Which piece of gym equipment works out which part of the body?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 13, 2014 4:56 PM GMT
    I think I'm confused on how to actually work out.
    Stick with me on this one...


    I, like most, would like to have some chunky(ish) biceps, and pecs that you can see through a thin t-shirt.

    But I was under the illusion that I could just go to the gym and do that 'weight pully thing' (where you put a pin in the weight you want to lift, sit on a bench and pull the 2 handles), but I've since found out that is for exercising backs!

    Fear not, I have also been keen to use the 'rowing machine' too. That should get me some nice biceps right? - Well apparently that is more of a chest exercise!

    Can it be, the only way to work out biceps is through lifting weights?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 13, 2014 9:03 PM GMT
    the traditional flat bench press using dumbbells or a long handle bar is ideal for building a great chest. You can also incline the bench to about 45 degrees to work the upper part of the chest. You can also do incline flys using dumbbells to work the upper chest, cable cross overs also do a great work to the chest. I also do dips which target the upper traps of the chest.

    But to get biceps which is one of your questions you can do standing biceps curls using a long ez bar which is curled, using and angled beach inclined up to 75 degrees and two dumbbells for a seated bicep movement this helps develops the inner bicep muscle and biceps curls using a preacher bench.
  • sportsjockla

    Posts: 498

    Apr 13, 2014 9:16 PM GMT
    For Chest - Flat bench press. Incline for upper pecs
    Biceps - Bicep curls - pull ups- (There are lots of different bicep curl exercises.
    Triceps - Cable tricep push down is good. Do variations with handles.
    Back or Lats - Rows - lat pull downs

    Try to use as much free weights for best results. Machines are fine for starting out, but advance to free weights later
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 13, 2014 11:40 PM GMT
    The OP is really cute.

    Why not hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to make sure you have the right techniques?
  • SDOMAN1

    Posts: 109

    Apr 14, 2014 2:13 AM GMT
    The basics on the weight training i've learned so far is that any muscle you train with weights is because you need to break the cells that when they regenerate, the do it bigger and stronger (dont missinterprete me by break i mean to injure badly, but in a manner of speaking we are injuring our muscles forcing them to repair bigger and stronger).

    The same happens with the biceps, you need to break the cell joints with the weight training so that way when you rest and eat, they repair themselves bigger and stronger.

    I will put you a simple example: when you weight train, your cells cant withstand the weight, the load, and they break; then the cell tell to one another "we need to build a more stronger joint so we can handle the load". once they do it they say "jaja, now we can handle that weight"; but then you increase the weight a little more, and the cycle start over and over again.

    That goes for every single muscle in the body.

    You just need the proper way to do it, there are plenty of information around the internet about how to train; from begginers to pros if you cant afford a personal trainer!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2014 3:24 AM GMT
    sportsjockla saidFor Chest - Flat bench press. Incline for upper pecs
    Biceps - Bicep curls - pull ups- (There are lots of different bicep curl exercises.
    Triceps - Cable tricep push down is good. Do variations with handles.
    Back or Lats - Rows - lat pull downs

    Try to use as much free weights for best results. Machines are fine for starting out, but advance to free weights later


    This simply isn't true. A muscle works through a particular range of motion. It either contracts, or doesn't.

    See here:

    41876d1293409310-musculature-anatomy-cha

    Biceps contract, or don't.

    A balanced program is most important, and...any program should include HIIT training.

    You should read the labels on the machines. They'll tell you what the machine does. Or, watch folks whom are fairly successful. It's important to have balance, or you'll be injured in short order. In other words, if you do chest, you need to be doing back, and posterior deltoids.

    Each muscle either contracts ordoesn't. Hypertrophy is a change that occurs as part of adaptation. Hyperplasia is when you grow new, additional, muscle cells (you can read a whole technical discussion, elsewhere). There are two kinds of hypertrophy. You'll want to empower yourself by researching those two types, and the proper training methods for either. (I have extensive sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.)

