Everyone keeps telling me weight machines suck and free weights are better. If so, why is it that when I switch back and forth, I’m getting better strength gains on my free weight movements after using machines?

The debate about weight machines and free weights is never-ending. There are those who will swear by machines and those who will only work with free weight. Objectively, there is no need to choose because both options can be used and be beneficial for strength and stamina.

The benefits of using machines include the fact that most machines come with a trainer monitoring the use of machines so you can ask about how to have the correct form to avoid injury. Also, with or without a trainer, machines are relatively easy to figure out.

On the other hand, free weights help you with muscle building because they are known to work more muscles in a single session than machines. Thus, in terms of value and time, you get more from free weights.

If your concern is building strength in a specific area like your arms or legs, machines are better. In the same manner, if you are injured and want to avoid putting pressure on certain parts of your body, machines are better.

8K photo by Cyril Saulnier (@c_reel) on Unsplash

From another angle, free weights can be done anywhere and don’t drain the wallet as much as machines. This means you can work out in your bedroom, take the free weights when you go on a road trip, use it when you want to work out in the park – in short, it’s not a hassle to bring them around. Using free weights though is tougher than weight machines and they have this one quality that weight machines don’t have – since you can have them in your home, they can stare at you and intimidate you into keeping to your workout schedule!

If your muscles hurt after workout, I would recommend you to use a foam roller to spend up your recovery.

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