If you’re interested in making weight lifting a consistent practice and aren’t sure which type to try, there are several things to consider.
Firstly, no one style of weightlifting works the same for everyone. Success with weightlifting depends on the goals, genetics, experience, and activity level of the individual. That said, prime results can be reached with strategic execution according to these factors.
Differences Between Free Weight and Machine-Based Weight Lifting
Lifting with free weights is considered more dynamic, as it physically requires the use of more muscle groups and range of motion. Machine-based resistance training has also shown to be effective. The consistent use of weights will yield results, but the differences are as follows.
- Improves overall balance and coordination
- Engages multiple muscle groups
- More natural/organic movements
- Maximizes spinal stability
- Able to adjust resistance with bands or chains
- Spotter is recommended
- Higher risk of injury
- Well suited to targeted isolation
- No spotter required
- Ability to avoid using certain muscle groups
- Ideal for beginners
How Can I Choose?
The most important factor in choosing the style of weightlifting for you is safety. Quick results are not worth the risk of injury, as injury may prevent the maintenance of said results in the long run. If you’re unsure about what your body can handle, speaking with a physical therapist is likely ideal.
Coinciding with safety, proper form in any weight lifting is necessary. Aside from the avoidance of injury, time under tension, an important aspect of maximizing lifting efforts is not possible without careful attention to form.
If you’re curious about which type might be best for you, pop into the quiz above for more insight.