Follow these tips to get the equipment working properly & safely

Quad Station

Where you bend and straighten your knee

Ensure the seat back isn't too far back or forward.  It should be against your back all the way (no gap at the bottom of your spine) and should be in a position that allows your knees to bend over the front at the right place - too far back and you won't be able to bend at all (or at least not very far) and too far forward, the back of your knee will be unsupported. 

You adjust the seat by pulling the knob out at the back and moving backwards or forwards.  The bar you lift may have to be adjusted as well - if it's too low down you'll be trying to lift across the front of your feet; it should start about ankle level and roll up to mid-shin as you lift.  To adjust this, unwind the round disc, pull out the knob and move backwards or forwards and re-tighten the disc. 

You might have to adjust the roller length on the hamstrings machine as well ( the one where you lie face down).

Pecs Station

Ensure the seat is at a height that allows you to pull the weights forwards with your upper arm/elbow at approx. ninety degrees.  If the seat is too low or too high, you'll effectively have to reach up or down so that the angle of your upper arm is greater/lesser.  This means that you can't get a nice smooth forwards movement so it's biomechanically poor.  It'll also mean that you don't isolate the pectoral muscles and you'll be using other muscle groups. 

The foot plate also needs to be at the correct height - if it's too low your legs will be stretched and straight at the knee so that you won't be supported properly.  If it's too high your knees may feel that they're too bent/cramped.  

Lat Bar Station

Ensure the knee bar isn't too low.  When you sit down you should be able to get your knees under it comfortably (if the seat is too high you'll feel as if you're squeezing into too small a space, and your feet will be out at the sides).

To adjust the weights:

Start by aiming for a weight which allows you to do 10 repetitions - you should feel as if you're working but it shouldn't be so heavy that you can't manage 10 reps in good style.  If this is the case you'll tend to 'cheat' and use other muscle groups to help which isn't the correct way - if you find yourself wriggling around the weight is probably too much. 

Be sensible - do not try to lift too much to start with.  It's amazing how many people in the gym think they are stronger than they are.  The problem with trying to lift too much is that you'll risk injury to yourself and damage to the equipment if you have to drop the weights - they're cast metal and are liable to fracture if dropped, so always try to put them down GENTLY.

Larger Treadmill

a) Turn the power on at the wall (black plug) and stand on the sideplates.

b) Follow the instructions which appear on the display. The first thing will be to attach the safety key and push the red key into the base of the large red button.

c)You will then be prompted by 'select quick start or programme'. If you just want to walk/run, press 'quick start' (green light). There will be a count down of 3,2,1 and the belt will start turning. Once it's moving you can stand on it.

Use the + and - keys to increase your speed. You can also use the incline button to raise the front of the machine so that you're effectively walking/running up hill.

d) If you want to use a programme, clip the peg on, press the key in and follow instructions.

Press 'programs' (top left) and 'enter' (bottom right beside the numbers) and the display will list those available - (1) manual, (2) random, (3) hill, (4) interval session, (5) fat burn, (6) HRC which stands for heart rate conditioning. 'Manual' is basically what you do when you select 'quick start' ie you choose the speed and incline.

e) Press which number you require followed by 'enter', and again follow instructions for age, weight, level, speed, time etc. Programs 2,3 and 4 aren't related to heart rate so you can use the default values and just press 'enter'.

Once you've entered all the details, press 'quick start' and you'll be counted in with 3,2,1, the belt will start to turn and once it's moving freely you can get on. The machine will automatically alter the incline as the programme progresses. When you've finished, or if you want to stop at any time, reduce the speed to about 2 - this will ensure that you don't stop with a horrible jolt which throws you forward!

f) When you've finished reduce the speed to about 2 (if you're doing the 'Interval session' make sure you're on the slower jog speed setting). If you've been using the incline, reduce this to zero. Press the STOP light and then press the STOP button (at the bottom of the console - this will make the red tab come out). Turn the machine off at the wall when you finish so that the display doesn't stay lighted up all day/night!

Smaller treadmill

There is no prompt to attach the safety key, but it's there on the string so use it!

The emergency stop needs to be pushed back to the 'up position.

Push 'go' and once the belt is turning you can get on and increase your speed. The incline can also be increased to make you walk/run up a 'hill'.

If you want to use a programme, push the relevent button (either side of the display) and follow the instructions. You increase or decrease values for age, weight, time etc. by using the up and down arrow keys beside speed or incline.

* To stop this machine just push the red square button - it slows down gently so there's no need to reduce speed first.

Cross trainer

The newest cross trainer has programmes, on the other machines you adjust the resistance by turning the dial (the higher the number, the harder the effort).

To use the new trainer basically, get on and start pedalling. The display will show ' Software ver 14' and then a line of red dots will appear. The display will then change to 'select program or quick start'.

For ‘quick start’ the display will read 'level RPM dist watt'. This will then change to a row of four numbers. Use the arrow keys to adjust the resistance.

To use one of the programmes, start pedalling and again follow the instructions; P1 and P2 are probably the most useful - select one (Press P1 or 2 rather than the profile diagram beside the number) and then use the arrow keys to get the three different profiles for each programme. Choose the one you want and press 'enter'.

You'll then be prompted for weight, age, time etc - you can just press 'enter' on all of them and select the default button. If you want to alter the time, use the arrow keys.


Start rowing to activate the display.

Press the left hand button for straight rowing, and watch the numbers on the upper left - they'll alternate between how long you've been rowing, and how far you've gone. For instance, you might want to row for 1000m or for 10mins etc.

You can also use the programmed settings; the second button is an interval session and the third one is a pyramid session.

Select the programme you want by pressing the second or third button and you'll be prompted for time - use the + or - buttons to set the time (in minutes) and press 'ENTER'. You'll then be prompted for resistance level (try 6-10 to start), adjust using the + or - buttons, and press 'ENTER' again. Start rowing and the programme will count in (10, 9, 8, 7 etc) and the resistance will change automatically.

If you want to use the regatta function (4th button) the first prompt will be for level; select a number and press 'ENTER'. The next prompt will be for race distance - the shortest distance is 500m and it increases with 500m increments (so if it's showing 3000 and you only want to do a 500m race press the minus button until it reads 500). Select how far you want to go and press 'ENTER'. You'll then be counted down from 9 to 0 so start rowing.

Two little boats appear at the top of the screen - you are the lower one.


Make sure the pedal length is good for you - when your leg is at fullest reach when biking there should be a slight bend at the knee.

Recumbent cycle: Start pedalling to make the lights come on. It looks as if it should be a touch screen but it's not - you have to use the mode key to highlight the function the desired function, and then ’enter’ to confirm. You can add details to calculate approximate calories used, or just press ‘enter’ for default values.

You can use the arrow keys to alter the basic profile as well.

If you want to change things midway through, press STOP twice and that'll get you back to the start.

To use the 'race' function, select 'race' with the mode key and press enter. Use the arrow keys for 'distance' and 'time'. Start with a distance 5km then keep increasing the time value until figures appear to the right (you have to go up to about 10) and press 'enter' - the programme won't activate unless you have a high enough number.

You'll then be counted in with 3,2,1 and two bikes will appear going round a track - you're the blue one and the pacer is red.

Upright cycle

Start pedalling and the lights will come on.

Programming is by touch screen and is very straightforward. Resistance and distance can be altered, or programs selected.

Instructions are available in the exercise folder on the white lockers, but it is actually easier to use the screen intuitively!