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Thread: Machines vs. Free Weights

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Machines vs. Free Weights

    Looking for some opinions/advice here...

    I just started lifting again after years and I've found that using machines are much easier in lifting with correct form and overall, they're just more efficient. And I find that I can get a good work out in (5-6 sets) using almost all machines. Is there a greater benefit to free weights I don't know about? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by skully1 View Post
    I've found that using machines are much easier in lifting with correct form and overall, they're just more efficient.
    There's your answer right there. Free weights are harder and therefore more productive. Weightlifting is supposed to be tough, that's what forces us to grow stronger. Nothing wrong with throwing some machine work in there, but make the majority free-weight compound exercises if you want the most out of your workouts.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I love machines for accessory work, especially on legs. They are also safer if training to true muscular failure. Nothing wrong with using them as long as you have some good compound lifts in your routine as well. They are also good for training around an injury...I have found that if I do not cycle pressing machines with free weight presses, my left shoulder starts to hurt pretty bad. I keep myself fresh by sandwiching a machine press day in between my free weight presses. Everyone is different...only you can find out what works for you. Just don't get machine happy...find a balance.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 09-06-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Always learning
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I stay away from nearly all machines. I'm sure they can be helpful when you are working around an injury, but I try to avoid them like the plague. Nothing, in my experience and opinion, beats good old dumbbells, barbells, and chains.
    "Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder but no one wanna lift this heavy ass weight."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    My favorite machines are the leg curl and calf machines (standing and seated).

  6. #6
    Wannabebig Member alexspt's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Here's your simple answer:

    If you are a beginner, use machines for a few weeks or months. When you feel ready, move to free weights.
    This is to reduce risk for injury before using free weights (which use more muscle, coordination, etc. and are more beneficial)
    Favorite Quote:"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness--Edward Stanley"

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  7. #7
    Aaron B - Music Composer MusicForMuscles's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Check out the book "Beyond Brawn: The Insider's Encyclopedia On How To Build Muscle..."

    It's a good read and will give you some valuable insight on training. It addresses machines vs dumbbells and barbells quite well, in my humble opinion
    Height: 6'1" | Weight: 235 | Goal Weight: 240 at < 9% BF

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  8. #8
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Quote Originally Posted by LilHillbilly View Post
    I stay away from nearly all machines.
    This. The only exception is the smith machine for Bulgarian lunges and high pulls. Aside from that, Give me some plates, a barbell, and some dumbbells and I am a happy camper.
    My road to powerlifting:
    ===thecityalive is dead meat===
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    Bench: 255 (9/30/13)
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  9. #9
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Derekflint View Post
    My favorite machines are the leg curl and calf machines (standing and seated).
    i second this and leg extensions, after squats of course.
    H: 5'7" W:185
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