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Charles Poliquin breaks down why you can’t sub free-weight exercises (like the Squat) on a machine (like the smith machine). Food for thought…
“Myth: Smith machine squats are safer than regular squats. This is a downright lie, and as proof I know of several lawsuits that were filed from individuals who became quadriplegics from accidents that occurred using this equipment. My experience with the Smith machine squat is that it’s very hard on the patellar ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament, both of which act as stabilizers for the knees.
Most bodybuilders who use a Smith machine perform squats while holding their trunks vertical, a technique that minimizes the involvement of the hamstrings. Also, leaning back against the bar increases the stability of the trunk, further reducing the involvement of the hamstrings. This is not desirable, as hamstring activation is a direct antagonist to quadriceps activation at the knee, and this “co-contraction” neutralizes the harmful forces of the upper and lower leg bones.
With a Smith machine, the bar is on a track, and this increased stability decreases the requirement of the body’s neutralizer and stabilizer muscle functions. Therefore, the strength developed on such machines has minimal carryover to a three-dimensionally, unstable environment such as occurs during the freestanding squat. This is an especially important fact to those who use weight training to improve sports performance. The bottom line is that free-weight exercises should always precede machine exercises, and athletes should limit their machine training to no more than 25 percent of the total work performed.”
This was a section of Charles Poliquin article, 8 Stupid Myths about Squatting, link is here
Being sick always takes a lil pep out of your step. I am in week 4 of my 8 week powerlifting training. This week I got hit with a stomach flu. I didn’t feel overly sick. A little run down, but it was mostly my stomach that got me. Eating was out the window.
I didn’t take any powerlifting days off this week, but I did skip my bodybuilding days (back, arms, shoulders).
By my last day of the power lifts for this week was yesterday, and I was taxed. I had to squat 405 pounds for 6 sets of 3 reps (no belt), and I was fatiguing pretty badly. Just earlier that week that same weight was moving smoothly.
I am taking today off and hoping my system is back to normal with some rest. I am eating like crazy today, so I think my body is trying to catch back up with the lost energy.
Talk about having to grind out sets though! I was napping a lot after, and felt very drained. Sometimes there is a balance between toughing it out, and pushing it too far when you need rest. I am glad I took today off.
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