Machine VS free Weight
- 07-25-2008, 12:03 AM
- 07-25-2008, 12:17 AM
here is a good summary.......
Machines - Pro
If you're low on time, using machines can be an efficient way to get in a workout. Putting a pin into the weight stack is quicker than loading up a barbell, plus the arrangement of machines in a gym facilitates changing exercises efficiently.
If you're new to the gym, and without a trainer, machines are a safe way to go. Most machines have diagrams to help you with proper lifting form.
If you have injuries, machines will help stabilize your body. With the extra support, you can focus on healthy muscles, and give the injuries time to heal.
If you want to lift heavy weights without assistance, machines will help. The security of the machine allows you to lift more, without fear of dropping weights.
If you want to train one specific muscle group, machines aid in focus. It is difficult to do certain exercises (like a leg curl) with free weights, and a machine will hone right in on your desired goal.
Machines - Con
Fitness machines will help you to cruise through an exercise while developing muscles.
Machines don't fit all bodies. If you are very small or very tall, the machines may not fit your size, and the exercise won't be mechanically efficient, leading to frustration or injury.
Machines don't give you much variation. Most machines create a forced or guided two-dimensional movement pattern, so you are limited in how your muscles develop.
Machines get boring! The same old same old: not only do your muscles get bored, so does your brain. Loss of motivation can lead you to dropping out of your fitness program.
Machines get filled if the gym is busy.
Your time is valuable. Standing around, waiting for someone to get off the machine that you want, is a hassle and a turn-off when you want to get in shape.
Free Weights- Pro
Free weight equipment will give you more bang for your buck. There are so many more exercises that you can do with free weights, at home or at the gym, than with big, expensive machines.
You can fit the exercise to your body. Since there are no range of motion inhibitors, almost anyone can use free weights.
Motor skills are enhanced. With free weights, more demands are made on your muscles to stabilize and balance your body and the weight, giving you more work completed per exercise, getting you fitter, faster.
Keep your interest up. Every workout with free weights can be different. Changing the angle of movement or rotation at a joint will challenge your body and brain.
You can exercise anywhere. Once you get accustomed to free weights, you can go into any gym and feel comfortable. Plus, you can design your own home gym easily and inexpensively.
Free Weights- Con
You'll need to get advice to help you get the right workout program design. Hiring a trainer or researching the best exercises for you must come first.
Proper form is paramount. Again, hiring a trainer will get you started out right, before you get into bad habits.
Imbalances in the body are heightened. You will have to concentrate to keep your body aligned, and add some balancing work.
Greater chance of getting injured. If you don't know what you're doing, free weights can hurt you faster than get you fit.
You'll need a lifting partner if you plan on pumping heavy iron. Get a partner or trainer to help check your form: it's easy to get sloppy, even when you know what to do. For example, don't try a heavy weight in the squat or bench press without a "spotter". Make sure that you can control the weight and do the exercise in perfect position.
- 07-25-2008, 01:00 AM
07-25-2008, 01:56 AM
07-25-2008, 01:13 PM
i will typically alternate one exercise with smith machine or bar bell and another exercise w/ free weights to get the best of both worlds
08-11-2008, 02:17 PM
08-16-2008, 01:24 PM
08-18-2008, 03:55 PM
I always switch it up. I usually don't have a training partner, So i do free weights as well as machines.
08-18-2008, 04:04 PM
08-24-2008, 08:25 PM
There was an article on this in M&F a little while back.
It showed that size and strength gains were more with free weights, but machines weren't that far behind. It wasn't enough of a difference to worry about it.
I just do what feels good. I don't like using a lot of machines, but some of them really hit the targeted muscle with laser like percision. There is one bicep machine at my gym that I tried one day, and have used and loved ever since.
08-24-2008, 10:39 PM
I've always started with free weights because it gets the stabilizers, like gymrattus said. However, for whatever muscle group you are targeting, machines are a good idea towards the end of your workout so you can still push your body to its limits without worrying about hurting yourself because of fatigue.
I've found that starting my workouts with around three different free weight exercises (e.i. incline db press, flat bench db flys, decline bb press) and afterwards hitting a machine or two that isolates the same muscles is the best way to get the most out of my workouts.
Of course this is purely my experience and something might work better for you, but this was recommended to me by one of the older guys in my gym and has helped me a lot so far.
08-25-2008, 12:36 AM
ehhhhh...... machines are ok. Ya know for leg extension, lat pull, etc.
Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. -Rippetoe
08-25-2008, 11:12 AM
Great write up there. Free weights really make me feel everything I do. I feel as if I can push my body further when I think about how I need to move each part instead of just following through.
Machines however, do come in handy like thaOrleanyte with some motion esp. with lats! While not the only way to do it I surely do like the fluid motion of using machines on something like this.
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