    There are no exercises that target an upper portion or lower portion of a muscle. That's malarky. The muscle either contracts, or doesn't.

    Dual ended exercises through a full range of motion will be the most effective, especially with adequate calories. Remember: don't be a half repper.

    Always, stretch, a WARM muscle (i.e., post workout). Unless you are highly train you should NEVER stretch cold.

    Study. Lots of what you've read here is garbage.

    HIIT is much better for retaining less body mass, and improving cardiac function than running or swimming. You can study on the various forms of HIIT. Long distance runners have the highest incidents of sudden death, and usually suffer from long term impact injuries. Long distance; long duration is not generally best for your overall health.

    Joints are bone. A tendon is a fibrous connective tissue which attaches muscle to bone. Tendons may also attach muscles to structures such as the eyeball. A tendon serves to move the bone or structure. A ligament is a fibrous connective tissue which attaches bone to bone, and usually serves to hold structures together and keep them stable. You don't strengthen joints. You strengthen their support structures.
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Apr 14, 2014 5:40 AM GMT
    Whilst arms and chest look good with a white t shirt, don't forget your legs. Chicken legs aren't a good look.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 14, 2014 6:41 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    Study. Lots of what you've read here is garbage.



    I wouldn't say everything else is here is garbage (I think the other posters are trying to summarize the OP's BROAD question as much as possible)...but obviously chuckystud knows his shit icon_smile.gif and I completely agree with him when he says: STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, instead of going around asking other guys.

    Seriously, Tom, there's sooooo much to learn, and you're starting all the way from the beginning. I remember what that was like. But you're not gonna get sufficient knowledge from just one question.

    The fundamental advice I have for you is:

    1) I'm gonna reiterate chucky's advice to STUDY. READ articles. Start with maybe a light-fitness publication like Men's Health or Men's Fitness. Take a lifting program from there, and learn the basics.

    As you progress, get more serious, you learn more, and are able to understand more advanced advice from, say Muscle & Fitness, MuscleMag, bodybuilding.com, and eventually T-Nation. Study, read articles....take it as seriously as a class at school. Read up. It's okay to ask the meatheads at the gym, or other guys here for their opinions...but you won't be able to understand their advice, and sort through it and make sense of it if you don't even know the basics.

    2) to add to chucky's advice that "each muscle contracts or it doesnt" :

    When you're doing a particular lift, which muscle does it FEEL like you're using? That's a fundamental thing to ponder. Of course, sometimes newbies will feel the wrong muscle. For example, I've had a guy claim that he felt the shoulders burn during a cable pressdown variation (which should target the triceps, not shoulders). There could be many reasons for that (maybe his shoulders were sore from the previous day? maybe he wasn't holding the rope/cable correctly?).

    But my point is: if you're unsure what a machine does, it should have a label on it, containing the machine's name, and a description (often illustrated) of which muscles it targets (as chucky pointed out). And when you're actually using that machine, make sure that the intended muscle is actually CONTRACTING. Don't focus on the weight moving. Focus on the intended muscle WORKING. Pretty simple advice, but trust me, it's advice often not followed. You'll see guys at the gym doing "dumbbell curls", but they focus on raising the weight, rather than CONTRACTING the bicep...and so they throw the weight, using momentum to raise it, instead of working the muscle. Defeats the purpose of lifting.

    Lastly:

    I disagree with sportsjockla on free weights being "more advanced" and machines for "newbies". Both experienced lifters and newbies benefit from both free weights and machines. Each has its benefit regardless of your experience level.

    seafrontbloke saidWhilst arms and chest look good with a white t shirt, don't forget your legs. Chicken legs aren't a good look.


