or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Functional Training equipment??

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hey all. I am thinking about getting some weight training equipment for my home. Not only for ski training, but just because in general my muscles have gotten wimpier and wimpier as I get older and I want to start getting into weight training in general, both to boost my sports performance(particularly skiing) but also to just look and feel better.

But of course, how to train for skiing is always in the fore-front of my mind at all times.

One of the pieces of equipment I'm looking at is a Precor "Functional Trainer', the 3.23(I know a guy at Precor that can get it to me for Dealer cost).

http://www.precor.com/cons/strs/323/

I am wondering if anyone here has any experience using this type of equipment for strength training related to skiing?? If so, can you reccomend it or make other comments? One drawback that I can think of by simply looking at it is that some traditional weight lifting exercises are not covered very well such as bench presses and leg extensions. But perhaps it gives enough of a full body workout to be fine. it seems like something like this would also help me to build core strength and many oddball things like hip extensors...stuff related to skiing and not easy to strengthen using traditional weight lifting paradigms.

comments?
post #2 of 37
This is very similar to a company called Freemotion. IMHO, it is one of the best training systems around, since you can train in different directions. As far as traditional exercises go, many people substitute a stability ball for a bench. The reason that there is no leg extension is because leg extensions are not functional.
post #3 of 37

strength training

i see it only has 80# stacks. you can buy a lot of stuff for $3000 incl. bench. a smith machine with bench and 300# runs about $600 at costco.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
thanks for the quick response! You have me convinced. Could you please elaborate a bit on how I can substitute a bench with a training ball? I have a training ball that I bought a few weeks ago but I have yet to actually try anything on it. I plan to use that also as part of my training.

I read a review somewhere that criticized this machine based on the fact that it was missing leg extensions and had no really good way to work the quads. But could you please elaborate more on that point....perhaps I don't need to work the quads...like you say..everything is about "function". So perhaps having beefed up super strong quads is sort of pointless. i certainly don't care about making my quads bigger. (my arms are another story).
post #5 of 37

hip extensions

you can do these as a lunge with weights or step-ups on a 20" chair with or without weights
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
perfect answer about the quads, thanks.

I'll check out the Costco one too. The guy I recently bought my house from works for Precor and can get me a super good deal. In general, precor makes some really good quality stuff. My price for a brand new 3.23 would be about half the retail so... its kind of tempting, even if its still more than whatever they have at Costco.

I believe the amount of weight that comes with the Precor is 300 pounds total, that's what I read. I'd like to get a piece of cardio equipment, maybe through him also.
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
I believe the amount of weight that comes with the Precor is 300 pounds total, that's what I read.
On second thought I read the specs again and see what you are talking about. its a bit confusing. I read an independent review somewhere that says it has 150 pounds per side. The specs seem to indicate half that amount, which would in fact be a ridiculously low amount. 300 is probably even low for some people, though it would not be for me.

Anyway, I've put in an email to cust support to find out the scoop. thanks again for your comments.
post #8 of 37
Sorry I took so long on this. I was looking for pictures, but I couldn't find any. Basicaally, you place the ball between the two cables. Lie down so that your head and shoulders are on the ball. Keep your core muscled engaged. You can either do bench presses or chest flys.
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
so I take it the point of the ball instead of the bench is to work on the core instead of just the chest while you're at it?
post #10 of 37
Exactly!
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
can you reccomend any good books that discuss exercises and ways to use this type of cable-oriented equipment? The idea of combining it with the ball in various ways is intriguing also.
post #12 of 37
Have you thought about why you actually want to buy an expensive machine like this? While I do not have experience with that particular machine, you probably can get a good weightlifting workout on it (though, as discussed, not necessarily high loads as you progress). But, if your purpose is "functional" strength, in other words strength that helps you ski, move the couch, pick up kids or grandkids, etc., then the machine is generally both more expensive and at cross-purposes to building functional strength.

Remember also that the fate of most home machines is to get "lightly used" and then sit unused for years in the basement or garage.

You can develop great functional strength with nothing more expensive than a pull-up bar -- or stop off at a public playground and get quick pullups in on the bars there for free -- so again, I'd just think about why the machine before plunking down the $$.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
thanks for your comments. As I said earlier, my goals are also to "get buffed", not just train for skiing...and i am in position to get a really good deal on this equipment from the guy I bought my house from...and also, there is a dedicated little gym room in the house...and I kinda wanna put some gym equipment in there and use it. It rains a lot here last time i checked and it not always easy to get outside for Aerobics either.

ps - I don't have any grandkids.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
[snip]

ps - I don't have any grandkids.
No offense meant by the reference -- saying groceries or suitcases probably would have been more politic on my part (I did say "kids OR grandkids"), I simply meant everyday lifting tasks.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
On second thought I read the specs again and see what you are talking about. its a bit confusing. I read an independent review somewhere that says it has 150 pounds per side. The specs seem to indicate half that amount, which would in fact be a ridiculously low amount. 300 is probably even low for some people, though it would not be for me.

Anyway, I've put in an email to cust support to find out the scoop. thanks again for your comments.

the specs say "160 lbs (72.73 kg) each stack" so i would assume 160/side = 320 total. regardless, this seems like a bit of a gimmick to me. you can get just as good (if not better) results from cheap dumbbells/barbells. btw, "functional training" is such an annoyingly pervasive buzzword these days...it's meaningless in most cases.
post #16 of 37
FWIW, I acquired a Parabody 350 years ago and have gone through various levels of workout frequencies and routines. Finding it typically boring, I'd certainly would rather jump on a bike, hike do yard work, etc than sit inside and count reps. But this year, I found very little time to get out for a decent ride or other workouts and started a 'weight spinning' routine that I could get to more frequently and work into a hectic schedule better. Sometimes I could only get get part of the 45 minute workout done, but could finish later in the day or evenings (one more home office luxury).

