Ever walked into a gym and wondered what the point of using all that fancy equipment is? You may be wondering, if people are able to get in shape at home without any gym equipment at all—are the advanced setups in the gym really necessary? Let’s explore the issue.
Your exercise regimen depends on your fitness goals and long term results you want to achieve. If you’re training for a marathon, then your primary objectives will be concerned with increasing your cardiovascular endurance. You may be incorporating some weight training to your routine, but nothing so serious. Certainly, learning how to use squat rack equipment would be a waste of your time. The same goes for people training for swimming competitions. On the other hand, if your goals are to lose weight, you may be incorporating a lot more weight training in your routine because building muscle mass is a known method of increasing fat loss. In that case, you will eventually need to learn the proper use of advanced equipment if you graduate to that level of fitness.
If You’re Not Comfortable, Don’t Do It
There is no point in working out in a certain way if it makes you uncomfortable or if you do not enjoy it. There is no single way to achieve your fitness goals. Some people prefer to use bodyweight exercises and go running—whereby they require little to no equipment at all. Others find that the structured form they are confined to when working out using advanced gym equipment gives them better results and that they are more likely to stick to the routine. At the end of the day, your preferences matter.
Free Weights Vs. Weight Machines
For people who are considering really focusing on the weightlifting portion of their exercise routine, there is always a question of which is more beneficial—free weights or those complex machines. Well, there are pros and cons to both, and there is no right choice. Generally speaking, free weights offer more freedom of movement and allow you to workout a muscle along the natural axis of its movement. Weight machines confine your movement, which may be disadvantageous. However, the controlled, precise movements that you perform on a weight machine target specific muscles and are easier to stay within proper form. The freedom of movement you have when using free weights means you are also free to perform the exercise incorrectly, which not only hinders your progress but it can also potentially increase your risk of injury.
The Bottom Line
There is a time and place for advanced gym equipment. Some people prefer to use no equipment at all, and are able to get tremendous results in that way. Others cannot achieve their goals without the help of advanced gym equipment, and that’s fine too. The deciding factors include goals, objectives, comfort and preference, as well as fitness level. So, experts advice that you choose the best equipment or setup for you and stop worrying about the semantics.