How to Navigate Working Out at the Gym (Or Home Gym!)

Working Out At the Gym? Navigate It Like a Pro

If you’re interested in the Gym Strong or Gym Strong 2 programs (and working out at the gym), we bet you’re curious about exactly what equipment you need to join the program. Can you use your own at-home equipment? Do you need to go to an actual gym? And if you already go to the gym, how can you set up your “station” as efficiently as possible?

First things first: You certainly don’t need a luxury gym membership to join. You can absolutely do the workouts at home, as long as you have certain pieces of equipment (more on that below!). But if you do already belong to a gym, this program will teach you how to make the most of the equipment you’ll find there—and how to navigate the floor like a pro.

Below, our instructor Kat E., who designed Gym Strong and coaches the program along with Melody D. and Dorian C., gives us the rundown on what you need before starting Gym Strong—whether you’re at an actual gym, or in the comfort of your own home.

Gym Strong Program Equipment Basics

Think of the 60-minute classes in the Gym Program as your favorite obé Strength and Power workouts, taken to the next level. You will need:

  • Heavier dumbbells (think 15 to 35 pounds)
  • A kettlebell or two (one light-to-moderate, like 10 to 15 lbs, and option to have one heavier, like 25 to 45 lbs)
  • One weight plates (no barbell needed)
  • An adjustable weight bench

That’s really all the extra equipment you’ll need, and you can make some simple swaps if need be. Working out in your own home gym? Check out our home gym equipment recs on Amazon.

Find Your Space at the Gym

Entering the free weight area of any gym can bring a level of intimidation, no matter how experienced you may be. Just remember, the gym floor isn’t a red carpet, and you won’t be tackled by security if you make a “mistake.”

The biggest tip to keep in mind, according to Kat? No one is paying that much attention to you! “Everyone’s paying attention to themselves—they’re not paying attention to you,” Kat reminds us. “We tend to get in our heads, but really, people are concerned about themselves, not you!”

Beyond that, here are Kat’s top tips:

  • Scope out the accessory area. This is where the kettlebells, free weights, and adjustable benches usually live—and where you’ll be able to complete most exercises in the Gym Program.
  • Set up your station near an adjustable bench. Several exercises will require an adjustable bench—so claim one as your own!
  • Use your water bottle to prop up your phone or iPad. You know we love a reusable water bottle here at obé. Not only are they better for the environment, but they also provide the perfect stand for your phone or iPad as you work through the class.
  • Grab a weight plate for certain classes. Look for a 10-25 pound plate—making sure this is lbs, not kgs! (A 10kg plate is close to 25 lbs, FYI.) Weight plates can be found in the barbell area, though you won’t need to use the actual barbell.
  • Seek out a more private space. Many gym facilities have dedicated spaces for personal workouts. If you can, feel free to set up your station in a separate area like a yoga studio or a group fitness classroom. Just be sure to double (or triple!) check the schedule to ensure a class doesn’t start during your session and interrupt your flow!

At-Home Gym Swaps

Not working out at the gym or missing some gear? No sweat—there’s a few easy swaps you can make to start Gym Strong.

  • Adjustable bench: While a very sturdy coffee table could work for some exercises, Kat recommends using an ottoman or even a sturdy chair as a replacement for a bench. For step-ups, consider using a staircase or a heavy chair propped up against a wall.
  • Kettlebell: A heavy dumbbell (20-35 lbs) can replace a kettlebell. Just make sure you have a good grip!
  • Weight plate: If the weight plate is being used to elevate your heels or feet, you can opt just to keep your feet flat on the floor, Kat says. If it’s being used for an upper body or core exercise, choose a moderate dumbbell (10-20) that you can grip well and feel confident lifting overhead.

For more at-home equipment swaps for dumbbells, resistance bands, and foam rollers, check out this blog.

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