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Are free weights better than machines?

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  • Are free weights better than machines?

    The forum is open. What is your opinion?

  • #2
    Yes

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DanC View Post
      Yes
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      • #4
        Originally posted by DanC View Post
        Yes
        +1
        My whole life, I've felt like an animal......but I've ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That will never happen again.

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        • #5
          Why?

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          • #6
            Yes. Because it's more effective to have to balance the weight, not just lift/pull it. You're working not just on brute strength in the major muscles, but also on proprioception and strength in all smaller muscles required to stabilize the iron.

            I suppose a machine could be useful if you're trying to go really heavy and don't have a spotter. BUT, whatever PB you might achieve on a machine doesn't translate fair and square to a good, old-fashioned barbell lift.
            Last edited by BarbeyGirl; 12-11-2010, 08:53 AM.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by BarbeyGirl View Post
              Yes. Because it's more effective to have to balance the weight, not just lift/pull it. You're working not just on brute strength in the major muscles, but also on proprioception and strength in all smaller muscles required to stabalize the iron.

              I suppose a machine could be useful if you're trying to go really heavy and don't have a spotter. BUT, whatever PB you might achieve on a machine doesn't translate fair and square to a good, old-fashioned barbell lift.
              +1

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              • #8
                Yes, because you employ more muscle to handle and counteract the weight of the free weights than what you do when using machines which are in effect isolating the movement to that specific muscle and/or muscle group.

                Machines can however be better to stabilize the range of motion and thus yield better result to that specific muscle/group of muscle you want to work out. You don't fatigue yourself with counteracting and stabilizing the weight and so forth.

                I prefer free weights just because the stress my body in a different way than machines, but it can be good to mix up the two training methods.
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                • #9
                  Free weights, and using many muscles at the same time rather than isolating one muscle, replicates natural movement. Isolating one muscle does not happen naturally.
                  Rebecca

                  Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

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                  Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                  Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                  So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
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                  • #10
                    How many times a week do you go?

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                    • #11
                      I know you were not directing that to me, but just so you know, TNT is three times per week with no cardio at all.
                      Rebecca

                      Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                      Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                      sigpic

                      Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                      Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                      So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                      Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                      Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

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                      • #12
                        Depends on the situation.

                        Machines are better for newbies who have no personal trainer to teach them proper form. Also for older folks who have never exercised and need to gain confidence. And of course for rehab.

                        Free weights are certainly better for those who have been taught and are capable of proper form.

                        Bodyweight/functional lifting, IMO is the best! In my lifting career (personal trainer), I have progressed from machines, to free weights, to bodyweight. All have their place.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vick View Post
                          How many times a week do you go?
                          I alternate between weeks: 2x heavy, 1x bodyweight, 1x sprint + isolated upper body work OR 1x heavy, 2x bodyweight, 1x sprint + isolated upper body work.
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                          • #14
                            I lift 3 times a week
                            My whole life, I've felt like an animal......but I've ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That will never happen again.

                            My blog

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                            • #15
                              A machine is, by definition, designed to make a load easier to shift - this means that your body adapts to the particulars of that system (be it leverage or pulley or whatever). If you are training to improve performance in that given modality then it could be argued that it remains functional to carry out machine based resistance work. But this is rarely the case. We should be training to move better/increase performance, and this generally aligns itself to working with a freely moving external load.

                              I've spoken to so many trainers/coaches over the years who prefer to train people (especially beginners) on machines. The rationale is that they are less technical and allow the user to build strength before moving onto free weights. This is such nonsense and normally just points towards an ineducated coach.

                              Put simply - free weights produce real world results.
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