Since most of us are convinced that weight lifting and strength training is a critical part of a successful exercise program, you will have to decide between free weights and machine weights.
One of the advantages of free weights is that they can be less intimidating than the machines. Some people find the idea of the weight lifting machines so nerve wracking that they talk themselves out of even going to the gym.
If you are someone that has difficulty finding time to get to the gym and are thinking about setting up a home gym, you might want to think about getting free weights instead of machine weights, because the free weights take up less space and are less expensive than the machine weights. A weight machine can cost ten times as much as a three set of dumbbells.
If you are of a smaller size you might want to consider using free weights instead of a weight machine. People who are tiny often find that the weight machines are designed for a person with a much larger frame. People with a small frame often find that the weight machine is too difficult to use easily.
One of the biggest drawbacks to weight machines is that they are usually designed for just one type of exercise, there is no way that you can use the machine for a variety of exercises the way that you can use your free weights. In order to do a variety of exercises you will have to purchase an additional weight machine, which means you will be spending more money and finding more space to keep the extra machine.
Although there is no definite proof, fans of free weights feel that they are better able to prepare for real world situations when they are using free weights.
Some physical therapists feel that exercise machines are safer than free weights because they don’t encourage dead lifting. They also point out that the weight machine forces the person to hold their body in the proper position while they are weight lifting, reducing injuries and wear and tear on the body.