Navigating the Gym: Equipment Overview

Navigating the GymWhen it comes to getting in a good workout, there are several options that are available. These options include exercising at home, outdoors or in a gym environment. In terms of exercising at the gym, there are several positive reasons why some find it preferable to working out outdoors or at home. One of the primary reasons is the variety of available exercise equipment, such as commercial treadmills, that are available for use. For some people the use of equipment such as a gym quality treadmill, in combination with the actual gym environment, is worth the cost of a membership. Regardless of the reasons for choosing to pursue an exercise regimen at a gym, there are several popular types of exercise equipment that can be found at nearly any gym location. The key to making the most out of any exercise session is to have a basic understanding of how the machines work and to also select the appropriate equipment, such as choosing the best exercise treadmill, that will provide the desired results.


Commercial treadmills are perhaps the most popular forms of exercise equipment that can be found in any gym. The best exercise treadmill is one that is sturdy and that can monitor how many calories and even carbohydrates are being burned. In addition, it will have variable speed settings, programmable workout programs and the user will have the ability to set the machine at an incline if desired. Treadmills provide the user with an aerobic workout. They work by way of a moving belt that is powered by a motor. The person exercising sets the speed of the belt and proceeds to run on the surface of it as fast or as slow as the belt is moving. While commercial treadmills can be found in the gym, it is possible to purchase a gym quality treadmill for the home. While buying a gym quality treadmill is an increasingly common option, some people find that the best exercise treadmill for working out is at the gym.

Elliptical Machine

Next to the treadmill, the elliptical machine is one of the most popular types of exercise equipment. The goal of the elliptical machine is to give the user a cardiovascular workout that does not jar or otherwise impact the joints. It is similar to a treadmill in that the user moves his or her feet in a running motion. Hands are placed on poles or handles that can be moved back and forth as the user runs. When the poles are used, it provides an additional upper body workout. Various speed settings and inclines may be set to create a harder workout. Depending on the particular type of elliptical machine it may be powered solely by the user and his or her movements or it may be powered by a motor.

Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes are a type of exercise machinery that can be found at nearly any gym. As the name suggests, it is a bike that sits stationary, but allows the user to pedal his or her feet as if riding a bicycle outdoors. To make workouts more difficult, resistance may be increased so that the pedals are harder to operate. In addition, the machines are able to track the user’s heart rate and the number of calories that are burned. Stationary bikes primarily work the legs and lower body.

Stair Stepper

Stair steppers are a type of classic exercise equipment. Although not as popular as the treadmill or the elliptical machine, the stair stepper does provider the user with an aerobic workout and is good for working out the legs. The machine works when the user places both feet onto foot pedals. Once standing on the foot pedals the user moves his or her feet up and down, as if climbing stairs. As with other types of exercise equipment, the user can vary the intensity of the workout by setting the resistance higher or lower. Hand rails are typically attached to the machine for support, however they are stationary and do not add to the workout.

Resistant Machines

Resistance machines allow gym members to exercise using weighted plates. This type of equipment works by allowing the user to stack on, or remove, the weight that provides resistance for the workout. The weighted plates are typically attached to a pulley that the user must move in order to complete the range of motion that is required for the particular exercise. In gyms, resistance machines are typically multi-station units in which several exercises can be performed on the same machine. One of the benefits of resistance machines is that they allow for smooth, controlled movements.

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