Why Dumbbells are better than Machines

I like to leave the gym feeling like I worked my tush off, doing the whobble walk out the door… If you don’t, you will … it’s addicting.

My 19 month old Ben is the determiner of my workout times. It’s only a matter of time when he’ll either..

  1. Need a Diaper Change- If I change him I can’t leave again. It’s a one time deal, I don’t get 2nd chances.
  2. Get upset and wont recover from a toy theft.
  3. Sees a mom that looks like me and freaks out that I’m not there.

Because of this, I always try to get the most efficient workout in that time. Two things that help me get this done are writing my workouts the night before and using free weights.

When I write my workout the day before, I wake up knowing what’s ahead. This keeps me focused and prepared to get it done -there’s no question or doubt if I should go. It’s on paper baby! That makes it official! 🙂

To get my workout efficient I concentrate on using free weights -dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells… anything that’s not a machine. By doing this I activate more muscle groups in my workout routine. I’m never sitting in a chair – which holds you in position. You want to control exercises with your muscles, after all you’re working out! You don’t want to be restrained on a machine.

i.e … shoulder presses on a machine – You sit, lean back straight and push up. Compare this to doing shoulder presses sitting on a bench or standing with dumbbells. You’re not leaning against a back rest, you’re engaging your core to keep your back straight and chest up… you activate more muscles which rolls into more calories burned, giving me what I want – less fat more muscle!

Machines also restrict your range of motion compared to free weights. Other than an adjustment with height, I have to do a shoulder press in the same manner 1000 other people do… the machine doesn’t consider if I have more flexible shoulders and want to press a few degrees furtherback.

Any machine you see at the gym will have its free weight version. If you can start practicing with free weights not only will it work better, but it’s nice to switch it around for variety. Also if a machine is taken one day you can just go do free weights… no waiting. 🙂

Start using free weights. It’s a better workout, period.

pump that iron!


Read my post on Compound Exercises to get even more efficient!

keep your eye on the prize!

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