Weight Training | Training to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

During my shift today at work a mate who I sometimes discuss training with was telling me about the great strength gains he was achieving using plate loaded hammer strength machines and wondered if I had considered using them as part of my routine.

I explained to him that I have experimented with them previously, but always end up reverting back to the free weight variations of the exercise.


My reasoning is free weight exercises bring into play much more of your body’s muscles to stabilize you throughout the movement. When performing the machine equivalent, the machine provides the stabilisation for you.

To put simply it is through the use of free weights that you involve more muscle fibers and more contractions, because you are using your stabilising muscles not used when exercising on a machine; therefore free weights are more effective.


My Program for Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat


Pre-Workout Nutrition:
• About an half an hour before training I downed a Pre-workout shake.

• 5 minutes of rowing machine
• Dynamic Stretching
• Push-ups x 20


Which do you prefer, machine or free weights?

Incline Dumbbell Press (Goal Weight: 42.5kg)
– Set 1: 10 reps x 20kg
– Set 2: 6 reps x 30kg
– Set 3: 3 reps x 34kg
– Set 4: 6 reps x 38kg
– Set 4: 6 reps x 38kg

• Incline Bench Press (Goal Weight: 90kg)
– Set 1: 8 reps x 70kg
– Set 2: 4 reps x 80kg
– Set 3: 4 reps x 80kg

Standing Straight Bar Curls (Goal Weight: 60kg)
– Set 1: 10 reps x 20kg
– Set 1: 6 reps x 40kg
– Set 2: 4 reps x 50kg
– Set 3: 4 reps x 50kg

Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls (Goal Weight: 27.5kg Dumbbell)
– Set 1: 6 reps x 16kg
– Set 2: 4 reps x 24kg
– Set 3: 5 reps x 24kg


Finishers – My High Intensity Fat Burning Circuit

I am still incorporating finishers at the end of my weight training session. Today I alternated between Jump Squats and Explosive Push-ups. I started by doing 10 of each back to back, then 9 of each back to back and so on until I reach zero. The whole circuit is done without rest and took me only about 4mins to complete.

Warm Down:
• Static Stretching

The whole session including warm-up, the workout, finishers and warm down took me 40mins to complete burning about 350kcals with an average heart rate of 119BPM.

Post-Workout Nutrition:
• Straight after the session I downed a Post-workout shake.

• All reps and sets are done with good form (no cheating or swinging the weight)
• Rest for exactly a minute between all sets except for the last 2 working sets where you rest for 2mins.
• During the workout sip on water.

This conversation led me to wonder if my friends strength gains on the machines, would translate to strength gains on the free weight equivalent. Common sense and experience tells me that it wont.

Let me know about your experiences with training with free weights vs machines.


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