The 6 best pieces of gym equipment, according to the fitness pros
You'll be pleased to see the treadmill some way off the top.
Gym equipment can make or break your workout. Faulty machines that are always out of order? Not good. But a full range catering for every possible style of training? You won't want to leave.
Over 200 personal trainers and gym managers were asked by PureGym to rate the best gym equipment available. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle or just boost general fitness levels, these pieces of kit are essential.
The best gym equipment, according to gym managers and personal trainers
1. Lifting Platform
Lifting platforms are loved by fitness fanatics and gym owners alike. Why? Because you can drop heavy weights around.
Normal gym flooring, like any other, would get damaged if your one rep max was dropped on it. But lifting platforms are the place to be for heavy deadlifts and Olympic lifts.
2. Squat Rack
The squat rack is an absolute essential for any gym, whether you're at a leisure centre or the home of a professional sports team. If your gym doesn't have one, leave.
Typically made from steel, squat racks have hooks or pins from which you can easily unrack a barbell. While the name implies they're made for squatting, adjusting the pins will allow you to perform virtually any barbell exercise.
3. Cable Crossover Machine
With the cable crossover, the attachment is connected to a stack of weights at each end, supported by a pulley. The cable can be pulled or pushed in absolutely any direction, and maintains constant tension on the target muscle at all times.
The cable crossover's best attribute is its versatility. You can train pretty much every muscle in the body using this apparatus (and its variety of attachments).
Everyone is familiar with dumbbells, so why do so many people struggle with the idea of putting them away after the exercise is over?
While often viewed as secondary to barbells, dumbbells actually offer a unique advantage on many lifts. Take the bench press, for example. Using dumbbells will actually allow you to get a better stretch on the pecs, allowing for a greater muscular contraction and potentially therefore growth.
Ideally, make use of both dumbbells and barbells.
This machine is quite self-explanatory, but either way, stepping is great cardio and we don't all have access to Hogwarts-style never-ending staircases.
Great for losing weight or just keeping up general levels of aerobic fitness. Just remember to wipe your sweat off it once finished. The person using it afterwards doesn't want to go flying.
6. TRX System
TRX is the brand name, but it refers to a style of suspension training in which you move your bodyweight through various planes of motion.
Supported by the ropes of the TRX apparatus, it's another versatile piece of gym equipment allowing you to support all sorts of training goals. From bodyweight bicep curls to lower abdominal knee tucks, the TRX system is one of the finest full body workouts out there.