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Thread: Are free weights better than machines? page 2

  1. #11
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    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.
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  2. #12
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    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.

  3. #13
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    Quote 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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    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.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
    Put simply - free weights produce real world results.
    +1
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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
    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

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    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.
    While I understand the thinking I disagree. If you are elderly, new, or do not know the proper techniques start with light weights and learn! You will be amazed and excited to watch your progress.

    I lift light weights (recovering from bypass surgery) twice a week.

  8. #18
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    Is using a bicep machine really that much easier than just doing bicep curls with a free weight?
    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
    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

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanC View Post
    While I understand the thinking I disagree. If you are elderly, new, or do not know the proper techniques start with light weights and learn! You will be amazed and excited to watch your progress.

    I lift light weights (recovering from bypass surgery) twice a week.
    Having worked in a gym and watched folks of all ages trying to lift free weights without any instruction (and cringing inside), I respectfully disagree. I have seen more injuries--especially rotator cuff injuries resulting from improper lifting, to ever recommend that folks start out without any instruction. Of course, these days you can learn from YouTube videos, but nothing replaces the eye and experience of a good personal trainer.

  10. #20
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    I do agree with those using free weights that the dead lift is probably one of the best exercises. It accomplishes so many positive things in one routine.

    I do admit that I come from a different mind set. I use resistance training for 1 purpose only. That is to build muscle mass. I do that by training to fatigue, then resting those muscles and allowing them to heal and adapt.

    My routine is now 1 exercise per week on a 6 week cycle. I do 1 set to failure which reached when I'm unable to complete the last positive rep. I time myself rather than counting reps. Even with three weeks between routines I continue to see progressive increase in weight and or time.
    Row
    chest press
    leg press
    lat pull down
    shoulder press
    leg press.

    I don't use weights for "functional applications". In August I was swimming twice a week. Once I started officiating football I was doing that about 6 hours a week. Now I'm doing walking and sprints on a stationary bike. We have an upright grand piano in the house. I do lift it once and a while for functional reasons. That is my version of the dead lift.

    That is why I have no problem thinking that machines are just as effective as free weights. In many ways they can be better because it allows to safely go to fatigue. How many times have we seen a trainee trapped under a barbell when they were doing a chest press.

    I can't remember putting something on the back of neck to try and lift it. Why would I do a squat? A dead lift... absolutely.

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