The late Arthur Allen Jones sold the first exercise machine in 1970 and revolutionized the fitness industry. Since then, physical trainers on gym floors have been replaced by dozens on dozens of weight lifting machines. Gym memberships are no longer exclusive to big bulky men but open to recent mothers and aging seniors alike. But is the groundbreaking invention as beneficial as we believe? We weigh in with some pros and cons of the machines that changed the fitness world.

Pros of Using Resistance Machines


Resistance machines are the iPhones of the fitness world. Anyone can hop on a machine, choose a weight, and begin exercising. You can also focus more on simply exerting the necessary amount of effort rather than having to physically control the movement of the weights.


The worries of dropping a huge weight on your feet are gone. With resistance machines, all of the weights are levied by a collection of cords and are sometimes enclosed inside the machine.

Muscle Targeting

When using a resistance machine, you have the ability to select the specific muscle group you are targeting.This goes against the earlier method that required you to research the movement you had to do in order to work a specific muscle group.

Heavier Weights

Before resistance machines, you would have to add weights to your collection for increased resistance. Now it’s as simple as moving the peg to a heavier weight. This allows you to track your gains every time you use a machine.

Cons of Using Resistance Machines

Fixed Movements

When using a resistance machine your body does not move naturally. Instead, you are limited to moving on one or two planes. This exclusive focus on particular muscle groups can actually lead to injury if smaller, supporting muscles groups aren’t equally trained.


Resistance machines are typically bulky and take up a lot of space. If you are looking to truly benefit from these machines, you are forced to seek a gym membership. But if you do decide to invest in your own equipment, you will be forced to dedicate an entire room in your house or give up all the space in your garage.

Low Energy Demand

The simplicity of these machines can hurt you as much as it helps. Since you do not have to balance the weights when using them, you end up performing a diluted version of the movement which can lead to misleading results.

Misleading Results

These machines can assist you to the point that you believe you are getting stronger just because you can insert the peg to a higher weight. With this overconfidence, you upgrade from the assisted bench press to a free weight bench press before you are ready and up realizing it the hard way.

Looking for somewhere to maximize your resistance training in South Florida? Join us for a free class at PumpFit Club for high-intensity resistance training!