PDA

View Full Version : Couch to deadlift: bowflex question



HellgaVon
01-23-2012, 03:06 PM
Hey all! Ok, I'm a reforming couch potato. 41 years old and 41 lbs overweight - whoa! So, I'm going from sedentary to lifting, and I've never lifted free weights, they're kind of intimidating to me. I like machines, but I'm trying to work up to doing a basic free weight set.

Here's my question: I can pick up a Bowflex for $200 on Craigslist. I was thinking about getting it and using it to work up to being in shape enough to go into a gym and do 'real' weights. Does this sound like a good idea? Then, once I'm in gym, I can resell the Bowflex if I'm done with it.

Before you say, oh honey, just go into the gym, take a second and realize that I'm wildly out of shape, and I want to strengthen tendons and muscles enough to be able to work out without wrecking myself. I'm doing dance, walking, and body weight strength exercises, would a Bowflex help or is that a waste of $200?

manganostrength
01-23-2012, 03:15 PM
Before you say, oh honey, just go into the gym

Sounds like you already know what answers your going to get ;) But honestly, doing the bowflex is better than doing nothing at all, and if the gym intimidates you then get the bowflex.

DocTats
01-23-2012, 03:23 PM
I'm pretty ignorant about Bowflex (know what it is but never tried it) but I think the machines at the gym will prepare you for free weights just as well, if not better, than the Bowflex. Also can sneak in some light free weight exercise gradually while on a machine oriented routine. But if you rather work out at home for now (which is understandable because I hate going to the gym as well), then go for it.

billb7581
01-23-2012, 03:34 PM
nothing wrong with the Bowflex, just dont expect to look like the guy in the Bowflex commercial, I am fairly certain he used free weights LOL

otiskii
01-23-2012, 03:50 PM
Free weights will prepare you for free weights. They even go down to 2.5 pounds. And, even the guys that squat 400 will use those little plates. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Most people have respect when they see someone trying to improve themselves. If they don't, then why do you as an adult care what that type of person thinks of you? Just do it.

After not lifting for 20+ years I went to Dick's because my wife wanted to check out a bowflex before we looked for a used one. I maxxed out on the demo. Your mileage may vary. If you have room for a bowflex you probably have room for a power rack. Then you'd never need to go to the gym.

HellgaVon
01-23-2012, 05:05 PM
You guys are awesome. I know that anything will work if :I: do the work, a couple of rocks and some sweat will slab on some muscle if I keep at it.

I'll go check out the hardcore local gym tomorrow and make a decision from there. This place is supposed to be dirty, crowded with equipment, and full of serious power lifters - I think anyone caught wearing lulu lemon is dragged out back and tied to a 200 lb plate ;)

I might just get the Bowflex too :shrug:

Thanks!

philipj
01-23-2012, 05:22 PM
During one of the times I was in the best shape ever, I used a light weight circuit, and 20 minutes on a different ski machine. All before breakfast. Really worked well for me.

Do not be afraid of going to a gym. In May I had anethesiology error during a minor operation. Knocked all the strength out of me and I spent weeks on a couch just too weak to do anything. After two months I started back at a nieghborhood gym, and was weaker than any of little girls or college kids there. Every day a little more comes back, every day just a little bit more.

sl73
01-23-2012, 05:35 PM
If you can motivate yourself to work out at home - it might work for you, but I agree with otiskii that power rack would be a better option in this case. Most bowflex and treadmill machines are bought with the same intentions as you have, but they end up collecting dust when initial enthusiasm is gone. There are a lot of people who successfully train at home and achieve great results, and there are people (myself including), who work hard in the gym but can not train at home. You just need to figure out what works for you.

MecGen
01-23-2012, 06:41 PM
You know....

A friend of mine gave me his Universal gym, york 2001 i think its called, when I first started . I said to myself if I use it for a year I will buy something decent. One year later I bought a used OLY set from kijiji because the york was worn to the bone. I replaced a couple pulleys/cables and bench pad, and still use it today.

anything will work if you use it

HellgaVon
01-23-2012, 07:46 PM
If you can motivate yourself to work out at home - it might work for you, but I agree with otiskii that power rack would be a better option in this case. Most bowflex and treadmill machines are bought with the same intentions as you have, but they end up collecting dust when initial enthusiasm is gone.

Yep! I was at 235 (ew) and dropped to 170 with simple stuff like wii fit, dance, and an elliptical. I got totally bored with the elliptical, and it turned into the usual clothes rack. I know the $200 Bowflex will only work for me for somewhere between 3 weeks and 3 months, then I'll sell it and move on or else it'll be a clothes rack too. I have a short attention span, and I'm trying to chart out several months of rewards - if I can Bowflex a while, then I can go do free weights, if I do enough dance at home, I can sign up for a Bhangra dance class, and etc. I'm way out of shape, so my beginning stuff is all about getting back into movement, then I get to add stuff in. For me, I know I'll have to keep changing it up if I don't want to burn out.

