A popular debate is the machines vs. free weights topic - fighting over which is better for adding slabs of new muscle mass. Well, lets end that discussion right now, because the truth is that both free weights and machines have their advantage and disadvantages. In fact, the strengths of one can be said to be the weaknesses of the other – and vice versa. However, without getting too far into science, biomechanics and physiology I can assure you that a proper balance of free weights (defined as BB’s and DB’s) and machines (plate loaded, selectorized, cable) will pave the quickest path to building the physique you are after – not just one or the other alone.
With that in mind this article is going to focus on some of my favorite machine-based exercises and why they are valuable in building muscle. I will not be naming specific machines by brand, but rather simply discuss types of machines in general – most of which are common to any commercial gym.