Free Weights Versus Weight Lifting Machines


If you are new to bodybuilding, you may be wondering if free weights or weight lifting machines are better in terms of gaining muscle. After all, they both have their good points and bad points. So lets see how free weights versus weight lifting machines…


Weightlifting Machine Pros:

  • Many beginners find it easier to use weight lifting machines because there is less of a learning curve. There are not many ways for these machines to move, so it is not hard to figure out if you’re using them correctly for the muscle group you are trying to work.
  • The machines usually come with instructions, so you can quickly learn how to use them.
  • There is no need to worry about dropping weights on your feet.
  • If you need to rest an overworked muscle while working the others, you can use a machine to isolate specific muscle groups.


Weightlifting Machine Cons:

  • Because of the machine’s fixed range of motion, there is an increased chance of injury due to overworking certain joints, muscles and tendons.
  • It is easy to work some muscles while ignoring the others during workouts tailored to target certain muscle groups. This isolation of muscle groups can cause your gains to slow down and become less balanced.
  • The fixed configuration of weight lifting machines does not allow for adjustments to fit your body shape. These machines do not care if you are tall and thin or short and stocky — you get the same type of exercise as everyone else who uses the same machine. This is yet another factor that can lead to an increased chance of injury and slow down your muscle growth.


Free Weight Pros:

  • Using free weights forces the muscles to work together, this leads to better development of muscle growth and strength.
  • Though you might have concerns about losing your balance, both balance and coordination will improve since you will be using more than one group of muscles at a time while lifting.
  • Free weights take up less space and are less expensive than weight lifting machines. You can save money by working out at home instead of paying for a gym membership.


Free Weight Cons:

  • If you do not know the right techniques and form, you can injure yourself performing certain movements with free weights.
  • Having to move weights before you begin your workout or take the time to add or remove weights from your bar means more time for your workout session.


Ultimately, both machines and free weights have advantages and disadvantages to weigh out. For most people, free weights are a better choice for quickly gaining muscle. However, it is up to you to consider the pros and cons of using free weights, machines or even incorporating both into your workout to fit your needs.