There are a variety of reasons that young men all over the world start lifting weights and working out. Some of the most common reasons are: trying to impress the girls (including the cheerleader who doesn’t know he’s alive), look better than they do now, or try to look like the built guys in the movies or magazines.
Most of the times, these guys will jump right out and join a gym. While there they start working out… hard. This is where the mistake that slows down their progress happens.
The moment these men decide to work out, they join a local gym and start working out. It is here that the make a very common mistake that hampers their progress without them ever realizing it. So what’s the mistake, you say?
It’s heading straight for the shiny machines that promise to work whatever set of muscles are pictured on the machine. If you want to do bicep curls, you head for the machine that says “Bicep Curls.” You want to do leg presses, you head for the machine that says leg presses. Wow, so effective and cool, right?
Now, I’m not saying that the machines are necessarily bad, I’m just saying that this isn’t the time for them. If you really want to start bulking up quickly, then stick with the freeweights. Most of the biggest bodybuilders swear by them and use them the majority of the time. Check out some YouTube videos and you’ll see those bodybuilders grunting away on free weights.
So, when do you get to use those shiny machines? Recovering from an injury is a good time, just starting out and even the bar that holds the weights is too heavy, plain afraid of the freeweights or not really sure what you’re supposed to do. If any of these apply to you, then use the machines but also begin slowly adding with the free weights. Once you’re comfortable with the freeweights, then drop the machines.
Why are free weights so much better than the machines? They use more muscle groups and activate more muscle fibers. Using the machines will keep you limited to what you can do as you won’t be engaging the surrounding muscles. The free weights can also increase your strength for the same reason… using those surrounding muscles. Another thing to note is that just because you can bench press 150 lbs. on a machine doesn’t mean you can bench press 150 lbs. using free weights. It’s those surrounding muscles again.
Muscle gains and absolute true strength comes from stabilizing surrounding muscles while strengthening the targeted muscle. Free weights are the only way that’s going to happen. You’ll also find that your balance has improved as well as your concentration. You will have to concentrate while using the free weights or you’re liable to get hurt.
By keeping at least 75% of your workout dedicated to free weights, you’ll find yourself tougher, stronger and with larger muscles in the shortest time.
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