Recently, I joined a gym as I am determined to lose weight and get fit and in the gym is a large collection of weight resistance machines. One of those machines is the Life Fitness Signature Fly.
The signature fly is a machine that will help you to work your arms, shoulders and chest. There are different variations of this machine, but they all work the same basic muscle groups.
The Life Fitness signature fly is recogniseable by its black and white colouring, which seems to be the key colours for all Life Fitness weight resistance machines. The machine is made up of a seat, which has a large back part so that people of all heights can support their back whilst they are using the machine, two arm handles to push and pull, a weights stack and the main support frame for the whole thing.
The weights stack is secured into place by a pin. You select the weight you wish to use, and then place the pin in the hole on that stack. The weight is in Kilograms, and it increases at 7KG at a time. The lowest weight is a 7KG and it goes all the way up to a whoppingly heavy 147KG. There is the option to add extra blocks of 2.5KG to the weight stack, should you wish to add them.
Once you have selected and secured the weight you wish to use, you are then ready to go. Position yourself in the seat and if needed, adjust the height of the handles or seat so you are at the right line up with handles. The correct positioning is shown on the instructions sticker on the machine. This sticker also gives you pointers on safe use of the machine, and these instructions should always be followed.
To use the machine, hold onto the handles and then push the handles inwards towards each other. You then bring them back to the starting position, but without letting the weights stack drop down again. Repeat this until you have done your desired amount of repetitions.
I use this machine 3 -4 times a week, and I have noticed a difference after using it for a few weeks now. At first it was much harder, but I have managed to increase the weight I use, and I am proud of the progession I am making. During use, you can really feel this machine working your chest and triceps, which is the main areas of working. There are other muscles which feel the work afterwards, and sometimes when I have pushed a little harder, I really feel this the next day.
This is a brilliant machine for a workout on your chest, arms and shoulders and if you are looking to lean out these areas or just build up the muscles on them, then this is a really machine to use. The motion of this machine is really smooth, and it is very simple to use. The cool colours of black and white make it look nice, but without looking too boring.
If your gym does not have one of these machines, they are available to buy from Life Fitness, but they will cost you over £5000 each! I think this machine is brilliant and I totally recommend it to everyone, a 5 out of 5 stars from me.
*This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*
For the eagle eye's out there, you may well be familiar with Life Fitness equipment. In particular if you are a member of an LA Fitness or Holmes Place gym, then you will have come across this kit as LA fitness tend to deck their gyms out with this equipment, whilst Fitness First have a contract with Technogym. Having worked with and trained on this equipment, I thought I would give you an insight into why its so good (and so expensive!!!!)
WHO ARE LIFE FITNESS
Life Fitness really came into existence in 1968, when a chap called Keene P Dimmock invented the lifecycle exercise bike. Seeing its potential, two young entrepreneurs, Ray Wilson and Augie Nieto bought the rights to the cycle an then took it to the health and fitness marketplace, gyms. This really started the health club boom that was to follow, and life fitness equipment was the main catalyst for this.
Today Life Fitness equipment is the number one choice of equipment for gyms around the world. They operate in over 120 different countries and have a portfolio of around 300 different cardio vascular and strength training machines.
The Life fitness signature fly is one in a series of resistance machines which forms the life fitness Signature series. Here's what the makers say about the series.
"....The Signature Series defies traditional selectorized equipment and gives new meaning to the word approachability. We packed more than 20 years of industry insight, biomechanical expertise, and customer feedback into this powerful line of resistance training equipment. The result is an uncommon blend of aesthetic sensibility with uncompromising craftsmanship, specifically designed to bridge the gap between intimidation and confidence."
I think what they're trying to say is it looks good, its built well and its easy to use. Perhaps this is why I do not have a job in their sales team!!! Essentially however the signature series is designed with some particular differences to all other resistance machines. Here are the main features of this series (Provided by life fitness website to support my review)
1) A unique increment weight system, which is integrated into the weight stack, allows users to simply turn a dial for gradual increases in their resistance training program.
