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Default Machines vs. Free Weights
by MVP 03-09-2012, 02:12 AM

by Will "MVP" Riggs

I decided to write this article after watching a Bowflex commercial on TV. I've been sitting around all weekend thinking of what to say in this article. I've found about 100 things to say positively about free weights, but I'm have trouble thinking of one thing that is good about machines.

I want you to think about what happens when you sit down in your office desk at work. What happens when you set down in your car? Do you have rails guiding you? No. You don't, nor do you need them.

The first bad thing about machines is the lack of stabilizer maturity. Working on muscles on a compound exercise without hitting the stabilizers is completely stupid. You cannot think of a single reason why your stabilizers shouldn't receive a workout. We lift weights for what purpose - I'm sure getting stronger is one of those purposes, right? Do you think when you deadlift something outside of the gym the stabilizer muscles are not going to be required? Well they are. It is part of natural movement.

When stabilizer maturity has not developed, it causes bad form and dependence on other muscles to increase while under stress. Isn't it ironic that your smith machine squats are stronger than your power rack squats? It is because your stabilizers are not being worked, and the machine is doing half the work for you. Probably a good reason you're only getting half of the results to begin with.

Machines also program unnatural motor pattern. "Motor" pattern is the process in which the body initiates to change its original movement to match the movement presented. That is why when you go to the gym you hear people say "get your form down first." Well, at least the people that are actually trying to help you and giving you an educated response.

Free weights also teach your body correct movement pattern and adds to functional strength. "Functional" strength meaning it has potential carryover into other movements and activities. Do you honestly want all that hard work you put in the gym to stay in the gym, particularly the machine, or would you rather it follow you everywhere you go? Isn't it ironic that strongman competitors and powerlifters use and are tested on free weights only? Exactly.

Free weights also demand a thicker hormonal response. "Thicker" referring to a greater stress on the body for a greater release of testosterone and proper movement recuperation.

Save your joints the stress and let the progress you make in the gym follow you everywhere you go.

Article Source: Will E Riggs - Expert Author

Article Source: Machines Vs Free Weights
Personal Trainer- ACE, NASM AFPA; Nutrition Consultant- AFPA

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13"
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