gym, but I’ve come to realize the opposite.  Actually, the gym can be an inspiring place to make a change for the better because other gym goers are in the same shoes.

I’ve always wondered what’s better…free weights or machines? Or is one better than the other?  If you walk into a gym, you will quickly realize that both free weights and resistance machines are present. Here are a few things I learned about the difference between free weights and machines.I started the week by watching the YouTube video below to learn about the difference between free weights and machines.

Machine vs Free Weights

This might be the best website I have found since starting my Personal Learning Project. This website has pretty much any machine you can find at the gym and provides short, instructional videos for how to use each machine.  It’s quick and efficient.  Before going to the gym this week I focused on learning about three different machines.  Check out the exercises I learned this week along with their instructional videos.

1.     Abdominal

2.     Seated Dip

3.     Lateral Pull

This week was great for learning about some new machines and the proper form and technique for using each machine, but moving forward I want to learn how to use each machine to create an upper or lower body workout.  What are the different areas that I should be targeting at the gym? How often do you workout each area? What exercises are the most beneficial?  These are all questions I will be looking at closer as I move forward with my learning project.


4 thoughts on “The Magic of Machines

  1. Are we going to see some Youtube videos of you ripping off curls like this in the gym Ryan? I have been going to the gym off and on for too long and never seem to get the max out of my membership. Do you feel that doing this research has helped you commit to going more regularly regardless of leaning project?

    • That’s an interesting question Andrew. I was actually thinking about this the other day. Besides the one week that I was sick, I have been going to the about 4-6 times a week since beginning this learning project. It is hard to say what has kept me committed. I think the learning project is keeping me motivated because I know I have to be able to show and reflect on what I have learned. However, I think the research has helped me gain confidence and see the value of going to the gym. Before doing the research, I would only use the gym for cardio and now I have more motivation because I’ve learned to change up my workouts, which makes it more exciting.

  2. I was once told by a doctor that free weights are the way to go to build the most muscle (how we got on that topic I have no idea). He explained it as free weights allow all the smaller, balancing muscles to engage whereas a machine isolates a big muscle into one movement. It was an interesting conversation. I am intrigued to watch the video you found. I thought I would share this before checking it out. I know for me, I use free weights probably.. 80% of the time. I have a bad back so when it comes to leg exercises, I have limited movements and so machines are really good for me because I can get myself comfortable and lower/raise as much as I want before I hurt myself. But it really depends! Are you taking supplements? I have some tips for different ones if you are interested! Gooooood luck

    • Thanks for your reply Cole! I appreciate feedback from people who have their own experiences. Personally, I like using free weights better because I feel like like my muscles get a better workout. Why do I think that? Because my muscles feel the effects for days. Not sure if that is logic or not! I’m just using protein currently, but would be open to hearing about other supplements to use.

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