Free Weights are Important to When Gaining Muscle

Gym owners, trainers, and bodybuilding magazines, will continue to convince people that machines are the same if not better than free weights to build up muscle, claiming that muscles react to any type of resistance regardless. Don’t be a sucker for machines.

The Facts:

Machines oftentimes force you into unnatural body motions creating damage to your muscles.

Most machines have nothing to do with using the most important movements to build up muscle.

Machines have limited opportunity to vary your routine and they isolate your muscles. Free weights on the other hand, stimulate more muscles as you are forcing your body to stabilize the weight.

When using free weights, even the smallest change you make between lifts and workouts can help with muscle gain. Many people who do the machines, do the same routines, with the same amount of weight since they started lifting and wonder why they are not making progress. A routine should be changed after just three weeks. Why is this one important rule so difficult for people to understand?

Let’s compare the squat with free weights and the leg press, thought to mimic the squat. The leg press lying on your back, is a nonfunctional movement for one. It’s dangerous because you are putting your lower back in danger, and it’s easy. Bodybuilders can easily press heavy weight for reps but how many of them can actually do squats for the same? If you can’t do squats, which uses just about every muscle in your lower body, and works the rest of your body for stabilization and holding weight, you have not really gained lower body strength. In the end, bench presses allow you to lift a ton of weight without really accomplishing anything.

The biggest benefit from free weights is the use of the stabilizer muscles. It makes sense to stimulate the most body muscles possible for each exercise you perform and this is never accomplished on machines.

Simply put, the person who wants to build up muscle in the shortest amount of time must use free weights on movements that work the entire body. The person using machines because they seem easier are cheating themselves out of some serious muscle mass.

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One of the most popular misconceptions is that muscles are built in the gym!  On the contrary, muscles are built during resting.  The gym merely serves as stimulus for muscle growth.  It’s what you do after you have left that helps you build muscle.  If your training routine is not complemented by a properly thought out nutritional program then your body will not be able to build the muscle mass you want.

Important: After any intense weight training session, a protein and carbohydrate source is a must within the first 10-20 minutes.  This is vital in kick starting the all important recovery process of your muscles.  Refer to the protein page on this site for more information on this subject.  Personally, I consume a banana and some L-glutamine  as well for good measure.

Another important point is the amount of reps and the length of your exercise.  low reps with heavy weights is the way to go.  Any workout routine for any muscle group should be no more than 45mins to 1 hour long.  The reason for this is; your body needs to maintain an anabolic state.

The components that help build muscle mass are listed below

— Stretching your target muscle group to avoid injury
— Fuelling your body with the right foods to allow it to grow properly.
— Getting adequate rest/sleep
— Progressively overloading your muscles by trying to gradually increase the weight (do not sacrifice good form in order to do this).
— Training the whole body, breaking down your target muscle groups and efficiently working them to achieve the best results

Sufficient amounts of rest will allow your body to grow and repair itself ready for the next gym session.