Gyms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are aimed at office workers trying to shake those extra pounds with thirty minutes of hard exertion after work – others are aimed at those looking for a well-defined body with ripped abs and plenty of muscle.
But no matter what audience a gym is aimed at, there are certain essentials that you need to know are there for a well-stocked gym. If you’re attending a trial day at a gym you’re looking to sign up for, keep an eye out for these machines and you’ll know you’re in a quality gym with a decent level of attention to the needs of its members.
Gym equipment is usually sold by a supplier like Fitness Warehouse who will install equipment and also provide a support service to keep it in good condition.
Also known as an elliptical or x-trainer, the cross trainer provides a low-impact cardio workout which is ideal for use by almost anyone – even users with injuries that might cause pain or further injury when using other machines. Designed to mimic the movement of running, it gives good exercise for the legs and heart without the noise and impact of a treadmill.
Perhaps one of the most popular pieces of equipment for cardiovascular exercise, treadmills provide a gruelling but effective cardio workout. Many models now include such handy features as a calorie counter, heart rate monitor and an array of built-in programs.
Exercise bikes provide a more comfortable cardio workout compared to cross trainers or treadmills, with a design that takes the weight off the legs – letting you concentrate on working those muscles. You’ll usually find a choice of upright bikes, where you sit upright much like a real bike, or recumbent bikes where you lean back. Upright gives a more strenuous workout, but recumbent is a good choice for those with back problems.
An indoor rower simulates the movement of rowing a boat and gives a great workout to the cardiovascular system. They help to take pressure away from the legs and knees, but can cause back problems if used incorrectly – so it’s important to use the right technique when using one.
Strength equipment is available in a variety of forms – a machine designed for a single movement to exercise one part of the body, or more space-efficient multi-gyms that include a variety of configurations to tackle almost every part of the body. Both free weights and machines have their place in body-building, of course – but machines can provide a more structured process of building muscle that’s ideal for beginners intimidated by free weights.