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ee2k
02-04-2009, 09:25 PM
While working out using dumbbells and barbells may be seen as more of a macho workout (I could be wrong so don't beat me), is there a disadvantage in using either dumbbells/barbells or machines? Better results with one or the other? Why would you use one and not the other?

AZ REALTY
02-04-2009, 09:31 PM
Machines control your range of motion, whereas, dumbbells and barbells do not. Personally, I use all three types depending on the muscle group I'm working and how intense I want my workout to be. However, I do find I get a more challenging workout using dumbbells and barbells than machines.

topmade
02-04-2009, 09:36 PM
Machines = isolated movements, few muscles used. Safer for a home gym so you don't kill yourself. Also most people don't have enough space for a full set of dumb bells and barbells in their home.

Dumb bells and barbells = uses more muscles because you have to control the weight.

I like free weights better. If you do the excercises correct, you'll be stronger then working on a machine, but machines do have their benefits for some excercises.

Darkane
02-04-2009, 09:36 PM
Can't squat, dead lift, or clean on a machine.

Hell even bench and presses are limited by the machine.

Some machine have their place in the bodybuilding world, but for strength it's dumbbells and bars.

Hammer Strength has some good machines though, Incline presses and shit. :thumbsup:

VaN_HaMMeRSTeiN
02-05-2009, 12:07 PM
Try useing a mix of both to maximize your work out, it's that simple...
Who cares what's considered manly? Ya know what's manly haveing ripped muscles regardless of how you get them... barring the use of steroids of course.
For instance, I suck at chin ups... I can do them, but I find I can't do a lot, as a result I find I don't get a good work out for them.. so what's wrong with useing the lat press to increase strength of that specific muscle so that I can do the chin ups better later?

lint
02-05-2009, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by VaN_HaMMeRSTeiN
Try useing a mix of both to maximize your work out, it's that simple...
Who cares what's considered manly? Ya know what's manly haveing ripped muscles regardless of how you get them... barring the use of steroids of course.
For instance, I suck at chin ups... I can do them, but I find I can't do a lot, as a result I find I don't get a good work out for them.. so what's wrong with useing the lat press to increase strength of that specific muscle so that I can do the chin ups better later?

As similar as a lat pull down is to a pull up, personal experience was that whatever grains were made using a pull down didn't equate to the same gains when trying to apply it to a pull up. As similar as they are, they are still different enough that the best way to get better at pulls ups is... to do pull ups. In most cases there isn't one specific muscle that performs a free weight exercise. There are accessory muscles that are recruited to perform the movement. The restricted range of motions of machine tends to not recruit the accessory muscles, hence why increasing strength on a machine doesn't translate directly to a free weight exercise.

When starting out, free weights will provide a better workout because these movements will recruit more muscles and the more muscles you use, the more gains you'll make. Machines can be beneficial for more advanced training, when you want to target a specific muscle or group of muscles. But this applies more to body building than strength training.

ZorroAMG
02-05-2009, 02:30 PM
Yep...I much rather use the chin up bar with the weight assist thing then do pull downs.

SUCH different muscle groups....

kutt3r
02-07-2009, 11:18 PM
Barbell/Db always my first choice.. actually the only machine I use is the leg press once in a while... oops and the assisted chin/pull machine... unless you count cables as machines. (Hard to do facepulls/pull throughs with db's)

Depends on the person, I think starting out without a trainer and/or injury's machines are probably safer in the long run.....after watching some peoples form in the gym.

The main reason for using free weight has been said, stabilizers, the small muscles that never get worked on a machine.

liquidboi69
02-09-2009, 10:37 AM
Adding to everyone's responses. Machines also won't work with everyone's strength curves. Whereas barbells and dumbbells only overload the bottom range of motion due to most people's strength curve.

I read somewhere that machines will only work on 1/2 of the people as they have a pre-set resistance curve. But if they work with your body, then machines can work well.

However, dumbbells and barbells force you to use your balance and stabilizing muscles.

Also for something like dumbbell bench vs. barbell bench...it's harder to max out for dumbbell since it's harder to balance. It's easier to max out on barbell bench. So they all have their applications...whether you want more balance, more weight lifted, or want to have consistent form/range/target a muscle.

I just use all 3.

A790
02-09-2009, 11:10 AM
I don't use machines at all in my training. Free weights/barbells only, and it's been working out great. The only time I'd consider using a machine is on a day where I need to lift heavy weight with a somewhat "dangerous" exercise, like a bench press. Then I'd use a smith machine or chest press if necessary.

89coupe
02-09-2009, 11:31 AM
You guys sound like you are all professional athletes that need to utilize every ounce of muscle and strength...LOL.

I just lift to try and look good. I could care less if I'm getting the maximum benefit from one exercise or another.

qbrown
02-09-2009, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by 89coupe
You guys sound like you are all professional athletes that need to utilize every ounce of muscle and strength...LOL.

