“ Brand: Life Fitness / Type: Shoulder Press „
I like to use many different machines and workouts to ensure a full body workout, and I like to work on different muscle groups to build strength and add definition to my body. I felt that my shoulders and upper back were not getting as much of a workout as the rest of my body, so I asked a trainer at the gym to show me a few things I could use to work on these areas a little bit.
One of the few things I was shown was a shoulder press, and the one we have in my local gym is the Life Fitness Optima Series Shoulder Press. Life Fitness are a big name in the world of home and gym sports equipment, and most of the machines in the gym I go to are made by this company. They are well known for their top quality, durable, reliable machines that will give you results if you put in the time and dedication that is required of you.
The shoulder press is basically made up of a seat, arm bar, a weights stack and the welded metal frame. The weights stack is attached to the arm bar by a seires of wires and pulleys, to ensure a smooth, easy motion that causes no excess effort or pain when the machine is in use. The seat is made up of a large, supportive back part and an adustable seated part. Both parts are firm, yet padded to ensure top quality support, yet be comfortable enough for you to use.
The arm bar has two large handles, so you can easily grip them and they are made of a rubber material, which is slightly padded so that your hands are comfortable when you are using the machine. The weights stack is positioned in the main housing of the machine, and is within easy reach of the seat so that you do not have to stretch to change the amount of weight you are using. The weight stack is set in increasements of 7KG, so you can easily select a weight that you will safely be able to use, without having to pile too much on or work with too little.
To select a weight, you have to use the pin which is attatched to the weights stack. This slots into the hole in the centre of each block on the weight stack, and then secures the weights in place which you would like to use. This is a very simple way to select the amount of weight, and I am sure anyone could use it. The lower half of the seat is adjustable with a simple pull handle, so you can always ensure you are at the correct height to use the machine, without a whole load of hassle and effort.
To actually work the machine, after you have selected the correct weight and seat position, you have to grip both handles on the arm bar and bracing yourself in the chair, you lift the weight by pushing your arms upwards, until your arms are just before the elbow locking position. Never lock your elbows as this can cause injury. Once you have gone up, bring the weight back down, slowly and without letting the weight stack touch back down. Repeat this between 8 and 12 times, and then rest. I usually do four sets of these, but this will be different for everyone.
I find that this machine is quite simple to use, and I also find it comfortable to use, and it really does support my back when I am using it. There is nothing complicated or intimidating, and it can easily be used by most people. At first I found it hard to use on a lower weight, but since using it, I have managed to put the weight up and I am starting to see results in the way my shoulders look. My partner also uses this machine and he is pleased with his results too.
After a workout, I can definatley feel the work that has been done on my shoulders, and I like that feeling as it makes me feel like I have done a proper bit of work. The machine feels nice and sturdy when I use it, and I have seen a lot of people use it, so it really does get a lot of use. There is no grinding or rubbing during use, so this makes me think it is top quality and made strongly, with durable materials that can go the extra that is needed for this type of repeatitive movements.
If you do not have one of these in your gym, you can buy this for home use. I will say that these are expensive to buy one for your own use. I have seen them on many a store online, and the general price for one seems to be around £4000, brand new. They can be bought second hand or ex-demo, which may lower the price quite a bit. You will also need a bit of space in your home, as these machines do not just fold up and store away nicely. They will need to stay set up, and they take up 60" x 55" x 57" (152 cm x 140 cm x 145 cm) of room.
They can be delievered and installed for you though, so no need to worry about trying to drag it home from the car, or trying to put it up yourself, I know I wouldn't want to be doing that! If you can afford one of these for yourself, and you have the space for it, then I totally recommend this and I think you should get one. If you have one in the gym you use, then even better, I totally recommend that you use it once in a while.
I think is a great machine that is sturdy, durable and totally gives good results as long as you are serious on using it. I give this machine a 5 out of 5 stars, and I hope you guys like using it as much as I do.
*This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*