We have all been there. You show up to go workout and every bench and every machine that you planned on using is taken (and there’s already three people ahead of you waiting for that machine or bench!). Lots of people would take this as an excuse to just jump on the elliptical for 30 minutes and call it good or not workout at all. I’m here to tell you that it’s time that you take that crowded gym mindset from one of inconvenience to one of creativity.
Just like how you can always find the time to workout, you can also always find a way to workout as well. A very smart way to go about getting the most out of your workouts is going into every workout with both a "Plan A" and a "Plan B”. Plan A is what you cross your fingers and hope to do but, if the gym is way too crowded to efficiently do that plan, you are prepared with Plan B that you know you can do no matter how flooded the gym is with people. Having the knowledge and the creativity to find alternative exercises for a Plan B workout can be the difference between reaching your goal in a month or it taking almost two months.
Having an alternative to your first exercise of choice doesn't always mean that you will get exactly the same results but it is always better than skipping it all together. For instance, you want to do bench press but all the benches are taken and you don’t think you will be getting a bench anytime soon. Instead of skipping out on that chest exercise entirely, you can substitute bench press with push-ups. If you’re goal is to get more muscle mass and push-ups seem too easy then bring a weighted vest to add an extra 20+ pounds. This is by no means equivalent to lifting heavy on the bench press but it’s still going to help you get stronger which is a lot better than not doing anything. Take squats as another example. If you want to do squats but all the squat racks are taken, you can substitute traditional barbell squats with dumbbell squats. If your goal is to squat a heavy weight and dumbbells alone don’t do it for you, you can turn regular dumbbell squats into jump squats. Even though plyometric exercises (like jump squats) aren’t exactly right for reaching heavy lifting goals like regular barbell squats, they are still going to get you stronger and, given the gym isn’t insanely packed every time you go, you will still have plenty of future opportunities to get on that squat rack.
In conclusion, don’t EVER use “there’s way too many people here” as an excuse. There is always a way to get the job done and if that means doing your Plan B workout, then get in there and do the best workout you can and don’t leave feeling discouraged because you didn’t get to do your Plan A workout. Instead, leave feeling accomplished knowing that you found a way to get a much more productive workout in than all the men and women standing around forever waiting to get the bench or machine for their Plan A workout (because they don’t even have a Plan B).