Which are better, free weights or weight machines? Ask any number of people and you’ll probably get a split right down the middle. At least that has been my experience and I have asked many people. Therefore, I chalk it up to personal preference and the theories behind what people think. The free weights work for people that able to use them with good form since you need to use your core and muscles throughout your body to assist in many of the exercises you have to have a good balance and stability. The weight machines target specific muscle groups therefore the machine is your stability and your form is going to be naturally better with less free form available. The exercises will target one muscle group at a time versus using many muscles with the free weights.
Perhaps a combination of the two is a good way to go. Free form for a few exercises and hit the machines for targeting the specific muscle you are working on at any given time. I found an app that incorporates both free weights and machines into your weight training workout. It is the “Gain Fitness” app and yes it is free. You set the time duration of your allot workout, where you are going to work out either home, gym, on the go, and the days in which you are committed to weight training and it forms a schedule for you. Someone like me enjoys a schedule, I am all for being flexible in life but I do better if I have a schedule to follow and reminders. This has it all, literally. I get instructions of the exercises, cues as to when to do them and coaching along the way to make sure I’m staying on track in my allotted amount of time I said I could commit. I used it for the first time last night after hearing about it on yes you guessed it, a podcast. I have been listening to Keifer at Dangerously Hardcore for a while now and find the process he uses very interesting. The system he uses in carb back loading where you stuff your face with any food you want after extreme resistance training sessions. Ladies, don’t get too excited, this doesn’t always work as well for us with our hormones and our cortisol levels. However if you are interested there are modified versions to fit a woman’s needs but you have to eat cleaner than the gentlemen. Now there are women out there training hard and yes I’m sure this will work but the majority of the readers of this blog are on medications, diet restrictions and just trying to keep balance on a day to day level dealing with MCTD. I just happen to love reading, researching and learning everything I can. Not that I’m implementing a carb back loading night but it does allow me a little freedom to train hard and splurge when needed. Well now I’m just off track from my original thought which is weight training.
I have been incorporating more weight training sessions into my week because my cross fit classes are great for the cardio portion but I was feeling as though my strength has stalled. I don’t want to over train but I would like to continue to see results so between a few true weight training sessions, 2 cross fit sessions, lots of walking and 5 days of Bikram I’m hoping to be bathing suit ready in a few weeks. Remember I’m in Maine and we just pulled out the sandals, although I know many of you are enjoying warm, sunny days at the lake, beach or wherever you like to go to soak in your vitamin D.