I'm 14, so I can't really lift a lot of weight, but my question is simple, for example on pushups you lift about 60% of your body weight in my case about 29 kilos (58 pounds), but trainers at the gym, say I can't lift more than 17 kilos (38 pounds) on machines and my question is:

Is there really a difference between machines and body weight?

Or could my maximum lifting weight be a little bit more, closer to what I lift with pushups?

2 Answers 2


It used to be believed that lifting weight could harm your natural growth as a young person, this is now considered a myth or at best outdated information. The trainers at your gym have probably learned "weight lifting for young people is bad" without knowing why they believe so. There's no real difference between doing body weight exercises and weighted exercises.

One exception to the above is the fact that many 14 year-old's are immature and more likely to try using weights that could injure themselves, on the other hand, many grown ups are equally immature and stupid and shouldn't be allowed in a gym :-)


Is there really a difference between machines and body weight?

All weight is the same. It's science.

should my maximum lifting weight should be a lil bit more, closer to what I lift with pushups?

I think it all depends on your stamina. If for one month I lift 10 kg dumbbells while working on biceps muscle, eventually slowly my stamina of lifting weight will increase. I will start with 10 kg weight and I will go for 12.5 kg and so on...

So I don't think it has to do anything with age.

I have seen fit teenagers lifting more weight than an unfit guy in his early 30's.

  • What is the science you speak of? Machines have pulleys, which lowers the amount of weight you actually move. If you do cable flies you will be able to do a lot more weight according to the machine, vs doing flies with dumbells.
    – MJB
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 12:40

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