Machines vs. Free Weights for muscle growth?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 01, 2011 5:26 AM GMT
    I personally prefer the machines and I'm more comfortable using them, but I heard that free weights are better. What do you guys think? The only muscle groups I use free weights for are biceps, trapezius, and forearms.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 01, 2011 5:52 AM GMT
    free weights beat gym machine for muscle growth because you use so much more stabilizer muscles in doing soicon_idea.gif
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:35 PM GMT
    Yes you get a good core work out with free weights.
    I do use machines for areas I have pains in, it offers more control for me.
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    Oct 01, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
    Not "either/or"... "both/and".

    Machines are more targetted: you'll push more weight typically because a muscle is isolated. Freeweights are better for balance: you have to engage more of your body to stabilize the weight. I use both in any given routine because it's good to keep muscles exposed to a wide range of muscle-confusing moves. A routine with different kinds of exercises (machines, bodyweight, freeweight, etc.) is one your body has a harder time adapting to and plateauing on.
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    Oct 01, 2011 2:28 PM GMT
    Larkin_PLR saidNot "either/or"... "both/and".

    Machines are more targetted: you'll push more weight typically because a muscle is isolated. Freeweights are better for balance: you have to engage more of your body to stabilize the weight. I use both in any given routine because it's good to keep muscles exposed to a wide range of muscle-confusing moves. A routine with different kinds of exercises (machines, bodyweight, freeweight, etc.) is one your body has a harder time adapting to and plateauing on.

    Very well said.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11836

    Oct 01, 2011 2:46 PM GMT
    Simply for the range of motion free weights...I go on Craigslist and buy up free weights...got about 400 pounds ..paid about $ 125.00 for the works...bars...etc....Peace
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Oct 01, 2011 3:45 PM GMT
    For a beginner machines are better as the teach you good form and isolate that particular muscle for working.You`ll make more progress that way.They`re also safer to use.
    Free weights are better for the experienced guy as they make the whole body work to maintain balance,good form,etc.,and never allow the body to become too accustomed to the exercise.You`ll make more progress with these,long term,and develop a better phsyique generally.
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    Oct 03, 2011 8:23 PM GMT
    If you stay on machines. Move your routines to other machines every so often. Using different machines will make your muscles work harder and you will feel the difference.
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    Oct 03, 2011 8:48 PM GMT
    I think one of the big limiting factors with machines is that they only work one pivot point at a time so all the movements are very basic and simple. You're not getting multimodal movements like cleans or push presses. I like what one guy said: they're good for beginners. But I think if you want to really lift, the balance and flexibility of free weights is a lot better.
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    Oct 03, 2011 9:42 PM GMT
    Some very sound advice that all makes perfect sense. I have always questioned why such a large portion of the gym Is dedicated to machines given their limited results? Surely machines are a considerably more expensive investment than free weights which are more beneficial and can be used in many ways. This common scenario also results in the small free weights area being packed whilst the larger machine area is comparatively quiet from My experience!
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    Oct 03, 2011 9:45 PM GMT
    Larkin_PLR saidNot "either/or"... "both/and".

    Machines are more targetted: you'll push more weight typically because a muscle is isolated. Freeweights are better for balance: you have to engage more of your body to stabilize the weight. I use both in any given routine because it's good to keep muscles exposed to a wide range of muscle-confusing moves. A routine with different kinds of exercises (machines, bodyweight, freeweight, etc.) is one your body has a harder time adapting to and plateauing on.


    Quoted for truth.

    Lately I like to start with a machine, then mimic the motion with free weights. You can ALWAYS tell the difference.
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    Oct 04, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    machines are also good if you're coming back from an injury as you're more stable and any time you need to let go, it'll be done safely.
    what i 'm doing right now, as i recover from a deltoid injury ( a real bitch to overcome ) , is using machines with the max weights i can push 10 -12 reps, and light free weights for increased range and balance.

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    Oct 04, 2011 11:25 PM GMT
    I only have free weights and bodyweight machines in my home gym...no cable-driven machines.