The human body is a holistic system
You have to acquire the strength in the way you intend to use it later
Barbells are also very inexpensive

Training to increase strength is as old as civilization itself. The ancient legend of the Greek athlete Milon shows how old the interest in physical development and the processes responsible for it is. It is said that Milon lifted a calf every day, and as the calf grew, so did Milon's strength. The fact that strength develops progressively was known thousands of years ago, but it was only comparatively recently (in terms of human history) that technical advances found an answer to the question of how best to implement progressive resistance training. One of the first devices developed for this purpose was the barbell, a long metal bar with a weight at each end. The first barbells had balls that could be filled with sand or gravel as needed. David Willoughby's excellent book The Super Athletes (A.S. Barnes and Co., 1970) describes the history of weightlifting and the equipment that made the sport possible. Little did Willoughby know that events would take a turn for the worse in the mid-1970s. A certain Arthur Jones invented a machine that revolutionized strength training. Unfortunately, not all revolutions are fully productive. His Nautilus machines used the "principle of variable resistance," according to which the force curve changes during movement against a resistance - that is, a muscle can develop different amounts of force depending on the current angle of the joint. There was now a specially designed machine for each part of the body, and the chain that was connected to the weight stack was equipped with a pulley that changed the resistance against which the joint had to work during movement. The machines were designed to be used in a specific order, one at a time, with no rest between sets as each part of the body was being worked. The rationale (justifiable from an economic point of view) was that you could get a full-body workout if you had enough machines that made a circuit—and each worked a different part of the body. These training devices were extremely well made and visually appealing, and soon most studios had the obligatory, very expensive 12-station Nautilus circuit. Engines, however, were by no means new. Most high schools back then had a Universal Gladiator multi-station, and anyone who lifted weights knew exercises like leg extensions and lat pulldowns. The difference lay in the marketing of the new devices. Nautilus emphasized the full body effect of the full circle, which had never been considered important before. We were presented with before and after pictures, including one of Casey Viator, who allegedly only achieved a handsome physique with the help of Nautilus devices. What was not mentioned, however, was that good Mr. Viator was an experienced bodybuilder who was simply restoring muscle mass that he had previously built up using tried-and-true methods. Jones even went so far as to claim that the strength acquired from Nautilus machines could be transferred to complex movement patterns, such as those found in Olympic weightlifting, without having to perform the equivalent exercises with heavy dumbbells—a claim that which contradicts all common training theories and practical experiences.But Nautilus was already so successful and had such a big name that nobody objected. Since then, the machines from this manufacturer have been considered the international standard in commercial fitness studios. The main reason for this triumph was that with Nautilus machines the gyms (which were then called "health clubs") could offer something to the public that had not previously existed in this form. Before the invention of the Nautilus, if a club member wanted to do a tough workout that couldn't be done with the Universal equipment, they had to learn how to use barbells. But someone had to teach him that. And to that end, someone had to teach the club staff how to teach them. Such professional training was and is time-consuming and not available everywhere. And it costs accordingly. With the Nautilus equipment, however, anyone could quickly learn to use the full circuit, which ostensibly offered a full-body workout, without employees having to undergo lengthy and cumbersome training. Plus, being able to complete the circuit in 30 minutes meant you could finish faster - which increased customer throughput and increased revenue. So Nautilus machines are responsible for making gyms the way they are today.

The catch was that of course the strength machine training didn't work as advertised. It was practically impossible to build muscle mass with such a circuit. Those who attempted this toiled for months without making any significant progress. But as soon as they switched to barbell training, an odd thing happened: they immediately put on mass -- often more in a week than in the entire time they'd been struggling at the 12 stations. Isolation machines work so badly for the same reason that barbell training works so well. The human body is a holistic system - that's how it works and that's how it wants to be trained. He doesn't want you to move and train your individual components independently because the strength you gain from such training isn't applied in the same way in everyday life. You have to acquire the strength in the way you intend to use it later – in natural movement patterns. The nervous system controls the muscles, and the relationship between these two body systems is called "neuromuscular." Neuromuscular specificity is an indisputable reality, and fitness programs must accommodate this principle as well as the law of gravity. Barbells and the compound movements we do with them are vastly superior to any other piece of exercise equipment ever devised. Properly performed, full-range barbell exercises are the essential functional expression of the human skeletal and muscular anatomy under load.

Isolation exercises on machines work so badly for the same reason that barbell training works so well.

The performance of each exercise is determined and limited by each exerciser's individual movement patterns, which are in turn defined by many factors such as limb length, muscle shape, strength level, flexibility, and neuromuscular efficiency. The harmonious interplay of all the muscles involved is characteristic of every human being, because they all make an anatomically predetermined contribution that differs from person to person. Muscles move bones through joints, thereby applying a specific force to the load being lifted. The way in which this power transfer occurs depends on the design of the system.When used according to its intended design, the system performs optimally, and that is what a good workout should aim for. Barbells allow you to move a weight exactly as your body naturally is supposed to because every aspect of the movement is controlled by the body itself . Strength machines, on the other hand, force the body to move the weight the way the machine dictates. However, this does not fully take into account the individual anatomical conditions of the athlete. For example, there's absolutely no way a person could perform a movement pattern that tightens their quads independently of their hamstrings unless they're on a machine designed specifically for that purpose. Such a movement is not natural. The muscles in the front and back of the thigh always work together, and at the same time, to stabilize the knee from both sides. Why move them separately when they always work together? Because someone invented a machine that can do that? Even devices where you can move several joints at the same time are suboptimal because the movement pattern is determined by the technical dimensions and not by the individual biomechanics of the person using it.

Barbells make it possible to move a weight exactly as the body is naturally supposed to...

Barbells, on the other hand, allow small adjustments during the movement that take into account the individual anthropometric values ​​of each individual trainee. Barbells also force the athlete to make various small adjustments necessary to maintain control of the bar throughout the exercise. This aspect should not be underestimated: The control of the dumbbell as well as the balance and coordination that it demands of the trainee are inherent only in this type of training and cannot be simulated with weight machines. Because in order to maintain control over the freely moving load, a significant number of supporting muscles must also be activated throughout the entire movement – ​​which is not the case with a power machine. There are other benefits. All the exercises described in this blog put a strain on our skeleton. The bones play an important role for us because they are the ones that carry the weight of the dumbbell. Bones are living tissues that respond to stress, as are muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, nerves, and brain cells. They conform like any other fabric, becoming denser and firmer when subjected to a heavier weight. This aspect of barbell training is especially important for older people and women, whose bone density plays a central role in maintaining health. In addition, barbells are very inexpensive. For the price of one circuit of gyms, five or six highly functional weight rooms - capable of performing hundreds of exercises - can easily be set up, regardless of the manufacturer. And even if the price doesn't matter, the equipment should definitely be functional. For a commercial gym, the number of customers that can train there at the same time may be an important criterion for what type of equipment to purchase. It goes without saying that a machine circuit can accommodate a maximum of 12 people at a time, while five or six weight rooms with a well-stocked selection of free weights can handle many more. The only catch with barbell training is that the overwhelming majority of people who want to try it don't know how to do it correctly.This is a serious problem, so it's fair to talk someone out of barbell training if they know little or nothing about it

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