In their latest report, PureGym has spoken to their managers across the UK to unearth what gym equipment they think adds the most value to your training session.
The gym experts were asked to provide their opinions on the three pieces of equipment that would best help gym goers achieve three different types of fitness goal: overall fitness; weight loss; and building muscle. They were then also asked to pick just one piece of equipment as their overall top performer.
The six BEST pieces of gym equipment overall, according to gym managers:
1. Lifting Platform: 21%
2. Squat Rack: 13%
3. Cable Machine: 11%
4. Dumbells: 7%
5. Climbmill/Stairmaster: 5%
6. TRX System: 3%
Remarkably, even though the TRX System made it onto the list of gym manager’s favourite kit, the TRX was actually ranked #10 in the vote for least used gym equipment. Despite being one of the most unloved pieces of equipment in the gym, the experts really rate it!
Lee Stewart Evans, a PureGym manager from Glasgow says: ‘The TRX provides a full body workout and can allow the user to target many different muscle groups. There are many different uses with a TRX System, and if you visit the gym when its busy, this is one of the lesser-used pieces of equipment, so while other people are waiting for something else, you can make sure you can in a full body workout every time’.
TRX System Workout: Perform back to back. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 4 times.
‘ Squat 10 reps
‘ Row 10 reps
‘ Lying hamstring curls 10 reps
‘ Flys 10 reps
‘ Mountain climbers 10 each side
‘ Side plank taps 10 each side
The equipment gym mangers recommend if you’re looking to build muscle:
1. Squat Rack/Lifting Rack: 59%
2. Lifting platform: 57%
3. Dumbbells: 54%
4. Barbells: 37%
5. Cable Machine: 23%
6. Leg Press Machine: 13%
7. Bench Press: 12%
8. Pull-up Bar/Chin-up Bar: 7%
9. Lat Pull-Down Machine: 5%
10. Kettlebells: 5%
Marc McLaren PureGym manager at Ashton-Under-Lyne says ‘The cable machine is just one piece of kit, but there are so many exercises and variables here, you could spend an entire session simply using it. The cable machine is great for concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises. It provides a great range of movement, and is a good bridge between resistance machines and free weights.’
PureGym has a guide for beginners for using the cable machine here.
Leeds manager Brian Mundy adds ‘The squat rack is also a great choice for members of all fitness levels. Using a ‘squat rack’ may sound or even look intimidating, but once you start using it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner’.
The equipment gym mangers recommend if you’re looking to improve overall fitness:
1. Rowing Machine: 47%
2. Treadmill: 39%
3. Climbmill/Stairmaster: 24%
4. Kettlebells: 23%
5. TRX System: 19%
6. Indoor Cycle/Spin Bikes: 18%
7. Dumbbells: 16%
8. Elliptical Trainer/Cross-Trainer: 15%
9. Cable Machine: 14%
10. Lifting Platform: 11%
Dan Scott, a PureGym manager based in Edinburgh says ‘The dumbbell has been a favourite piece of gym equipment for years, and it isn’t hard to see why. You can literally do an entire workout with a single workout and your own bodyweight. Plus, due to the huge variety of weights, dumbbells are a highly accessible piece of equipment, and for that reason, become a part of most member’s workout regimes’.
London Aldgate manager, Terese Tijusaite also adds ‘Although not on the list, the ski-erg is an unsung hero of the gym, especially if you’re looking to improve general fitness. Even working at 20-30 second intervals will get you out of breath. It’s an ideal piece of equipment for gym goers of all levels and is a great way to round off any workout. You will likely not have to wait to use it either, as they regularly stay free’.
The equipment gym mangers recommend if you’re looking to lose weight:
1. Climbmill/Stairmaster: 36%
2. Squat Rack/Llifting Rack: 33%
3. Rowing Machine: 26%
4. Lifting Platform: 25%
5. Treadmill: 25%
6. Dumbbells: 23%
7. Barbells: 20%
8. Kettlebells: 16%
9. Assault Bike: 12%
10. Indoor Cycle/Spin Bikes: 12%
Matt Woodward, manager at London Oval says ‘The lifting platform offers the greatest amount of versatility in the gym, with many different workouts possible here, that tackle weight loss, muscle gain and general fitness. For a lot of gym goers too, this is much more enjoyable than using the machines. And it enables the user to also target multiple muscle groups at once’.
Pav Kaur Rangi, PureGym manager based in Birmingham adds that for ‘a great cardio workout for your legs, the stair-master is very popular with gym goers with a whole variety of needs ‘ from bodybuilders training for a competition, to everyday members looking to shift some weight. It could even lay claim to being the best piece of kit for cardio, above the likes of the treadmill!’