A Beginners Guide To Gym Equipment And Workout Accessories

Starting an exercise program and visiting a gym can be quite confusing with all the equipment scattered around . What is what ? How do you use it? Tthis article will look at and explain some of the most common pieces of exercise equipment that you will find in a gym.
There are two types of equipment in the gym - you will come across free weights and machines. We will first have a look at Free weight Equipment
Free Weights

Free weights are barbells, dumbbells, and weight plate, they have no attached pulleys, cables, pins, or weight stacks. Free weights are most basic form of bodybuilding equipment.
The Barbell
The barbell is a long iron bar ranging in sizes between 4 and 7 feet long . You use both arms to perform Barbell exercises, A barbell is a weight device. It has disks on both ends which can be adjusted to meet the desired weight the lifter prefers.The barbell is one of the most important gym equipment
Olympic barbells
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Are 7 feet long and weigh 20kg weight plus the collars that are standard at 2 1/2 kg each making 25kg bar before you put on the weights. Olympic barbells are able to cope with huge weights of over 360kg's. They are used exercises such as bench press, squats, and dead lifts.
Standard barbells
come in sizes of between 4-6 feet long. Ideal for a home gyms. Used for exercises such as barbell curls, shoulder presses, bent rows, etc...
Dumbbells
Dumbbell sets like short barbells, usually measuring 10 to 15 inches long. They vary in weight, starting from 2kg's pounds to more than 45kg's and increments by five. Dumbbell are used for exercises and workouts such as shoulder presses, bench presses, deadlifts, and biceps curls..
Weight Plates

Weight plates range from 1kg. to 45k's. Weight plates are usually made of steel, cast iron, or other heavy-duty metal. Some newer models are encased in rubber for better grip and to protect the gym floors from scratches and dents
EZ Curl Bar
The EZ curl bar generally shorter than an olympic bar and has "zig zag" bends in it. These bends are designed as places for you to hold the EZ bar.is designed for working the biceps and triceps allowing you to work the muscles from different angles.
Tricep Bar
The standard tricep bar is a great for isolating your triceps. It can be used for various exercises including: hammer bicep curls, french tricep extensions and more. A Tricep Bar is an oval shaped bar that has two parallel hand placements. Like with the EZ curl bar it works the muscles from different angles and reduces the stress
Benches
Walk into any gym and the one piece of equipment that is standard the bench. Which comes in three types of benches - flat, incline, and decline or then there is adjustable type which cover the whole 3. Some benches will have racks to hold barbell,
Hyper Extension Bench
The Hyper extension bench also known as kneeling hyper extension machine is used in developing the lower back muscle, hamstring, and glute muscles.
Preacher Bench
The preacher curl bench is a great tool to isolate the biceps. Sit on preacher bench placing back of arms on pad. Grasp curl bar with shoulder width underhand grip. Raise the bar until forearms are vertical with the back of the upper arm remaining on the pad. Lower the barbell until arms are fully extended. Repeat
The Arm Blaster
The arm blaster is a two foot long, 6 inch wide, flat, curved metal bar. An Arm Blaster is an aluminum or fiberglass strip designed to keep the elbows from moving while curling dumbbells or a barbell while performing tricep pulldowns.There is a strap that goes behind your neck to hold the metal bar
Abdominal Bench
An abdominal board is basically a decline bench it'san effective way to target your abdominals.
Stability Ball (Swiss Ball)
An exercise ball, also known as a Swiss ball, is a ball constructed of elastic soft PVC with a diameter of around 35 to 85 cm (14 to 34 inches). It is used in physical therapy and exercise. You can do exercises like bench press, dumbbell flyes, shoulder press, lateral raises, pullovers, crunches, reverse crunches, etc.
Dipping Bars
This is a set of parallel bars. Dips are a great exercise for working the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Chin Up Bar
The chin up bar is a iron bar that it either bolted to the wall or part of a exercise machine (i.e. the power rack, universal multi-station, etc.). Chin ups are great for working the back, biceps, and forearms.
Racks
There are all sorts of racks in the gym storing weight plates (also called weight trees),r storing barbells, dumbbell racks, etc. Exercise racks like the power rack or squat rack and the smith machine, which is a combination of a machine and free weight barbell.



