Machines vs. Cables and Free Weights

Machines vs. Cables and Free WeightsAsk yourself: “How comfortable am I with keeping perfect form?” and “Do I have any injuries?”

If you answer “yes” to either, you need to work out on machines. Machines are designed to help you maintain proper form. Just because machines are the basics of weight training, that doesn’t mean machines do not challenge the muscles or that they are only for beginners. They are so ergonomically correct that performing the exercise improperly is not a major concern. It is still possible to lose form on a machine, but it is far less likely than when using free weights. The machine will aid by helping you gain or regain strength in a safe and effective way. Once your body has mastered form and has become accustomed to the general motion of the exercise, you are ready for cables!

Cables are second to machines. Since you are learning to use more stabilization, it will be harder to perform the exercise with proper form. Of course, free weights are the roots to all bodybuilders’ weight training programs, but also the most dangerous if you do not know how to lift correctly. Free weights require the most amount of stabilization; stabilization is something we must practice. Go through the suggested sequence and be prepared for optimal benefit!

Which do you prefer… machines, cables or free weights?

Use the form below to “weigh-in.”


  1. Colby Fore says

    Everybody is unique! That’s what makes working out with others so enjoyable. It’d be unrealistic to expect everybody to be able to move and perform the same way. Not every movement may work for you – but that’s okay! Despite what anyone might say to you, there is ALWAYS an alternative for you and your body.

    I personally rely on the big, basic, compound, free weight movements for the majority of my training. I can honestly say that my best results in strength, muscular hypertrophy, and muscular endurance have come from free weights. They are definitely worth the time it takes to learn how to execute these movements properly – but only if you can do them SAFELY.
    But never get attached to an exercise for the sake of the exercise. If something doesn’t work, you don’t have to do that particular exercise. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing just fine! 🙂

    Fall in love with training. Make exercising fun and experiment with what works for you!
    – Colby F.