The following machine abuser story takes place between 5 pm – 6 pm at the local gym

911: “911 What’s your emergency”

Caller: “It has happen again….oh….i’m so scared to talk!”

911: “Umm Ma’am what has happened?”

Caller: “Oh I’m not sure if I should say. It’ll probably only get worse if he knows I talked to you…”

911: “Ma’am there’s no need to be afraid. Just tell us the situation and we’ll send someone out there immediately to assist you”

Caller: “Ok….”

911: “What happened to you Ma’am?”

Caller: “I think I’m being abused. It’s now going on three years and I just can’t take it anymore! It started out small. Nothing major. We both were shocked the first time it happened. He quickly apologized and I thought we would get over it. But over time it’s only got worse.

The abuse seems to be happening more often these past few months! There’s a lot of pulling, jerking and loud grunting done by him! Sometimes I have to look away because it’s awful to watch. This is not the person I hope he would be when we first meet!

He thinks he’s doing something and accomplishing something but he’s not! All he has been doing is hurting this relationship! Someone has to step in and stop this now!”

911: “Ma’am, no need to worry. Help is on the way. The MAU will be there shortly to address the situation”

911: “Officer MicVinny, we got a 431 going on. Please respond?”

MicVinny: “I’m on it! ETA in 5!”

I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff in my years on the force. Every time I go down to the gym, I never know what I’m going to see. As the years have been going on it seems to be getting only worse.

What nearly starts out as a brand new relationship between a person and a machine quickly escalates into a one sided affair in which the machine is begging the person to stop.

That’s where I come in. Welcome to my world…..

Law & Order: MAU (Machine Abuse Unit) Starring Mr. Travel Fitness

It doesn’t matter the age. It doesn’t matter the sex. Heck it doesn’t matter the gender. You’re going to see it as soon as you walk into a gym.

With the explosion of the internet and youtube, everyone and their momma thinks they can just watch some videos or read an article and instantly they’re fitness experts.

It never works out that way!

What typically happens is that people get overly excited about their new dedication towards being healthy and fit. They come to this side of town all happy & gleeful.

They will go over to Cardio Street and hang out with the ellipticals, treadmills and bikes. That’s typically where the abuse first starts. Normally it’s nothing too drastic.

Those guys on Cardio Street can take punishments for long periods of time. The people hanging out with those machines typically just push their buttons and watch TVs as they zone out. Not much communication takes place.

Eventually the people will come to realize that they need more than Cardio Street to have a good workout. That’s when they will stroll down Free Weight Alley. Instantly they are met with resistance!

As they look upon the alley way they are greeted with a muscularly intimidating gang! Barbella, DumbBo and Benches McFly are all huddled with these muscular, fit looking men and women. The gang always like to intimate newcomers by giving them a menacing glare!

“I’m not ready for this area! Those guys are too intimidating!

Machine Abuser Valley Lane

People will typically run away from Free Weight Alley and make it towards a friendlier street called Machine Abuser Valley Lane. This is completely different from the intimidation of Free Weight Alley.

Here they see big fancy machines with pretty pictures on them. People assume they know what they are doing and avoid the warning signs.

Those poor machines never have a chance!

The machines try their best to give people warnings and advice on how to properly build a relationship with them but the newbies just don’t listen.

Due to the ease of using the machines, the newbies typically stick around for days, weeks, months are even years. This new relationship typically goes one sided.

That’s why my unit typically get’s called in. After so much time of neglect, somebody has to step in to help out the situations. Both the machines and users need us officers to rectify the situation before it gets out of control.

You Might Be A Machine Abuser If…..

As I make my way to this crime scene let me tell you some tips to see if you could be a machine abuser as well:

  1. You go to the gym 3-7 days a week but never go to the free weight area.
  2. You never read the warning labels telling you how to properly use the machine
  3. You’ve been doing the same exact machine exercise routine for over two months with the same exact weights
  4. You have no idea what full extension mean
  5. You hear loud clacking sounds when using the machine
  6. You only use the leg press and leg extension machines for your leg development
  7. You don’t know the name of the exercise you are doing on the machine
  8. You spend more than five hours a week on cardio machines and less than 1 hour lifting weights during the week
  9. You never adjust the machine’s seat to fit your correct height level

Please Use Machines For What They Were Designed For

Too many people don’t understand what machines are for at the gym. The majority of machines are designed to isolate the muscle. What that means is when you really want only one muscle to do all the work, machines work brilliantly in doing that.

An example is using the leg extension. The leg extension was designed to isolate the quadriceps. This isolation is so that only this one muscle group is doing all work. You’re extending the knee angle which is why this exercise is called leg extension.

Machines are excellent for isolation. Unfortunately the majority of the people who are at the gym are there to get stronger or lose weight. If you are only using machines to meet those goals you’re wasting your time. You would get much quicker results if you chose to do compound exercises.

What Are Compound Exercises?

Remember the gang at Free Weight Alley? Well, like most things in life, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

If you would have stayed around you would have found out that those Free Weight Alley folks are some of the friendliest people in the world. Nine times out of ten, those people will help you out if you ask.

If you ever encounter negative folks, then i’m sorry that your local neighborhoods have such bad seeds. In my experience most Free Weight Alleys are filled with knowledgeable and helpful individuals who want to see you succeed.

Those people in Free Weight Alley understand the importance of compound exercise. A compound exercise works multiple muscles at once allowing you to burn more calories and get stronger faster than isolation exercises.

Here’s a classic case of compound vs. isolation.

Isolation Exercise

Leg Extension
Muscle worked: quadricep

Compound Exercise

Barbell Squat
Muscles worked: quadriceps, abs, hamstrings, glutes, calves,lower back, erector spinae, lower traps, upper traps, deltoids

As you can see the barbell squat is pretty much a full body movement. The emphasis is on your legs but the rest of your body has to get in on the action to stabilize the barbell resting on your shoulders. That equates to more muscle growth, strength, toned muscles, mobility, flexibility and a cardio session as well.

If you don’t believe squats are a great cardio exercise, try to do 10 reps in a row with 30 secs rest before your next set. That my friend is called conditioning!

Arrived At the Scene

Take it from this vet. I’ve been on the force for way too long. I feel sorry for these poor machines. They don’t ask for it. All they want to do is help people reach their goals.

Now that I’ve given you some advice, please make sure that the next machine you’re on doesn’t have to call the Machine Abuse Unit to knock some sense into you!

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