As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, IL, I used to work in a big gym. One of the most common things that members ALWAYS wanted but never felt they got was an understanding of how to use the exercise machines. The only way people seemed to learn this was by watching others!


This book looks to change all of that.  I go through seven of the most common exercise machines that you will find in nearly every gym. I give you the details necessary to make sure you are using the machines safely and effectively.  Overall, this will decrease your risk of injury, reduce the amount of time you spend exercising, and improve the results you are getting in the gym!

In this book, I hope to outline the basics of each machine so that you can feel confident going to the gym and using them on your own. It will be impossible to provide the individual tweaks and adjustments needed for your specific body throughout the book. However, if you are looking for a resource to determine these adjustments, contact me at so I can recommend a qualified personal trainer near you.

I will be breaking down each machine into three topics. The first is how to generally set up the machine for your body. The second will be a tip to help reduce risk while using this machine. The last will be a cue on what to think about while using the machine.

I hope you find the content in this book both helpful and informative. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or feedback you have.  I look forward to helping you exercise for life.

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Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Rx Specialist (MATRx). She is one of 88 certified mastery level Resistance Training Specialists® (RTSm) in the world. This combination makes her style of training impactful and still preventative and restorative of joint and muscle issues and pain that are common with exercise. Julie specializes working with women 50 and over. Specifically, her main focus is working with women with bone density loss, muscle loss, Osteopenia, and Osteoporosis. Julie has incredible experience working with brand new exercisers. Very specific types and styles of exercises are needed for restoring and maintaining bone density, and Julie guides her clients through these in a pain-free way. She is also well experienced in helping women exercise even with various joint, bone, systemic, and neurological diagnoses. Julie is definitely your go-to personal trainer for women with Osteoporosis! Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. Julie is the co-owner of Muscle Activation Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL. She is a wife and mother of two. Julie can be reached via e-mail at Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!