Free weights are important but aren’t the only equipment found in the gym. Now while most experts and trainers would suggest you to get off the machine I think not using them is just ridiculous.
Yes free weights should form the core your daily routines but complementing them with regular machines workouts will help you grow better and if you are still not convinced here are 4 other reasons why I never leave machines off my workout chart.
They are safer
Beginners may not always be familiar with free weights thus the in-built safety feature of machines provides a better platform to get started. While they are also not 100% secure the chances of you choking under a heavy barbell are quite low when benching using a smith machine. I’d much rather workout on my Keiser M3 Plus Spin bike than go for a spin on the road, I love working out but hey, it’s dangerous out there!
Yes I agree machine movements are not always natural but there is less room for mistakes as compared to free weights.
I can lift heavier
When I workout with using dumbbells or a barbell a lot of my effort and concentration goes into making sure the movement is right thus limiting the amount of weight I lift whereas machines balance the weight itself. All I need to do is push or pull it and thus I can lift heavier.
I would suggest you use machines early into your workout since they are perfect for maximum overload and often don’t need to be pushed back.
I can workout longer
Working out on machines helps me workout longer and at a higher intensity by using techniques such as dropsets where you increase your reps in a set by lowering weight. Doing it with dumbbells and barbells is possible too but you will either need good help or will have to be close to the rack stand at all times.
That being said, when it comes to machines you can simply lower the weight by shifting the pin which takes mere seconds plus your form does not get effected. To increase intensity you can also try reverse motion, half reps etc.
For constant tension machines are the ideal choice. This ensures a more effective workout as the tension on the muscles remains constant throughout the workout whereas with free weights the tension reduces as your muscles tire.
Make sure you have the right blend of free weights and machine workouts for faster and better growth. I usually alternate both but you can opt for a routine that best suits your needs. Take expert help if needed.