This post is sponsored by Bayshore Fit. All opinions are my own. Thank you for your support of My Healthyish Life!
In the eight months that I’ve been consistently strength training I’ve gotten into a good routine in the weight room. I pick my corner (or bench if I’m lucky), grab my dumbbells or kettlebell and do my workout. Sometimes I’m crazy and use the cables or machines but, for the most part, I stick to what I know.
For many reasons that mindset and routine are not doing me any favors.
Not that the workouts I typically do aren’t challenging (I make sure to use heavy-for-me weights), but I know there is more I could be doing and experimenting with in the gym. Truthfully? It’s intimidating. I think of myself as a novice in the weight room and while I do know the basics, those huge machines, plates and barbells sometimes make me want to run the opposite direction (or just go running instead of lifting at all).
However, if I want to get stronger (mentally and physically) I need to push myself. I did a lot of workout-experimentation last summer in NYC, but that routine I mentioned above has held strong for a long time. So, with the help of the trainers at Bayshore Fit, I got out of my workout comfort zone. Turns out, anyone can use the “big, scary” equipment. You don’t have to be an experienced Crossfitter or lifter to pick up a barbell and put together a workout.
The trainers took me through a workout using the half-rack, a new piece of equipment added as part of the gym’s 2,200 square ft. expansion. If you’re in the Tampa area, be sure to check out the new space and equipment at Bayshore Fit!
First, I learned how to set up the dang thing for myself. I adjusted the pegs to the height I wanted for the first exercise and then picked my bar. Bayshore Fit has two sizes of barbells: 44 lbs (men) and 33 lbs (women). That weight alone could be enough for certain exercises! It was for me, as you’ll see below with bicep curls. Once I got my bar on the peg, I added plates and safety clips. They offer 5, 10 and 25 lb plates.
Then I slid the bench under the bar for my first exercise: incline chest press. This weight was manageable for me, but if you need assistance the trainers are happy to spot you.
When I was done, I placed the bar back on the pegs and moved the bench out of the way for the rest of the exercises. Next up: chin-ups on the bar (inverted chin-up). I never thought to do this move! The key is to let your upper body do most of the work by keeping as little weight in your feet as possible. The farther out your legs, the harder the movement.
Then I removed the bar, moved the pegs to the lowest setting and re-racked the bar for incline tricep push-ups. I struggle with tricep push-ups so incline helps me keep good form.
I stepped away from the rack but kept the bar for the next set of exercises.
Squats and RDL‘s (Romanian Dead Lift) are two of my favorite moves but I typically use dumbbells when I’m on my own. Placing a barbell on your neck instead of dumbbells is much better, in my opinion. Form and safety are always the most important aspects of lifting so the trainers started me at this weight for the first go-around. In the future I will slowly increase the weight to challenge myself.
I removed the plates and just used the bar for bicep curls. Basic curls but with a
To finish off the workout, I put the bar back and just used the plates for core work. A 10 lb plate for jackknives (v-ups) and straight leg crunches, or if you’re me, as straight-as-you-can-get-your-legs crunches.
There are so many more exercises I could have done with the half-rack, barbell and plates: rows, overhead press, clean-and-press, lunges, etc. Taking apart the equipment and looking at the pieces individually (instead of one monster piece) helped my confidence a ton.
Having guidance from trainers is so beneficial for first-time and experienced lifters. It may take an ounce or two of courage to ask for help but it’s worth it in the long run.