    To add to this:

    Chest and biceps alone won't make you look good in a t-shirt. A guy with chest and biceps, but no traps looks ridiculously awkward. Lats are also VERY important, unless you want to awkwardly look developed from the front and undeveloped from the back. And, of course, triceps. Without a pair of developed triceps, your biceps will look awkward. The tricep is, after all, 2/3 of your upper arm. The bicep is that nice bulge on the front side of your arm, but a developed tricep will make your arm look like a REAL arm, nice and meaty.
  • Camz03

    Posts: 91

    Apr 14, 2014 9:37 AM GMT
    The easiest way for beginners to learn which exercises work various muscles (besides reading the instructions on the machines) is to consider this: muscles shorten when they contract to do work, and lengthen when they relax. Focus your attention on which parts of the body are shortening to do work to contract when you do an exercise. It's always good to study the muscles of the body through an anatomical chart like Chuckystud provided to see which directions the fibres of each muscle run in.

    If you stretch your arm out to the side and bend at the elbow, you can quite clearly see for yourself the bicep contracts. If you look at a diagram you will see that the biceps brachii muscles have linear muscle fibres. Ultimately, then, it makes sense that the greater the bend at the elbow to draw the upper arm towards the body (from my described position), the more contracted these muscle fibres will become. Other muscles are not as simple, such as the pectoral muscles that have a fan-like shape, and so require work with different angles and range of motion(ROM) in order to cause contraction.

    And what Chuckystud said is partially true (it contracts or it doesn't): a muscle doesn't necessarily fire in an all-or-nothing fashion. Electrical signals from the brain stimulate muscle cells to contract. The more you tell your arm to bend at the elbow in my above example, the greater the signal from the brain, and the more muscle fibres are recruited to contract. Contraction can be partial. Most weight lifters would argue that to receive the full benefits of weight training, you would need to repeat as many maximal contractions as possible (repetitions, or reps) a number of times (sets) in order to fatigue the muscle to stimulate a growth and repair response.

    Honestly, the best way to educate yourself about which exercises will work your muscle of choice is to work on your knowledge of muscular contraction (which movements require contraction from which muscles) and also to read the instructions on machines around the gym. Don't be ashamed to do that: everyone has to start somewhere. Hell, it's how I learned!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2014 3:29 PM GMT
    jjguy05 said
    chuckystud said
    Study. Lots of what you've read here is garbage.



    I wouldn't say everything else is here is garbage (I think the other posters are trying to summarize the OP's BROAD question as much as possible)...but obviously chuckystud knows his shit icon_smile.gif and I completely agree with him when he says: STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, instead of going around asking other guys.

    Seriously, Tom, there's sooooo much to learn, and you're starting all the way from the beginning. I remember what that was like. But you're not gonna get sufficient knowledge from just one question.

    The fundamental advice I have for you is:

    1) I'm gonna reiterate chucky's advice to STUDY. READ articles. Start with maybe a light-fitness publication like Men's Health or Men's Fitness. Take a lifting program from there, and learn the basics.

    As you progress, get more serious, you learn more, and are able to understand more advanced advice from, say Muscle & Fitness, MuscleMag, bodybuilding.com, and eventually T-Nation. Study, read articles....take it as seriously as a class at school. Read up. It's okay to ask the meatheads at the gym, or other guys here for their opinions...but you won't be able to understand their advice, and sort through it and make sense of it if you don't even know the basics.

    2) to add to chucky's advice that "each muscle contracts or it doesnt" :

    When you're doing a particular lift, which muscle does it FEEL like you're using? That's a fundamental thing to ponder. Of course, sometimes newbies will feel the wrong muscle. For example, I've had a guy claim that he felt the shoulders burn during a cable pressdown variation (which should target the triceps, not shoulders). There could be many reasons for that (maybe his shoulders were sore from the previous day? maybe he wasn't holding the rope/cable correctly?).

    But my point is: if you're unsure what a machine does, it should have a label on it, containing the machine's name, and a description (often illustrated) of which muscles it targets (as chucky pointed out). And when you're actually using that machine, make sure that the intended muscle is actually CONTRACTING. Don't focus on the weight moving. Focus on the intended muscle WORKING. Pretty simple advice, but trust me, it's advice often not followed. You'll see guys at the gym doing "dumbbell curls", but they focus on raising the weight, rather than CONTRACTING the bicep...and so they throw the weight, using momentum to raise it, instead of working the muscle. Defeats the purpose of lifting.

