Posted by: welsh | 2007/02/28

improvising in a small gym

Hi Doc,

Sorry, this may be a bit long winded.

I've just moved into a complex with a gym and I love the convenience of walking to gym. The problem is that they have limited equipment. I've been a member of a bigger gym for a year. So I've picked up tricks to squeeze out a few routines particularly for arms, back and shoulders. However, i am battling to do enough for chest. What can I safely do with these machines: lat pull-down, tricep press and shoulder press, to give my chest a decent workout. In the pool?

I am fairly fit and my goals are to continue to build muscle and maintain an above average level of fitness.

Or am I wasting time in this place.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Welsh

Does the gym have free weights, or is it just machines. Because you can do a good few chest exercises if you have access to free weights and a bench. So for example, the shoulder press MACHINE forces you to lift in a certain direction (from shoulders above your head) but that same movement just from the chest out in front of you while lying down is a chest exercise. So if you have free weights, then you can very easily do such exercises. And don't forget the good old fashioned push up.

As for the pool, that's not really such a great way to build muscle because the resistance is generally quite low and the movement you do is very rarely targeting the chest in such a way as to tone or build - it's more the shoulders. So my advice is to get the free weights, which I'm sure the gym will have.

Good luck!

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