Machines are as Effective at Building Muscle as Free Weights

Machines are as effective at building muscle as free weights.

A recent study cited below shows no significant advantage for using free weights over machines to train. This isn’t shocking considering mechanical tension, progressive overload and training to near failure are likely what drives building muscle. All of which can be accomplished with either free weights or a machine. My suggestion is to use exercises that allow you to train pain free, feel the intended muscle and to get stronger over time. Both of which can be accomplished with machines and free weights.

Source: Hernández‐Belmonte et al. “Adaptations in athletic performance and muscle architecture are not meaningfully conditioned by training free-weight versus machine-based exercises: Challenging a traditional assumption using the velocity-based method.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, June 2023.

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