When choosing which gym to join you will likely be swayed by a number of factors including the price and the location. I maintain that the location of the gym is the single most important consideration, as this will have the biggest impact on how often you end up going.
But another very key consideration to take into account is the equipment. At first glance, most gyms might seem to have pretty much the same basic equipment but look a little closer and this is rarely true. It’s those few unique machines and stations that make all the difference and that can differentiate the very best gyms from the rest.
Let’s take a look then at some of the best, rare equipment that you can look for in the gym. And if your gym surveys its members on what they want to see, consider asking for these machines to be added soon!
I’m not just talking about a rope attached to the ceiling but rather a rope climbing resistance machine. This works as you would imagine – the rope hangs above you and you ‘climb’ it with your legs pinned down like a lat pull down. You can aim for speed or increase the weight and it’s generally just a very fun way to train your lats, biceps, grip strength and more.
These aren’t super rare but they still don’t come as standard. A Smith machine is of course a squat rack/bench press that puts the bar on rails. This ensures you can’t drop it and also means that you’re supported through the movement. If you train alone then this is one of the very best ways to challenge your one rep max without risking decapitation…
TRX is a brand of suspension cable that you can use like gymnastics rings. Once again, TRX is great for making training fun and it provides a ton of new bodyweight exercises you otherwise wouldn’t be able to perform – including things like inverted press ups, suspension dips and neutral grip chin ups.
Chest Press With Weight Plates
The chest press machine is a resistance machine and very often you’ll find that it uses weights attached to a cable similarly to other resistance machines.
However, there are some rare breeds of chest press that instead allow you to load weight plates straight on and off which gives you a little more control over the way the weight moves – you’re simply pushing a handle attached to a joint and some weight. This makes it much more similar to an incline bench press and makes it a very suitable candidate for things like negative sets.
The preacher curl shouldn’t be a rare piece of gym equipment and yet you’ll find that it often isn’t included. This is something of a crime however – as in fact preacher curls are one of the most effective tools available for isolating he biceps and can be used for a range of unique curl variations too. Every gym needs one!