Difficulty with inclined chest press machine

Hello to all you myfitnesspal people who know your way around the weights section of the gym!

I'm a 5'0" woman, overweight at 156(ish) lbs who has a membership at a women's gym. I have always been afraid of the weights section, specifically afraid of looking like a failure or weakling or someone who is totally lost :smile:. Recently I took up the courage to approach the desk and have them re-teach me the weights circuit (which they break down into three separate workout circuits, one for core, one for legs/butt, one for upper body). I love my lower body circuit. I totally detest the core one (but I get that I really need it, and understand all of the elements of it).

My issue is with part of the upper body circuit. I am shamefully weak with my upper body, and I understand that it needs work! The exercises are difficult, but only one seems undoable for me at this time: the incline chest press (in case I'm not naming it correctly, it looks like this thing:)


My trouble is that I can do about one set of 15 reps at almost no weight (I think it's about 5 or 10lbs, tops), and then when I start into my second set, I can't get the handles up from the start position -- I could do the rest of it if I could get the handles up, I could finish the exercise. I don't know why they feel like they weigh a million pounds for set two.

I guess my question would be if there is an exercise that works similar muscle groups that I could use that would be easier to start with so that I can increase those weights gradually and eventually sucessfully use the incline press machine?

I'm hoping I come into a little money at Christmas for personal training sessions, but right now I'm on maternity leave and my husband is a student... so I hope you folks can help me out in the meantime :wink:


  • wellbert
    wellbert Posts: 3,924 Member
    how about dumbbell incline press? or fixed weight barbell?
  • IronSmasher
    IronSmasher Posts: 3,908 Member
    how about dumbbell incline press? or fixed weight barbell?

    It looks like a badly designed machine, it should have a way to get you past that range using a foot lever or similar.

    Yeah, I'd go dumbbells for now, for ease of set up.

    If you were looking for additional exercises, you could try press ups, with your hands on a tall surface such as a kitchen worktop.