First of all, I want to ask you something. How many times do you notice those persons sitting around waiting for some particular equipment to become free so they can continue working out? Sometimes they will sit for 10-15 minutes or more. They choose not to ask to work-in. Not sure why. Maybe the person using it has too much or not enough weight. Or maybe they are fearful of being pushed today since working in with someone places a little more pressure to alternate in a timely fashion. For whatever reason, there is no excuse to sit around and waste valuable workout time waiting for equipment. Several "alternatives" exist and it is not difficult to find them. It just takes a little extra motivation on your part.
In this article, I hope to challenge you next time you are in a situation where you have your mind set on a particular exercise and find that: 1) the person using it has a very different goal (i.e. very little weight or extremely heavy weight) or 2) there is already several people waiting to work in.
It's chest day and all the benches are full!
Today is chest day. As usual, you head towards the bench. On the way, you notice that today is chest day for practically everyone else in the gym! Now what do you do? In your mind, you have psyched yourself up and know you will have the best chest routine in a long time. Unfortunately for you, the bench is swarming with several other highly motivated chest pressers. Don't worry, an alternative is just waiting for you and not far! Why not try an alternative to what you do on the "regular" and jump over and grab a pair of dumbbells and start with dumbbell press. If you're really that motivated, you could hit all three angles of the chest by doing incline, flat, and decline dumbbell presses. By the time you're done, you will notice the barbell bench is now open. Yeah, I hear you. But I won't be able to lift as much because I've fatigue my chest with dumbbells. And? Pre-exhaustion is an excellent way to ignite some new muscle growth. Anyway, since when have your muscles formed their own separate brain? All you muscles know is that they must work harder today and doing a 275 lbs bench, instead of 315 lbs, will provide the same benefits if not more. If for some reason the bench is still taken after completing dumbbell presses, you could opt for the incline or decline barbell benches.
Shoulder molder is your motto!
You have a shoulder workout planned that will have you crying for "mommy" yet you are not afraid. As planned, you start towards the military press and find that other shoulder molders have confiscated your plan. Now what? Again, not so far away is the dumbbell rack! Why not try starting with overhead dumbbell presses? Yeah, yeah, you still fear an inadequate military press that will follow. Again, not true. In fact, I suggest throwing in lateral raises (bent-over, side, and front) between each dumbbell press set. This will fully fatigue your shoulders. Following this with the military press, that should be open by now, will be like none you've experienced before. Again, don't focus on the amount of weight. Focus on technique! The deltoid and other supporting muscles will greatly benefit.
The squat rack is being monopolized!
Usually a gym, for some unknown reason, has one and only one squat rack. To me, squats build the foundation from which all other gains begin. For example, a car is absolutely useless without wheels, a house cannot stand without a solid foundation, and a bodybuilder "will not" succeed in any fashion without well developed legs. Everyone knows, it takes extra motivation to get "up" for a leg workout and push yourself to new heights. The worse thing you can do is to sit around and think about it when you discover someone using the squat rack. It's possible to even talk yourself out of it! An alternative? See if the leg press is open. If not, check the hack squat. These two alternatives provide an excellent means to begin a leg day! If you complete one (either leg press or hack squat) before the squat rack becomes available, start the other. This will get your legs pumped. You will find that your exceptionally stronger on the press and hack. Don't limit yourself with the pending squats in mind. Push yourself! When the squat rack opens up, this will be the time where you find out exactly what you are made of. You will find that you will not be nearly as powerful as normal. What you will find is that your legs will quiver, shiver, and shake from the intense pounding that you applied. Be prepared and fore-warned. The days that follow will be extremely difficult. The difficulty will be walking up stairs, standing and sitting, and basic walking! Trust me.
Well, thanks again for all you reading and support!
"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it."
- W. M. Lewis