I feel like machines are the biggest lie in fitness and I used a lot of them before coming to Fringe.

Have we been led like lemmings to believe that the Nautilus machine will take us to fitness glory?

Is man stronger than machine?

Come January 1, throngs of couch sloths drag themselves to globo fitness cathedrals plop down on row after row of shiny machines, thinking they'll acquire Instagram quality bodies with the same effort that a drive-thru requires.

What do you think Fringe Nation?

Free weights or machines?

The top 2 comments on YouTube for this video are "it depends."

But how much does it depend?

I can see the points about the elderly. When I lived in Florida, I used to train at a community center and it was loaded with the retirees. I was quite impressed that so many of them worked hard to stay strong, as they all toiled on the machines. 

So I'll check off machines for the elderly as legit. 

But machines for beginners? I'm not sure I'm buying that. 

The video says that a beginner can learn the path of movement. But performing the same exercise with a barbell or dumbbell will produce an entirely different movement. 

Plus, what can't a beginner learn with free weights? Isn't that what training barbells are for?

I think Mark Rippetoe would have something to say about that. 

For those of you who don't know Mark, he's one of the preeminent strength experts in America. He's a charter member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, he's a former powerlifter, has spent decades as a coach and has consulted for CrossFit.

Here's what Mark has to say on free weights versus machines.

He doesn't leave anything to the imagination. He'd probably agree with this infographic.

I had a short conversation yesterday with my colleagues Nick and Cynthia. Nick is a certified strength and conditioning coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and Cynthia is CrossFit level 1 certified. 

Discussing free weights versus machines, they were diplomatic saying that "machines have their place." I felt they were holding back. 

Talking about it further today, Cynthia mentioned machines' inability to accommodate different body shapes, resulting in unnatural movements. 

I don't want you to hold back on your opinions Fringe Nation.

What do you think?

Free weights vs. machines. 

Which one is best?

Tell us in the comments below.

If you're just beginning your strength journey or trying to figure out what strength sport is best for you, check out this article.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend and stay awesome!


Adam Miezio
Adam Miezio

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