Preferred rows

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Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Preferred rows

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:30 am

Labyrinth wrote:What kind of rows do you guys like to do?
Standard bent-over; pendlay, yates, something else I haven't heard of?

Thanks as always.
There are some unique exercise for working the lats or any muscle group that most lifter can perform. Once you understand the concept, you can apply it to any exercise or muscle group.

These exercises are ballistic movements (your body or the weight becomes airborne), over speed (a cheating type movement), and/or a moderate velocity eccentric action.

One such movement that incorporates all of the above actions is the "Kettlebell Pull and Catch." http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=478154 A picture sequence provide you with how the movement is performed.

You can use the same concept with dumbbell bent over rows. Pulling the weight up, then catching it with the other hand. With this movemenet and the "Kettlebell Pull and Cacch" you have to quickly grab the weight with the opposite hand and quickly put on the brakes (eccentric action).

Two other exercises are the "Kipping Pullup" and "Jump Pullup."
http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html These two movement are over speed exercises, cheating movements...similar to a push press.

Another movement that I like is cable rows with bands attached. The further you pull the bar, the more resistance you encounter. Bands can be attached to a barbell or dumbbell for bent voer row pulls, as well.

Bands can be attached to a pull up bar to get the same results as the above exercises.

These ballistic, over speed, and/or moderate velocity eccentric movement work the muscle in a completely different way.

Kenny Croxdale


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Post by tyler » Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:15 am

I used to only do barbell and dumbell rows...but since I joined the gym everyone hates, planet fitness...I have been doing cable rows. The dumbells only go up to 80 lbs which I can lift more than...and Barbell rows could only be done on the smith machines there, so I'll just do cable rows. But...I don't think cable exercises are quite as bad as they are made out to be with pulling movements. Everyone stresses free weights so much with everything...but with pulling movements, cable exercises still seem pretty natural to me. Maybe that's cause human beings have been using pulleys and whatnot to lift things for a long time...I can't recall being able to say the same thing about pushing movements. What do ya all think of that- cable exercises being comprable to free weights, especially on the rows?

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Post by TimD » Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:38 am

I have no problem at all w/cables, they aren't stuck in a fixe arc. I find no real difference when rowing with the cables vs free weight, just a matter of preference. The only thing w/ cables that I don't think is comparable are pulldowns vs bodyweight chins. Maybe it's just me.
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:36 am

I don't know if cables and free weights are comparable, but there is a place for cables in a resistance training program. Most people do cable pulldowns rather than bodyweight chins because they don't have the strength for chins. The Seated Cable Row is listed as a back exercise, but it could be considered as a full body movement since the legs are used as stabilizers.

A lot of gyms have been adding the new free motion cable machines to their equipment. But cable machines have been in use in gyms long before Nautilus and Universal.

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Post by Matt Z » Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:23 pm

I'm not a big fan of the smith machine, but I don't see any problem with doing Bent-over Rows on one. This would certainly be better than doing squats, presses and deadlifts on a smith.


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Post by ironmaiden708 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:47 am

Depending on the machine universal machines are fine. But all your nautilus circuit training machines are garbage. Bowflex which is owned by nautilus is garbage as well. The general public seems to think theres a way of getting around free weights, but no matter how well they make a machine you won't get the same result.

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Post by TimD » Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:57 am

I wouldn't say Nautilus (or Bowflex) are garbage. Arthur Jones designed Nautilus to perform in a natural arc, non-linear. Plus, it provides a resistance (weight training) and due to the cams in there, it atually increases resistance after a sticking point, keeping resistance equal throughout the motion. I choose not to use Nautilus because I don't have one handy, but I certainly would if my choices were limited. Same with bowflex, I think it's overpriced, but there are no fixed arcs, and yes, I would use it. Jone's son Gary came up with the Hammer strength machines that are plate loading and unilateral. Those are sweet if you're into that type of training.
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:35 am

ironmaiden708 wrote: The general public seems to think theres a way of getting around free weights...


The general public HAS gotten around free weights - by using machines. Machines have made strength training more accessible to people who have no ambition of becoming bodybuilders or powerlifters. That's a good thing.
ironmaiden708 wrote:...but no matter how well they make a machine you won't get the same result.
But you'll get a better result from machines than from sitting on the couch - which is what a lot of folks would do if free weights were the only strength training option.

Besides, have you ever tried doing hamstring curls without a machine? Using a hamstring curl machine is a lot better than dropping a dumbbell on your butt.

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Post by stuward » Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:19 am

Machines are definitely better than sitting on the couch so for 80% of the population it would be an improvement over what they are doing now.

I had access to a Nautilus gym a while ago. I was at CFB Borden for 3 weeks this past winter. They have a great free weight section where I spent the most time, but I did a few circuits of Nautilus. They have a different feel than most machines, due to the relatively constant effort required throughout the ROM.

