Discover in this article whether you should use a weight training machine or barbell and where there are advantages or disadvantages in weight training with machines.

In the 5x5 training it is recommended to do all exercises with free weights and the barbell. Machines are not intended.

Similar exercises performed on machines are not recommended: guided crucifix lifting or guided knee bends. In English these machines are called "Smith-Machine" / Multipresse .

Free weights force you to balance your weight and promote multiple muscle groups at the same time.

The result of whole body exercises is an increased output of growth hormones and testosterone, a greater load on the central nervous system, and thus a better adaptive response of your body. As a result, musculature growth and strength increase occur.

Put simply:

  • The advantages of barbell training are: More muscles, more strength in less time.

Free weights or machine Free weights

As mentioned, I am not really a vehement opponent of cable tractors or machines in general

OK, THEN. Except for the Smith-Machine. FINGER WAY! And please don't come with the usual argument "For beginners a guided exercise is better", because otherwise I'll throw the Olympic barbell after you...

I think free weights are easier for the general public to use, and when done correctly they give faster and more positive results.

And if the weight is too high for a beginner - you take a lighter one.

Free weights produce a natural form of movement, in contrast to machines that can clamp the human body in a fixed position and torture it with unnatural movements. The disadvantages of a strength training with machines are thus problematic loads of your Musculoskeletal system.

  • Successful powerlifters and bodybuilders like Ronny Coleman advocate training with free weights in their statements, to put it simply, "to become big AND strong".

Why Powerlifters and Bodybuilders Use Machines

Of course, they can't avoid training in effective advertising machines and showing themselves in glamorous muscle booths.

I mean, quite honestly: A simple powerrack with pull-up bar, used 250€, steel discs 150€ used, and a barbell bar, used 20€, are not particularly effective for sponsors who offer equipment in the 4-digit purchase price. But brutally effective in the right hands.

The recipe for success to build muscle mass is and remains:

  • Heavy weights, whole body exercises, free weights and exercises such as crucifix lifting, knee bends, bench presses.
  • Discipline, regular training
  • Progressive Increase / Linear Progression of Weight
  • Sufficient rest and healthy nutrition



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