Which is Better? Free Weights or Machines?

Posted by in News

At one time or another everyone has asked this question…

Either the first time someone walked in to the gym and saw all the different choices of work out equipment or a seasoned lifter wondering if they are getting the maximum bang for their workout buck.  Well the answer is actually quite simple if you think about it…. IT’S BOTH!

Well to be fair it is really about what kind of results you are looking for.  There is no hard fast rule that you can not get all the results you are looking for by doing a circuit on the machines at your local gym.  The same goes for free weights.  I have seen lots of people get some excellent results from incorporating free weights in to their work out routines.  But consider that you are in completely different positions when doing using either free weights or machines.

For example, when doing standing bicep curls your forearms are getting quite a workout.  Your shoulders take some of that weight and as you squeeze your abs to pull up the free weights you get some action there too.  Not to mention your legs get a small workout as you balance yourself with all the extra weight moving around.

Compare that to a similar workout on a machine.  You are sitting down so you miss the leg and core stabilization, your are abs are less tense (because you’re sitting), BUT there is a lot more direct focus on the muscle you are working out.  As we all know, spot training is a thing of the past.  Not that you shouldn’t work out individual parts of your body.  The downside is routinely working on one muscle (like your bicep) might get it to look a bit bigger but the rest of your body doesn’t get the workout which can make you look uneven in your fitness AND make you prone to injury.  When one part of your body gets a lot stronger than another it puts extra strain on the joints and all that work you have been putting in could actually be leading you to disaster.

So which one is better?  BOTH! A healthy mix of tightly focused workouts on machines combined with all the full body benefits of free weights is a great way to maximize your time at the gym, reduce injury and get the results you want.


Love This Post? Subscribe to the Newsletter!