Free Weights vs. Machines – Which is Better?

March 26, 2014
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It doesn’t matter whether you’re working out in Crunch Fitness or somewhere else, chances are you’ve heard the debate and argument regarding free weights and machines. Both are available in gyms, and some people prefer one over the other, but which is better?

 

Free Weights Benefits

Free_Weights_Benefits_GymMembershipFeesFree weights don’t take up a lot of space, which is why they’re often found in low cost gyms and fitness centers. In addition, they’re portable and you can add and remove weights easily. Another reason why people like free weights is it allows them to move their body naturally, and the convenience they offer makes it easy to target specific muscle groups. Furthermore, changing your posture just a little bit will allow you to focus on other muscle groups, whereas machines require more adjustments.

While free weights are flexible, you also need to make sure you’re working with a spotter so if there’s a problem they’ll see it quickly. Also, a lift’s consistency depends on your own movement. What this means is you have to avoid favored or jerky lifts because there won’t be enough resistance. This is true not just with barbells but other free weights as well.

Weight Machines

Weight_Machines_GymMembershipFeesWeight machines on the other hand, offer their own benefits. For starters it is very easy to adjust the weight and resistance, often just requiring moving a pin or similar mechanism. Second, there’s very little risk of injury since the weights are integrated into the machine. This is in contrast with free weights where there is always the possibility you could drop the weight and injure yourself. The only possible injury you can suffer here is overworking, but with a spotter that won’t be an issue.

Another advantage of a weight machine is there’s a more consistent resistance level so you could be more productive. Also, a weight machine makes relay and circuit training easy because changing and making adjustments to settings is easier. Depending on the machine you’re using, you probably won’t need to do as many repetitions as with free weights.

The Verdict

The_Verdict_GymMembershipFeesThe choice is really up to you and your personal trainer, but it’s best if you use both. There’s a reason why gyms provide free weights and weight machines, so why not take advantage of them? Of course you can’t just alternate one with the other because to achieve results you need a systematic workout program. You also need to keep in mind that people have different physiques and fitness goals, so the machine or free weight one person is using might not be suitable for you. The best way to go about this is to consult your personal trainer and together decide what the best option is so you can attain your goal.

As these facts show, both free weights and machines have benefits and you’re better off using both. Of course there are different ways to use this equipment but in places like David Barton Gym you’re going to have personal trainers to help you find the best training program possible.

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