Please allow me to put this particular discussion to bed here and now, because the truth is that both free weights and machines have their advantages and disadvan­tages, pros and cons. In fact, the strengths of one can often be said to be the weaknesses of the other—and vice versa. However, without delving too far into the science, bio­mechanics, EMG studies, and physiology, I can assure you that it is a proper balance of free weights (i.e., movements that require barbells and/or dumbbells) and machines (i.e., plate­loaded, selectorized, and cable exercises) that will pave the most rapid and efficient path to building the Herculean physique you are after—not just one or the other alone.

Not sold on using machines just yet? Dexter “The Blade” Jackson has credited them for his longevity on the bodybuilding stage—he’s won and appeared in more IFBB pro shows than any other competitor, and has stopped on the Mr. Olympia a world record 20 times (21 in December 2020), winning the 2008 contest against that year’s defending champion, Jay Cutler. If machines are good enough for The Blade, they’re good enough for your workout.

With that in mind, this article is going to focus on some of my favorite machine­ based exercises and why I feel that they’re so valuable in one’s pursuit of building more muscle. I will not be naming any specific machines by brand but rather simply discussing various types of machines in general—most of which are common to any decently equipped commercial gym.

The Mass-Building Program to Look Bigger in Three Weeks

Build Mass in Three Weeks

Get bigger in a hurry.

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