Bodybuilding Equipment

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If you are going to the gym for the first time, then you must be pretty anxious. You will be seeing a lot of new machines and equipment that you have never even heard of. You do not need to panic. This article covers all the basic equipment and machines that you will see in a regular gym.

It is important that you communicate with your gym instructor about your fitness goals. Exercise routines are different for building muscles, losing weight, and building up endurance. You should know it clearly in your mind. Tell your gym instructor how many hours can you put in each day, and to design you schedule accordingly. Also, if you have any doubts regarding the exercises, make sure to clear your doubts with your instructor, or you may end up getting injured. If you have a medical condition, inform your instructor so that he doesn’t make you do any exercise that will worsen your condition.

Before joining a gym, make sure to visit it and have a look around. You have to be certain that the gym environment in good and hygienic and all the machines are in working order. The equipment has to be clean and the gym should be air conditioned. Working out for too long in hot and humid conditions will make you faint.

There are two types of equipment in a gym, free weights and machines. Free weights are not attached to any cables or pulleys. Free weights are the most basic unit of gym equipment. There are a number of exercises that you can do using only free weights. These exercises have the added advantage of developing your balance by working on your stabilizer muscles. Then there are machines. The machines have a weight attached to a pulley system or a cable, a bench, and handles for support. Many exercises require specialized machines. Some machines work on specific muscle groups, while others work on the entire body. Machines are generally safer to use than free weights, but do not help in improving your balance.

Here is a list of all the equipment that you will see in a regular gym:

  1. The Barbell: barbells are long bars made of iron that are generally 4-7 feet long. At both the ends of the barbell, weight plates are attached. These weight plates are adjustable and can be increased or decreased. In order to exercise using a barbell, you have to hold the iron bar with both hands. Gyms usually have a number of barbells with varying weights.
  2. The Dumbbell: Dumbbell is a small version of the barbell. It is made up of an iron bar that about 14 inches long, and has adjustable weight plates at both ends. For exercises that require dumbbells, you have to hold a dumbbell in each hand. The weight plates that are attached can be altered according to the need of the user. The weight plates may be circular, hexagonal, or of any other shape. Dumbbells come with fixed weights as well. Gyms usually have many dumbbells with a wide variety of weight.
  3. Weight plates: Weight plates are iron plates that are used for altering the weights of dumbbells and barbells. Weight plates generally range from 3 lbs to 100 lbs.
  4. Benches: Benches are extremely necessary in a gym. They are even inbuilt in the gym. There are three types of benches you will see in a gym: flat benches, inclined benches and declined benches. Machines that require a barbell usually also have rack for stacking the barbell. Other types of benches include the hyper extension bench, preacher bench, and the abdominal bench.
  5. The Swiss ball: You can replace the bench or mat by a Swiss ball in any exercise. These exercises include crunches, reverse crunches, lateral raises, pullovers, bench press, dumbbell fly, etc. the benefit of using a stability ball over or a bench or mat is that it helps in improving your balance by working on your stabilizer muscles.
  6. Adonis Golden Ratio bars: There are various arrangements of bars present in the gym too. These include dipping bars and chin up bars. Both of these arrangements have two parallel bars. The dipping bar has two parallel bars at the waist length, which is really great for working on chest, shoulders and biceps. Chin up bars has two parallel bars over the head. The exercises performed on these are great for working on the back, biceps and forearms.
  7. The leg press machine: The leg press machine is inclined at an angle of 45 degrees. It is designed for doing leg presses. It has a weighted platform at the upper end where your feet are supposed to rest. It consists on an inclined bench and two handles. You have to lie down on the bench with your back supported, and place your feet on the platform. Hold the handles firmly and push the weight up. You can adjust the weight according to your level. It is safer to use than regular free weights, and reduces the pressure on your back and knees while exercising.
  8. The Lat pull down machine: This machine consists of a straight bench, two cables, and support pads for your thighs. Sit on the bench and tuck your knees safely under the pads. You have to pull the cables down till your collar bones. This exercise works on your back muscles and biceps.
  9. The leg abduction and adduction machine: This machines works on your inner and outer thighs. One machine can perform both functions of abduction and adduction by simply modifying it a little. This machine consists of a bench and support for the feet.
  10. The leg curl machine: The leg curl machine works specifically on the hamstrings. This machine is also combined with the leg extension machine sometimes. It has a declined bench, and support handles. You have to lie down on the bench face down, and place your legs on the curl.
  11. The leg extension machine: This machine works specifically on the quadriceps. It has a declined bench and support handles. You have to sit on the bench and place your feet under the curled weight.

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