Hammer Strength...

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    Hammer Strength...


    If one were to do chest presses (incline, flat and decline) with Hammer Strength machines exclusively - correct me if I'm wrong - but one could gain mass.. Maybe not AS much as with barbells and dumbells, but almost as much.

    Could this be untrue? If one were to press 600lbs for 10 reps on the Hammer Strength incline machine - and this being the only incline chest press ever done - how could a person not be huge? Considering diet, rest and exercize was done properly.

    The reason I'm curious is because I'm seeing a lot of impressive people using Hammer Strength press machines almost exclusively... Is anyone's mind changing in regards to these machines? Last I asked, I think most opinions were that they were best for building tone and not very good for building mass...

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    I say use both Hammer and free but mostly free, get the best of both worlds. Plus you get to look really cool lifting all that weight lol


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    You're right. The Hammer Strength machines let you pack on the plates.. I'm going to start incorporating H.S. into my workouts. It's aggravating walking from one side of the gym to the other carrying 100lb dumbells.. For me, that's a workout in itself...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Tolerance
    If one were to do chest presses (incline, flat and decline) with Hammer Strength machines exclusively - correct me if I'm wrong - but one could gain mass.. Maybe not AS much as with barbells and dumbells, but almost as much.

    Could this be untrue? If one were to press 600lbs for 10 reps on the Hammer Strength incline machine - and this being the only incline chest press ever done - how could a person not be huge? Considering diet, rest and exercize was done properly.

    The reason I'm curious is because I'm seeing a lot of impressive people using Hammer Strength press machines almost exclusively... Is anyone's mind changing in regards to these machines? Last I asked, I think most opinions were that they were best for building tone and not very good for building mass...
    The need to lift heavier weights without a spotter/workout parter makes the HS equipment a natural for me. Plus the fact that you start off at the beginning of the motion, which means you can push yourself harder knowing that you don't have to finish the last rep to get the bar 'up'. Perfect for those of us working out solo.
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    The problem is the same if you only do leg press and not squats, yes you can pack on size, but you fail to incorporate the ancillary muscles to the same degree. You don't have to balance the bar and thus lose a huge benefit. This will translate directly to real life, if you don't do anything else (sports, manual labor, etc) then do hammer strength exclusively, if you want usable muscle with less chance of injury it's in your best interest to incorporate free weight movements
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    personally i love the HS incline press and shoulder press
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Tolerance
    Last I asked, I think most opinions were that they were best for building tone and not very good for building mass...
    I always wonder how the muscles know that I'm toning them now... (I know I sound like Matt Brzycki).

    No reason you shouldn't be able to build muscles with them. As Basso mentioned, the movement is more isolated then when using free weight - in particular dumbbells where just coordinating the weight takes energy.

    The advantage is that you don't have to worry about coordination etc. with machines you can fully concentrate on pushing as hard as you can (and try to do that with dumbbells - well, better don't try that). I often like to use them as second exercise after free weights.

    Another funny thing to try is to do machine presses only, for some 3 months or so and then switch to heavy dumbbell presses... then watch where the dumbbells go.
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    I use both, as heavy dumbells are just no fun trying to get up using momemtum. Then having to drop them. Depending on whether the weight / week is heavy or light, I'll choose either HS or dumbells for pushing' type movements like shoulder press & incline chest.
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    H.S. equipment is a godsend for me. Especially with the chest press. Regular flat bench destroys my shoulder but with the horizontal H.S. chest press I can go heavy and hard and it doesn't effect my shoulder in the least. It puts my wrists in a more natural position which is a huge plus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketscientist
    Another funny thing to try is to do machine presses only, for some 3 months or so and then switch to heavy dumbbell presses... then watch where the dumbbells go.
    Very good point, you really loose alot of Free lifting ability when doing HS only, it really depends on goals, if your trying to gain size HS only will work, but so will nautilaus or any other machine. I subscribe to the theory of "with increased strength, increased size will come" So I use HS mostly for pumps or burnouts. just mho.
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    Same here Jminis. I have no workout partner and most people at my gym I would not trust even though I don't bench all that heavy. If you use both HS machines I think that covers most of what BB or DB pressing does minus the strain on some of the smaller ancillaries and joints.