I just lift to try and look good. I could care less if I'm getting the maximum benefit from one exercise or another.

:facepalm: ya because the gym is only meant to be a place to go just to get looked at ...

lint
02-09-2009, 11:40 AM
I don't think it has anything to do with being a pro athlete. Personally, if I'm going to lift I want to maximize my time. To me, that means working out as efficiently as possible, and that means working large compound muscle groups with a barbell.

It's fine that you could care less. But different goals for different people. We can't all be 89coupes now, can we?

89coupe
02-09-2009, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by qbrown


:facepalm: ya because the gym is only meant to be a place to go just to get looked at ...

Look good physically dumbass, LOL, not at the gym.

Dumbass17
02-09-2009, 01:28 PM
maaaan i wish our gym had a barbell or free bench press
we have 2 full sets of dumbbells and a smith machine
but man i HATE the smith machine..feels useless to me

free weights ftw

richardchan2002
02-09-2009, 01:29 PM
What good are big muscles without the stabilizers, range of motion, and core strength to back them up?

A790
02-09-2009, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by richardchan2002
What good are big muscles without the stabilizers, range of motion, and core strength to back them up?
Bingo.

89coupe
02-09-2009, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by richardchan2002
What good are big muscles without the stabilizers, range of motion, and core strength to back them up?

Back them up for what?

A790
02-09-2009, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by 89coupe


Back them up for what?
Isolating muscles may create strength for one specific movement (ie- a chest press is for pushing outwards away from the body), but it's the supporting muscles that will allow you to keep weight stabilized. Isolating the muscles with a machine removes the necessity of the stabilizers, meaning they don't get worked and hence are underdeveloped compared to the rest of you.

Stabilizers translate to real-world strength, where you are able to perform a range of motions and not just the motions you train.

whiskas
02-09-2009, 02:40 PM
I'd love to see you do a ring pullup, your entire body would start shaking like Michael J Fox as stabilizer muscles that you didn't even know you had are like WTF IS HAPPENING. And on top of that, you would probably struggle to do even one :rofl:

89coupe
02-09-2009, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by A790

Isolating muscles may create strength for one specific movement (ie- a chest press is for pushing outwards away from the body), but it's the supporting muscles that will allow you to keep weight stabilized. Isolating the muscles with a machine removes the necessity of the stabilizers, meaning they don't get worked and hence are underdeveloped compared to the rest of you.

Stabilizers translate to real-world strength, where you are able to perform a range of motions and not just the motions you train.

Real World Strength for what?


Originally posted by whiskas
I'd love to see you do a ring pullup, your entire body would start shaking like Michael J Fox as stabilizer muscles that you didn't even know you had are like WTF IS HAPPENING. And on top of that, you would probably struggle to do even one :rofl:

Why would I want to do a ring pullup?

A790
02-09-2009, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by 89coupe
Real World Strength for what?
Lifting things, moving things, generally doing things that combine a multitude of muscles. You never actually isolate in the real world, why would you do so in the gym for any reason other than defining/toning the muscle?

Euro838
02-09-2009, 02:56 PM
Isn't that his whole point? That you'll never see him do a ring pull-up?

I'm sure he'll look fine flexing the bi's picking up the drink. :thumbsup:

Edit: Look, for the typical white collar worker, the most physical strength you'll ever need is to pick up the phone. Hell, if you want to re-position your PC, there's a whole IT department to do that for you. Who cares if you should be able to do it yourself (It's a safety thing :) )

Anyways, chances are whether you use free weights or machines, if you do the same exercises, there should not be any appearance differences. Obviously you have to do the same resistances i.e. 10 lbs free weigths <> 10 lbs machine weight.

89coupe
02-09-2009, 03:03 PM
I'm just trying to make a point that I think a lot of you over analyze or over complicate your workout.

A simple bench, bicep curl, dip and squat will give you everything you want in relation to having a nice physique and strength.

Unless you are some sort of professional athlete, I think its just a waste of time doing anything more.

A790
02-09-2009, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by 89coupe
I'm just trying to make a point that I think a lot of you over analyze or over complicate your workout.

A simple bench, bicep curl, dip and squat will give you everything you want in relation to having a nice physique and strength.

Unless you are some sort of professional athlete, I think its just a waste of time doing anything more.
You forgot deads and presses. You still want to work your back and shoulders.

Otherwise, you just nailed my workout on the head :)

89coupe
02-09-2009, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by A790

You forgot deads and presses. You still want to work your back and shoulders.

Otherwise, you just nailed my workout on the head :)

Ooops, yeh, forgot military press and rows.

I don't do dead lifts

civic_rida
02-09-2009, 04:18 PM
I always get asked what i do for shoulders and all I do is dumbbell miltary press.