Kevin Levrone discusses the big difference between training with free weights vs machines and how he thinks it’s a key factor in why pro bodybuilding physiques look different today.

Kevin Levrone is a bodybuilder who has the distinction of being a part of an elite group of bodybuilders. The 90’s era of bodybuilding is now often being referred to as a new “Golden Era” of the sport. The physiques of Levrone alongside greats like Shawn Ray and Ronnie Coleman are often cited as the peak of bodybuilding. Levrone has already admitted that he thinks today’s bodybuilding physiques are lower in quality compared to past eras. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Kevin Levrone explains how reliance on training machines have changes the quality of bodybuilding physiques today.

The world of fitness and bodybuilding is very different today than it was decades past. When you enter a gym today (or whenever gyms open again), you’ll be greeted with dozens upon dozens of different training machines. Each machine claiming to be perfectly designed to increase safety and performance. But does reliance on machines lead to a lower quality physique?

Kevin Levrone seems to think so. While it’s true training machines can go a long way in helping prevent injury and are important tools to have in a bodybuilder’s arsenal – it still doesn’t hold a candle to using free weights to perfect the human physique.

Kevin Levrone goes into detail about how much more effort goes into free weights due to the body needing to find balance while lifting. If you’re performing free weight exercises with correct form – it pushes your body to stabilize itself in order to lift the weight. It’s in this attempt to stabilize that more work goes into each lift than while using a machine.

According to Levrone, it’s what separates the good lifters from the truly hardcore lifters. He also thinks it’s what is most responsible for the dip in quality with today’s bodybuilders. While there’s no statistical evidence to prove this – Levrone personally believes that today’s pro bodybuilders rely too much on training machines. Levrone further explains:

“Look at it this way, do you think a powerlifter is going to be able to lift more weight inside of a squat rack [Levrone later corrects himself meaning a Smith Machine], or deadlift more weight from the ground? He’ll be able to deadlift more weight, not a squat rack, I’m talking about from a smith machine. Right?”

Kevin Levrone continues:

“You’ll never see powerlifters deadlifting from a Smith Machine now a-days. It will never happen… so there’s something to be said about that raw – between you and that weight is just steel. Nothing guiding you… when you get like that, that’s the real deal. And that’s the difference with physiques today. That’s the real deal stuff man.”

It’s certainly an old school mentality but perhaps Kevin Levrone has a point. The advances in technology across all industries have led to people being able to rely more on machines and less on themselves. Perhaps this is a true indicator of why physiques look different today.

You can watch Kevin Levrone’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

The GI Team is here to provide top news and original content for the new generation. The generation of bodybuilders who are pushing the sport to bigger and better places. Join The Movement. Become a part of Generation Iron!