    Lastly:

    I disagree with sportsjockla on free weights being "more advanced" and machines for "newbies". Both experienced lifters and newbies benefit from both free weights and machines. Each has its benefit regardless of your experience level.

    seafrontbloke saidWhilst arms and chest look good with a white t shirt, don't forget your legs. Chicken legs aren't a good look.


    To add to this:

    Chest and biceps alone won't make you look good in a t-shirt. A guy with chest and biceps, but no traps looks ridiculously awkward. Lats are also VERY important, unless you want to awkwardly look developed from the front and undeveloped from the back. And, of course, triceps. Without a pair of developed triceps, your biceps will look awkward. The tricep is, after all, 2/3 of your upper arm. The bicep is that nice bulge on the front side of your arm, but a developed tricep will make your arm look like a REAL arm, nice and meaty.


    +1
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2014 3:34 PM GMT
    You don't have to use free weights, nor machines. You can use body weight (e.g. a gymnast), a fluid (e.g. a swimmer), or any other form of resistance.

    2/3 of your lean mass is in your legs. Balance, calories, flexibility, and cardiac fitness should all be considered in a proper program. Nothing looks worse than a person who does just upper body.

    Many sports support over development of a particular body area..e.g. swimmers often have poorly developed chests, and legs, but, over developed backs. To stay injury free, and to look nice, you'll want to promote balanced development, and...you can have the best training program in The World, but, if you sabotage it by failing to eat, you are sure to fail.

    Doing esoteric exercises is just plain stupid, and not just a great way to get hurt, but, not the way to advance development.

    Study. Study. Mama isn't here to help you.

    As far as fiber recruitment, well that's a whole nother discussion but generally speaking, you don't work just part of a muscle. It tends to work as a group. And, unless you have an abundance of calories, and/or chemically enhanced via AAS, Gh, insulin, diuretics, and T3 you're NOT going to be that guy on the cover of the magazine who is likely taking many of the above, been training for years, studied it with a passion, and never misses a meal. That's reality.

    Read REAL science. BroScience is a plan for failure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2014 3:41 PM GMT
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 14, 2014 11:21 PM GMT
    chuckystud said

    Study. Study. Mama isn't here to help you.

    As far as fiber recruitment, well that's a whole nother discussion but generally speaking, you don't work just part of a muscle. It tends to work as a group. And, unless you have an abundance of calories, and/or chemically enhanced via AAS, Gh, insulin, diuretics, and T3 you're NOT going to be that guy on the cover of the magazine who is likely taking many of the above, been training for years, studied it with a passion, and never misses a meal. That's reality.

    Read REAL science. BroScience is a plan for failure.


    Once again, excellent advice from Chucky.

    As for muscle fibers...my advice for Tom, is start learning the basics, before you start learning about muscle fibers (some respond with high reps, some with low reps, some with the 6-12 range, etc, etc).

    But when you're just starting out, your body responds like crazy. Start with a basic lifting program for beginners that you got from a reliable publication, and as you progress and get better at it, continue to read articles, do your homework/research, study, and learn the more advanced stuff.

    Ditto on learning real science over bro science. I do think that bro science has its place though. But you should have a solid foundation first, before asking random guys for their opinions. Otherwise, you won't be able to sort the bullshit from the valid opinions. I'm at the point now where I know enough, so I can ask other guys for their opinions on something. Not just any guy though. But if I saw Chucky [for example] in the gym, I'd definitely strike up a conversation with him, and get his opinion on something. And I already have the knowledge foundation to make sense of his opinion and figure out how it applies to me. OTOH, when you're just starting out, the information's overwhelming. You don't know who's full of it...even a guy that looks impressive; he may just have awesome biceps because of genetics, and not because he worked for them.

    So again, study, study, study. icon_biggrin.gif