August 1, 2008, Newsletter Issue #337: Using Unfamiliar Equipment

Tip of the Week

All weight training machines are not created equal. Donīt expect the resistance to be the same on all similar strength training exercise machines. One lat pulldown or vertical bench may be actually heavier or lighter than another at the same setting, so you may have to make adjustments to get the workout you expect.

Some Cybex strength training machines number their plates. You canīt just add a zero and get the accurate weight--choose the plate that feels right for your workout. When you go to plate loading machines, consider machine weight. The sled on an angled leg press can weigh 50 lb or more, so if you put on 2 plates, itīs not the same as putting the pin in 90 on a selectorized machine.

Most Smith weight training machines are counter-balanced, so the bar weighs essentially nothing. If you put the same amount of weight youīve been using on the Smith for your squats on a 44-lb free weight Olympic bar, youīre in for a surprise.

Finally, remember that even the same brand machines may feel different if they havenīt been properly maintained.

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