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Free weights or Machines?

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  1. #1
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    Free weights or Machines?






    How do you get a better workout? Do you primarily use machines or free weights? Or do you need both?

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    Free weights are obviously better due to developing stabilizers and training through a full range of motion.

    However, when training new people I start them off on machines (or cables if possible) to get their body used to the idea of lifting with resistance and establish proper neural pathways...then move them onto free weights when they are ready.

    Personally I rarely use machines...always cables or free weights.
    Today I can do what others will not so that tomorrow I will do what others cannot.

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    Dont use many machines, occasionally cables for tricep pushdown, pec dec, seated calf, I believe that covers it for current use.

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    I believe whole heartedly in free weights!

    Machines have their place, especially for exercises like pulldowns, but I choose free weights hands down for beginners and advanced.
    I would rather start out a beginner doing free weight squats with the bar, or even no weight, than put them on a leg press.





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    Oops, I use a front squat machine for standing calf raises

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    Originally posted by Prince

    I would rather start out a beginner doing free weight squats with the bar, or even no weight, than put them on a leg press.
    I totally agree with this.
    Today I can do what others will not so that tomorrow I will do what others cannot.

    The difference between winners and losers is that winners do things that losers don't want to do.

  7. #7
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    i pretty much only use free weights.. i would never make a machine exercise a staple in my workout

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    Originally posted by ponyboy
    I totally agree with this.
    Definatly, I wish someone did that with me, I now have to learn from scratch.
    "Only in dictionaries does SUCCESS come before WORK." -Alfred K. Henderson

    Today I do what others will not so that tomorrow I can do what others cannot!

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    I've done smith presses for my incline work awhile back, and liked it, but I am enjoying freeweight pressing even more.

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    i use a bit of everything but mostly cables and free weights i guess
    "Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy-ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

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    Free weights primarily and machines to accent workouts without question if your goal is to have the physic of a bodybuilder. example: You Bench press a barbell or DB and do some pec dec(machine) You do squats then the leg press machine and extensions, curl machines.
    those are a few examples of my thinking.

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    I mix it up and use everything but am more focused on free weights.I love cables and pull downs and feel that leg machines are safer than squats for legs if you have lower back problems.Heavy free weights can be dangerous so some machines provide a degree of safety.
    Live Well- Live Long- Keep Rockin

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    Originally posted by firestorm
    Free weights primarily and machines to accent workouts without question if your goal is to have the physic of a bodybuilder. example: You Bench press a barbell or DB and do some pec dec(machine) You do squats then the leg press machine and extensions, curl machines.
    those are a few examples of my thinking.
    Chuck Norris once lost his keys and couldn't remember where he put them. So he tortured himself for half an hour until he gave up their location.

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    Originally posted by Mudge
    Oops, I use a front squat machine for standing calf raises
    Hey, thats a great idea. I've been having trouble recently using the standing calf raise - the amount of plates i use prevents the machine from extending fully.

    Do you typically use more weight when training calves on that machine? I'm gonna give it a try next week.

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    Compared to a normal calf raise heck yes, I can hardly stay standing on the normal calf raise machine because the sandpaper is worn off. I dont use but a couple hundred pounds on that, and on the front squat machine I use 6-7 plates a side, I shoot for around 15 reps. The base plate on that thing keeps my feet planted for at least the first 10 reps, the one at my gym is rubber coated.

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    95% of my training is free weights. the only exercises that i can think of that are not is leg press, and tricep pushdowns.

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    I stick with free weights almost exclusively. Like others have said, pushdowns, pulldowns, and I would add seated pulley rows, are useful.

    Some of the Hammer Strength stuff is pretty decent too. My gym has a good selection of Hammer Strength equipment, and although I use them occasionally, I always go back to free weights.

    It's easy to compare the effectiveness of free weights vs machines. Let's say you are well trained on both squats and leg presses. Try doing leg presses exclusively for 6 weeks or so, then go back to your normal squat routine. I seriously doubt you'll be able to hang. Now try it the other way around. If you worked hard on your squats, you'll probably find your leg press has gone up, even with the 6 week layoff. Same deal comparing barbell bench press with Hammer Strength Bench machine.

  18. #18
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    i use bb and db...and at the end of the muscle group I'll throw in a machine....but if we are talking back u gotta have pulldowns..i do pulley seated row..pushdowns for tris is a must...
    Chuck Norris once lost his keys and couldn't remember where he put them. So he tortured himself for half an hour until he gave up their location.

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