Some of the most popular commercial gyms these days are geared towards the beginner crowd.
For this reason, they’ve adopted an old school mentality that suggests beginners should start on and stick to machine training.
We could debate that for days, but if all you have available to use is machines, you can still have a great workout.
The workout below is one route you could take. It targets all of your major muscle groups in a traditional 3 day push, pull, legs split.
When performing the exercises, you’ll want to utilize a weight that will fall into the 70-85% range of your 1 rep max.
In between each set, utilize a 45-90 second rest period. Rest periods can be highly individualized, so if you need more or less rest, do whatever best suits you.
If you would like to perform core exercises to target your abdominal muscles, I would recommend sticking to bodyweight exercises such as the plank variations, ab wheels, and hanging leg raises. Feel free to perform one of those exercise utilizing a similar rep/set scheme at the end of your workout.
Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, Tris
|1. Hammer Strength Machine Bench Press||4||10|
|2. Machine Incline Press||3||12-15|
|3. Pec Deck Fly||3||12-15|
|4. Machine Shoulder Press||4||10|
|5. Machine Lateral Raise||3||12-15|
|6. Tricep Rope Pushdown||3||12-15|
Day 2 – Back, Biceps
|1. Lat Pulldown||4||10|
|2. Cable Row||4||10|
|3. Machine Pullover||3||10-12|
|4. Machine Preacher Curl||3||10-12|
|5. Cable Hammer Curls||3||10-12|
Day 3 – Legs
|1. Hack Squat||4||10|
|2. Leg Press||4||10|
|3. Leg Curl||3||10-12|
|4. Leg Extension||3||10-12|
|5. Machine Glute Kickbacks||3||10-12|
|6. Calf Raises||3||15|
To ensure you are progressing, aim to increase the weight you use for each exercise either every week or every other week.
Alternatively, if you get to the point where you’d like to increase your training frequency, you could test out a 4 and eventually a 5 day split.
If you happen to gain access to more equipment, it may be worth testing out a routine that incorporates more of a variety of movements. The major downside to machine only training is that machines involve a fixed ranged of motion. This decreases the need for your stabilizers to do their job.
But, if all your membership gives you access to is machine equipment, it isn’t the end of the world and you should still be able to see some solid muscle development over time.
If you have any questions regarding the workout, feel free to leave us a comment in the comments section below!