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  #1  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:50 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Machines

For those of you who are firm believers that free weights are better, let me ask a question to get a handle on how much better.

Hypothetical scenario. You are in good shape, have no afflictions and are an expert at this stuff. Possibly one of the emp brothers. You have access to a great gym and all the time in the world. Plus spotters and any kind of bench for free weights. Chains too.

You have general fitness goals but nothing so specific such as Olympic Weightlifting where free weights or machines would have more or less of an advantage than usual.

You are asked to design your optimum workout in your opinion for both machines and free weights (if there are any gizmos that could be considered hybrids, skip them). No mixing.

After two years you claim better results with the free weights. My question is this: Suppose I said that if you use your optimum free weight workout you must cut it by a third. Across the board. And stop two reps short of failure when you otherwise would not have. Would you still surpass the results you would get from your optimum machine workout?
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:11 AM
Rootabager Rootabager is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

People are going to say alot of stuff like you dont need to train to failure. Which is true, but I think everyone is just going to jump on you for saying failure which alot of people that post on here dont lift to failure.

I see what your saying though. Just assume that any workout you design is going to be to failure. M-chest, tues-legs, type of workout where you will be doing 15 sets or whatever to failure.

I still think free weights will be better. They use all the stabilizer muscles while you are lifting.

How are you judging results? looking more muscular? strength? Would you judge strength on a machine or free weights.

I think people are going to hate on this question alot, they are going to say stuff like machines can lead to injury by being a unnatural motion.

They're too supportive. Because you have so much support, you use fewer muscle groups at the same time. This means you burn less calories and work the body in a less functional way.


They don't allow the body to work naturally. Because many machines work on a fixed path, there's not much room for working the body throughout different planes of motion.

Free weights will prolly be better in the long run.

If you said how much workout you have to cut before I would go to machines I dont know.

I have been rambling alot, because I really dont know what to say. I havent used that many machines.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:32 AM
kickpushcoast kickpushcoast is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Machines

i was going to put in a long detailed reply, but its not worth it. free weights win under almost any conditions and stipulations
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:41 AM
Shadowrun Shadowrun is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

Srs question did you get banned from NVG or something?
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:43 AM
thirddan thirddan is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

the only time i can see machines being more useful is under special circumstances such as a competitive bodybuilder needing to isolate a specific muscle in order to maintain balance/symmetry or a very tall person seeing more quad hypertrophy through leg pressing rather than squatting...but i think that the average person gets more out of having a natural range of motion and development of stabilizing muscles than the smaller benefit of a constant range load...
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2007, 09:44 AM
diebitter diebitter is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

Yes.
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2007, 09:44 AM
XXXNoahXXX XXXNoahXXX is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

I lifted for three years exclusively using free weights and had developed a few routines that I really liked and got great results from. Then I hurt my lower back, didn't work out for months, and when I got back to it, I couldn't do free weights any more. I switched to do machines only and was prepared for much diminished results, but i was actually very impressed. now i involve both in my workout and I think that is optimal (especially since im still worried about my back).

Not sure what this adds, but just wanted to say that if you use machines right and don't just go through the motions you can still get a very intense workout with great results.
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:58 PM
cbloom cbloom is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

Some of the free-weight zeal is over the top.

It depends how you measure results. If the measure is some functional strength move, such as how much weight can you squat, I think the freeweight trainer will win even at 2/3 the workouts. On the other hand if the measure is just amount of lean body mass gained, the machine guy will probably win, because giving up 1/3 of your training (whatever that means) is too much to overcome.

BTW if you set it up another way :

Machine guy takes X time to do his workouts. Freeweight guy can do whatever workouts he wants but only gets 2/3 X time to do workouts - then freeweight guy will easily win. (but this is also counting stretching and warmups as not part of workout time)
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:04 PM
Wynton Wynton is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

[ QUOTE ]

Machine guy takes X time to do his workouts. Freeweight guy can do whatever workouts he wants but only gets 2/3 X time to do workouts - then freeweight guy will easily win. (but this is also counting stretching and warmups as not part of workout time)

[/ QUOTE ]

You're saying that free weights take more time than machines? I've been getting ready to transition to free weights, but time is a consideration for me.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2007, 01:50 PM
cbloom cbloom is offline
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Default Re: Quantifying The Degree of Difference Between Free Weights And Mach

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]

Machine guy takes X time to do his workouts. Freeweight guy can do whatever workouts he wants but only gets 2/3 X time to do workouts - then freeweight guy will easily win. (but this is also counting stretching and warmups as not part of workout time)

[/ QUOTE ]

You're saying that free weights take more time than machines? I've been getting ready to transition to free weights, but time is a consideration for me.

[/ QUOTE ]

No, I'm saying you can get a harder workout in less time. eg. this whole reduce by 1/3 thing is pretty hard to specify, but if it's a time limit or limit on # of reps then freeweight guy can win because you can get a harder full body workout faster using compound freeweight moves.
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