T Nation

Just free weights on mix up?

I am thinking about changing up my routine for next workout by incorporating machines.All my training time(1 yr only!) I always used free weights for parts like chest and shoulders and such.I think I wanna use some machines too.

Do u all always use free weights exclusively or do u all mix it up? What do u think of results from machines?

kenneth - i am 75% free weights 25% machines. there are some machines that offer some benefit, so i usually cycle them through while i keep the bulk of my movements in place using free weights. muscles groups and stabalizers work in concert and the group will only progress as far as the weakest in the bunch. because of machines’ isolation they have a limited amount of usefullness. i grew so much more when i switched to mostly free weights. i have used machines to break through plateaus though and find them very useful for times like that. just my thoughts. kevo

Dude, you should know better than to even think about using machines. They might have a place on arm day, if you have an “arm day”, but they are no good for large muscle groups. Use free weights and use compound movements. If you can’t change up your program by doing different free weight exercises, then you need to do some exercise research.

Free weights are generally superior for
pressing movements, which should be entirely
or for the great part done with free weights; but pulling movements are often better done on a machine. Aside from this being an observed
fact in terms of results, I suppose the reasons are 1) the direction of gravity, and 2) stabilization is heavily involved in pressing movements, but not nearly so much in pulling movements.

they are tools, THATS IT!! you can get big and strong useing free wts., hammer machines, nautilus, etc… use whats comfortable and what you have confidence in. as bill pointed out the “stabalizer” muscles (I wish I knew what they were) are used more in pushing movements then pulling but that brings up the question, if machines are bad how are there so many dudes with big wide backs? just a question peace