I read a Nerd Fitness articles and I learned good stuff.
When I began, I went is a small gym at Sous-Moulin . It was a gym in sport center for volleyball, basketball, soccer players. There were only machines (because people stole dumbbells) and when we were 10 people, the gym was full.
2 years later, I went in a real gym. I’ll not lie to you the first time I was alone and I was afraid to the free weight section because I was afraid of hurting myself. But I had so much desire to have the 50 Cent’s body that I watched several times exercice’s video on Youtube and I did it.
On internet, there is a lot of excellent video that explain how to do squat, deadlift, etc. I downloaded videos of my workout program on my smartphone to heard instructions in the gym to do it right. It’s funny, I still have these videos on my smartphone and on my Cloud.
Now I feel good in a gym, I share with you gym’s basic principles and equipment that you’ll see most often. You’ll not have a loser’s head like me the first time.
Gyms filled to the maximum of equipment but you don’t need to use all of them to do an effective strength training. I’ll talk to you about basic equipment.
It’s easy to lose your mind the first time when you go in a gym. There is a lot of things and everyone seems to know what to do.
The most of gyms have :
Cardio zone (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc)
Free weight zone
Group fitness room
There are gyms that have pool, sauna, jacuzzi but it depends.
The fist time you go in a gym, it’s normal to ask for a visit. It’s important to do it because even if you’re used to gyms, you don’t know where are equipements you want to use. It would be a shame if you miss something. I don’t really remember but it was 6 months that I was in a gym and I discovered by chance, hidden in a corner, a machine to work calves.
During the visit you’ll see a lot of equipements. Personally I find that the gym’s staff concentrates enormously on machines and cardio during visits. It’s a shame because it’s the least interesting part. Let’s go to the free weight zone.
Barbells can have a size from 1.2m to 2.4m (4’-8 feet) long and a diameter from 25mm – 51mm (0.98’’ – 2’’).
It’s the standard training barbell (Olympic men’s barbell). This bar is 2.2m (7.2 ft) long and weight 20kg (45lbs). The Olympic bar has bearings that make it spin nicely to help assist the Olympic lift, snatch and the clean and jerk.
There are also gyms that have « woman bar » is 2.1m (6.9 ft) long and weight 15kg (33lbs). There is also smaller bar to lift weight between 4.5kg – 13.6kg (10lbs – 30lbs).
Fixed weight bars
This is a small barbell with weights already fixed on it. They’re usually located next to dumbbells.
There are several dumbbell’s design but it’s just for the style. Weights are from 0.45kg to 90kg (1lbs – 200lbs).
This bar is special because it is short and it has « W » form. This bar is only use for curls. I use this bar to do curls because with a normal bar, I have wrist pain, it’s my morphology (read this article). So if you hurt when you do curls with a normal bar, use that one.
You can also name this bar « hex bar ». This bar has a hexagonal shape and allows you to be in the middle to lift weights with a neutral grip. This bar allows you to do deadlift and shrugs but it’s not an indispensable bar. Olympic bar is indispensable.
Safety squat bar, Cambered bars, Apollon’s axe, Strongman logs (and others)
Theses bars aren’t necessary but it doesn’t mean that it’s useless to use them from time to time. If the gym specialized for Powerlifting, you’ll find these bars.
Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.
P.S. To read Part 2, click here.