    Going from HS to some DB shoulder movements like side/front extensions, Kong/Cuban presses, Arnolds or cable flies and I really feel worked by the end. My chest development has actually improved since I switched to HS from DB presses and my shoulder is way less fussy.

    I think as long as you tie in some free wieghts for shoulders you'll be golden.
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    I always shied away from the HS machines, maybe I should check them out. I always felt my delts worked harder than my chest from what I remember - that was ages ago though.

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    The one piece of equipment/machine that I would drop large cash on would be a HS chest (adjustable angle) machine. I train solo and long to put some very heavy weight to task without the risk of fatality. Of course with all exercises there is adaptation. But I would love to get adapted to big and heavy chest pressing again.
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    I try not to get too excited by the fact I can HS press 400 pounds..because my real BB bench is nowhere even in that neighborhood, LOL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    I always shied away from the HS machines, maybe I should check them out. I always felt my delts worked harder than my chest from what I remember - that was ages ago though.

    BV
    BV if anything you should be able to isolate your pecs more as stablizing the weight isn't necessary. It's also nice that they're all iso lateral machines so I can go heavy one side at a time if need be.
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    I agree with jminis. I am slowly recovering from shoulder surgery and HS has been an amazing benefit to my rehab. I also have noticed that my chest is growing faster than when I used DB or the BB alone.
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    I use both Db's and Hammer's, Hammer's allow me to get more reps in and really get that blood flowing, where as I use the Db's to test my strength, because I don't want to drop that much strength while dieting (although inevitable)!!! IMO both have there place, but I will never return to Barbell BP's as my left shoulder will not allow it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apowerz6
    I use both Db's and Hammer's, Hammer's allow me to get more reps in and really get that blood flowing, where as I use the Db's to test my strength, because I don't want to drop that much strength while dieting (although inevitable)!!! IMO both have there place, but I will never return to Barbell BP's as my left shoulder will not allow it...
    same here my right shoulder won't allow me to go heavy anymore on Barbell BP's. Another benefit to H.S. if you don't have to waste any energy in setting the db's on your knee's, kicking them up into the starting position. Instead all my energy can be spent actually working the muscle i'm targeting.
    Last edited by jminis; 04-18-2006 at 07:45 PM.
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    BV if anything you should be able to isolate your pecs more as stablizing the weight isn't necessary. It's also nice that they're all iso lateral machines so I can go heavy one side at a time if need be.
    Great points jminis Ive got shoulder issues too that prevent me from really pushing it on the flat BB bench. Ill give the HS a shot this week!

    BV
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    4 sets of Iso lateral HS press and Iso Wide press each and my chest is fried..even on cycle.

    What's REALLY nice about these HS presses is that you can do a full, perfect form T.U.T with the 5 second negatives and have no worries about killing yourself under the bar or losing control of the DB. That's where these machines really pay off IMO.
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    I have a shoulder injury just like a lot of you guys and for the longest time I couldn't get results for my chest. I started using the HS at the beginning of my routines and ending with DB flies. I have seen some great results compared to my past experiencea with just DB and BB presses. And there is definitely less pain this way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioman
    What's REALLY nice about these HS presses is that you can do a full, perfect form T.U.T with the 5 second negatives and have no worries about killing yourself under the bar or losing control of the DB. That's where these machines really pay off IMO.
    Exactly! Using TUT is the key to getting the most out of these machines. I see a lot of people just push and then drop without control.

    In terms of biomechanics I'm tall with long arms and the BB bench places far to much pressure on my shoulders at the bottom stretch as a result I am forced to bottom out only two inches short of my chest when using heavy weight. The Hammer machines let me get a controled deep stretch at the bottom for every rep with heavy weights...resulting in the feeling that my Pecs not my shoulders did most of the work.
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    In terms of biomechanics I'm tall with long arms and the BB bench places far to much pressure on my shoulders at the bottom stretch as a result I am forced to bottom out only two inches short of my chest when using heavy weight. The Hammer machines let me get a controled deep stretch at the bottom for every rep with heavy weights...resulting in the feeling that my Pecs not my shoulders did most of the work.
    That's my problem too. When I do close grips bench (shoulder width), I go 1-2" off my chest always. Learned the hard way!
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    Yeah, having long arms is definite obstacle for benching. When you see the record holding PLer benchers, they are almost always pretty stocky.

