May 3, 2017( Comments: 0 )

Free Weights vs. Machine Weights

The weights section in a gym can be very daunting, especially if you are new to the gym environment. So many different machines, weights and functional equipment all over the gym, but what should you be using?

While both have their pros and cons, its safe to say this ultimately comes down to the person and their goals. Something’s that are good for one person may not be suited for another.

Machine weights

Pros

  • Easy to learn on
  • Isolate muscle groups more efficiently
  • Allow you to train heavier without a spot
  • Useful for elderly population and rehab

Cons

  • Non-functional
  • Neglect smaller stabilizer muscles
  • Easy to overload a muscle
  • Used more frequently by people

Who should use them?

Beginners – Usually a simple movement with minimal technique cues. Can be taught easily by an instructor.

Everyone – For those looking to isolate a specific muscle group.

Bodybuilders – Isolate and load up each muscle group more efficiently.

Rehab – Great to focus on movements that don’t require stabilization muscle groups greatly

Free weights

Pros

  • Allows you to train functional movements
  • You can use full range of motion
  • Places greater demand on stabilizer muscles
  • A lot more muscle activation
  • Allows for endless variation
  • Train anywhere

Cons

  • Takes time to learn proper technique
  • Greater risk of injury when not done right
  • Need a spotter for heavy weights

Who should use them?

Most people – Functional movements are a part of everyday life and these exercises can be utilised by everyone

Athletes – More sport specific movements and actions can be applied

Bodybuilders – Best way to get bigger and stronger using your biggest lifts.

Rehab – Free weights can be used to take the body through functional movements in a healing process.

Overall, both machine and free weights have their pros and cons. At the end of the day, your training style should be reflective of your goals, and should be what you feel comfortable with!

If you would like to expand your knowledge with weight/resistance training – please grab me and I’ll be more than happy to help you.

Ritchie

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