A home gym allows you to workout at any time of day or night, and it is far more convenient when you do not have to travel to a gym. For those who are just starting out, it can be a little tricky to decide between free weights and a weightlifting machine. Each of these options has their own unique benefits, so the answer depends on your personal goals and needs. Whether a gym or free weights are better will rely on these factors:
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Your Workout Goals
Most free weight exercises work out several large groups of muscles at once. For some people, this can be a disadvantage. Those who just want to target and grow a few specific muscle groups will find that weight machines have the opportunity to isolate a single muscle group. However, this also makes it take longer to get a full body workout. Free weight exercises like deadlifts help you to efficiently work out several muscles at once. They simulate natural movement, so when you are lifting free weights, you are also working to improve balance and coordination along with growing biceps and other aesthetically appealing muscles. This makes free weights more helpful for those who want overall strength and health.
Your Familiarity With Weightlifting
Most beginners find that a machine can be a little more straightforward to use. The machines typically come with a manual that guides you through the various exercises. If you do not want to spend a lot of time researching weightlifting, a machine can be much easier to use. Since the machines are relatively self-explanatory, even someone who has never lifted weights before can begin exercising in minutes. It can take a little more time to figure out free weights, but they still offer some advantages to beginners. Free weights allow more custom weight levels so that beginners can start with very light weights.
The Size of the Weights You Use
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Using very heavy free weights on your own may be quite dangerous. When doing things like bench presses, there is a risk of dropping a heavy weight on yourself and injuring yourself. In a gym, weightlifters typically get a “spotter” who can help them if the weight becomes too heavy. However, this is not often an option when you are working out at home by yourself. If you plan to be lifting very heavy weights by yourself, it may be a good idea to select a machine. Most machines have safety features to prevent injury from dropping a heavy weight on yourself.
Free weights are far more budget-friendly than a weightlifting machine. The cost of setting up a complete home gym with free weights is typically under a few hundred dollars, while weight machines can easily cost thousands of dollars. The higher cost of a weight machine is often due to the fact that they contain more material and often have many different settings to provide all-in-one workouts. If budget is a concern for you, you are definitely better off selecting free weights.
The Size of Your Home Gym
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To exercise with free weights, all you typically need are weights of various sizes, a bar, and possibly a weightlifting bench. Since everything breaks apart into small pieces, you can easily store them out of the way in a closet. This typically is not an option for a weight machine. They tend to be bulky items that cannot easily be broken down into smaller components. Therefore a weight machine tends to only fit in your home if you have a garage or other dedicated workout space available.
Your Age and Overall Health
Because weight machines tend to have controlled motion and safety features installed, they are recommended for the elderly or those who are recovering from an injury at home. While it is possible for older people or injured people to use free weights, the lack of motion control can actually make it more difficult and potentially unsafe for them to exercise.
I myself have Free Weights and a Work Out Bench at Home, this comes in handy to do most workouts from home.
Once you buy a set they should last decades. Many dumbbell sets have a variety of different size plates so you can set up to 52.5 lbs per side or any 2.5 lbs increment combo from 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs.
I suggest getting a set like these made by Fitness Gear with cast iron plates with spinlock retaining collars. Click Here for customer reviews or to purchase a set of your own.
Or if you would like to start off with a smaller lighter set this is a great alternative from Fitness Gear. They are durable, neoprene material coated cast iron weights which are great for indoor and outdoor workouts.
This set comes with dumbbells in 3-pound, 5-pound, and 8-pound sizes. Ideal for resistance and other training. Click Here for more info or to Purchase a set.
When it comes to a home work out bench find something that is adjustable instead of the standard flat bench. Adjustable benches are more versatile and can be used for a full body work out.
Something like this bench by Fitness Gear. Check it out Here
This Bench has 8 different adjustable positions to accommodate any workout you want to do. On top of its versatility, it is safe. Built with high-quality steel and holds up to 600lbs.
Now if you have the money and the space this next item is a winner. This is a multi-functional full body workout machine made by Marcy. Featuring over 30 strength training exercises for a total body workout, this home gym is extremely versatile. It includes dual-functioning, chest press, vertical butterfly and a leg developer. This home gym utilizes pulleys and cables connected to a selectorized weight stack, so you’ll never waste valuable time loading and unloading weight plates. Check out it out by Clicking Here
There are a lot of different things to take into account when deciding whether to get a weightlifting machine or a set of free weights for your home. For most weightlifters, a set of free weights allows more natural movement and customized exercise. However, machines can be safer for those who have lower levels of fitness. Before deciding on the type of weightlifting material you want to get for your home gym, it may be a good idea to visit a local gym and test out the options for yourself. If you’re interested in alternatives to getting stronger without weights, check out our other articles on our blog!
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