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"Help! The equipment I need is being used!"

We’ve all been there. You walk into the gym, ready to hit the weights...and you see someone on “your” machine. Oh no, how dare they! Instead of milling about, waiting for them to be done, let’s dive into ways you can get going on your workout without wasting time.

Ask to rotate in with them.

Probably the most obvious suggestion would be to ask to rotate in during their rest times. Especially if you’re using similar weight, swapping out during rest is efficient for both parties. You both move through the workout seamlessly and, who knows, you may even meet a new workout partner!

Use it as an excuse to try something new.

Perhaps you can use this as an excuse to try a new machine or way of organizing your workout. Do you always start with a squat variation? Maybe start with a pull-up variation instead! If you’ve plateaued in your workouts, this might give you the jumpstart you need to begin seeing progress.

If you’re not in a plateau, don’t worry! Changing the order of your exercises for a single workout won’t derail your program progress.

Train your core at the beginning.

We usually leave abs until the end of the workout. It’s a good finisher and often lower intensity, so it leads nicely into a cool down and stretch. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can always move it to the beginning of your session. It decreases the chance of skipping it and promotes good core stability throughout your strength training session to follow.

Weight the exercise differently.

Do you always use the perfect squat machine for your squats? Changing up how you weight the exercise, while maintain the same movement pattern, can provide equal or perhaps greater benefit. For example, moving to a racked dumbbell squat increases the amount of core stability required throughout. Not only are you training the lower body, but you’re increasing core stability at the same time!

Work on your mobility or stability.

I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t need to spend a little extra time on their mobility, for either the t-spine (upper back) or hips especially. Stability presents an equally great concern in the shoulders and knees. By spending a few extra minutes as you’re waiting increasing mobility or stability, you’ll prime your body to move both more efficiently and effectively during your workout. As an added bonus, you’ll decrease the risk of injury by warming up and grooving movement patterns before adding heavier weights.

At the end of the day, even though “your” machine may be in use, there’s no reason you can’t get started on your workout anyway! If you’re looking for something to do, ask a trainer; they’re happy to help!


Key Word: Variety

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