Machines vs Free Weights – The Great Debate – Marie Blanchard

Marie Blanchard

As a Fitness Competitor and Trainer one of the most popular debates are benefits/differences between Free Weights and Machines. Personally I utilize both depending on the type of exercises I am doing. The general population is usually intimidated by free weights because of the lack of knowledge or guidance. It’s like me avoiding going out dancing because I don’t know how to dance and prefer to save myself from the embarrassment. If you’re not familiar with an activity, chances are you will want to stay away or may be intimidated to learn how to approach the situation.

Most people are under the impression that free weights are more suitable for bodybuilders; which is completely false and as a student of the American College of Sports Medicine I have found this list to be spot on.


Mimic real life transfer.
Require more agility, coordination and balance.
Utilizes synergist muscles.
Fit all clients.
Multi planar – different planes of motion ( sagittal, frontal and transverse)
Free weights allow more power to move.
Have a greater need for spotters. (the guys love this)
Can be more intimidating.
Constant resistance.
May be more challenging for beginners.


Less need for spotters.
Less intimidating.
Isolate muscles.
Create a fixed ROM (Range of Motion)
Do not fit all clients.
Easier to teach and learn.
Variable resistance.
Allow for quicker workouts.

I’m sure the list just goes on and on but I believe in having an open mind when it comes to any form of education. It’s better to give it some effort than not trying at all. I hope this entry was someone informational. If you have any feel free to email me at

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