I have not come across this before and I believe its an industry first. The basic principle is that on traditional gym equipment the weights move up in increments of 5kg. I have often found that sometimes the change in weight is too drastic and I struggle to lift the new weight while maintaining good form. This devise has been invented to solve that problem. You just turn the dial and it fills in all the increments upto the next weight (e.g if your on 5kg the dial can take you to 6,7,8,9kg, then when your up to 10kg you just move the pin)
2) Converging and diverging axes that correctly align with the user's joint movement, provide a natural, comfortable feel throughout the range of motion.
The feel of the machine when using it is second to none. I didn't feel like the machine was forcing my movements rather than just supporting it. It felt incredibly smooth, and in unison with my natural movements. You only really get this from expensive kit, because the manufacturers spend millions of pounds on the biomechanical perfection of the machine. Essentially this is why you are seeing a move away from fixed resistance machines like this one because its so hard to get that "Natural feel" to the equipment. Life Fitness seem to have this technique mastered.
3) Full shrouds and pulley covers make the equipment more approachable, less intimidating, and visually appealing to all users.
An interesting suggestion based on true facts. Apparently people are less likely to use a machine if it looks intimidating. I happen to agree that this can be an issue for gym goers, as I have often introduced clients to equipment and they have stated that they have never used it because "It looks difficult" or "I didn't know how to use it". This piece of kit has been cleverly designed to look user friendly and I think it does achieve that.
4) Stainless steel fasteners, precision welds, and internally lubricated cables give Signature Series its uncompromised durability.
In short the build quality on this machine is second to none. You get a lifetime warranty on the whole build as it is built to the highest standards. When your on the equipment, it feel sturdy and reassuring, always a good thing especially if your lifting heavy weights! Importantly the cabling looks extremely strong on this bit of kit, which is essential if the machine is under continual use.
FUNCTIONALITY OF THE FLY?
The Life fitness signature fly is a resistance machine designed to work the muscles in the Pectorals (chest) and deltoids (shoulder). The basic pattern of movement is bringing the extended outstretched arms inwards and forwards towards the front of the body.
The machine has a number of adjustable features built into it to cater for exercisers of all shapes and sizes . Firstly you can adjust the seat from 1 to 9 moving it up or down to get the correct height to perform the exercise. Essentially you need to make sure you shoulders are in line with (A couple of inches above) the handle bars to ensure correct position. The handles themselves will automatically adjust themselves to your grip as they can pivot. These adjustable features makes the machine extremely comfortable to use. The seat and back padding is also extremely comfortable and offers contoured support where needed.
Each arm of the machine can be controlled independently so they do not force the speed of your movement and also react to your body's natural exertions. Often you can find that people are stronger on one half of the body compared to the other, so the machine incorporates this tendency by having independent control.
The design of the cabling ensures that there is equal resistance through the full range of motion. This is a notorious problem with home gym equipment as you will find on many cheaper models that the resistance is not equal, especially at the start of the exercise. This is an important factor as it is essential that the muscle is exposed to continual resistance throughout the movement to ensure it is getting an effective workout.
The stack itself goes all the way through to 145kg which covers exercisers of all abilities. It does however mean that the machine is extremely heavy, totalling 293kg. With my rudimentary maths you can see that the machine on its own weighs 148kg, which just shows the quality of the frame and parts its built with.
Ok so here's the tricky bit. This machine will set you back a cool £3,795.00 from fitness superstore. The important thing here is to realise whilst to most this will sound ludicrously expensive, however this piece of equipment is not pitched at the home market, but rather commercial gym use. The machine is designed for continual use over many years, and on that basis offers excellent value for money. Gyms will generally keep their equipment until it breaks down or becomes outdated. On the basis that Life Fitness equipment is the front runner in innovations, this kit will be around for a good few years AND it will last.
I guess there is only one conclusion to this piece of equipment. It is brilliant. It is built to last through continuous use, with a build quality second to none. It performs the exercise it sets out to achieve with perfection, and also takes into account the biomechanics of the individual users. Whilst it is expensive, it still offers great value because it is built to last. In my opinion, the best there is for your money.
Thanks for reading,
Range of motion adjusts in 10 degree increments. Handles automatically adjust to fit all users' arm lengths.