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  1. #1
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Portable Gym Ideas

    Ok, I did a brief search on portable gyms and found little of value. After decades of lifting, I've finally had it with gyms today for numerous reasons. I want a home gym, but it MUST be portable. Although I have some ideas, I'm looking for more of them. As possible, I'll post here periodically when I find updated information. The basic requirements are:

    1. Stability of platform
    2. Versatility
    3. Compactness - severe due to limited space and frequent, i.e. 3x/week, relocation for performing exercises.
    4. Cost

    Preferably commerical, but possibly constructed from plans.
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  2. #2
    Aspirant johnderriLLL's Avatar
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    How bout adjustable dumbels and a chair? If you really wanted to get fancy you could get a stability ball and use it for bench pressing.
    Dont have negative thoughts. Remember your mantra.
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  3. #3
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    I like the idea, but I'm looking for a solution that works the total body progressively in an extremely limited space. I can always MOVE the equipment outside 3x per week if necessary and portable.

    Although I haven't used the Total Gym promoted by Chuck Norris, the concept seems workable as it uses bodyweight plus an incline to increase load. Since I want to incrementally add load, one could adapt such a platform to utilize a mechanism for increasing FRICTION (isotonic to isometric) and/or adding weight to the body or platform, e.g. a friction-based slide. However, working the lower body effectively still poses a problem. More constructive ideas .... ?
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    Big Shiny Bastard vikingsrule92's Avatar
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    Why does it need to be portable? What is the purpose for having a portable home gym for you? How are you transporting these items for use? I would say just get a V-Max weighted vest and do bodyweight+vest excercises. Pushups, pistols, crunches, walking, etc. You'd be surprised how useful the vests are
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  5. #5
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vikingsrule92 View Post
    Why does it need to be portable? What is the purpose for having a portable home gym for you? How are you transporting these items for use? I would say just get a V-Max weighted vest and do bodyweight+vest excercises. Pushups, pistols, crunches, walking, etc. You'd be surprised how useful the vests are
    I live in an RV where my assigned space for such activities is limited. I'm unaware of the V-Max so I'll look into it. The V-Max seems like an adaptation of Reeves' Powerwalking.
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  6. #6
    Big Shiny Bastard vikingsrule92's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    I live in an RV where my assigned space for such activities is limited. I'm unaware of the V-Max so I'll look into it. The V-Max seems like an adaptation of Reeves' Powerwalking.
    OH, ok I understand now. I would suggest a V Max vest, I dont know what reeves powerwalking is but this is great for adding resistance to simple bodyweight excercises and it's simple but effective.
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  7. #7
    Kwizatz Haderach C Man's Avatar
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    Adjustable dumbbells like Powerblocks/Ironmasters, plus a compact & possibly foldable bench.
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  8. #8
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by C Man View Post
    Adjustable dumbbells like Powerblocks/Ironmasters, plus a compact & possibly foldable bench.
    Powerblocks sound interesting. I like the compactness and versatility with an added bar. Is 260 lbs the maximum weight, e.g. deadlift? Ideally, 200 lb dumbbells for a total of 400 lbs on a bar would be great. I really like the Powerblocks' concept from my brief introduction. Deadlifts are no problem, but squats with a bar are a problem without a cage of some sort as I perform sets to failure. Squatting with dumbbells, huh ... Good ideas so far .... thanks
    Last edited by tpreitzel; 02-18-2007 at 06:30 PM.
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  9. #9
    Kwizatz Haderach C Man's Avatar
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    Go here and click on any muscle in the right hand column and you'll see a list of exercises you can do. In that list will be several dumbbell exercises.

    http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
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  10. #10
    CaneGuru Dinotrainer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    ....I'm looking for a solution that works the total body progressively in an extremely limited space....More constructive ideas .... ?
    This book is you're answer http://www.rosstraining.com/nevergymless.html
    Don't complicate things by making things complicated.....
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  11. #11
    Registered User MaineWoods's Avatar
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    Ross Training

    Originally Posted by Dinotrainer View Post
    Pretty incredible stuff on his site, too. Look around:
    http://www.rosstraining.com/articles/budget.html

    -Sean
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  12. #12
    CaneGuru Dinotrainer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MaineWoods View Post
    Pretty incredible stuff on his site, too. Look around:
    http://www.rosstraining.com/articles/budget.html

