What did you do the last time you went to the gym? And the time before that? What are your plans for your next visit? And the one after that?
Chances are that the answers to all of the above are quite similar, especially if you’re an inexperienced gym-goer, because trying new things is a risk that involves potentially embarrassing yourself by using equipment incorrectly while others watch.
But trying something new in the gym is a great way to ensure your workouts stay stimulating – and also improve areas of fitness you might be overlooking with your go-to training routine.
Here are five pieces of gym equipment worth giving a go and the key advice you need to ensure you don’t look a fool when you do try them.
1. Assault Bike
It’s worth acquainting yourself with the assault bike if only for a few seconds, because that’s generally all it takes to complete exhaust yourself on it. You push the handles while you pedal, with the resistance increasing the harder you push.
Try Burning 50 calories as quickly as possible on the assault bike – a workout finisher that’s sure to finish you off.
2. Battle Ropes
Don’t be scared of the battle ropes just because there’s only one set and you worry you’ll be hogging them while other, more experienced, gym-goers have to wait. They’re a fantastic tool for upper-body conditioning and you don’t need to spend long on them to feel the burn.
Try One minute of alternating rope whips. Stand upright with a battle rope in each hand. Begin to move the ropes up and down one at a time, creating a wave movement through both ropes. Continue to move the ropes quickly and smoothly, one at a time.
3. TRX Ropes
At some point you will be unable to free your foot from the TRX harness and flap around like a fish on a deck for a few seconds. That is going to happen. But don’t worry – it happens to everyone. Aside from that, TRX ropes are terrific for strengthening your body in a variety of ways and they are mighty fun to use too. Check out this beginner’s guide to TRX training.
Try Three sets of ten inverted rows. Grasp the TRX handles so your palms face down. Lean back, keeping your arms and body straight, and pull your body up to your hands. Pause at the top, then lower back to the starting position.
This is the machine that looks like an upside-down rowing machine and that everyone in the gym is studiously ignoring. Pull the handles down in the style of Nordic skiing for a low-impact but high-intensity cardio workout.
Try Knock out a 500m “row”, either solo (take it slow) or swapping with a buddy every 50m (all-out effort).
5. Plyo Box
You will feel a bit self-conscious about pushing a large, colourful box into the centre of the gym floor, but do it anyway because box jumps are a great addition to any workout.
Try Five sets of five box jumps. Don’t go for the tallest box straight away unless you’re very confident in your vertical leap. Stand in front of the box, lower into a quarter squat, then jump explosively to land on top of the box with both feet at the same time. Aim to land as softly as possible. Step down and repeat.