Free Weights vs. Machines: Which is Better?


free weights vs machines

Free Weights VS Machines?

Often times people have preconceived notions of the best way to do something, simply because they may have read it somewhere, or perhaps they heard it said at some point. With health, fitness, and all that encompasses that world, it’s absolutely no different. There are plenty of “trainers” in big box gyms and on the internet who will happily tell you their opinions on free weights vs machines, and their personal beliefs of how one should approach fitness because it worked for them, or they too, may have read about it, or heard it from the same source as a trainee did.

If we are to weigh one method of working out against another, it’s imperative that we have as much data as possible to analyze, and in various conditions, as well as with a varied group of people. So which is better? Free weights or machines? The battle of free weights vs machines has been a long standing and divisive subject matter with ample room for a convincing argument on both sides of the equation.

In my 20 years as an Austin personal trainer, and as a gym owner for over 8, I believe the answer is both. They both hold advantages, and conversely, will concede advantages to the other.

Like all things in fitness, the truth of the free weights vs machines debate lies within the individual. What works for one, may be wholly inappropriate for another. For example, if 2 people are working their deltoids, perhaps they can both do an overhead dumbbell press. What if, however, one of these people has an impingement of their radial nerve caused by a tight infraspinatus? That person would be foolish to exacerbate their imbalance with dumbbells and risk a real injury. They would be wise to consider using a machine for their shoulder presses.

People who are healthy and stable should consider using both free weights as well as machines as opposed to singling one out exclusively, and always asking themselves the which is better, free weights vs machines question. A free weight allows you to use more of your stabilizing muscles, whereas a machine, while stabilizing the weight for you, can allow you to use more weight and get more reps. If you reach the point of failure on a free weight exercise, you have to be sure to either have a spotter on hand, or a safe way of not having the weights fall on you, or fall out of control thus potentially tearing muscles and/or connective tissue. Reaching the point of failure with a machine movement, is often times much more injurious to one’s ego than the body. The weight usually just stops at it’s resting place, which is often times very adjustable to ensure a full range of motion, as well as a safe place for the weight to rest, thus keeping you out of harms way should you either lose control, or reach failure.

Which is it when it comes to free weights vs machines? Both, of course, if it’s appropriate for your situation. Switching between the 2 can also keep things interesting and fresh by adding some variety. If you’re unsure or have concerns whether it would be safe for you to use free weights, consider a consultation with an experienced and qualified personal trainer.

Ready to Get Started?

The following two tabs change content below.
Andy
My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Andy

Latest posts by Andy (see all)

Summary
Free Weights vs. Machines: Which is Better?
Article Name
Free Weights vs. Machines: Which is Better?
Description
Austin personal trainer and gym owner Andy Bruchey answers the oft asked question of which is better, free weights vs machines?
Author
Publisher Name
Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
Publisher Logo

Comments are closed.

Contact Us

Complete Fitness Design
Complete Fitness Design
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin, TX 78748
512-484-2270
[email protected]

Recent Posts

About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270