Getting PinFit – Weight Machines vs. Free Weights

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2014)

By DeLano Daniels, EM Fitness Contributor, Pin Fit

Today I’m going to answer the age-old question, which is better free weights or machines?

As a trainer, I am constantly asked which is better – free weights or machines: so now I’m going to offer my two-cents on the subject.

In my opinion, exercise machines were invented for women who feared they might end up looking like a man from lifting free weights – nothing could be further from the truth.

Now, the exercise equipment and machine industry has been blown all out of proportion; now we have things such as the five-minute abs and the fat burning core belt. PEOPLE!!! These are gimmicks, they do not work!!!

So now, most people are under the impression that weight machines are best for toning and free weights are best for bulking. Let’s straighten this myth out right now.

ANYTHING – any type of resistance training – whether machines, dumbbells or any type of free weights or bodyweight exercises, can be used to tone or add lean muscle.

Your specific muscular development will be determined by several different factors, including your scheme and repetition, training duration, level of intensity, level of repetition, overall health, and genetics.

So here’s the deal on free weights and machines. Machines serve the same purpose as free weights, but are less effective because they do not provide the instability that free weights do and only move in one plane of motion.

Having to control the weight from swaying up, down, or side to side causes the body to recruit more muscle fibers during the stabilization process of controlling the weight. Therefore, in my opinion, free weights are most effective.

And with that said, feel free to use both machines and free weights, mix it up a little. If you find a certain free weight exercise that is a bit too difficult, try switching to a machine that is comparable to that same exercise.

Exercising should be fun and easy. Don’t complicate the situation by trying to figure out if you’re going to look better by using a machine or free weight for one certain exercise.

About DeLano Daniels

After many years in health and fitness and enduring some of life’s hardest trials, DeLano Daniels launched his own fitness company Pin Fit in 2012 to help motivate, inspire, and guide individuals who are wanting to change their lives. Not only is DeLano a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, but also a sponsored athlete, natural bodybuilder, writer, and college graduate. When DeLano isn’t training for shows, he can be found training individuals for special occasions, personal goals, fitness competitions, and most importantly better overall health and wellness. For questions regarding fitness, nutrition, or training, contact DeLano at or 832-775-3590.

*Disclaimer: Empower Magazine does not make any specific health claims or product endorsements.  The health claims or product endorsements in this article are the strict responsibility of the featured fitness columnist.

Getting PinFit – Weight Machines vs. Free Weights