    -Sean
    Yeah, it's really amazing what can be achieved with the right knowledge and a minimum of equipment.
    Don't complicate things by making things complicated.....
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  13. #13
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dinotrainer View Post
    I'm probably aware of alot of these techniques already. I'll look into Ross' stuff further as it seems geared primarily towards conditioning which is fine to a point. One of the major problems with most home gyms without a cage and bodyweight training in general is the disproportionate attention to the upper body. Look at his legs. I want to add size as well as staying conditioned.
    Last edited by tpreitzel; 02-19-2007 at 03:48 PM.
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  14. #14
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    Powerblocks sound interesting. I like the compactness and versatility with an added bar. Is 260 lbs the maximum weight, e.g. deadlift? Ideally, 200 lb dumbbells for a total of 400 lbs on a bar would be great. I really like the Powerblocks' concept from my brief introduction. Deadlifts are no problem, but squats with a bar are a problem without a cage of some sort as I perform sets to failure. Squatting with dumbbells, huh ... Good ideas so far .... thanks
    The Elite Set Bar only allows a total weight of 210 lbs which is WAY under my needs for a bar. Does anyone know why the artificial limit of 85lbs per side exists? (1) I really can't image a bar being so weak to limit weight to 85lbs per side. Actually, I was thinking of buying TWO Elite sets for a total weight of 520lbs (260/side) plus a bar. I'm looking for some means of stabilizing and attaching the additional 260lbs (130 lbs/side) since the bar doesn't allow it. As already mentioned, the bar won't even allow the FULL weight of one set, much less two sets. Any constructive ideas to solve this problem? TIA

    (1) Probably due to bar design for attaching Powerblocks

    I guess the ultimate question is:

    What's the safest, employable method of attaching Powerblocks (260lbs/side) to a bar or harness capable of witstanding a total weight of 550lbs or so? Could a harness of some type that drapes around the shoulders be used, especially for squats?
    Last edited by tpreitzel; 03-20-2007 at 05:26 PM.
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  15. #15
    CaneGuru Dinotrainer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    I'm probably aware of alot of these techniques already. I'll look into Ross' stuff further as it seems geared primarily towards conditioning which is fine to a point. One of the major problems with most home gyms without a cage and bodyweight training in general is the disproportionate attention to the upper body. Look at his legs. I want to add size as well as staying conditioned.
    Ross has another book called 'Infinite Intensity', which has many more exercises and workouts with dumbbells, that will increase size, and strength. I also completely disagree about bodyweight training being "...disproportionate attention to the upper body". My legs have actually increased in overall size since adding in many more bodyweight exercises, and that really wasn't even my goal, as I'm not looking for any more size (I'm 5'11" and over 250), but I'm looking for a much higher level of fitness, as my priorities have changed over the years. The key is getting the proper knowledge, and it is out there. Don't go by what Ross looks like either, as he doesn't usually train for hypertrophy gains, nor do the people he trains. Overly big legs are a detriment in combat sports, and dragging them around in the ring will only serve to tire you out that much quicker. Good Luck
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    The Elite Set Bar only allows a total weight of 210 lbs which is WAY under my needs for a bar. Does anyone know why the artificial limit of 85lbs per side exists? (1) I really can't image a bar being so weak to limit weight to 85lbs per side. Actually, I was thinking of buying TWO Elite sets for a total weight of 520lbs (260/side) plus a bar. I'm looking for some means of stabilizing and attaching the additional 260lbs (130 lbs/side) since the bar doesn't allow it. As already mentioned, the bar won't even allow the FULL weight of one set, much less two sets. Any constructive ideas to solve this problem? TIA

    (1) Probably due to bar design for attaching Powerblocks

    I guess the ultimate question is:

    What's the safest, employable method of attaching Powerblocks (260lbs/side) to a bar or harness capable of witstanding a total weight of 550lbs or so? Could a harness of some type that drapes around the shoulders be used, especially for squats?
    Why not just buy a bar and some weights. I would cost you $200 to buy 2-300 lb. sets. FAR cheaper than buying an entire other set of Powerblocks, a bar, and risk putting theat weight on the bar unsafely. To me the powerblock bar just seems pointless unless you're lifting really light weights and you have a VERY compact space to work in. That product just seems illogical.
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    Ok, I did a brief search on portable gyms and found little of value. After decades of lifting, I've finally had it with gyms today for numerous reasons. I want a home gym, but it MUST be portable. Although I have some ideas, I'm looking for more of them. As possible, I'll post here periodically when I find updated information. The basic requirements are:

