Machine versus Free weights
I have heard countless arguments between the ‘old school’ trainers and ‘young upstarts’ about which is best to train. Machines or free weights.
Both have valid points which I am going to break down for you so check out the post
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Machines versus Free weights – Machines are better!! are they?
I would say they are better for beginners with zero months training under your belt. The machines are safe as they stabilise the joints into position without you having to therefore muscles are ‘fixed’ into the movement. For experienced users I would still include them in a program with dumbbells and barbells. The machines are excellent for burning out specific muscles in isolation.
Machines versus Free weights – Barbells are better!! are they?
Barbells are great for your big compound lifts like bench press, deadlifts, rows, squats too name but a few.
Uses a lot of muscles in one movement and is a favourite among bodybuilders and athletes.
After a couple sets guaranteed ach the next day or days in a few places you never realised you had. For beginners probably not the best starter unless training with an experienced gym user to spot you.
Form over intensity is crucial as too much too soon could result in muscle imbalance then severe injury. You stronger side will overcompensate for your weaker side therefore making one side even stronger than the other
Machines versus Free weights – Dumbbells are better!! are they?
Dumbbells are flexible in their use. As it is possible to do alternative presses (1 handed) even more muscles are used.
Core and can also even out your body if one side stronger than the other. There is also the ‘arm twist action’ which can build those forearms if pressing which the barbell which machines cant do.
For beginners it is not ideal starter especially without an experienced gym user to spot/correct you. However with feedback there is no reason why you cant start of using them light first with correct feedback on your form.
Machines versus Free weights – Personal view
all 3 have their benefits and also their disadvantages. It all depends on your goals and your set program.
Athletes in power sports have to be able to use a lot of muscles in one movement at 100% effort so barbells and dumbbells more effective.
If you are a regular gym user just wanting to fat loss or body build I would include all exercises on all machines to get the variety to hit the muscles. Do not underestimate method changes and tempo changes to form but never sacrifice form to go heavier or faster.
Its dangerous and will result injury.
Hope this helps
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