Big Ramy on Machines vs. Free Weights

Mamdouh Elssbiay on his Olympia placement, cardio & machines vs. free weights.
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QUESTION

Were you disappointed you didn’t place higher at the Olympia [Elssbiay placed eighth]? What are you going to do to place higher next year?

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ANSWER

I wasn’t disappointed at all! Those guys I competed against are all my idols. Standing next to them was just unreal. I’m young; I have a long career ahead of me, so I don’t want to get angry or wonder why I didn’t place higher. I will place better next year, believe me. Off-season, my plan is to continue what I did last off- season—eat, train, sleep, and focus on winning. I will increase my off-season calories by adding one more meal at night. I already train hard, but you can always add more calories, whether by a shake or a whole-food meal.

QUESTION

What do you like doing for cardio, and how much do you have to do before a show?

ANSWER

Like most bodybuilders, I hate doing cardio. It’s boring but something we need to do. My mentality is to justget in there and get it done. One good thing about my gym is that it has TVs mounted all over and it plays bodybuilding DVDs like Ronnie Coleman or Dennis James getting ready for the Olympia. That keeps me motivated because I can look up there and remember why I’m doing this. I only use the StepMill. If I’m going to do a cardio session, I want to make it as effective as I can. I’ve found that by going a little slower on the StepMill and squeezing with each step, you can make it a really good workout. I work my way up as I diet, and the most I’ll do is about 45 minutes in the morning. I don’t like doing cardio after my workout.

QUESTION

What are your favorite exercises? Do you like free weights or machines?

ANSWER

Unlike most bodybuilders, I really prefer machines. I used a lot of free weights when I first started, but I’ve grown to like the machines for a couple reasons. First, I believe you can feel the muscle contraction a lot better on a machine because you can hold the weight and control it down so that you’re squeezing the entire time. Second, I don’t like using a spotter and I don’t have a workout partner, so using machines is a lot better for my workout style. (Only the last few weeks before a show do I use a spotter to help me because I’m low on energy then.) My favorite exercises are the Hammer Strength chest press and the preacher curl. Both machines allow me to go heavier than I would with free weights. - FLEX

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