My big goal at the moment is to run through AllPro's beginner lifting sequence for half a year.

fishingeek
01-23-2012, 07:56 PM
I had a bowflex for about 2 months before I decided to go free weights.
It did teach me that I liked to work out but I outgrew it quickly.
I agree with otiskii, look for a used power rack and weight set on craigs list.
Buy Starting Strength go from there.

If the gym is more your style, just get started and go.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is feeling like they need to "get in shape" so they can go to the gym. All that thought process does is keep you out forever.
Suck it up and just go, I think you will find gym rats aren't there to make fun of new people, they are just trying to improve themselves like you are.

Geek

chodan9
01-23-2012, 07:57 PM
Before you say, oh honey, just go into the gym, take a second and realize that I'm wildly out of shape,
who wasn't :D
I surely was wildly out of shape, may as well just bite the bullet and go to the gym.
that said
the bow flex is a fine machine and 200 is reasonable if you use it regularly. I would not want to rely on it as my primary source of resistance training but it is a good supplemental training machine.

ironwill2008
01-23-2012, 07:57 PM
My big goal at the moment is to run through AllPro's beginner lifting sequence for half a year.

If you want to get good at something (building mass/strength), do the something, not something else (the boflex).

Don't waste you money, and your time, doing intermediate stuff thinking you're "getting ready" to do something else.

Beatletown
01-24-2012, 06:05 AM
Don't waste your money. Walk, do press ups, swim lift rocks etc. When you feel confident go to the gym when it is a bit quieter such as early mornings. I had the same issue.
Build a bit of confidence on the machines then go to the free weights. Stick on your ipod, beanie hat, ignore everyone and train like mad. Noone will care about you. I had one massive guy come over and spot me in the middle of a 150lb bench press set when I had not been at it long. He said that I trained with as much effort and intensity than anyone in the place. It made my day.

hammerfelt
01-24-2012, 07:19 AM
I walked for a year before starting free weights.

Take a look at StrongLifts. Most exercises you start with an empty bar, 45lbs.

Add 5 pounds to the bar every workout 3 days a week. A very simple linear progression that will have you lifting heavy weights in no time.

otiskii
01-24-2012, 08:52 AM
Yeah, the main difference between the power rack and the BF is you can't fold up the rack and move it out of the way. So that does matter. But getting in shape to go to the gym is like cleaning your house before the maid comes. And yes, you can do it with rocks, soup cans, books, anything will work. But we're guys. We like nice tools. I'm not a mechanic but have a pretty decent set of tools from craftsman to snap-on. Just get what you can or if you like going to the gym, go. My work schedule is such that I know if I joined a gym I'd never go and always find an excuse. Some folks love to go. It's all in what you WILL do. It's all better than sitting on the couch. I know from experience.

stillfit
01-24-2012, 02:25 PM
I get crap all the time for using a bowflex for 3 years. Here is what I did with my bowflex xtreme in 3 years.

HellgaVon
01-24-2012, 02:37 PM
I get crap all the time for using a bowflex for 3 years. Here is what I did with my bowflex xtreme in 3 years.

HFS that's a big change! Nice work.

I went into the gym today, and it's full of dirty intimidating equipment, had hardly any cardio machines except a few basics, and a ton of iron. It smelled like testosterone and grease. I loved it. The owner wasn't in, so I just ran through some basics on machines, but he'll be in later to run me through form on Allpro's sequence - btw a couple of gym rats saw it and they copied it and put it on the front desk to post, I got props for starting out right, heh!

I may still grab a Bowflex for cheap, just for those days when it's that or not work out, but that gym is pretty hardcore. Whatever I can do, I'm darn well going to do.

CaptChip40
01-24-2012, 02:58 PM
I get crap all the time for using a bowflex for 3 years. Here is what I did with my bowflex xtreme in 3 years.

Bowflex comes with a razor :) Serious, nice job, Bowflex should use you in their advertisements.

HellgaVon
01-27-2012, 01:59 PM
Well, I just ran through Allpro's workout at the gym (except standard deadlifts instead of stiff legged on gym owners recc.). Thanks so much for the encouragement guys - deadlifting 110 lbs. just changed my life. Seriously, I had no idea I could do it, and feeling strong is effing amazing. I'm glad I sacked up and went :)

otiskii
01-27-2012, 03:28 PM
The SLDLs are there for a reason. Seriously, it's ok now but when it gets heavy you won't like doing 2 sets of 12 reps of REAL heavy squats AND 2x12 of even heavier DLs the same workout.