So i stopped working out at commercial gyms (except for free passes ;) ) in spring 2007. Since then I've been using scaffolds, pull-up bars, and my minimally equipped home gym. Now I'm probably going to rejoin a gym. I benefitted a lot from limited access to machines, it forced me to be creative. Now though there are a lot of reasons for me to go back to the gym. Here are a few of them:
-assisted pull-up machine: I really like using these for one-arm pulling / chinning practice
-wife is too prissy for outdoor workouts, hopefully she will be able to stick with a routine better with a gym membership (I'll let you know how this works out LOL)
-dumbell pressing: I have adjustible dumbells at home but they are cumbersome, and don't get very heavy. I like to do Arnold Presses, and various dumbell cross pulls. Obviously I'm too weak to do Inverted cross pulls on the rings, but I'm trying to work that motion with dumbells. I'll do the same for maltese to planche pulls.
-Heavier single leg deadlifts: most of the time I use my home barbell for these (which goes up to about 145) and I make them harder by increasing the torque and doing them straight leg style. Now I will also progress torwards heavier weights in a more conventional ROM. I'm still going to avoid very heavy deadlifting on two legs because I feel that it puts one at too much risk of back injury.
-Unfortunately this chain of gyms does NOT have a good place to do glute ham raises. One of my favorite exercises. Maybe I will be able to rig something up.
In the comments let me know how you guys take advantage of all of the equipment at your gyms. I'm always looking for new ideas.