Free weights are your friend! Yes, I am talking to you. I can see you hiding on the bicep curl machine, eyeing the intimidating, yet mysterious free weight room. “How do they know what to do with those free weights?”, and “Oh, I don’t need free weights because I don’t want to bulk up.”, you attempt to explain to yourself.
Free weights afford your muscles the benefit of more natural movements. When confined to a machine, the restraints are unnatural. Muscles that are required in real life activities are not allowed in on the workout. Free weights recruit the strength of your stabilizing muscles in order to keep your body controlled during the movements.
When working with free weights, always pay attention to form. Start out with light weight and use slow, controlled movements. Focus on perfect form throughout each repetition to get the most from each exercise.
Two dumbbells give you access to limitless exercises. Dumbbells come in all weights and with just two appropriate weight dumbbells, you can perform a challenging and effective total body workout. And since you only need two dumbbells, you have the option of not going to the gym at all!
Start out with a basic total body circuit. Do 12 repetitions of each exercise with no rest in between. After completing the entire circuit once, start right back at the beginning. As you progress, you may graduate to a heavier weight (don’t worry, you still won’t bulk up) and more advanced exercises. The possibilities are endless!
With the vast range of exercises available, your body will never plateau. Machines lock your body in and train the same exact muscles the same exact way every time. The same way you get bored with your workout, so do your muscles. The freedom of free weights is never boring.
Always start small with simple exercises and light weight to avoid injury. But once you are comfortable you can make small changes. Just changing your grip during the same exercise will work the muscle dramatically different. And once you are feeling like free weights are your new best friend, there is a wealth of dynamic exercises to challenge your new body.
So now that you and free weights have gotten acquainted, start getting to know each other. Invest in a pair and start practicing at home. Maybe you can even cancel that expensive gym membership? Or just maybe the free weight room doesn’t look so intimidating anymore…