The machines in the weight room are like the water cooler in the office. It’s where everyone goes to chat and think they’re getting a workout in, except there’s probably less sweating going on at the machines than there is at the water cooler.
I just finished up at the gym and had a great lift.
I did a push day today. Started off with bench, then standing press with push-ups as a superset, lateral raises with plates, dips with push-ups, and finished off with bent over later raises for 1 set of 50.
Everything I did was done with either dumbbells or a barbell and I didn’t have to wait for anything because everyone else in the gym were using machines.
I don’t care if your goal is to gain lean muscle or lose fat, STAY AWAY FROM MACHINES as much as you can. Here and there you’re going to have to throw in an exercise that uses a machine, like leg press or the smith machine but for the most part stay away from them.
Free weights don’t give you a guided plane, they force your muscles to work more because you not only have to push or pull the weight but you have to stabilize it as well.
We all have imbalances. My right side is my dominant side in all of the sports I’ve ever played and is therefore naturally stronger than my left side. Using machines allows you to lift more with your dominant arm to push the weight, if you’re using dumbbells or barbells you’re going to see if one side of your body is lifting more than the other, they force you to adapt and get rid of whatever imbalances you may have in your body.
If you’re trying to gain lean muscle, concentrate on bigger muscle groups, and use free weights – not machines. Do exercises like deadlifts and squats, build a strong base then fine tune it as the size starts to get packed on.