The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 17

For example, many enzymes are involved in digestion.


One of the four primary types of tissue, the other three being muscle tissue, nervous tissue, and connective tissue. Epithelium covers surfaces, lines cavities, and forms glands.


Exercise equipment includes a variety of strength-training machinery, and free-weights (primarily long-bar barbells, and short-bar dumbbells), together with machines primarily used for cardiovascular work, such as treadmills (for walking, and running), stairclimbers (also called stairsteppers and steppers), arm-and-leg-action climbers, rowers, ski machines, cycles (upright, and recumbent), and ellipticals (see Elliptical machine). Indoor machines have advantages over their comparable outdoor activities, including climate control.

For strength training, exercises can be performed with free-weights, or machines. The former are the traditional, most versatile means of training. Machines reduce the need for instruction, and the chance of acute injury, which are perhaps the two main reasons why they are popular in gyms. (Another reason for their popularity is visual impressiveness, especially to novices, which is necessary for attracting new clientele. Furthermore, machines are harder to steal than free-weights equipment.) It's harder to lose control with a machine than free-weights. Free-weights are safe when used properly, but they require more expertise and skill.

There are plate-loaded machines that require loading with the same plates that are used on barbells, and selectorized machines that have built-in weight stacks from which you select the required resistance using a selector pin. The built-in weight stacks make weight selection easy because you don't have to move plates around. But because each section of metal on many weight stacks is substantial — ten pounds or more — the selectorized machines usually don't permit the gradual weight progression that plate-loaded machines do unless supplementary small plates are attached manually.

Machine quality varies greatly. Some machines are valuable if used properly, and a few are outstanding. Some are poor, however, and even dangerous, because they lock the user into a movement pattern that may not fit individual variables such as height and limb lengths. Although the risk of acute injury is usually reduced in machine exercises, there's still considerable chance of chronic injuries and irritations.

Even if a given machine has potential benefits over other machinery and the free-weights equivalent, the benefits won't be realized unless the machine is used well.

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