Free Weights vs. Machines
One of the first choices you will have to make is if you want to use free weights or machines. Machines have the benefit of keeping your body in perfect position throughout the entire movement of the exercise. This is important because improper form can sometimes cause injury.
Free weights allow you to quickly move from one exercise to the next without having to move to a whole new machine and set it up. They also offer more variety of exercises that you can complete.
There really is no wrong answer here. Just choose the one that you feel more comfortable with.
Once you have made that decision, you need to use proper etiquette when you are lifting. Yes, the weight room has its own set of rules, unwritten and otherwise. By following a few simple rules, you will have a much more enjoyable weightlifting experience.
1. Have A Plan
Set up your workout before you enter the gym. If you are using machines, plan your workout based on the grouping of the machines. In most gyms, the arm machines are grouped together as are the leg machines and so on. By grouping your exercises this way, you can more quickly complete your workout.
2. Always Carry A Towel
No one likes to get to a machine just after someone has used it and see a pool of sweat. Be considerate of your fellow gym-goers and wipe down the machine or bench that you just used. Some gyms even have disinfectant spray to use.
3. Put The Weights Back
If you’re using free weights, put them back exactly where you got them from. Nothing drives other weightlifters crazy more than having to search for a set of weights because someone did not put them where they belong.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
If you aren’t sure about how to do a particular exercise, ask someone. It would be best to ask a trainer but many weightlifters will be able to give you solid advice. By simply asking for help, you can avoid injury.
Weights are an excellent way to get in shape and the Downtown Athletic Club offers a wide selection of free weights and machines to get you started. Try out our Lift group fitness class to help you get started lifting weights.