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How To Use Gym Equipment For Beginners

As a beginner, do you feel confused and overwhelmed looking at the variety of gym equipment you see at your gym?

I know that feeling when I was a beginner not knowing what I was doing at the gym. And all of the equipment looked intimidating like machines straight out of a science-fiction movie.

But don’t worry, once you know more about the commonly used gym equipment and how to use them, you will have the confidence to tame those machine monsters and make them get you some awesome gains.

Now, the gym equipment I show below in the photos and videos may not look exactly the same at your gym but you should get a sufficient idea of what the equipment is.

You could then either study the equipment by reading the instructions that are usually printed on them or you could just ask the gym staff for help.

Let’s start with the free weight equipment because free weights are what you should be using as a beginner to maximize your muscle gains with the least amount of efforts.

Free Weight Gym Equipment

Barbell

Since you will be performing a lot of heavy compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc, your best friend in the gym is the barbell.

This is an Olympic barbell that weighs 20kg/44lbs and you should be familiar with it.

barbell

Here is how you can use the barbell, plates, and power rack to perform the exercises.

To learn more about how to use the barbell for a good beginner workout, check out the 5×5 beginner workout program.

Plates

For the barbell, you will need weight plates. It is the best if these plates are iron plates though any will do.

Try to make sure the gym that you join has a lot of these plates as you will make progress quickly and will keep adding weight to the bar using these plates.

Also, it would be good to have these plates in a variety such as 2.5lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, 20lbs, etc. so that you can make both small and large increments to your weights during your workouts.

iron plates

Power rack

The power rack is an essential equipment that you should be familiar with.

This is the rack where you will be performing your squats, bench press, overhead press, etc.

It has safety pins that can protect you in case you hit failure while lifting weights.

So, if you don’t have a spotter and want to keep progressing in the gym it is better to make use of such a power rack.

power rack

Flat bench

To perform the bench press, you will need a flat bench where you can lie down.

It would be an advantage if the gym has a bench that is adjustable.

Then you can use it for incline bench and decline bench as well.

Also, can be used for a variety of shoulder, back, and arm exercises as well.

flat bench

Dumbbells

Dumbbells can be used to perform both isolation and compound exercises.

It would be nice to get a gym that has a variety of sizes when it comes to dumbbells as it will make your workouts easier.

They are also good to help avoid muscular imbalances as you need to use both your arms to balance the weights and so they work both sides of the body.

dumbbells

Body Weight Gym Equipment

Pull up bar

You will need a pull up bar to perform pull ups and chin ups.

If the gym does not have a pull up bar, check if the power rack has a pull up bar on the top. That could be used as well.

pullup bar

Dip Station

A dip station can be used to perform dips that is a compound, body weight exercise to workout your chest, triceps, and shoulders.

Ollieroo Heavy Duty Dip Stand Freestanding Dip Station Parallel Bar Bicep Triceps Home Gym Dipping Station Dip Bar-Black

Back extension bench

The back extension bench can be used to perform back extensions that are a good exercise to strengthen your lower back.

Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench

Strength Training Machines

Lat pulldown machine

When you are unable to perform pull ups as a beginner, you may need to use the lat pulldown machine.

Some of these machines also have the facility to perform cable rows and so that is an added advantage.

lat pulldown

Cable station

The cable station can be a useful equipment to perform several isolation movements such as chest flys, tricep pushdowns, bicep curls, rope extensions, face pulls, etc.

cable station

Leg press machine

Along with the squat, the leg press will be the exercise you can use to focus on building your legs.

And for that you will need a leg press machine. Some of them can also be used to perform hack squats.

leg press

Leg extension and leg curl machine

To perform some isolation movements for targeting your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, you will need a leg extension and leg curl machine.

leg extension machine

Cardio Machines

Treadmill

A treadmill can be used to perform cardio by walking or running on it.

It can also be adjusted to have an incline if you need to have more intensity.

Many treadmills now come with heart rate monitors, calories burnt estimates, etc.

NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill

Stationary Bicycle

The stationary bicycle is another gym equipment used for cardio.

If you are not a fan of walking or running on the treadmill or are just looking for an alternate form of cardio, you can try the stationary bike.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Rowing Machine

The rowing machine is another cardio machine that can also workout your upper body and lower body muscles.

Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW5515

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you learn about some of the most commonly used gym equipment so you can start using them at your gym.

Like I had mentioned earlier, the gym equipment I show below in the photos and videos may not look exactly the same at your gym but you should get a sufficient idea of what the equipment is.

You could then either study the equipment by reading the instructions that are usually printed on them or you could just ask the gym staff for help.

If you have any questions about these gym equipment or any other ones you find in your gym, comment below and I will try to help you out.

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