I thought about something at the gym yesterday, when I found myself forced to use a machine for the chest press, rather than a bench. Because I do a circuit workout, I bench press twice in a five-day rotation - so I'm on it 1.5 times per week. That's the same ratio I have to using the apparatus for pull-ups, sitting row, lat pull downs, etc., etc.
And yet only on one of those structures do I ever find myself waiting and/or forced to find an alternative.
So what's the deal? Is it that
a) there is that greater a collective of individuals who use the bench (and eschew other exercises)
b) there is a workout program that requires the bench every day in addition to other muscles exercised
c) I go to a "fratboy" gym where many of the users are primarily interested in "getting jacked," not in actually working on strength training or maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle.
10 months ago