Exercise Questions | Machine gyms versus simple free weights

Can someone please tell me if it is totally necessary to have one of the home gym total body fitness machines in order to stay firm and fit for a 53 year old female? I have lost weight of 30 lbs. accumulated over the years, this was 2 years ago. I cut sweets, breads and most all carbs from my diet 2 years ago and that is how I lost the weight. Well along with the weight went my shapely quads and other muscle groups. So I have been using free weights with general total body exercises plus yoga for 2 years. I have noticed some improvement, but just not as good as I would like, i.e., still have a layer of belly fat lying over my rock hard abs, baggy knees, sagging buttocks, sagging breasts(which were tiny to start with thank goodness!). I have worked so very hard and thought by now I would see more results, but it seems that I have gotten to a set weight amount and can loose no more, and also can do no more with my muscle tone. I recently purchased a total body gym with the cables, I do not like it, it seems much too difficult, hurts my hands from gripping the cables to do the pull ups and the machine seems that it does not work out the leg muscle groups very much, it only seems to be mostly for the back and shoulder and bicep tricep muscles. Also by using it, it has created constant tension in my upper back and pain in my lower back. So I am considering sending the machine back - I walk away from it only feeling exhausted and defeated. Is it possible to stick with my hand weights, exercise ball and yoga and develope my muscles more - maybe increase the weights? Thanks for any help.


Posted by Reply
2 Posts
4/24/2007 8:26:39 AM
It is not the equipment that is important here. You can get a great workout by just doing a few body weight exercises, like modified push-ups off a wall, table, or on knees. Body weight swuats, two legs or one using support. Modified chins with part of your weight on a chair and using a door bar. The important thing is not to over-train. Try three weeks, 2 or 3 workouts with 3 exercises doing sets of 10, initiating each set on the minute, stopping when you can't complete the set. This is tough so you have to take the 4th week completely off before starting another cycle or you will quickly overtrain.

I hit upon this while measuring improvement in dips between chairs. I would start with around 4 sets and in 3 weeks complete 7 sets, but in the fourth or fifth week start dropping back to fewer sets.
Spot removal of fat is a myth, you have to make muscle to reduce fat.

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