Machine vs. Free Weights: How do I choose?

The topic of conversation you will most likely have at the gym is to choose between weighted machines or free weights. A question you may ask yourself is: How do I choose? or Which one is better for me?

My answer is it depends on the individual.

  1. The question you would have to ask yourself is how many years have you been lifting?
  2. What goals are you trying to meet?
  3. Are you lifting for rehabilitation purposes, aesthetics, or functional fitness?

To determine between the two (WM vs. FW), here are basic suggestions for each.

WEIGHTED MACHINES:

When working with weighted machines they are commonly easier to use than their counterparts. Most machines have picture or descriptions on how to use the machine and what muscles the machine targets. Machines allow you to train with heavier weights without a spotter to reduce the risk of injuries. Additionally machine weights are useful for the elderly population or rehabilitation purposes.

FREE WEIGHTS:

When using free weights it allows you to train movements more specific to your needs/goals. You are not stuck to a specific motion which allows your body complete freedom to move. It places a greater demand on your stabilization muscles when training, using FW causes your body to recruit more muscle groups than WM. Overall, there is an endless variation of exercises you can do with FW and you can pretty much train anywhere!!

So, when it comes to the question of, “Which is better?” As I stated beforeIt ultimately depends on the person and their goals.

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