60 seconds or less: Should I use machines?

Posted on February 4, 2019

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2019)

This is part of the Real Talk With Client Series. Click here for the rules. Go here to see other topics.

Should I use machines for lifting?

Probably not.

It’s not because the machines are way less effective or anything like that. When it comes to gaining muscle or strength, resistance is resistance. When it comes to your quad size, it won’t matter whether you leg press or squat.

The main reason you shouldn’t use machines is because nearly all machines involve sitting down, and you already sit down most of the day.

I like to get people moving around more when they come in the gym, rather than go from one sitting down machine to another. Plus, we can get more bang for our buck that way. Rather than do the chest press machine, we can do push-ups. Push-ups also work the core while the chest press doesn’t.

The other reason is machines tend to lock you into a fixed path. Free weights allow more flexibility. For instance, your right arm might move a bit different than your left. That’s easier to accommodate with free weights.

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