Compared to machine weights, training with free weights has been shown to: - produce better strength results - be better for physiological coordination - utilise more muscles groups and - involve more natural movements thereby minimising risk of injury
A more recent experiment conducted on a group of 10 strength athletes, with an average age of 25 years, investigated the physiological response of performing squats (free weight) to performing leg press (machine weight), and found that squatting produced a greater acute hormonal response.
The mens blood concentrations of testosterone and growth hormone were higher after squatting then compared to performing leg press.
This result was believed to be due to the greater physical exertion caused by squatting than when using the leg press, as the performer must work against his own bodyweight as well as perform a greater range of movement.
So what is the moral of the story? - if strength and/or conditioning is your goal you should perform free weight exercises over machine weight alternatives as the greater hormonal response may result in greater physiological adaptations - the results of the study focus on a large muscle group and may not be transferrable to other muscle groups - lifters wearing Strong Lift Wear will be of physiological advantage when performing either free or machine weight exercises
Wether you enjoy squatting, the leg press, or both, checkout www.strongliftwear.com for some seriously epic gym wear for lifters.
You can find the study here
Featured: ANB champion Eddy Ung smashing out an intense leg session!