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Free Weights VS. Machines for Strength & Muscle Hyperthrophy?



In previous studies made, to find out if free weight or machine work were best for strength & muscle gain. Free weight exercises showed to be superior… However there were major sources of error in those initial studies. - Which since then have been corrected: The most recent studies showed that both groups (The free weight exercise group vs. the machine exercise group) increased equally in muscle mass, strength and testosterone levels were approx. the same [1] The free weights group became stronger in bench press vs. the group that trained using machines. Which makes good sense as you’d get stronger at the specific lift/movement you’re continuously training. But the actual overall strength progression wasn’t much different between the two groups. So it doesn’t really make sense to discuss whether free weights or machines are best. Because like with everything else in regards to training, there are different advantages and disadvantages and no one size fits all. A good program should have both elements…


❇️Some advantages of machines are; they provide great stability, which means you can isolate a muscle group without other muscle groups are taking over. And it can be a great way to establish/learn “mind/muscle connection” on the muscle you want to work on, and a good way for you to learn the basic movements before big compounds. ❇️Some advantages with free weight exercises is that you have to stabilise yourself during the movements. Which requires several muscles groups, joints and core stability at the same time. You are most likely also going to have a slightly greater energy expenditure using free weights vs a lot of machine work. ➡️I recommend using both! Don’t just focus on one thing. Get a trainer to write up some programs that fits you and get to it 💪🏻

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References (Pubmed) [1] 32358310 [2] 33114782

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