If your strength workout is limited to resistance machines, it’s time to get up and grab some weights. Not only are they more convenient and cost-effective if you’re working out at home, but using free weights vs. machines actually offers more performance benefits, too. According to trainers and science, incorporating them into your workout routine is the surest way to strengthen your muscles, burn calories, and become better at pretty much everything you do. Win-win.
At a conference in 2012, Luc van Loon was presenting some exciting data from a newly published study. After a heroic research effort that took 2.5 years and 500,000 euros, he and his colleagues had managed to shepherd a large group of frail, elderly subjects through a six-month strength-training program. Those who had taken a daily protein supplement managed to pack on an impressive 2.9 pounds of new muscle. Success! Old people could be strong!
Anyone who has ever picked up a dumbbell, hit play on a workout video, or laced up a pair of running shoes has faced-off with one sweat-inducing question: “Now what?”
From figuring out the best training technique to nailing down a weeks-long program, people tend to question the new workout they’re about to jump, dive or sprint right into. In fact, a lot of exercisers ask the exact same things.