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  1. #1
    Registered User Will2warr's Avatar
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    Question Home Gym and General Advice

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this site, but am interested in getting into body building, or at least building some muscle. Little background, I’m 5’11, and about 180. I have a somewhat muscular physique, I guess you would say I am a mesomorph. Anyways, I was about 200lbs 2 years ago (excess fat). I went on the Keto diet for 9 months and lost a little over 30lbs with no exercise. At that point I kept the eating habits; no sugar, very low carb, and in general nothing processed and added daily exercise to my approach (30-60/day). To be clear, I was never strict keto, I wasn’t really measuring anything and probably ate way more protein than is allowed in a strict approach. I did this for about 9 months. I put on about 5-10lbs of muscle, and with very little fat to begin with I was happy with the way I looked. I’m a 35yr old father of 6 who works a desk job, so better than all the other dads at the pool. Lol. Unfortunately about 4 months ago I fell off the eating right wagon and stopped working out due to a pretty severe back injury that is still nagging me today, I got up to about 191 and lost a lot of muscle. I’m trying to get back on track though. I’m 3 weeks back to eating right and that alone does wonders for how I feel. I want to start exercising again, but felt that any gains I had the last time were somewhat limited because of my workout equipment. The gym is not an option for me. I have 2x 35lb dumbbells and a pull up bar. I tried to use what I had in as many different ways as possible. I preferred body weight/free weights and trying for the best form as opposed to isolated muscle exercises.

    I have about $3-400 to spend on beefing up my home set up and I want something that can help me workout my whole body. Also, if anyone has suggestions on routines (or links) I’m all ears. As for the diet, I am not looking to change too much, the low carb no sugar non processed stuff has helped me immensely with some medical issues I was having, but if you have suggestions within that box I would be interested.

    Thanks,

    Lee
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  2. #2
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    If the gym isn't an option then buy used equipment, here is the minimum:

    Power Rack
    Adjustable bench (Flat / Incline)
    Olympic bar & Collars
    Olympic plates

    Plenty of good beginner routines in the workout routines section, pick one.
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  3. #3
    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    $300-400 isn't really much money for a proper no-frills home gym. There are some threads "stickied" to the top of this page that you should read first. Buying new, you'd be hard-pressed to get a weight set, bench, and rack for under $1,000 and not have crappy, unsafe equipment. Buy used as much as you can until you figure out what you want and need.
    You need a good rack, a bench, and a 300-lb Olympic weight set. Now, what was your question?

    My home gym: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=652376&p=1465291461&viewfull=1#post1465291461.

    ()---() York Barbell Club #1 (DD, RH, Kg) ()---() []---[] Equipment Crew #36 []---[] []---[] Ivanko Barbell Crew #51 []---[] [M]===[6] Mech6 Crew #29 [M]===[6] ~~ 4 Horsemen ~~
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    Registered User dagdafitness's Avatar
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    That's a really low budget. I would sell your dumbbells for $0.80/lb. You'd then have 350-450 ish. Buy a used FID utility bench and some adjustable dumbbells. Either spinlock(cheapest option) or powerblocks/iron master. Workout with the DBs, bench and pull-up bar until you save enough for a rack, barbell and Oly plates.
    -632931 to -285725 rep. / working almost minimally to make that number respectable ;)
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  5. #5
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    With a low budget, you should get a nice solid used bench, some spinlock dumbbells and some bars and a lot of weight plates, all standard (1 inch hole). Standard EZ and tricep bar will be nice too if budget allows. Olympic are nice, but they will be over your budget, my standard bars would only bend over 150kg, and you won't need that much weight for a long time. Once you get more money and if you haven't gave up, you can buy Olympic barbell set, and all the standard plates will still be very useful for your dumbbells (Olympic dumbbells are terrible).

    Ask around your family too, you probably have an uncle who has some old standard plates and bars lying around that he hasn't used since he was in his 20's.

    If you bench press, don't use collars, so you can tip the weights off yourself.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Rakshar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BenMcLeodNZ View Post
    With a low budget, you should get a nice solid used bench, some spinlock dumbbells and some bars and a lot of weight plates, all standard (1 inch hole). Standard EZ and tricep bar will be nice too if budget allows. Olympic are nice, but they will be over your budget, my standard bars would only bend over 150kg, and you won't need that much weight for a long time. Once you get more money and if you haven't gave up, you can buy Olympic barbell set, and all the standard plates will still be very useful for your dumbbells (Olympic dumbbells are terrible).

    Ask around your family too, you probably have an uncle who has some old standard plates and bars lying around that he hasn't used since he was in his 20's.

    If you bench press, don't use collars, so you can tip the weights off yourself.
    I spent a little over a year just using an adjustable bench and some powerblocks and felt I got a relatively decent workout with that combo.
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  7. #7
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rakshar View Post
    I spent a little over a year just using an adjustable bench and some powerblocks and felt I got a relatively decent workout with that combo.
    You could go indefinitely with that set up. Power blocks are super uneconomical on a budget though.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Rakshar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BenMcLeodNZ View Post
    You could go indefinitely with that set up. Power blocks are super uneconomical on a budget though.
    A pair of new elite powerblocks from the power block website is $299 and would cover most dumbbell combinations up to 50 pounds as well as having the option to expand up to 90 pounds down the road as budget allows. That would leave roughly $100 for a cheap bench on a $400 budget. I do agree that spinlocks would definitely be cheaper although less user friendly.

    I am personally not a fan of investing in bars for solitary workouts without a rack setup due to potential risks without a spotter.
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  9. #9
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    I see what you mean. In many ways, bars are safer if you're not an idiot in using them, and if you get killed by one, you probably would have been killed doing something else stupid anyway.
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  10. #10
    Registered User RGrizzzz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dagdafitness View Post
    That's a really low budget. I would sell your dumbbells for $0.80/lb. You'd then have 350-450 ish. Buy a used FID utility bench and some adjustable dumbbells. Either spinlock(cheapest option) or powerblocks/iron master. Workout with the DBs, bench and pull-up bar until you save enough for a rack, barbell and Oly plates.
    This is good advice. Bands are useful, and cheap.
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