Friday 130412


then, as many rounds as possible in seven minutes:
7 Power snatches at 50-60% 1RM snatch
7 Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Post weights and results to comments and BTWB.

Tammy, looking strong.


Exercise Machines vs. Free Weights ~ Luke Palmisano

Every once in a great while I will find myself at Globo Gym establishment. I walk in the doors, and am reminded of what I’ve been missing out on the past 6-7 years: elypticals, treadmills, and, of course, weight machines. All sorts of cool…schnazzy… shiny… machines, that really… give you a good pump (from what I’ve heard). Honestly though, I used to use all those machines. The smith machine, the stack machines, the cable machines. I would walk up, look at the diagram of how the machine worked, try to put the pin onto what I thought was a respectable amount of weight, and then get my machine-assisted swole on. Purdy cool. 

In all seriousness, are machines that bad? Not really. When using them, there is no need to control or balance the weight. This would seemingly reduce risk of injury, right? In some ways, yes. For instance, when an athlete lifts a barbell over their head, they must control the barbell position. If equilibrium is lost, the bar could be displaced and injury could occur. Also, there is no need to study your technique; your range of motion is defined by what the machine tells you (we shall call it “The Machine” here-to-fore). Bottom line, I would rather have you decide to work out with machines that not work out at all. However, in my humble, oh so humble, extreeeemely humble opinion as Head Trainer At CrossFit Verve™, I don’t think machines can give you the optimal working-out experience. 

Free weights are different. With free weights we now have the ability to manipulate the body to control the weight, as opposed to a machine manipulating you. With free weights, you must now control and stabilize where that weight is going. Whereas we lose force production in our efforts to stabilize said weight, the muscle and energy applied to stabilize results in greater performance improvement. Does risk of injury increase? Potentially, yes. That’s why you seek instruction though, right?? By learning to put the body in positions of stability and torque, we prevent injury, and teach our body the elegance of proper movement. Then, you have the ability to practice movements functionally, the way they were meant to be performed. Case in point: When lifting a bag of groceries, have there ever been cables already applied to the bag to help guide it up to you? Nope. No smith machines in real life. We gets’ to do that bizness on our own. Hence, the claim from CrossFit that we train people for whatever life throws at them. Movements are multi-jointed, functional, and safe, provided we take the time to learn to move the right way. 

We conclude with this…conclusion: Machines are okay for the recreational lifter, but not for someone who wants more out of their workout. Both can be considered relatively safe, with free weights having a much, much higher upside.

This information is referenced from the book Science and Practice of Strength Training, by Vladimir Zatsiorsky, William Kraemer.

As a reminder, we have swim WOD’s on Saturday, and one WOD on Sunday morning, due to Verve hosting a Level 1 Seminar.




  1. Trina R. :

    Where is the swim WOD on Saturday?

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