Going to the gym for the first time can be a little daunting. What to do now that you are really at the gym? So many different equipment, which should I go to first? As you approach the equipment, the question would be “how do I use this?” So you look for the instructions, sit on the machine and get even more confused. “What now?” What happens with most ordinary gym goers is that they end up on the treadmill, exercise bikes, or elliptical — and stay there for life. If that hasn’t happened, you avoid most of the gym and head straight for the aerobic, step or Zumba classes — at least you’re not alone. Avoiding the weights and all those funny imposing gym machines is like going to a buffet and eating only bread, because you do not understand the main course. The best advice to get most of your gym membership is to engage a personal trainer. With training, you will not only gain from exercise, you will also learn how to use these equipment to your best benefit. You will stop feeling lost in the gym, and ending up stuck to cardio machines.
Types of Gym Equipment
Most gyms are equipped with two kinds of strength training equipment:
- free weights like dumbbells and barbells, and
- larger gym machines with stacked weights.
Of the larger gym equipment, there are also several systems like the cable system and the levers like the Natilus workout machines. There are also many different brands of equipment.
Free Weights vs Stacked-Weight Gym Machines
There are advantages using free weights for exercise than the stacked weights gym machines. For one, they challenge the body to balance during lifting because there is no support. Also the exercises you can do with a single equipment is countless. The larger gym equipment do not allow for this kind of flexibility. You use one machine for a limited number of exercises, some are only designed for one exercise. In this article we will address the usefulness of these gym equipment, and how to use them for effective workout. Well-built gym equipment like the Nautilus are specially designed to move according to the body’s natural range of motion. The machines provide a lot of support for the rest of the body, while you work out one set of muscle at a time. There are pros and cons to this. The cons is that is deprives the body of the need to balance. The pros is that it allows you to exercise one set of muscles effectively. Isolating one set of muscle at a time gives you the energy to exercise to muscle exhaustion, and not ‘dilute’ the effects with the other muscle groups. This support helps most people to workout out effectively especially
- anyone who is not used to exercise
- anyone who wants to build muscle mass effectively
Basically that is everyone. Different machine are needed for different workouts. Each helps isolate groups of muscles while supporting the rest of the body.
Circuit Training at the Gym
Youtube videos are best for demonstrating how to exercise at the gym doing circuits. This is a series of exercises you would do — one equipment at a time — in sequence. Remember that even though the equipment provides support, care must be taken to properly align the body on the equipment. This requires adjusting seat heights and postion. 1. Gym Circuit Exercise: Lat Pull Down
2. Gym Circuit Exercise: Over Head Press
3. Gym Circuit Exercise: Vertical Chest Press
4. Gym Circuit Exercise: Vertical Chest Press
5. Gym Circuit Exercise: Compound Row
6. Gym Circuit Exercise: Seated Leg Cur
7. Gym Circuit Exercise: Leg Press
8. Gym Circuit Exercise: Leg Extension
How to Workout Right
Many people do not fully understand the point of their workouts. Gym circuits are fantastic muscle builders. You will get most of your workout if you
- Learn how to set up the machine properly.
- Learn proper form. In the videos, the trainer explains the right form for each workout. When the form is right, you get maximum benefit from the exercise, If the form is wrong, you are simply using other muscles to compensate for the load. At best, you get diminshed results, at worse you injure yourself.
- Plan your workout. This is tricky if you are a beginner. Get help from a trainer, or take time to experiment. The best start is to lift a weight about 75% of what you think is your max, and lift slowly until fatigue.
- Do it slow. Slower reps are better than doing many fast reps. Gym Workouts: How many Reps should I Do for effective Muscle Building?
- Don’t rest too much in between sets. During exercise, there should be intensity. You should finish each set with muscle burn. Go on to the next exercise with only a little pause, and not too long.
Remember, workout sessions are only a part of the muscle building process. After your workouts you need a lot of time to recover. If your strength training is intense – i.e. you’ve worked to muscle hypertrophy (to complete fatigue), you are advised to rest for at least 5 days — and this includes good amount of sleep.