Health and fitness: Select the right type of weights

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By Kent Pegg

It’s a new year and many of you may have resolved to make this the year you get in better shape and embrace a healthier lifestyle. For those of you with little gym experience, it might be good to review some of the equipment you might encounter when entering the gym.

One type of equipment you’ll encounter is selectorized, or circuit, training machines. These big metal monsters have an attached weight stack that allows you to select the amount of weight you’ll be lifting. Cables or, better yet, Kevlar belts connect the weight stack to the grips, allowing you to lift the weights.

Each machine works one body part and a machine with a good cam design helps maintain even pressure on the muscles throughout the full range of motion. For those just beginning, these machines offer a safe, effective place to begin learning about weightlifting.

Plate-loaded machines are another type of equipment you will encounter in the gym. These machines do not have weight stacks. Rather, you place weight plates onto the machine to set the weight you will be lifting.

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