Quote: "Be Above Average. It's the Start that Stops Most People." - Anonoymous
You have been told that gaining muscular strength and muscle mass will improve your health. You have never done this before and you wonder where to start. You start by looking online and asking people you know, there are a lot more questions than answers when it comes to machine weights vs free weights.
What Should You Do?
This depends on your experience, technique and what your goal is. Both forms of training have their pros and cons.
- Safe and easy to learn.
- Helps to isolate muscles you want to train.
- Good for rehabilitation.
- Good for beginners just starting out their training.
- No spotter is required.
- Neglects the stabilizing muscles.
- Only trains one plane of movement.
- Has no functionality that carries over into other activities and training.
Free Weight Pros
- Engage multiple groups and stabiliser muscles.
- Builds strength and muscle mass quickly.
- Develops movements in multiple planes that carry over to other activities and sports.
- Can train anywhere and have more variety in exercises.
Free Weight Cons
- More difficult to learn proper lifting technique.
- Need a spotter when using heavier weights.
- Use of poor technique leads to injuries and muscle imbalances.
What Should You Do?
If you are a beginner, find a gym instructor to get you started using machines for 4-6 weeks to become familiar with strength training. Once you have done that find someone whom is experienced and knowledgeable about free weights to assist you in your training. Get them to develop a 4 week program and watch over your technique.
This will give many opportunities to develop the correct technique and mindset in training with free weights. Then get the trainer to develop a 12 week strength program that focuses on the squat, deadlift and bench press that will allow you to develop muscle mass and strength in a short period of time. Before you know it, you will become an expert.