Dumbells Vs Barbells Vs Machine Poll

Discussion in 'General Training' started by Garratt, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Mengy

    Mengy New Member

    Let me add my $.05 to this debate.

    I've been training (off and on) for about a decade. Started with free weights, belonged to a few gyms over the years and used many different machines, owned a 10-station Weider cable machine, and now workout exclusively at home with nothing but free weights, a power rack and a good bench. My opinion is for overall strength and fitness nothing beats free weights. A good machine may be more successful at targeting a certain muscle than free weights, and the movement may be easier, but in my experience the free weight "equivalent" will always use more muscles overall. In my opinion that is better. I've always been partial towards the heavy compound movements for training, and I just can't get the same full body exhaustion feeling with a machine movement.

    This debate could possibly be more of a training style preference than a machines vs free weights. I might call myself a body builder, but I am really more interested in an overall strong and healthy body than I am in getting a certain "look". I don't bench to only work the pecs, I want to work the triceps and front delts too. When I squat I'm not just looking for large quads, I want to work the back, hams, abs, mid-section. I do chins to work the lats, biceps, and grip all together. I'm really not too interested in focusing on certain muscles one at a time, I like giving the whole body a grueling workout in the smallest time possible; and the more muscles used per movement, the greater the anabolic effect. I have never been able to achieve this type of workout using machines.

    The argument that machines are safer is one that I agree with. Using free weights requires a certain amount of skill and coordination that machines do not. Deadlifts and squats can be very dangerous with incorrect form, but unfortunately they are also two of the best exercises you can possibly do to gain muscle. The risk factor drops tremendously as long as the individual stays focused and is mindful of form and personal limits. Could the safety issue be one reason why fitness clubs like machines better?

    I guess I would have to say that if you want to target a specific muscle, then yes a good quality machine would get the job done better than free weights. But I also feel that if someone wanted to use machines exclusively they would have to do a far greater amount of exercises to get the same overall effect that free weights could give. I think it all boils down to personal preference. For me, nothing will ever beat the feeling of free weights.
     
  2. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    I see a lot of people talking about having trouble getting DB's into place once the weight gets high. I found a great solution a few months ago and cannot get over this simple little item which has saved me from numerous previous injuries from trying to swing DB's up into positon. They are called Power Hooks and are made by Country Power Inc. I can now add twice as much weight as before and get some great DB work in without having a spotter or killing my joints from the swing. This is one of the best pieces of gym gear I have seen come along in awhile.
    http://www.powerhooks.com/pages/859209/index.htm
    If the link does not work just do a Google for Country Power Hooks.
    Just to let you know that I am in no way affiliated with Country Power Inc. just a huge fan. (ok, not that huge but hopefully with HST I will get there) :)
     
  3. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Wow, I just found this really old, but very interesting thread...thOught I'd bump it to get some refReshing ideas. [​IMG]

    I am still into free-weights, because they are simple and they simulate real-life movements much more than any machines.

    Example---pushing something overhead, it usually has to be balanced and is usually an object held in your hands...hmmm sounds similar to pushing a dumbell or barbell overhead.  I can't think of anywhere in life I would have to push a weight up a sliding shaft like a smith machine, nor can I think of any practical reason to do a nautilus type biceps curl.  But everyday many times I do free-weight biceps curls with various objects whenever I hold something in my hand and bend my elbow!!!

    Vince Basile sounds like an intelligent guy an all, but his bashing of something so simple as free-weight lifting which is the most natural and practical lifting, is just ridiculous.

    I am sure there are plenty of good machines out there, but to say they are vastly superior to free-weights just seems totally biased and down-right illogical.

    Plenty of guyS have built huge, strong backs and biceps by grabbing something overhead and pulling therir bodyweight up, it is commonly called a chin-up in exercise!  This natural movement is replicated in rock-climbing, rope-climbing, ANY CLIMBING!
    There is no machine in the world which can improve a simple bar suspended overhead for people to pull themselves up on.

    This argument about machines being superior by Vince Basil (who is in the business of fitness machines) makes me sick!  I am not saying they are superior OR inferior, I am just saying they each can be useful.  A free-weight is a load,THE BODY IS THE MACHINE WHICH MOVES THE LOAD!
     
  4. Machines are 1. for pure body building isolation exercises., 2. Rehabilitation after injury and 3. Commericial Fitness Club Products to get people to join a fitness club and waste time.

    To get less benefits from One simple natural movement, the full squat, one must SIT at at least 8 different machines. [​IMG]
     
  5. Peak_Power

    Peak_Power New Member

    Agreed, who are the biggest guys who don't work out at the gym a day in their lives? Contruction workers and lumberjacks, they carry big pieces of wood around all day, like Arnie at the start of Commando [​IMG]

    That's not to say that machines don't have their uses, but every muscle in the body can be worked with free weights.

    I voted for DBs because of ROM and body symmetry, but then realised you can't do heavy squats/deads with DBs...So freeweights generally get my vote.
     
  6. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    <div>
    (Peak_Power @ Sep. 18 2006,18:12)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Agreed, who are the biggest guys who don't work out at the gym a day in their lives? Contruction workers and lumberjacks, they carry big pieces of wood around all day, like Arnie at the start of Commando [​IMG]

    That's not to say that machines don't have their uses, but every muscle in the body can be worked with free weights.

    I voted for DBs because of ROM and body symmetry, but then realised you can't do heavy squats/deads with DBs...So freeweights generally get my vote.</div>
    Love that scene Peakpower! Commando is one of the best super-macho guy movies! [​IMG]
     
  7. stevejones

    stevejones Member

    <div>
    (Garratt @ Apr. 03 2002,00:15)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"></div>
    Barbells, because of the weight factor. When you have an injury --dumbbells.
     
  8. <div>
    (Peak_Power @ Sep. 18 2006,18:12)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Agreed, who are the biggest guys who don't work out at the gym a day in their lives? Contruction workers and lumberjacks, they carry big pieces of wood around all day, like Arnie at the start of Commando [​IMG]</div>
    AND they are doing this everyday!!! SO the answer to the question of how often to train is now...EVERY DAY FOR 8 HOURS ( minus 1 hour for eating lunch, coffee and a few smokes!)
     
  9. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div>
    (stevejones @ Sep. 19 2006,01:38)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Barbells, because of the weight factor. When you have an injury --dumbbells.</div>
    I love dumbells too until the weight gets too much. I strained my traps putting a heavy DB back to the rack before, so now I know the weight level to switch from DB's to barbell.
     

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