A lot of people debate about which one is effective when it comes to exercising and producing muscles. They often debate whether machines are more effective or free weights. Basically, barbells and free weights are classified as free weights. On the other hand exercises that have pulleys or cables to help you lift the weight are machines.
In order to gain muscles, you need to focus more on free weight exercises. For all machine enthusiasts out there, you might rethink about which one is more effective. Free weights are indeed more effective in promoting muscle growth. Although the exercises here are much more difficult to execute because nothing is actually assisting you to employ the correct execution, this fact alone is why free weight exercise is much more effective.
Free weight exercises are able to stimulate most of the muscle fibers as possible. This is impossible to do with a machine. Why?
Basically, machines lack in promoting stabilizers and synergist muscle development. Basically, these two muscles are what support the main muscles when you are performing a complex lift. For example, if you need to do bench presses, you need to be able to make use of the stabilizers and the synergist muscles in order for you to achieve lift. And, you need lots of it. If you bench press using a machine, it will not really need any assistance from the stabilizers as the machine itself is already supporting your main muscles.
Machines basically fail to stimulate the muscles around the area you are working on, which are the stabilizers. You need to remember that in order for your main muscles to grow, the stabilizers should be strong. And, the only way to do this is by doing as much free weight exercises as you can.
Free weight exercises, such as squats, dumbbell presses, dumbbell fly, bench presses, bent over dumbbell row, and others put a lot of stress in the supporting muscle groups, which is why you get tired really fast doing free weight exercises. However, even if you do get tired really fast, you will gain more muscles and you will become a lot stronger at a very fast rate.
You can include machine exercises in your program but you need to do it after you execute all the free weight exercises. This way, you will be able to take advantage of the strength you have on free weight exercises and not deplete it on machine exercises.
If you are a beginner, concentrate on lighter weights. Your primary goal is not muscle gain yet. You first need to properly execute the free weight exercises you have in your program in order for you to move on to heavier weights.
Concentrate on strengthening the supporting muscles first and when it is able to support the weight you are lifting and that you are able to execute the free weight exercises properly, then it's time for you to concentrate on the primary muscles.
Also, in order to build muscle mass, you need to lift heavier weights. What heavy means is that weights that are challenging for you and weights that you will be able to lift with 8 to 12 repetitions for 3 sets. If you can do more than 15 repetitions before temporary failure sets in, then it will be considered as light weight.
Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to gain muscles fast. Always remember that one of the keys to muscle gain is to strengthen the supporting muscles. And, only doing free weight exercises will be able to do this efficiently.