Using machines can make weight training safer, especially when you don’t have a training partner to use as your spotter. Of course, the movement won’t be exactly the same as using the traditional barbell. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared traditional deadlifts to a walk-in style deadlift machine.
Subjects performed conventional barbell deadlifts using a pronated grip and tried both ball of foot and toe alignment in the deadlift machine. Although the walk-in machine allowed a more upright trunk angle, potentially reducing stress on the lower back, it also shifted muscle activity away from the glutes to the knees.

Your digestive system is home to microorganisms that are essential to maintaining metabolic health. Consuming a high-fat diet can have a negative impact on this microbiota, and a BYU study of lab mice published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports suggests stress can have a similar effect.
A large group of rodents consumed a high fat diet for 8 weeks. After this period, the mice were exposed to mild stress for 18 days. Male mice showed more anxiety on a high-fat diet compared to female mice, and stress only impacted the gut microbiota of female mice. Whether humans respond in similar ways isn’t known.

Sodium bicarbonate is known to chemistry students as NaHC03 and to people preparing food in the kitchen as baking soda. This form of salt has a number of uses, and a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests it might be able to help reduce neuromuscular fatigue.
Ten basketball players consumed 0.2 grams of sodium bicarbonate per kilogram of body weight or a placebo 90 or 60 minutes before participating in a simulated game. Baking soda did help reduce knee extensor muscle fatigue, but didn’t improve 15 meter sprint time or layup scoring percentage. Researchers speculate that sodium bicarbonate might help protect the contractile elements of muscle fibers.