    1. Stability of platform
    2. Versatility
    3. Compactness - severe due to limited space and frequent, i.e. 3x/week, relocation for performing exercises.
    4. Cost

    Preferably commerical, but possibly constructed from plans.
    Get an "Ironmaster" "Superbench", its one of my favorites. I always recommend it.
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  18. #18
    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vikingsrule92 View Post
    Why not just buy a bar and some weights. I would cost you $200 to buy 2-300 lb. sets. FAR cheaper than buying an entire other set of Powerblocks, a bar, and risk putting theat weight on the bar unsafely. To me the powerblock bar just seems pointless unless you're lifting really light weights and you have a VERY compact space to work in. That product just seems illogical.
    Dinotrainer -

    I'll look into Ross' stuff some more...

    Vikingsrule92 -

    Because I do not have the space for olympic weights or numerous dumbbells, and the increased probability of damage to the RV when relocated. I know about the cost, but I'm looking for effectiveness in an extremely compact environment. As I've said, if the arrangement is PORTABLE (i.e. easily assembled, disassembled, and movable), I can always relocate the equipment outside when lifting, and return it to the RV when finished with the workout. The bar would naturally help me squat safely IF the Powerblocks could be attached safely and the bar capable of supporting the load. I realize the bar seems illogical because of its limited load which is why I'm looking for other solutions for arranging Powerblocks so I can squat heavy and safely. I NEED to work my legs - HEAVY.

    BusyDizzyIzzy -

    I'll look into the Ironmaster Superbench, but my main problem is working the legs effectively with a HEAVY load.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    Dinotrainer -

    I'll look into Ross' stuff some more...

    Vikingsrule92 -

    Because I do not have the space for olympic weights or numerous dumbbells, and the increased probability of damage to the RV when relocated. I know about the cost, but I'm looking for effectiveness in an extremely compact environment. As I've said, if the arrangement is PORTABLE (i.e. easily assembled, disassembled, and movable), I can always relocate the equipment outside when lifting, and return it to the RV when finished with the workout. The bar would naturally help me squat safely IF the Powerblocks could be attached safely and the bar capable of supporting the load. I realize the bar seems illogical because of its limited load which is why I'm looking for other solutions for arranging Powerblocks so I can squat heavy and safely. I NEED to work my legs - HEAVY.

    BusyDizzyIzzy -

    I'll look into the Ironmaster Superbench, but my main problem is working the legs effectively with a HEAVY load.
    I know that for you I was simply stating that for the average person it's much better for regular weights. However, the boxes on the bar for the DBs won't physically fit any more than 85lbs. on each side as far as I know and I would still say just do squats with dumbbells. It's a little bit more uncomfortable but it works.
    Oh, and BDI was being sarcastic about the superbench, if you've read any of his posts lately he aboslutely hates it.
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    Originally Posted by vikingsrule92 View Post
    Why does it need to be portable? What is the purpose for having a portable home gym for you? How are you transporting these items for use? I would say just get a V-Max weighted vest and do bodyweight+vest excercises. Pushups, pistols, crunches, walking, etc. You'd be surprised how useful the vests are

    When it comes to "portable" Vikingboy here is probably going to king when it comes to good info on the subject. Hell, his entire HOME is portable.
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    Originally Posted by C Man View Post
    Go here and click on any muscle in the right hand column and you'll see a list of exercises you can do. In that list will be several dumbbell exercises.