The problem is that that doesn't make you stronger. With barbells, there are sticking point that you have to get by. The greatest effort is required where the leverages are the worst. It's grinding past those weak points that gets you stronger. I felt that the Nautilus training had a negative impact on me. I switched to free weights and cables after and resumed progress. The exercises didn't get me out of breath at all. I was able to establish a circuit where I was able to go immediately to another exercise. I used a 10 machine circuit and did 5 circuits in about 30 minutes. It seemed like more of a cardio workout than a strength workout.

The other aspect is that, even if it had a positive effect, the cams are geared to the average person so may not be right for you. Apparently from what I've read, some of the cams are incorrect or even installed backwards.

Stu

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Post by ironmaiden708 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:44 am

I must not have put enough detail into what I was saying, what I meant by 'The general public seems to think theres a way of getting around free weights...' is that there are people that think that a machine will do the same thing as free weights, same results in a 1/4 of the effort. You are right though it is better to use a machine than being a veggie.
Using a hamstring curl machine is a lot better than dropping a dumbbell on your butt
.I can do hamstring curls without the use of a machine, I use a leg extension attachment for a bench...not unless you consider that a machine as well.

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Post by tyler » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:46 am

To me it seems that free weights are geared better when doing lower body movements (I don't see designing a lower body program with cables...). But I think exercises done with upper body can mix fre weights and cables and others...that's probably why it seems most of the machines are put in there for upper body movements. Of course, it could also say something about gym-goers, because they are just answering our demands.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:49 pm

The good thing about free weights is that they are an accurate gauge of your strength. If I bench press 250 pounds on a Nautilus freeweight bench, chances are that I can do the same on a Life Fitness or Cybex freeweight bench as well. But a 250 pound chest press on a Nautilus machine might get me 300 on a Life Fitness machine and 200 on a Cybex. Machines tend to be all over the map for a given weight load.

Also, people who can lift a given weight with freeweights almost always can exceed that amount on a machine, while the converse is rarely the case.

Charles Poliquin wrote an article in Muscle Media magazine a while ago about the superiority of freeweights to machines. He used as an example the football training programs of the Army and Air Force academies. I forget which academy used which program, but one of the schools used freeweights, and the other used machines. In head to head competition, the freeweight-trained squad dominated the machine trained squad. Poliquin's conclusion was that freeweight training led to better athletic performance.

But I read the story a while back about a personal trainer/physical therapist who kept his elderly client - a man in his 80s - from becoming wheelchair bound. The trainer designed a program for him, and once completed, the man was able to discard his walker. In fact, he can now climb stairs and walk several miles a day. With the exception of some dumbbell exercises, the training was done entirely on machines.

People work out for different reasons - it's good that they have options so the training works for them, not vice versa.
Last edited by Stephen Johnson on Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Ironman » Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:49 pm

I might use a lower body machine to superset a free weight exercise every great once in a while. I NEVER use machines for upper, with the exception of cable pulldowns. I think machines suck. Calves are the only thing I always do on a machine. Because of the limited motion it doesn't matter, and you don't have to worry about falling over with a heavy barbell. Every now and then I do single leg standing calf with a dumbbell. So when I do that, and I do low reps so I can do pullups and chins, I use no machines of any kind.

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Post by ironmaiden708 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:18 pm

If all the cable pulldown consists of is simple cable and pulley system attached to a weight stack then I wouldn't consider that a machine. I consider a machine where the ROM is completely controlled by the design of the machine.

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:05 pm

If you've got a pulley or your using a lever, it's a machine. A simple machine, but it's a machine. A cable or a plate isn't a machine, but if you feed through a pulley or attach it to a lever you've got a machine.

But really, the machines vs. free weights debate is really over ROM and wether the machine provides mechanical advantage or not. If it doesn't restrict your ROM or provide a mechanical advantage (makes the weight easier to lift), it's not giving you any of the benefits/deficiencies of a machine. My physics is rusty, but I think the advantage of a single pulley overhead letting you do pulldowns isn't an advantage, it's just allowing you to pull down to get the weight up. Same with putting a plate on a leg extension unit to do curls. Multiple pulleys can multiply your strength, which is what block-and-tackle systems are all about, and a lever arm lets you generate more force depending on the fulcrum. Someone better versed in physics can correct me on this if I got it wrong, but that's my understanding.

Anyway, I prefer "nothing" to "nautilus." I'd rather do bodyweight exercises than work on a machine. I've used them in the past, but all I got was sore joints and misery from cramming my 6'4" frame into too-small leg presses, or getting under bench press stations that required too wide of a grip for comfort, or into an ab machine that let me crunch so much more weight than I could do on the floor with a plate that it was suspicious. I'd rather do pushups and squats and pullups in the park than use machines regularly. And heck, a basic barbell set is cheaper and more effective than any machine, and it's almost always smaller.

Peter


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