Training with isotonic machines or with free weights. Let’s discover together the difference between these types of training.
In most gyms people can choose to use for their strength training two strategies and two training modes in general ( obviously in addition to simple body weight :
1) The so-called free weights: Represented by tools such as: barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells.
2) Machines- so called- isotonic : leg curls, leg extensions, lat pull-downs, pulley cables, etc.
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Which weight training style is best ?
The answer, as with most questions about fitness, is not simple.
Each of these methods to increase strength, muscle mass and endurance has advantages and disadvantages.
To choose the best workout or to use the best mix of the two, we need to understand how they differ.
In this article we will find out what each has to offer and what are the limits of their individual use.
Advantages of strength training
- Decrease number of accidents.
- Increased bone density.
- Improvement of body composition.
- Faster weight loss.
- Easier weightloss maintenance.
Difference between free weights and isotonic machines
Free weights are the underrated heroes of any commercial gym.
Isotonic machines are large and flashy and always attract the attention of everyone, especially newcomers.
Too often, however, weights, barbells and dumbbells are left to collect dust, nothing more wrong.
Let us therefore analyse the specific pros and cons of both
Pros of free weights
Some people in the gym very mistakenly consider barbells and dumbbells antiquated.
Here are some good reasons to use them in your workout routine and if you are a gym owner consider buying them for your new facility.
- Free weights are less expensive and take up less space.
- They are more versatile and with this simple equipment you can really train every muscle group.
- Free weights help develop more power than isotonic machines.
- Training with free weights is a more efficient way to achieve most fitness goals, including increasing strength and muscle mass.
- Free weight exercises better mimic neurological fitness models and improve real sports skills than those trained with isotonic machines.
- Free weights better recruit smaller auxiliary muscles.
Here you can find an immense selection of free weights for your training.
Pro of isotonic machines
Isotonic machines can facilitate the approach of newcomers to gyms, considering the inexperience of new members, can help significantly avoid injuries.
Here are some advantages of using isotonic machines:
- Some isotonic machines are much more effective at isolating a single muscle or muscle group in order to overload it.
- Machines can make more efficient use of space in a gym where there are many people who train at the same time.
- Training with isotonic machines can be faster. For example, changing the load by increasing or decreasing it is generally more efficient and faster.
- They are generally safer for those who have just started training.
Here you can find all our isotonic training machines.
Other types of strength training
We think it’s fair to remind that free weight exercises and isotonic machines are not the only options for strength training.
Exercises that use only body weight can be a good way to train efficiently, both with free weights and with isotonic machines.
Free body exercises have advantages and disadvantages, just like any other type of strength training. Let’s discover them together.
- Free body training is affordable and inexpensive for anyone.
- You can switch from metabolic conditioning to strength training very quickly by increasing the speed and adding pliometric movements to your routine.
- Free body exercises are functional movements and improve core strength.
- Free movement improves balance.
Some effective and efficient floor exercises can be in order squats, pushups, planks, lunges, burpees.
Here you can find a wide selection of Floor equipment and calisthenics.
Another way to train strength in an easy way is to use resistance bands. Like free body training, this type of workout is quite affordable.
Resistance band training can be much more gentle than free weights or isotonic machines.
Unlike free weights, resistance bands can be used safely while exercising on your own.
The addition of resistance bands to exercises such as squats and bench press increases the difficulty and can effectively double the muscle strength and hypertrophy compared to using only weights.
Here you can find all our resistance bands for training and our accessories.
Isotonic machines vs free weights vs free body exercise
As with many other fitness issues, the answer is never one and final.
All training methods are valid.
Obviously depending on the type of customer you are dealing with, it is left to a good coach to choose how to train them.
Generally, we can say that isotonic machines are better for beginners or advanced users such as bodybuilders, while free weights for those who know the physiology of movement. Elastic bands are recommendend for beginners of a certain age and for people who have to recover from an injury.