How can you get the most of out of your gym experience when the only time you can get there is the busiest time? Trying to complete a workout in a busy gym can be intimidating, confusing, and frustrating.
- Don’t fall into the routine trap. The trick is to be able to recognize the alternatives available to you and understanding the purpose of each exercise. When you know why you are using the exercises you use you will be able to find other options to help you get to your goals. For example, if the rower you normally use is busy try using the treadmill.
- Make the most of dumbbells. Dumbbells take up less space and offer you more flexibility. Plus, even in a busy gym, there are always some available.
- Stand to do it. Don’t waste time waiting for a bench to become free. Stand to do the work out and get exercise options and angles you won’t get sitting down. Standing will work more of your body since you have to work your core and support muscles to hold you in place while you perform the exercise.
- Body Weight Exercises. Body weight exercises are a great way to still work out in a crowded gym. Try pull ups and dips while you may be waiting for another piece of equipment to become free.
If you are using a machine and MUST leave it for a minute to come back to it, leave a marker. Signify that your machine or equipment is still in use. However, try to make sure you stay on the machine when possible for the whole duration of use. That will eliminate any misunderstandings of the machine being available. While you’re busy working on one piece of equipment, plan your next move. Look around the gym and take note on what is or looks like it will be coming available. This way you won’t waste time and let that heart rate slip while you stand around waiting for your next move. It is also helpful to get to know other members and trainers in the gym. You can then feel more comfortable sharing equipment.
There are many workout options you can try in between stations or while waiting for a machine. Try some of the following:
- Wide squat – 10 reps
- Chin ups – 8 reps
- Step ups – 10 reps per leg
- Barbell rows – 10 reps
- Side Plank – 8 reps per side hold for 10 seconds each
- Balance Ball Rollout – 20 reps
Think outside the box when it comes to your workout. A crowded gym can be an opportunity to vary your workout. A trainer is a good way to get your work out going during a busy gym time. They have programs built based on equipment available and know what would be a great substitute when you can’t get on the machine you need.
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