Friday, September 3, 2010

I Don't Know My Own Strength

Seriously...I don't.

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?


Emmy said...

That's very weird! I never would have thought it would have been that much of a difference! (and I love your reference to ya 'sweet bod"! :P

Chess said...

That IS weird, but I wouldn't know, because I generally try to avoid being macho. :P

Anonymous said...

This is because the machines only target the main muscle of the exercise. Since the weights are on a track, the range of motion is fixed and no muscles are required to keep the weight stable throughout the exercise. When you use freeweights, you're actually using many more muscles (stabilizers). For the best workout, stick with the freeweights!