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Article care of midwestsupplements.com
I was approached in the gym the other day by a well developed, middle-aged guy in his late 40's. He really looked good and many years younger than his age. His question was, "Can this machine create the same muscle gains as squats with free weights?"
The machine in question was a selectorized cable leg press machine from a highly popular fitness line. I gave him my honest opinion, "No." Every selectorized leg press machine(machine where you change a pin between the plate stack to reach different levels of weight)I've used has not produced the results of squats. However, there are few things to keep in mind.
Number one: This individual was having problems with his back when he squatted. Everytime he squatted with a weight that would stimulate his legs, he would injure his back. This in turn would cause him to miss many future workouts for all parts of his body. Free weight back squats aren't an option for him. They may not be an option for you either.
Number two: There are other exercises and machines that can go a long way toward replacing squats in your workout. At least you can still make some nice gains in your legs. 45 degree angled leg presses that are plate loaded are my favorite replacement exercise for squats. I honestly feel that you can make similar progress in leg development if you train them with the same intensity. Another exercise which can be substituted is front squats. You can't use as much weight, which might alleviate some of the pressure from the back. You are also forced to remain in a more upright position to perform front squats, which should help the back issue.
Please keep in mind the following. Exercises that cause you pain and cause you to miss or limit future workouts are impeding your gains dramatically. You need to avoid such exercises and find substitutes for them. However, you need to be honest with yourself. Are they really causing you pain or are you just being lazy? Heavy, basic exercises like squats are difficult for everyone for one reason - they build muscle. However, if performing such exercises truly is a problem for you, find something else in the gym to do. Most gyms have plenty of options.
If you're having joint pain, you might try some Glucosamine + CSA caps. I've been using them and can't believe how much better I feel.
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