    The Iso HS wide grip seems to get my inner chest reasonably well. I finish off later with cable flies and pulldowns. If I'm feelin saucey, I'll throw in incline benches.
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    Have any of you guys that have trouble bringing it down all the way tried a powerlifting style of bench. I use to bench with my elbows out and body loose and had messed up shoulders and couldn't bench for awhile. I started doing more of a powerlifting style and driving my feet into the ground and keeping my shoulder blades back and now have alot less trouble with shoulder pain. I still get a low grade ache now and again but I don't see that as to bad since I went about 1 year without being able to barbell bench.
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    I love the isolateral HS incline press -- A big reason being I can't kick up dumbs nearly as heavy as I can lift, always need a spotter on the first rep if I'm going to go heavy with dumbs.

    I too have very long arms and I find the HS puts more stress on my chest and less on the anterior delts, which otherwise tend to outpace chest development.

    I work out at two gyms. One has the plate-loaded version of the HS incline, the other has the weight-stack version. I find them both effective, but the two machines do stress the chest differently. I prefer the plate-loaded version, but I also like to mix them up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstrong20
    Have any of you guys that have trouble bringing it down all the way tried a powerlifting style...

    My feet don't reach the floor w/o arching my back and I don't want to do that...another reason I like the HS equipment that sits you upright. I have to put my feet up on the bench if I want to do flat bench and sometimes it gets a little hard to balance towards the end...not to often, but enough to make me think about it when benching that way...
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    So I just tried the HS Incline/Decline for chest today. I have to admit, I like it. My shoulders feel great (pumped but not sore) and my chest feels like it got a great isolation workout, as I was able to get a full stretch without taxing the rotator cuffs, just like you guys have mentioned. Workout went like this:

    HS Incline 135x12, 225x12, 315x12, 345x7,295 x 7
    HS Decline 225x12,315x12, 315x10, 365x 5
    Dips (BW x 20)
    DB Flyes (60s x 12,12,12)
    Standing Overhead Tricep Extension - 110x10,110x10,110x10

    I could tell through my shirt the pecs, tris, and delts were quite a bit more pumped than normal for a chest day. I think Ill give this workout a try for a while - perhaps it will spur some new growth.

    BV
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    i agree, with a fixed position, you know your chest is ALWAYS working. if you dont lift freeweights at EXACTLY the right angle the load shifts to your shoulders/joints. i love HS and wish my gym had more of it.
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    I am not that much of a fan. I used to be, but i keep getting a nagging pain here and there from it. The shoulder press machine kills my left shoulder. Puts it a weird angle.
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    I use almost exclusively machines. I've noticed a much quicker recovery time, and far less joint problems.

    I've also notice that I am able to move up in weight much faster with machines. Especially for example if I am doing the smith machine, I can move up in weight from for example 300-400 lbs. much faster then I can go from 300-400 lbs. with free weights.

    Which means that I will still lift more in free weights then I would had I never trained with the smith machine.

    In fact if I had it to do all over again starting from when I first lifted weights, I would have used machines a lot more. I used almost all free weights for the first 9 years I trained and I had a lot of plateaus that I've only broken through with machines. (I was able to transfer that strength to free weight lifts)
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    I like to mix it up and go with HS too, I agree that when have shoulder issues/pain, it allows me to work around it and get a good work out in....questions when doing ISO lateral bench, where does everyone line up the handles in regards to your chest....at, above or below nipple?
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    personally, I use a lot of HS equipment for similar reasons as others have stated. One thing I find with HS equipment that traditional bb movements don't allow is great range of maotion. Take for instance the Incline Bench HS. It's almost like a bench press + DB press in one. It allows you at the end of the movement to bring your hands in closer together thus letting you really squeeze your pecs together. You can't do that on a traditional bb incline press. I vote yes to Hammer Time
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    I also like the HS incline press, but the HS V-Squat is awesome. It approximates a true squat but you have the confidence to really push yourself in terms of adding weight. It keeps your back straight, too, which is a big thing.
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    Hammer strength makes excellent equipment that fills the gap between free weights and cable equipment. What makes it so good is all the machines move in arcs and all your limbs move in circles so you could build some usable strength with them as well. Pesonally i'd use both, that's what i do and it works great.
  

  
 

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