Its finally time for you to get into shape. I am sure you are either new to strength training, or it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym.
The one thing that we all know about going to the gym is that you have to lift weights. Most in fact go to the gym for weight training ( or what they call pumping iron).
But, in weight training too there is something called free weights and exercise machines. I would here like to clear the concept of free weights vs exercise machines. I will talk of the advantages and the disadvantages of both.
The Benefits of Using Free Weights:
When you use free weights you get more bang for your buck. There are loads of exercises that one can do with free weights. And these can be done at home or at the gym than one can do with the big expensive machines.
While doing free weights there is no range of motion inhibitors like with most exercise machines. You can adjust each exercise according to your body. Another great benefit with free weight is that you can really enhance your motor skills. When using free weights their are more action on your muscles to stabilize and balance your body and its weight thereby giving you a more complete workout.
Ideally if you are serious and you want get strong the you need to train on free weights.
But, there are Negatives of using Free Weights: let’s understand what are these negatives…
Firstly, you will need advice to help you get the right workout program design. Hiring a trainer or researching the best exercises for you must come first. It is also extremely important to use proper form. Thus, hiring a trainer will get you started right.
Secondly, the chances of getting injured is higher while using free weights. If you don’t lift it right and do the exercises in the right manner, free weights can hurt you faster than it will make you fit.
Thirdly, You will need a lifting partner if you plan on pumping heavy iron. Get a partner or a trainer to help check your form. It is very easy to get sloppy, even when you know what your doing. For example, don’t try a heavy weight in the squat or bench press without a “spotter”. Make sure that you can control the weight and do the exercise correctly and in the right position.
The Benefits of Using Exercise Machines:
If you have a time constraint, using machines can be an efficient way to do workouts. Putting a pin into the weight stack is quicker than loading up a barbell. Plus, the arrangement of machines in a gym facilitates changing exercises efficiently.
If you are new to the gym, and without a trainer, machines are a safe way to start your work out regime. Most machines have diagrams to help you lift and do the exercise correctly. If you have injuries, machines will help stabilize your body. With the extra support, you can focus on healthy muscles, and give your injuries time to heal. If you want to lift heavy weights without assistance, machines will help. The security of the machine allows you to lift more, without the fear of dropping the weights.
If you want to train one specific muscle group, machines aid in focus. It is difficult to do certain exercises (like a leg curl) with free weights, and a machine will hone right in on your desired goal.
The Negatives of Using Exercise Machines:
Machines let you cruise through an exercise without bringing in stabilizing muscles. You don’t get true strength that relates to the movement in your daily life.
Another negative with machines is that they don’t always fit your body. If you are very small or very tall, the machines may not fit your size, and the exercise won’t be mechanically efficient, leading to injury. Also most exercise machines don’t give you much flexibility or variation. Most machines create a forced or guided two-dimensional movement pattern, so you are limited in how your muscles develop.
Another problem with using machines is they get occupied quickly in a gym. Your time gets wasted or there is a huge time gap between one exercise and another only because you are awaiting your turn on a machine. In the waiting process you are likely to get irritated and frustrated and this is a big turn-off when you want to get into shape.