Most gyms have an array of high-tech exercise machines, as well as a spacious free weights area and a wide choice of classes.
If you are new to the gym, all that metal and wire may look terrifying.
How do you use these things? Where do you sit? And most of all – is it worth it?
The answer is most definitely ‘yes’. Gym machines are good for everyone, but they are particularly beneficial for new users.
Here’s the why and how:
A gym machine can be set to provide an almost infinitely adjustable load. More importantly, it can be set to provide as much assistance as needed, and to counterbalance your body weight. This allows you to train progressively on exercises such as pullups, by assisting you until your muscles are strong enough to do the job.
While it is still possible to ‘get it wrong’ with a machine workout, if used correctly it is far less likely. The support from a seat or bar, the guides for the weights and the directed range of motion all help to keep you on the right lines.
Gym machines are powerful beasts, so they are designed with safety measures. These include covers on moving parts and restraining clips to control the use of weights. The machine will also be adjustable for your body size and proportions, so that you can maintain correct form while doing the exercises.
You must do your bit by using the machine correctly. This is where the gym staff can help. They will show you how to set it up, ensure that you are using it safely and give you the pointers to make the most of your workout.
Never be afraid to ask for help. Look for these popular beginner machines and get started on your high-tech workout.
the pullups thing is indeed true - it was very difficult to get started on those before I could lift my own body weight. The 'captains chair' helped with that and I can now push out pullups with the best of them.
back in the day...I remember looking at those contraptions of weights and wires and thinking 'what on earth?' It is the sign of a good gym if there is friendly and non-patronising help available. There's some amazing kit around now that really helps to do a proper workout.
There's usually a bit on each machine that tells you how to work it. It's the dumbbells/free weights I find intimidating.