Do you prefer Free Weights or Machines?

Discussion in Sports & Fitness started by dieselfit • Oct 23, 2013.

  1. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    Any beginner will notice great strength gains with any training routine or methods. However, as the body adapts, free weights should become the more preferred to use than machines. Free weights force our bodies to use our balance and stability while machines take all that challenge away. Do you prefer weights or machines?
     
  2. dariofr8

    dariofr8New Member

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    Free weights are the most efficient in my opinion. With machines you can focus on this and that, but some nice compound lifts will make you a lot stronger a lot faster. It's astonishing how quickly a beginner is able to progress on a simple strength free-weights routine!
     
  3. Parker

    ParkerWell-Known Member

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    I prefer the machines, but I use both. I use free weights for my arm exercises. I get faster and better results with free weights. I use the machines for lower body working including squats.
     
  4. clairebeautiful

    clairebeautifulActive Member

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    "Prefer" is such a weird word.

    For enjoyment level, I find machines feel easier and go quicker. But for actual work out sense-of-success, I agree, free weights make me feel like I'm actually doing work, and I tend to achieve more, a lot quicker. I notice results faster, if that makes sense.

    But I just hate doing them. If I have a partner it is different, but when I'm alone, it is really hard to get myself psyched up to complete them and do them well, and to not give up.
     
  5. Kwizkey

    KwizkeyNew Member

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    Always focus on free weights and pushing heavy poundages. Machines should only really be used for rehab or advanced trainers as they can disrupt correct motor neurone patterns, for example squatting vs leg press. I focus on free weights, but occasionally take to a machine for contraction and because it's fun to mix it up, but they should never make up the bulk of your training.
     
  6. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    I agree with all of you guys. Free weights are much harder but feel much more rewarding. There's a ton of ways to modify a weight to make it more challenging and beneficial towards ones health goals. Like making the weight handles thicker by wrapping a towel or "fat gripz". It takes away stress thats placed on the joints. Also, pre exhausting or super setting with machines then free weights or vice versa is a great way to change up a routine. Try doing chest flies on a machine before going into bench press, you'll feel much more pumped. Or leg extensions before squats, it gets addicting!
     
  7. Bolt

    BoltWell-Known Member

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    It's not even a debate for me. Free weights are far superior to machines in terms of building muscle and injury prevention. I believe machines give you a false sense of security and often place your body in unnatural positions, exposing yourself to injury. Free weights are much more demanding and effective for muscle building.
     
  8. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    Thank you bolt! I never use machines unless it's for warm ups and cool downs. Free weights all the way, thank you! And love the avatar picture. He's a legend.
     
  9. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I like free weights too, but on a select few types of lifting, I prefer machines. I'd choose machines over doing bench presses, for example, I'm extremely paranoid with hovering big, heavy bars of steel above me.
     
  10. isabbbela

    isabbbelaWell-Known Member

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    I prefer free weight rather than machines... in fact, I love doing free weights while I'm in toning classes, like pump and cardio bootcamp. I find it more effective and also less excruciating to do!
     
  11. jbepp

    jbeppMember

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    Free weights are way better than machines.
    Machines are better for isolation movements, but if you're a beginner and want to gain strength and muscle, free weights are infinitely better.
     
  12. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    I agree 100%. There is no way machines could ever replace free weights. Isolation is good on the machines but free weights will always be superior for all fitness levels.
     
  13. whatupswags

    whatupswagsMember

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    Free weights are so much better to use than machines. However, there are certain machine exercises that are literally impossible to do with free weights (the hip swinging machine and lateral pulls come to mind). When I make workouts for teams or individuals in a weight room, I mix in a few machines to give the athlete(s) a mental break, but most of the exercises involve free weight movements. Free weights keep you exercising the entire workout because your body works to balance out the differences, and it helps your core strength so much.
     
  14. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    That's a fantastic suggestion Whatsupswags. It's great to give a mix in training when it comes to machines and free weights. However for machines, none of them can be the same as free weights. The exercises for swinging or lateral pulls can be improved by free weights. For example if one was to do squats with free weights, they will increase their strength and it will transfer to those machines but not vice versa.
     
  15. JosieP

    JosiePWell-Known Member

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    Body weight! lol. Of the two though, definitely free weights. They just have such a potential for injury though, considering how few people know proper movements. Whatever though, I'll try not to get into a gym lecture again haha. I'll always choose natural exercise over forced.. so neither for me.
     
  16. PSLoveCharli

    PSLoveCharliActive Member

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    I personally prefer free weights. I feel that machines have restrictions, but they also could be beneficial if you do not have a spotter or trainer. Especially if you're a beginner! Free weights make me feel like I'm doing more and targeting more muscles.
     
  17. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    I agree but not all free weight exercises would need a spotter. For beginners they would have to start with very light weights and work their way up from there. I prefer not having a spotter and especially because my extremely heavy exercises would be done in a power rack where there are safety handles to catch the weight if I was to collapse under my squats. But still I agree that machines can be useful sometimes, they are just not needed for determining ones success for their fitness goals.
     
  18. wwalford

    wwalfordNew Member

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    Free weights - Drop sets are the way for me. I like doing shoulders on machines sometimes but most of the time I do free weights. If the gym is super busy and the free weights are packed then I will go for a machine but by choice free weights.
     
  19. dieselfit

    dieselfitActive Member

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    I really never like sacrificing free weights for machines, I feel less of a benefit. If the gym is full, I will just grab a barbell or a dumbbell and perform my exercises in any way possible. That is rare for me since I go to the gym in the morning, not during the busy times. I absolutely dislike it when the gym is so packed that you wonder why the gym isn't designed to fit these many people!
     
  20. writeletters

    writelettersMember

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    I prefer free weights for the reasons you just stated - stability and balance. It's a really good way to center yourself and only use your body to get what you want. Machines are good for when you need variety, so a healthy and balanced plan would be to incorporate both types of exercise into your routines.
     
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