Why Offering Both Machines and Free Weights is Good For Your Recreation Center
Aside from the pool, the weightlifting room is usually the busiest area of any recreation center. People want to get in half hour workouts on their lunch breaks and head straight to the bench press. Maybe they choose instead to use the lat pull-down machine or the Smith machine. You will almost always find multiple people in the weightlifting room, either using free weights in front of the mirror or working out on one of the machines. But why do you need both free weights and machines when they seem to offer the same workouts?
Machine Workouts Use Fewer Muscles
This may sound like a bad thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s say you want to squat. You can use free weights or you can use the Smith machine. When you use free weights, your body has to do more work balancing the bar as you perform each squat. With a machine, however, the bar only moves in the vertical plane. This causes for a less intense but more focused workout.
Let’s say one of your recreation center members wants to work on their quads, hamstrings, calves, or any other muscles of their legs, but they want to isolate each muscle to workout individually. In this case, machines are the best route to take. If this person chose to squat using free weights, they would begin fatiguing muscles not they might want to isolate later. Free weights are still important for anyone who cares less about isolating individual muscles but wants a workout that more honestly replicates real-world movements.
Machines Are Easier But Experienced Users Love Free Weights
In some ways, the two categories appeal to slightly different recreation center members. A fair amount of very serious bodybuilders and weightlifters swear by free weights, and they would not enjoy your recreation center getting rid of their favorite workout options. Machines, on the other hand, make working out less intimidating for newcomers. For people recovering from an injury and needing to isolate specific muscles, machines work wonders. It can help them not injure themselves again or overstrain other muscles that might compensate for the weakened muscles with the use of free weights.
Space and Variety
Free weights simply take up less space than machines. You can get more people into your recreation center weight room if you give them more options for lifting. Having both machines and free weights gives all your members the option of adding variety to and personalizing their workouts.
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