Looking round club facilities is essential, especially if you are keen to use free weights and dumbbells for your trainign plans. Every club will probably have CV equipment, resistance machines, and some free weights and dumbbells. For some people, particularly beginners, the free weights can be a bit intimidating. They are often thought of as the preserve of sweaty behemoths striving to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In reality free weights have something to offer almost everybody. Whatever system you use, you will want to have a trainer instruct you when you are first getting started. However, once you know how to use free weights properly, they can become an important part of your workouts.
So what are the advantages of these workouts? The first is their ability to work not just the particular muscle you are isolating, but also numerous peripheral muscles throughout the body. When you lift a dumbbell, you not only lift the load, you must also balance your body to perform the exercise properly. For example, when performing a standing biceps curl you are not only exercising your arms, but also using your core and back muscles to maintain proper posture, plus your shoulder and lower arm muscles to perform the curl properly.
By contrast, when sitting at a machine your body is entirely supported by the machine. When you perform a biceps exercise, your arm is supported by the machine and you are solely using your biceps to curl and release the curl. Another advantage is that this integral part of your routine can offer more flexibility in increasing and decreasing the amount of weight you lift. Resistance machines typically allow you to increase or decrease the weight by five or ten pounds, whereas the hand-held version often are found in increments of as little as two pounds.
Using dumbbells and other similar products also allow you to alter your exercises more subtly, to take better account of bilateral variations in strength, or to work around injuries. In reality, most people use both machines and individual pieces, whatever their training goals, in order to realise the best of both worlds.