Free Yourself from Machines!

By Jonathan Aluzas

Okay, don’t free yourself completely from machines, but making them the cornerstone of your training regimen might not be the best option. Recent studies show that people training with free-form strength equipment experienced a much greater strength and balance increase over the course of 16 weeks than those who used fixed-form strength equipment.? Let me break it down simply:

  • Free-form strength equipment consists primarily of cable machines that enable your body to move in a natural path of motion instead of having to conform to the movement of the machine in a fixed motion.? Think Free Motion Fitness cable cross machines like those used at Arena Fitness as opposed to traditional selectorized equipment like a chest press or knee extension machine.
  • Fixed-form strength equipment is the traditional line of machines you see at every big-box gym.? In short, they force your body to conform to the path of motion dictated by the machine instead of allowing the body to move naturally and freely as with cables, tubing, etc..
  • Free-form strength participants in this study increased strength by 115% over 16 weeks compared to 57% increases by the fixed-form strength participants.
  • Free-form participants also improved balance by 245% versus 49% improvements in fixed-form participants.

So, while there is still a place for fixed-form strength equipment, it appears that the free-form strength training approach is a better choice.? This is something we have been espousing for years, which is why our facility looks the way it does.? Now there is data to prove it!? If you want to see our free-form training environment click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kks5D82bCo

Visit the articles below for more information:

http://www.nasmpro.com/nasmpro/library/showarticle.aspx?id=13260

http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2008/01000/Strength_Outcomes_in_Fixed_Versus_Free_Form.12.aspx

Jonathan Aluzas is the owner of Arena Fitness, a personal training and fitness center in Encino, Ca.

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