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Updated by Helena Bradley on Feb 26, 2015
Headline for A Simple Guide to Gym's Equipment
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A Simple Guide to Gym's Equipment

Walking inside a gym can be an overwhelming experience – various machines and different types or people working out – and can be intimidating. Wide array of machines and exercise equipment welcome you and you wonder how those things work to make you fit and fab.

Most of the gym-goers are performing moderate-intensity cardio exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week or strenuous exercise for 20 minutes a day, three days per week. The gym equipment will definitely help you do those things. However, you must also consult a professional if you are fit and ready to do trainings and workout.

In a gym, there are basically two types of equipment: free weights and machines.

Free Weights – They are the most basic form of bodybuilding equipment. Free weights have no attached pulleys, cables, pins, or weight stacks. They consist of barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates.

Machines – It allows you to perform an extensive variety of exercises. Some machines are designed to work individual muscles, while other machines are composed of a multi-station that works the whole body. Good example of multi-station machines are the home gym equipment because they are way cheaper and take up less space than having different machines for each muscle group.

Machines have pros and cons too. They are normally easier to use and safer compared to free weights. However, free weights tend to fuel more muscle because you have to use more stabilizer muscles in order to balance the free weights.

It is recommended that you include both free weight and machine exercises in your workouts because you can get the best of both worlds.

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Barbells

Barbells

It is a long iron bar that is between 4 and 7 feet long and there are weight plates on each end. In using this, both hands are needed to hold it. There are several types of barbells.

  1. One is the Olympic barbells that is 7 feet long and weigh 45 pounds. It is mostly for heavy basic exercises like squats and bench press.

  2. There is also fixed weight barbells which are 20 - 100 pounds in increments of 5-10 pounds.

  3. Then there is standard barbells which are 1-inch thick and normally 5-6 feet long. They are ideal for home gym setting.

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Dumbbells

Dumbbells

A dumbbell is a short barbell that is usually 10 - 15 inches long. Dumbbell exercises are performed with a dumbbell in each hand. Most gyms have a dumbbell rack that has an assortment of fixed weight dumbbells and ranges from 5 lbs. - 100+ lbs. in increments of 5 lbs.

There are also adjustable dumbbells with small collars that clip on the ends of the dumbbells to hold the weight plates. They are not a convenient to use but they are much cheaper and take up less space and can be used at home

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Weight Plates

Weight Plates

It ranged from 2.5 lbs. to 100 lbs. All weight plates found in commercial gyms are iron-made. There are two types of iron weight plates:

  1. Olympic plates for the Olympic barbells.

  2. Standard weight plates for the 1 inch thick standard size barbells.

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Benches

Benches

Bench is the most common piece of equipment in any gym. There are three types of benches: flat, incline, and decline. Some benches are adjustable and others have racks on one end for holding a barbell. Some benches do not have any racks. The benches that do not have any racks are generally used for dumbbell exercises.

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Lat Pull Down Machine

Lat Pull Down Machine

Using this machine, the user has to be able to lift their bodyweight. A lot of people are not strong enough to effectively work their backs with chin-ups, so the lat pull down is a great alternative.

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Pec Deck Machine

Pec Deck Machine

This machine is recommended for isolating the pectoral muscles (chest). There are pec decks with two vertical arm pads that you place your forearms against, while others have handles that you hold in your hands.

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Leg Press Machine

Leg Press Machine

This machine is best for leg exercise. Most leg press machines are set on a 45 degree angle. With the leg press, you can safely lift heavy weights without worrying about slipping or falling. It does not contribute any stress on the lower back and knees then squats.