Commonly Used Equipments For Bodybuilding

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So you have decided to do bodybuilding?  You need to have a bodybuilding plan comprising of strength training, cardio exercises and adequate rest time along with a proper nutrition plan.  While strength training is for building muscles, cardio exercises help in losing body fat.  Strength training is made up of weight training, isometric exercise, etc whereas popular cardio exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.

There are many forms of exercises which do not use any equipment and can be done in the comfort of your home itself.

However, there are some exercises which are best when done with exercise equipments.

Also these days, many people prefer taking a gym membership so that they get a personalised trainer.  Gyms use lots of equipments for exercises as they focus more on machine based exercises.

So as a beginner, it will be good for you to know what are the machines used for body building so that you can decide what plan to chalk out for yourself.  Some of the equipment that are listed below.

Popular equipments


Dumbbells are the most popular tools used by all bodybuilders.  They are available in various sizes starting from 2 kg increasing in sizes of 1 kg usually kept in a rack in most of the gyms.

They are used to perform weight training exercises like curls, squat.  Beginners should start with lower weights and then gradually increase the sizes.


Popular next to dumbbell, barbell is nothing but weights placed on either side of a long iron rod.  The weights are adjustable by adding or removing the weight plates on either side, thereby making it convenient to do exercises like bench press, squat, deadlift, barbell rollout, etc.


This can be called a dumbbell with a handle for inserting the hand.  Like the dumbbell it too comes in various dimensions and is used progressively for weight lifting exercises.


It is common to have a bench to do various exercise like curls, crunches, etc.  Depending on the exercise, you will need bench to be flat, inclined or in decline angle.  Most of the gyms have adjustable 3-in-1 benches.

Medicine ball

This is a ball used primarily by sportsmen and used in rapidly moving the ball from one hand to another hand gradually increasing the speed.  It is also used to perform the plank exercise.

Swiss ball

This is bigger than medicine ball, made of different material and is used for abdominal and back muscles exercises.

Pull up bar

This is a sturdy metal rod fixed horizontally between two vertical rods fixed to the ground.  It is used to do pull ups.

Dip bar

This is an equipment to perform dips.  In this there are set of 2 parallel bars.

Elliptical trainer

You will find this lined up in almost all gyms.  It resembles a wheel less bicycle and is used for on the spot walking, stair climbing and jogging exercises.


This is almost similar to elliptical trainer and is used for on the spot walking and jogging simulation.

Smith machine

This consists of a rack for placing a barbell.  Lifter lifts the barbell from one position in the rack and places it in a different position via exercise like squat.  This is also called a plate loaded machine.

Leg press machine

It is used for performing the leg press exercise.  This machine has an incline bench for person to lie down and weights disks are present to push using the legs while laying on the incline bench.

Leg extension machine

This is a machine which has a seat and a flexible footrest which is used for performing the leg extension exercise.  Sit down on the seat resting your feet on the footrest.  Stretch your legs and raise it by pulling the foot rest with you.

Seated lever fly machine

This is used to perform the seated machine fly exercise.  In this, there are two handles at shoulder height which we need to push together ensuring that the elbows are at a fixed angle.

Pec Dec machine

In the Pec Dec machine, there are two handles at our head’s height.  Grip the handles with the hands and push the forearms against two pads which are at chest height to perform the machine fly workout.

Resistance bands

As the name suggests, they are bands with different ranges of resistance/tension, needing different amount of efforts to perform exercises like squats, chest press, wrist curls, etc.

Stack machines

This is used for weight training and has rectangular plates of varied sizes stacked up in a vertical bar.  Its mechanism allows different weight plates to be used as resistance when the vertical bar is pulled by the lifter.

Stationary Bicycle

It is also called the exercise bicycle and is used to simulate cycling.  It is used more often than not by bodybuilders to warm up.

Depending of what is your goal, you need to decide whether a gym will be apt for you or you would like to go for home work out itself.

For intense work outs, bodyweight exercises alone would not suffice.  So you will need to either invest in equipments like dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands or take a gym membership.

There are various websites which give you offers on exercise equipment, but it really does not make sense to buy all at one go.  Buy only if you are ready to invest the money on equipment which may or may not be really needed at all.  When you are done with your bodybuilding and decide to take a break, you may not really find an instant buyer for your costly equipments.  So think before you leap.

A gym membership might definitely a better alternative as you are already paying fees to use their latest machines.  So it will be hassle free to simply use the available machines rather than losing main focus of body building and pondering which machine to buy and what to leave.

Work out a plan; of you are desperate to buy your own stuff, check if you can procure some of the machines/equipments second hand to save your precious dollars.

Category: Nutrition

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