Guest Post by: Paul Montes
There is an ongoing clash on which training system is better between free weights and a home gym. Each of these training routines has its own pros and cons and people tend to adhere to one of them and progress with the workouts. This is neither good nor bad, but to make a rational decision which is specific to your goals you need to take a few elements into consideration.
Free weights training
Free weights can include dumbbells, kettlebells or medicine balls. These weights can be a good foundation for a complete workout routine, especially if you are looking to lose weight or simply tone your body. Free weights are also used in a series of recovery exercises which makes them a good choice for recuperating athletes but also for users looking to improve mobility and muscle function at home or with a professional.
When you use free weights at home you are probably rotating the weights with various exercises to target specific muscle groups. This rotating system can be a good way of adding new elements to each workout.
So which types of exercises can you do with free weights?
Basically you can target similar muscle groups as with a home gym system but you will do it be isolating smaller groups. These exercises are also called isolation movements. A good example of an isolation movement is a triceps dumbbell extension. Although there are other exercises which can be performed with free weights which target multiple muscle groups, most people just tend to perform isolation movements with these weights.
The true benefit of free weights comes in place when you need to involve your stabilizing muscles to properly perform a movement. These exercises can be superior to alternative on a machine which tend to limit the involvement of the stabilizing muscles.
Another benefit of using free weights is the possibility of training with the full range of motion. This means you`ll be able to perform a solid movement from start to finish without cutting it short. In terms of muscle development this can play an important role.
And finally the biggest benefit of using free weights is the versatility and mobility. You can grab your weights and train in another room or even outside. This will add some variation to your routines and might motivate you to keep on track with your workouts.
Home gym training
A home gym system makes a strong statement that you are serious about your workouts. A Smith machine, for example, will come with a strong visual impact as it requires more space that free weights. But the best Smith machines can get expensive and you might feel you are paying too much for what you really need. So how do you determine if you need a home gym system? The answer lies within your own goal. If you want to develop a bigger and stronger body you may need a home gym to perform compound exercises. These exercises will get you bigger muscles in a shorter period of time. The truth is that you can build muscle with free weights also, but you are limited on how demanding you can be for a certain muscle group.
This is why the heavy weights which need multiple muscles for a single exercise might help you achieve your goal. The home gym also comes with other advantages. It will strengthen your joints and it will teach you proper posture. Many people tend to have back problems but using a home gym to perform exercises correctly, such as squats, may force you to improve your posture just to stay away from injuries.
So which one should you choose: free weights or a home gym? The simple answer is you can start with free weights. They will be enough to get you going and get your body to a decent level of fitness. As you go you might feel you need to reach the next level and push yourself more, to break plateaus. If you can afford to start with a combination of weights you are among the lucky people who can have everything needed to transform their bodies.