Machines
Machines perform a wide variety of exercises from working just individual muscles to working the whole body. The Machines that you find in the average home gym are multi-station machines that work out the whole body they are quite popular and make alot of senese to have in a home gym as they are much cheaper and space saving. Like everything else in life machines come with there own advantages and they have disadvantages. Compared to free weights machines are easier and safe to use and safer. However free weights work out more muscles are more versatile. You can incorparate the both of them into your workouts

Leg Press Machine
.Leg press machines are compound exercise equipment used in weight training. They have counter-weights that gravitate towards the legs and provide resistance when pushed. A leg press machine is used to o build muscles in the lower body (such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the gluteus maximus) Most leg press machines are set on a 45 degree angle. With the leg press you can safely lift heavy weights without worrying about slipping or falling. It places less stress on the lower back and knees then squats.

Hack Squat Machine
This is a machine to perom a variation of the traditional barbell squat.
Leg Extension Machine
In leg extension exercises, the weight is lifted by knee joint extension isolating the quadriceps muscles. This machine is good for warming up the knee joints before moving on to squats or leg presses.
Leg Curl Machine
Great for hamstring exercises. You will come across some machines that have the leg extension machine and leg curl machine combined into one machine
Calf Machines
Calf machines come in two styles - you have what is known as the standing calf raise which targets the upper calf muscles (gastrocnemius) and one that is known as the seated calf raise which targets the lower calf muscles (soleus).
Leg Adduction / Abduction Machine
This machine targets the inner (adduction) and outer thighs (abduction). Yoi will come across gyms that that have the two separate machines for adduction and abduction, and other gyms will combined both into one machine.
Lat Pull Down Machine
This machine provides workouts that are similar to that of a chin-up. The exercise works the biceps and the muscles of the middle back.
Pec Deck Machine
This is a great machine for isolating the pectoral muscles (chest) Secondary muscles worked by a pec deck machine include the rhomboid, trapezoids and lattisimus muscles in your back.There are two styles of this machine both do the same thing one has two vertical arm pads that you place your forearms against, while the other has handles that you hold in your hands.
Cables and Pulleys
Perform excercises and workouts fo the whole body. Cable and pulley machines connected to a weight stack and you pull on a small handle.



Accessories


To go along with your bodybuilding/ weight training there is also and assortment of accessories to help you out with performing your workouts

Belts

They are worn around your waist area and are used to support your lower spine and add stability during heavy movements. Yo may have seen people who wear them their entire workout, which prevents their lower back muscles from getting stronger. Our recommendation is this: don't wear one unless you are doing a very heavy movement involving 6 or less repetitions.
Gloves

People wear these to protect their hands from callusing and slipping of the bar. It is a personal choice.
Clothing

Don't wear running shorts if you intend doing an exercise that requires spreading your legs. Wear tight or long shorts. Be sure you don't overdress because you can become dehydrated easier from sweat loss.
Shoes
Wear shoes that give you cushioning and support. Do NOT lift weights barefooted or in sandals. There have been plenty of broken toes and toe nails from people dropping the weights on their feet.
Towel

It is appreciated when people bring a towel to the weight room with them. Be sure to use a towel so you don't lie down in their pool of sweat and they wont have to lay in yours.
Water Bottle
Water bottles are great because you drink more water during a workout. They are convenient and there is no waiting in line at the drinking fountain.
Exercise Journal

Keep track of your workouts as well as your clients' workouts in an exercise journal. This is an invaluable guide that tells you what is working and what isn't. It also is a great motivator because you can see your progress. It is recommended that you write down the exercise, weight, sets and reps.
Chalk
Some gyms are equipped with chalk that you can rub on your hands (not gloves). It's well liked because you can still grip the bar well when your hands are sweaty.
Wrist Straps

These straps are useful during movements with your back and trapezius. Try only to use them if the weight is very heavy; otherwise your forearm muscles don't get a workout.