Today when I was at the gym (working my sweet bod,) I realized that I hadn't done bench presses in quite a while. Because I had no idea what I could still lift, I started out on one of the bench press machines, instead of on actual free weights. I put the little pin thingy in at 180 lbs, and lifted it no problem. Bumped it up to 200. Still no problem. Bumped it up to 220. A little harder, but still lifted it. This pattern continued until finally I maxed out the weight machine at 265 lbs. Seriously, I was lifting every single plate that was in the machine! It was tough, but I probably could have done a little more than that even. It made me feel really macho.
Now, back in the day, when I was actually lifting free weights regularly, the best I ever got up to was 220 lbs.
I know that weight machines are generally easier to lift than free weights, but I didn't think there would be THAT big of a difference.
To give myself a point of reference, I decided to head over to the free weights, and give those a try. I got a guy to spot me, and started at 190 lbs. I didn't even come close. Dropped it down to 185. I almost got that up, but needed a little bit of help. I think that if I hadn't already been a little burnt out from using the weight machine I probably could have put that one up on my own.
I guess the point of this is, if you want to impress people with how much weight you can lift, try the weight machines first, they are super easy! I expected there to be a definite difference between the two, but not an 80 pound difference! Does anyone else think this is weird?