Thinking more reps (40 now) with less weight (I sure don't need all 300 lbs) and and non-stop cycling through 14 exercises with a cadence and maintaining a high pulse rate, to assimilate a ride, touring or skate skiing has been providing acceptable 'whole body maintenance level' results and surprises when I get out and ride or other activities. It certainly helps reducing the weekend warring aches and pains, and seems to give a good foundation to improve on with more cardiovascular or other exercises.

Quickly looking at the Precor chart it looks like many of the exercises require awkward or unsupported positions and would strain the back versus a back support. Having the lat bar on the Parabody type machine is very nice, seems missing on the Precor. Switching weights and exercises takes a few seconds and more convenient than free weights.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Quickly looking at the Precor chart it looks like many of the exercises require awkward or unsupported positions and would strain the back versus a back support.
One of the issues in modern exercise physiology is the fact that old fashioned equipment used too many supports, such as seat belts, etc. As a result, many people have not been trained to use their deeper musculature which would enhance balance and prevent injury. In real life, especially on the slopes, we are often not working in supported postions. However, we do have a nice set of core muscles that can support us. Use them or lose them.
post #18 of 37
Thanks for the insights. Are you saying lose the bench and back support? If so, how to incorporate a ball with the machine.....if at all?

Would something like the FitterFirst ProActive Disc on the bench be worth considering?
TIA
post #19 of 37
We still suggest back support if using very heavy weight, but everyone should still practice some sort of exercise that trains you to use your natural stabilizers. The Pro Active Disc is a great idea!
post #20 of 37
While waiting for the paramedics with the back board and and heavy pain killers, : I thought I'd report back after an initial workout with our FitterFirst wobble board, doing my normal routine. (I should have posted a video for comedic value.)




I placed the wobble board on a piece of plywood for each exercise so the ball wouldn't depress into the bench or carpet cushioning. I can see how it could benefit others with free weights as well as machines. It definitely added 'fun' back to the work out trying to keep balanced while doing the routine. The best benefit was while keeping the edges from touching the ground. Moving the feet closure together reduced the margin for error much like alpine skiing in tele gear & leathers does. :. It definitely worked the 'other areas' and forced focus on balance rather than the workout itself, increased the fun and challenge, worked the midsection and legs more. I definitely feel like I got more of a workout than my typical one.

Thanks all for sparking this direction.

When I get back from recovery. maybe I can work up to the 'workout without the bench' as described in another thread or something like this workout (who says real tele dudes and dudettes don't have balance and strength :

post #21 of 37
Oaky...that last one just might border on being a "stupid human trick!"
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just want to follow up on this thread. I finally got an email back from Precor and their tech support says this trainer only has 80 pounds per side, 160 pounds total..which I agree with others..is quite small. So small in fact that I probably would rather just use a ball and dumbells instead of this expensive equipment..then I can get something else for "getting buffed". I'm weak enough now that 160 pounds would probably be enough to do a lot of stuff, but I would pass that limit in no time I'm sure.

Actually, I'm kind of shocked and still wondering if the info I just got was wrong. I am going to check with one other person about it.
post #23 of 37
It certainly depends on what you mean by 'buffed', but FWIW the current mode I'm in doesn't require more than 60 or 70 lbs as I'm not interested in bulk, but reps and conditioning and toning. I never would have bought the machine, but acquired it for free. Having it though, is a nice convenience periodically, and a clothes hanger frequently. Come to think of it, I might have a Parabody I'll sell ya cheap, if you pick it up.
post #24 of 37
The clothes hanger thing is always an issue when buying this stuff. Even the cheapest piece of equipment is expensive if it is never used.
post #25 of 37

Precor

B to Ski,

Did you ever buy the Functional Trainer? I'm looking to buy one and wanted feedback on the unit.

Thank you.

Brian
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
No I didn't, but I joined a gym and started using theirs and within two months tore my L4 disc. so be careful.

I think a ball is the better way to go and only under very strict direction by a pro.
post #27 of 37
I'm not familiar with that Precor machine, but most machines have too much back support to develop the core muscles, and they control the movement too much to develop the muscles that provide balance. That makes machines pretty much irrelevant for ski training.
I did a USSA clinic on strength training a couple of yours ago. It was all about using light weights (mostly body weight only) on unstable surfaces (like stability balls) to develop endurance and balance. They were far more concerned with endurance than peak strength, and far more concerned with core strength than leg strength.
I have a set of adjustable dumbells that She Who Must Be Obeyed allows in the living room (so I don't have to work out in the basement) and a stabilty ball. Startng in October I go to the gym to do squats with heavy weights once a week for 8 or 10 weeks. That's more than I need for strength training for skiing, at least according to the USSA coaches.

BK
post #28 of 37
I'm big on dumbells, and a bosu and a fitness ball are terrific aids for you to do create a lot of "functional" variations of basic lifts. Together, it's also pretty inexpensive.

Condon, Swiss Ball Core Workout is one book with a lot of exercises pictured using a fitness ball

http://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Ball-Wor...2456970&sr=1-2

As is Detz, Ultimate Core Ball Workout

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Core-...2456970&sr=1-1
post #29 of 37
Just a biased old man's opinion: You need a good bench, an olympic bar and some free weights.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Just a biased old man's opinion: You need a good bench, an olympic bar and some free weights.
trade the bench for a pull up bar and I agree
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: