Total Body Workout: The Machine Way

August 30, 2012


Total Body Workout - The Machine Way

Total Body Workout – The Machine Way

The free weights area is always popular in the gym, but for those who prefer to concentrate on machines, there are several all-body workouts that are great for general fitness.

Weight machines can be a way for those new to fitness to get their confidence up about weights, before attempting free weights, not least because it is usually possible to bear a heavier weight on machines than when lifting free weights.

Pros and cons

Of course, as with any exercise, there are pros and cons to using weight machines for a full body workout over free weights. Advantages include the ability to start training without having to wait for any kind of instruction and faster workouts, as it is easier to adjust settings on a machine than swap physical weights.

Disadvantages include the fact that using machines is not as good at developing core strength, it is harder to target smaller muscles and it can cause stress in tissue due to not working with the body’s natural movement and using the machine’s fixed one instead. Overall, bear in mind that it is better to have a workout regime that includes weights, however they are done.

Rules to bear in mind

Rules for doing a whole body workout on machines are very similar to using free weights. Make sure that only one exercise is done on each muscle group, as doing two or more may cause too much tiredness to complete the full set of exercises.

Mix up workouts so that the same exercise is not performed on the same muscle on two consecutive workouts. As well as keeping muscle stress to a minimum, this also means all muscles are worked from all angles.

That said, do not perform all of a whole body workout two days in a row, as this does not give the body a chance to rest and recuperate, which is an important part of developing fitness. Whilst total rest is best, doing cardio routines or working on abdominal muscles, for example, would be fine.

During the routine, never do more than three sets on a muscle group once the warm-up is out of the way. The ideal weight in a total body workout is one that allows six to eight repetitions in the first few weeks before fatigue sets in. Any more and it is too light; any fewer and it is too heavy.

As ever, work done in the gym can only be truly effective when healthy habits are carried over to other parts of life. Lots of good advice can be found at, but good general advice is to eat well, at sensible times, to give the body the fuel it needs for good and effective workouts.

Total body workouts are normally around an hour, but reducing rest times between repetition sets will ensure the maximum work is done in the minimum time. Working bigger muscles first, then moving on to small ones later in the workout is also sensible.


Total Body Workout: The Machine Way


This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
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