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Beginners Guide to the Gym | Equipment Setup & Weights + Full-Body Workout

Get ready to conquer the gym floor with our ultimate guide and fun instructional videos, taking the guesswork out of out of navigating the gym floor equipment. And, if you're a free-weight enthusiast, we've whipped up a specially curated workout at the end of the article to keep your fitness journey exciting and effective!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on navigating gym equipment!

Navigating the gym and its array of equipment can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure about the right equipment or how to use them. In this article, we provide a comprehensive rundown, complete with instructional videos, to guide you through the gym setup.

For those who prefer steering clear of machines but find themselves unsure about incorporating free weights into their routine, worry not. At the end of the article, we’ve curated a workout specifically designed for you to follow, ensuring a well-rounded and effective fitness experience.

Let’s make your gym journey both informative and enjoyable!

Feel free to utilize any or all of these machines. For a full-body workout, do 10 reps of each move, 3-5 times on each machine.

We typically employ a ladder approach when adjusting weights on machines, beginning with lighter weights on the first set, increasing the weight, and then reducing the weight again for the final set.

Remember to start slow, breathe and squeeze, listen to your body, and only push yourself to the level where you feel comfortable and in control.

Leg Press

Muscles Targeted:

  • Front of the thighs (Quadriceps)
  • Buttocks (Gluteal)
  • Back of the thighs (Hamstrings)
  • Calves

Chin / Dip Machine

Muscles Targeted:

  • Chin-ups target the back and biceps muscles
  • Dips target the complementary upper-body muscles: chest and triceps

Lat Pull Down Machine

Muscles Targeted:

  • Muscles of the back, most notably the latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Biceps
  • Forearms

Fly / Rear Delt Machine

Muscles Targeted:

  • Chest muscles
  • Back muscles
  • Deltoid muscles located in the shoulders

When setting handles for chest fly, ensure that the handles are aligned with your shoulders. Avoid positioning them beyond this point, as it may strain the shoulder joint and heighten the risk of injury.

Back Extensions

Avoid hyper/overextending your lower back at the top of the movement. If you have any back issues, it’s best to avoid this machine.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Low back
  • Erector spinae muscle groups
  • These muscles aid in supporting, protecting, and extending your spinal column and entire back

Smith Press Machine

Muscles Targeted:

  • Bench presses target triceps, shoulders and chest
  • Calf raises target calf muscles

Cardio Equipment

For a well-rounded workout, select a cardio machine and dedicate 10-15 minutes to cardiovascular exercise either before or after utilizing strength training equipment.

  • Treadmill: Perfect for walking, jogging, or running indoors, providing an effective cardiovascular workout.
  • Bike: Offers low-impact exercise ideal for those with joint issues, targeting the lower body muscles while improving cardiovascular health.
  • Elliptical: Combines the benefits of walking, running, and stair climbing into one machine, offering a full-body workout with minimal impact on the joints.

Strength Workout Using Free Weights Only (Total Body)

If machines aren’t your preference or you’re looking for a change, consider trying out this strength training workout.

  • You’ll need: a set of heavy (generally between 5 and 15 pounds) and light weights (between 2 and 7 pounds)
  • Each round is done 3 times
  • Duration: 20-25 minutes.
  • Recommended frequency: 2-3 times per week

Looking to customize your exercises for each round? Explore our video demonstrations or exercise library for inspiration.

Round one (10 minutes)

Round two (3 minutes)

Round three (5 minutes)

Round four (5 minutes)

Make sure to repeat each round three times in total.
After finishing your workout, don’t forget to thank your amazing body for all its hard work!
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie

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Hi beautiFULL, We’re Pam and Kalie

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