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Setting up a machine for a workout


During your first few gym visits the unfamiliar machines and technology can feel overwhelming to master but don't worry!  To help prepare you and give you the best experience of the gym, we’ve created some simple step by step guides to help you master the set-up of our most popular gym machines: the treadmill, the cross trainer, and rower.

Prefer to watch the set up in action? We've also created how to videos for these gym machines and more - check out our How To Use Gym Equipment guide here


The treadmill is a great piece of equipment to help improve or maintain your cardiovascular fitness. Whether you want to get your steps in, fancy a jog, or some interval sprints, you can adjust the settings to help suit your fitness goals.

PureGym treadmill
Treadmill on button

How to switch the treadmill on: Make sure to step to get on the treadmill while it's off. To switch the treadmill on press the Go button which is located in the middle of the dashboard. 

How to switch the treadmill off: Press the red button next to the Go button on the dashboard. The treadmill belt should then gradually reduce speed to a standstill so you can then get off the machine safely and it will then turn off by itself. 

Treadmill changing speed

How to change the speed: There are two buttons on the right hand of side of the dashboard to adjust the speed of the belt. Alternatively, you can enter the speed you would like the belt to move by pressing the numbers on the right hand side of the screen.

Treamill change incline

How to change the incline: There are two buttons on the left hand of side of the dashboard which allows you to adjust the incline. Press the upward facing arrow to increase the incline.

Tips on good running form:

  • Keep your back straight and shoulder level
  • Look straight ahead and avoid looking down at your feet
  • Avoid swinging your arms side to side and keep them at your side

Example of workouts you can try using the treadmill:

  • Steady state cardio: Increase your step count by walking at a steady pace on the treadmill for 10-30 minutes. 
  • High Intensity Interval Training: Want to increase the intensity? Try running intervals at 70-80% max effort for 20 seconds. Rest between 10-20 seconds, dependent on your fitness level. Repeat 9 times.



The cross trainer is a great alternative to the treadmill if you want to work on your cardiovascular fitness. It also provides a low impact form of exercise which targets the whole body.

PureGym Cross trainer

To get on the cross trainer safely, step one foot in the pedal whilst holding onto the handles below the dashboard to help maintain your balance before stepping your other leg on the other pedal. Once both feet are safely on the pedals, pedal your legs until you see a message appear on the dashboard screen.

Cross trainer which on

How to switch the cross trainer on and off: Once you see a message appear on the dashboard screen after pedaling your legs on the cross trainer, press the Go button in the middle of the dashboard.

Change resistance cross trainer

How to change the resistance: To change the resistance, adjust the level featured on the right hand side of the dashboard. Clicking the upward facing arrow will increase the resistance, and in turn, increase the intensity of your workouts. 

Change incline on cross trainer

How to change the incline: Adjust the incline on the cross trainer by pressing the up or down button featured on the left hand side of the dashboard as pictured. Increasing the incline will make performing the exercise more challenging as you will need to perform a bigger range of movement with your arms and legs.

Tips on good form:

  • Make sure to keep your back straight to avoid rounding your back
  • Engage your core so you don't collapse from side to side
  • Look straight ahead so as to not put any unnecessary pressure on your neck
  • Avoid tensing your shoulders - keep them nice and relaxed

Example of workouts you can try using the cross trainer:

  • Steady state cardio:Work on your cardiovascular fitness and get a low intensity exercise in by moving at a constant steady pace on the cross trainer for 10-30 minutes,
  • High Intensity Interval Training:  Want to get your heart rate up? Try intervals at 70-80% max effort for 10 seconds. Rest between 10-20 seconds, dependent on your fitness level. Repeat 9 times.

Make sure to check out our blog comparing the treadmill and cross trainer here.


The rower machine provides a great full body workout which is low impact. Work on your endurance and upper body strength at the same time with this single piece of equipment.

How to use a rower

Tips for good rowing technique:

  • Keep your back straight
  • Drive with your legs 
  • Keep your elbows relaxed
  • Keep your abs engaged
  • Time your breathe with your stroke

Example of workouts you can try using the rower:

  • Steady state cardio: Get a low intensity cardio workout by working at a steady pace and setting the machine on a lower resistance. This is a good way into getting used to the rower before building it up to a more challenging level.
  • High Intensity Interval Training: Want to challenge yourself? Try intervals by rowing 200m between 60-75% max. Rest for 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Sitting on rower

Sit on the sit facing the dashboard. Make sure to lower yourself slowly as the seat can move.

Adjust resistance on rower

Adjust the resistance setting located on the right hand side of the rower to a comfortable level. We suggest trying with level 5 first and adjusting this if needed.

Lock your feet in the pedals so you feet are securely fastened to the rower.

Click the Menu button on the bottom right hand corner of the screen to switch the rowing machine on. Alternatively, start rowing and the screen should automatically switch on. 

Click on the menu button on the bottom left hand corner to switch the rower on. Alternatively you can start rowing and the rower should switch on.

Grab the handle bar with two hands and with an overhand grip.

Keeping a straight back, extend your legs and row the handle back by engaging your lats. Imagine driving with your feet here. 


Then extend your arms straight in front of you. Once the handle pasts your knees, bend your knees and move your bottom towards your heels to return back to starting position. Repeat.

Now that you've learnt the foundations and how to set up these machines, why not give them a try in the gym? You can also find some of our favourite gym machines for weight loss and toning here

If you're ever unsure of how to use any of the pieces of equipment we have in our gyms, don't be afraid to ask for help from a personal trainer - they'd be more than happy to help you. You can also get help and tips by booking into an induction via the PureGym app which we'd recommend if you're new to the gym.

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