    http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
    This is a great website! Exactly what I was looking for since I'll have dumbbells onlyl!
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    Originally Posted by vikingsrule92 View Post
    I know that for you I was simply stating that for the average person it's much better for regular weights. However, the boxes on the bar for the DBs won't physically fit any more than 85lbs. on each side as far as I know and I would still say just do squats with dumbbells. It's a little bit more uncomfortable but it works.
    Oh, and BDI was being sarcastic about the superbench, if you've read any of his posts lately he aboslutely hates it.
    Strange, as the SuperBench looks like a nice piece of equipment. However, as I've said, I'm looking for PORTABILITY too which means rapid (< 10 min) setup and disassembly and a COMPACT storage profile with the ability to work legs. The rapid setup would almost REQUIRE a system that HOOKED together rather than bolted. I could easily accomodate a larger platform when SETUP if the storage profile was extremely compact and easily setup and disassembled. Yeah, I just may have to live with PowerBlocks in my hands for squats which will be awkward for awhile due to being new and prone to swaying. Wrist hooks would help during a squat with PowerBlocks until I can find a better method for utilizing dumbbells for squats. Wearing a weighted vest (100 lbs.) during the squat would probably be the EASIEST and CHEAPEST means of overcoming the PowerBlocks' limited weight of 260 lbs, but even 360 isn't quite enough although it'll do for awhile as I adapt to using dumbbells.
    Last edited by tpreitzel; 03-22-2007 at 12:45 AM.
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    The Total Gym is a sound piece of equiptment. I have one myself which I use twice a week. The only problem is for the more advanced lifter 60% of your bodyweight is not enough to build serious muscle mass. I do heavy compound lifts with the weights and then concentrate on good for and a great pump with the Total Gym. This is really working for me.

    So I dont know wether getting a total gym and a heavy set of dumbells would be an option for you? then mixing the training up.

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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    Ok, I did a brief search on portable gyms and found little of value. After decades of lifting, I've finally had it with gyms today for numerous reasons. I want a home gym, but it MUST be portable. Although I have some ideas, I'm looking for more of them. As possible, I'll post here periodically when I find updated information. The basic requirements are:

    1. Stability of platform
    2. Versatility
    3. Compactness - severe due to limited space and frequent, i.e. 3x/week, relocation for performing exercises.
    4. Cost

    Preferably commerical, but possibly constructed from plans.
    Tpreitzel,

    Have you considered a Body Rail? http://www.bodyrail.com/index.html
    It is the hardcore version of the Total Gym. It and some PowerBlocks would work well for what you are looking for. You could hang the Power Blocks on the weight bar for extra weight.

    Hope this helps,
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    Tpreitzel,

    Here are a few items that may interest you.

    Squat stand that looks to be easily disassembled.
    http://www.werksanusa.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SQ+STAND

    This device looks promising for quad workout with dumbells.
    http://www.bodybuildingsecrets.com/a...ad_blaster.php

    Get a deadlift bar.
    http://www.strengthcats.com/strengthequipment.htm

    You may also want to look at ironmaster dumbells. Changeover isn't as quick but you could use them with a bar also.
    http://www.ironmaster.com/store/Quic...bells-c-1.html
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    I got an Everlast Pullup bar that can me taken down, and doesn't need a screw to stay up and an exercise ball.

    It's ok for travel, but thats about it.
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    A trap bar

    Powerblock/Ironmaster dbells

    A straight bar

    A compact bench
    Last edited by KSA; 07-22-2007 at 01:48 AM.
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    Guys & Gals,

    I appreciate all the ideas. Keep them coming. I've been saving money for these items for awhile as commercial gyms just cause me more pain than gain. Your suggestions are not only helping me, but others as well who are in similar circumstances. I periodically review this thread to refine my ideas before buying.

    Thanks!
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    Registered User tpreitzel's Avatar
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    I'm ready to buy this week. I'm likely to opt for Ironmaster DBs because they're considerably cheaper than Powerblocks and should accomplish the same thing. I'll also be purchasing a weighted vest this week. Furthermore, I'm considering buying some of the other items posted here in the near future such as the Body Rail. Finally, I can dump these stupid gyms and make some real, consistent progress in a mobile environment! Thanks again, everyone. I'll keep you posted!
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    Originally Posted by tpreitzel View Post
    I'm ready to buy this week. I'm likely to opt for Ironmaster DBs because they're considerably cheaper than Powerblocks and should accomplish the same thing. I'll also be purchasing a weighted vest this week. Furthermore, I'm considering buying some of the other items posted here in the near future such as the Body Rail. Finally, I can dump these stupid gyms and make some real, consistent progress in a mobile environment! Thanks again, everyone. I'll keep you posted!
    I am also getting the IM dumbbells due to the cost of powerblocks...either way I am just glad to have some heavy dumbbells and one thing I like about IM's is the fact that's it's just like a real dumbbell, also tough and the price is alot better for me lol

    JM
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