Let's start this fit-friday with the biggest debate in the world of fitness: weight lifting vs. machines.
Some fitness-freaks get really fanatical about this and say that free weights will get you better results while other say the complete opposite.
So, which one is better, lifting weights or working out on machines?
Well first of all , if you workout on machines you don't have to pay so much attention to form , balance or coordination.The machine actually guides you through the movement, it's like having your own personal trainer. So if you are new in the world of fitness, a senior or recovering from an injury, I recommend you to workout on machines.
Another advantage of working out on machines is that you can go quickly from one exercise to another without having to mess around changing plates or adding, so it's time-saving too. Machines are also good if you want to add circuit training to your routine , as you can switch from one machine to the next with little rest between and you don't have to change weights or whatever. Circuit training is a good way to build muscular endurance and add some variation to your workout routine.
One of the reasons why working out on machines is good as well is that the machine ''forces'' you to do the proper movement. For example if you workout on a machine for your chest, it does a great job of firming and toning things up, if you are a woman, for men it will give you nice definition to your chest muscle as it isolates your chest-muscle. If you try the same movement with dumbbells , it can be difficult to get the same controlled movement isolating your chest sometimes, especially if you are new to fitness.
|me working out on a cable machine: Wide Grip Lat Pulldown|
|me working out on a cable machine : Wide Grip lat Pulldown|
Let's see what weights got:
I know a lot of women might be intimidated at the gym because a lot of guys tend to 'control' the free weights. Show them that you are not intimidated because you don't have to! One of the main reasons why athletes train with weights is because they require more balance and more coordination, but most of all do they require the use of the stabilizer muscles.
If you , for example, work on your shoulders by doing the military press, you are not only using your shoulder muscles but also your abs and leg muscles to stabilize your body.You even burn more calories if you train with free weights, scientifically proven.
Another great advantage of training with weights is that they allow a wider range of motion and variation.You can even work out at home or outdoors if you have a set of dumbbells. They are cheap and they only take up a little space. So it's a perfect alternative if you don't have the time to go to the gym.
BUT, if you decide to train with free weights, be aware of your form. As opposed to the controlled movement on the machines, you can make so many errors while training with free weights.
So if you start training with free weights, I recommend you to start with weights which are comfortable so that you won't hurt yourself by doing the false movement.
For me personally, I like to use a combination of free weights and machines for my workout routine,for example when I am training legs. I use free weights to do squats, lunges and calf-press and I train on machines for leg curls,leg extensions, thigh adductor, thigh abductor and a cable machine for kick-backs.
|me training with weights: doing the T-bar row|
|free weight training: deadlift, a good core workout|
But whether you use machines or free weights to workout, the bottom line is consistency, intensity and variation of your workouts.
So ladies, don't be afraid or intimidated to use dumbbells and train at the same spot as guys do. They will look anyway, am I right?
Push it, challenge it , but most of all , ENJOY IT !