Machines vs Free Weights
of belonging to a gym is that you have a choice between the various
types of weight training equipment. All quality gyms have a large
selection of fitness equipment for strength training and bodybuilding
providing you with many workout options. Basically you should be taking
advantage of and using at least the 5 different types of weight
training equipment that I am going to outline and discuss below. This
will provide you with plenty of variation in your workouts and keep
your muscles constantly adjusting rather than getting used to the same
day-to-day workout. It also keeps you motivated and interested in your
workouts. If there are certain exercises that you love to do from
week-to-week, that’s ok too. Just vary their order and the
way you perform them a little (depending on the exercise itself).
should you be using when weight training?
Personally, I like to use the 5 different types of weight training
equipment that my gym has available: free weights, plate-loaded
machines, pulley machines, barbells and work stations. I will change
which ones I do every week and the order in which I do these exercises
as well. Also, every year I like to add or delete new or old exercises
so that my weight training routine is more dynamic. It also keeps me
motivated by doing this.
Using free weights provides you with the greatest range of motion and
allows you to perform many different exercises with many variations.
They can be used to perform exercises while lying down, seated or
standing. When exercises are performed standing they engage more of the
entire body – in the case of standing
dumbbell bicep curls, the core
and the legs are used as support. They can even be used for full-body
exercises like the renegade
As you can see, free weights allow for a lot of flexibility in training
The only drawback is the safety factor. If you are using very heavy
weights, for example for chest presses and shoulder presses, you have
to be careful and a spotter, someone to spot and help you out is very
beneficial. A spotter can put you at ease as well as motivate you to
pump heavier weights.
Plate-Loaded Exercise Machines
In this category I am going to talk about weight training machines
where you have to add your own weight plates. This category includes
for example the plate-loaded Hammer Strength machines. With
machines you can select the amount of weight you wish to use and set
the desired seat height to your body height. With their current
technology these machines have been designed to offer an excellent
range of motion. The range of movement is no longer just linear and the
movement on these machines is also very smooth.
It’s ideal for getting a great pump and amazing muscle
definition. You can push yourself without having to worry about not
having a spotter on-hand. Hammer Strength machines with these
characteristics are my favorite.
These types of machines fall into two categories: seated and standing.
What I like about these machines is that they offer constant resistance
(as long as they are properly maintained) and there are so many
variations of any single exercise that you can do with these machines.
Plus they are very safe to use. The standing
exercises using these
pulley machines can also provide you with more of a full-body workout
since you are required to use other body parts for stability and
I primarily like and use them for biceps
because it gives me a great
pump. It really works the bicep muscles hard and I can change grips to
work out the biceps from different
angles, so this piece of fitness equipment provides me with this type
of flexibility. You can either use the straight or easy-curl barbell
for this exercise.
there are other exercises you can do using
barbells as well: forearm curls and upright rows.
This type of exercise equipment involves workstations where you can do
hanging types of exercises: hanging ab crunches, pull-ups,
I like to include these exercises for a little variation and
particularly as I get closer to summer to get a more ripped look.
In summary, as you can see, there are many advantages to using the full
line of exercise
equipment at your gym when you are weight training or bodybuilding.
There are of course other types of fitness equipment which I do not use
personally but you can search for and find articles written on them on
my website by other fitness experts.