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Machines Versus Free Weights
What's right for you?



  • They are great for beginners because they are safe and easy to use.
  • Machines guide your body through a certain range of motion.
  • You don't have to worry about balancing the weight as much as with free weights.
  • Machines don't require as much coordination.
  • Machines isolate each muscle group.
  • Machines let you get in a fast workout. You go through a circuit of machines and then you are finished.
  • Machines are usually arranged so that you work large muscle groups and then smaller muscle groups.


  • Machines don't fit everybody. They can be hard to adjust.
  • Machines don't build as much balance or coordination.
  • Machines can put your body into a bad range of motion. (If you feel uncomfortable move onto another machine)
  • Machines are not portable. They can't be moved around very easily.
  • Many trainers (including me) believe that working out with machines alone doesn't build a very good (lean, strong, flexible) body.


Free Weights


  • Free weights are versatile. One set of dumbells can be used for many exercises.
  • Free weights build better balance and coordination.
  • Free weights work your muscles in a way that matches real life.
  • Many trainers primarily use free weights to gain strength while maintaining flexibility and agility.
  • Free weights allow you to strengthen muscles and tendons that wouldn't get much work when using machines.
  • Free weights are easier and cheaper to do at home.


  • Free weights can be difficult to learn because of the balance and coordination required.
  • A free weight workout can take longer than a machine workout.
  • You can get injured easier using free weights.




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