There are advantages to both.
Weight machines can be:
- Easier and safer to use
- Less intimidating
- Save time
- Can be more efficient at isolating a specific muscle
Free Weights can be:
- More versatile and convenient
- More functional because you can complete movements in different planes of motion
- Can incorporate the involvement of the stabilizing muscles
If you are new to strength training start with weight machines until you become more comfortable with the movements. If you are more experienced you might want to use free weights. In summary the best option is to use a combination of free weights and machines. Always remember the “E” in exercise is for enjoyment! Do what you enjoy and you will want to exercise.