Home PEx Lifestyle Body and Fitness

how much better are free weights than machines?

i know that many advocate using free weights than machines because more muscles are involved

but exactly how much better are free weights over machines?

i checked and i can lift significantly heavier loads via machines because there is little risk of injury (due to loss of proper form or from dropping the weights due to fatigue, i dont have a trainor to watch over me)

e.g. i can bench press as much as 130lbs using machine but max of only 100lbs using a barbell.

is it still better to lift lighter weights using free weights than heavier weights using machines?



  • If your looking for a number then i cant give you the "how much better" free weight its better cause you recruit more muscle fibers hence more strenght gain..

    Machines usually give you A 2 dimensional movement - up down, left and right
    Free weights gives you a lot more, not only are you lifting a weight up or down but your are maintaining it in a stable position hence not only the big muscles are stimulated but also the stablizers. small muscles the stabilze stuff..
  • machines will not guarantee you injury free, in fact its prone to injury at heavier loads coz it restricts your movements causing improper form.

    free weights causes injury if done wrong but gains alot more if done right.
  • I can leg press a half a ton (1000 pounds). That doesn't really translate to anything. It's just a misleading number. According to Mark Rippetoe, that's mental *****.

    Barbells train your stabilizers, is a functional compound exercise. If you can squat, bench, or deadlift, do so. Your barbell strength translates better into real world physical activities, and you can scale them according to your abilities.

    Machines restrict your bar path (or whatever path) and don't train the muscles that need training. Machines are best for rehabilitation purposes. Machines are also not consistent with other machines because manufacturers make different versions, use different weights, use different angles or whatever.

    Barbells are the same everywhere (there are powerlifting and olympic lifting standards for approved or certified bars.)

    And, among your friends and barkada, the usual question is "How much can you bench press?" implying the use of a barbell NOT "How much can you bench with a machine?"
  • free weights!!! +1
  • vincexvincex PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    ^^ I completely agree

    my legpresses and other lifts on machines and other stuff are way beyond the weight stack (ubos) and Im stuck doing volumes.

    Also I've had much more injuries on machines. @$#%@$#

    Breaking into free weights was an adjustment phase for me. Similar to other people trying to quit smoking and starting a diet. It wasn't natural. It wasn't something I was accustomed to.

    But i admit, back then I was IGNORANT.
Sign In or Register to comment.