Guy Cisternino: Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Heavy Weight vs Light Weight Training

Guy Cisternino shares some wisdom as to why people should stop worrying about free weights vs machines or heavy weight vs light weight.

A common question that comes up when people are looking for bodybuilding advice is what generation training style they should focus on. Is it better to do more free weights or more machine exercises? Is it best to do heavy weight and low volume or light weight and high volume? Guy Cisternino is someone who has been notoriously known for his hardcore heavyweight training. But surprisingly, he gives a different kind of advice when it comes to these general questions. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Guy Cisternino explains why you shouldn’t worry about free weights vs machine or heavy weight vs light weight training.

In one of our previous interviews, Guy Cisternino talked about how Branch Warren was his biggest inspiration. The reason for this was due to his hardcore passionate training style. It’s how Cisternino himself loves to train. He worries that not enough young people still have that hardcore passion in the gym anymore.

But that hardcore style of training has less to do with what is successful for bodybuilding and more to do with the culture. While Guy Cisternino loves to train hardcore – he also understands it is not necessary to be a massive shredded bodybuilder. Rather than it being a necessity for success – he simply sees it as a cultural passion that excites him. He likes that attitude and that atmosphere.

That’s why when we ask him whether or not heavy weight vs light weight matters. Or whether or not free weight vs machines matter – his answer is more open minded. Guy Cisternino has been through some injuries and is now a slightly older (but not old) bodybuilder. He hooked up with John Meadows as his trainer more recently – and Meadows changed up the kind of training he does in light of his age and injuries. What Cisternino learned through this process changed his perception on what is important in bodybuilding training.


To Guy Cisternino, it matters less whether or not you do machines vs free weights or heavy weight vs light weight. Instead, it matters more how you break up your body parts and how much focus you put into each workout. Yes, there are little differences – pros and cons to each approach – but ultimately they are not game changers. Whether you lift heavy weight or hight weight or free weight or machines – you can be a successful and massive bodybuilder with any of these approaches. What matters more is how you do these tactics and the way you break up each body part throughout your week of training.

What he means by this is that by changing up how you break up the body parts you work in a given workout – you can be saving your joints from too much pressure in one session. This can save you injury, wear, and tear in the long run. So someone like Guy Cisternino can train hardcore to his liking with less risk (though still there is always risk) of injury. This provides longevity. So you can be like Dexter Jackson or you can be like Branch Warren.

Both of these bodybuilders are legendary in their own right and they both used vastly different techniques – but if you break up the body parts right, you can extend your longevity as an athlete.

You can watch Guy Cisternino go into full detail in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.