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  1. #1
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Do I sink $700 on home gym equipment, or wait?

    As you probably know all gyms in the UK have been forced to close. I'm sure it's the same everywhere else too.

    I've been looking at gym equipment online. For a barbell, 90kg weights, bench and rack I'm looking at around £600 (approx $700). That's not "commercial grade" equipment but I'm guessing it would suffice.

    To make matters worse, I don't have room, but my parents have a garage they might let me use. Because it's not my space, once this is over I'd have to sell the equipment.

    It's not worth it for a month, but if the gyms are closed for 3, 4, 5, 6 months or more, I think it's the only way I'll be able to carry on lifting. I'm not super strong but I just don't think bodyweight exercises will cut it.

    What do you reckon? Anyone else considering the same? I know some of you have home gyms already which I'm now envious of.
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  2. #2
    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    It's not worth it for a month, but if the gyms are closed for 3, 4, 5, 6 months or more, I think it's the only way I'll be able to carry on lifting.
    If businesses are forced to be closed that long, lifting will be the least of your worries. If I were in your shoes I would look into accessory equipment that is easily portable - bands, pull-up bar for a door, a set of adjustable dumbbells, push-up handles, fitness rings that can be suspended, etc. You could easily get in some challenging workouts to maintain and perhaps even continue to grow using techniques like blood flow restriction training and myo-reps. The equipment would be easily portable so you don't have to sell it after.
    Last edited by ectoBgone; 03-21-2020 at 06:24 AM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User NearlyBigAngus's Avatar
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    My expectation is that things like gyms probably won't re-open for at least 3 months - they need to be shut for this long for their closure to be effective against viral transmission. In addition, once the number of new domestic cases does begin to drop and measures become more relaxed, it is fairly likely that UK citizens who have been stuck abroad during this period will be able to return... bringing the virus back with them, leading to a second wave of infections. In this instance it is likely that we might see a return of control measures and things have to close again. Some of this depends on how the government approaches testing and isolation of returning citizens - but so far their track record isn't great and doesn't leave me full of optimism.

    Personally I'd see it as a good investment because you're future proofing your ability to work out - and you can always recoup a fair bit of your outlay by selling it once things have settled down if you didn't want to keep it.
    Last edited by NearlyBigAngus; 03-21-2020 at 08:43 AM.
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    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    I bought a rogue echo bar set with bumper plates. I'm doing Olympic lifting so the only thing I can't do is heavy back squats since that's more than I can clean. I bought it right before the outbreak mostly so I could avoid the lines at the gym.

    For me very worth it.
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    Registered User ajdahlheimer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    I bought a rogue echo bar set with bumper plates. I'm doing Olympic lifting so the only thing I can't do is heavy back squats since that's more than I can clean. I bought it right before the outbreak mostly so I could avoid the lines at the gym.

    For me very worth it.
    You have a link to this? I love Rogue stuff, but it seems like their stuff is significantly more expensive than the more generic brands. I am in the market for some bumper plates myself.
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    £700 could be spent more wisely, maybe a couple of rolls of bog roll and a bar of soap.

    On a more serious note, given instability of income (for many), and what you can get in the shops being more expensive (partly because of buying different products to usual) just IMHO... be more prudent and keep the £700 for "a rainy day" because it's looking a bit #@*** cloudy outside. Just IMHO.

    Collar/plate dumbbells are useful. Sure, not so great for a heavy back squat, an Olly lift, or deadlift - but functional for everything else. A pair of those + working on pistol squat progression and bridges should keep you going for now?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mirafit-M...s/402057783473

    Sure these 2" are really expensive compared to 1" dumbbells, but it does mean any plates you get can be shared with a barbell at a later date, even the collars.

    The working estimated time for these restrictions for UK is = or >12 weeks from now. Let's hope some warm weather arrives soon and means we don't need the restrictions that long. (If has anything in common with seasonal flu, warm weather will really help things)

    Originally Posted by ajdahlheimer View Post
    You have a link to this? I love Rogue stuff, but it seems like their stuff is significantly more expensive than the more generic brands. I am in the market for some bumper plates myself.
    Maybe one day... I'll own a rogue or Eleiko bar and some Hi temp plates, perhaps one day?

    I note Rogue have a version 3 of their "operator" bar in a selection of drab colours (olive drab, desert tan, woodland) which must be very useful if you need to bring a bar on a covert mission, WTF??
    Last edited by OldFartTom; 03-21-2020 at 10:11 AM.
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    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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  7. #7
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Going through the same mental debate myself right now. After doing a bit of research, I can get a very basic consumer grade bench/rack and weight set for around $300, which would be a barbell, 2 45s, and 2 25s. That should work for everything but deadlifts.

    I pay $45/month for gym membership, so assuming I cancel my membership when I buy the equipment, I'd make the money back in well less than a year.

    A power rack is the other equipment I'm looking at, gives you pull-ups/dips/abs.

    Right now all I have is a dumbbell and ez-curl bar with a set of plates that go up to 65lb, leftover from my high school days. I did a workout last night, "push" with 1 arm db press, 1 arm Arnold press, db kickbacks, and dips between 2 chairs. It was better than nothing, but definitely didn't feel the intensity of a normal workout.

    I'm thinking I will wait until April 1 to see how things look. If it looks like it's going to be another 1+ month I'm going to bite the bullet and make the switch to home gym. Except if I do it, I think I'm going to make it a permanent switch.

    Would miss the gym just because I like the change of scenery and social aspect...but like you said, I can't go who knows how many months without a proper workout.
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  8. #8
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ectoBgone View Post
    If businesses are forced to be closed that long, lifting will be the least of your worries. If I were in your shoes I would look into accessory equipment that is easily portable - bands, pull-up bar for a door, a set of adjustable dumbbells, push-up handles, fitness rings that can be suspended, etc. You could easily get in some challenging workouts to maintain and perhaps even continue to grow using techniques like blood flow restriction training and myo-reps. The equipment would be easily portable so you don't have to sell it after.
    ^^^This is also the route I would take in your situation. It's flexible, portable, and should be effective. And you can continue to use it whenever the gyms reopen -- and we don't know when that will be.

    Failing that, maybe you can get a deal on a larger place!
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    Registered User Eternalstuden79's Avatar
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    I'm lucky that my gym at work is staying open.
    But

    I have a cheap rack Mirfit £70 from amazon, bench £60, and a bar and weights (150kg bumper plates £350 and bar £120). This lot moves with me everywhere I go, as not all my gyms are open 24/7.

    I am lucky that my profession is kind of in demand at the moment, but if I was in a different line of work I would be more concerned about my future finances.
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  10. #10
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post

    I'm thinking I will wait until April 1 to see how things look. If it looks like it's going to be another 1+ month I'm going to bite the bullet and make the switch to home gym. Except if I do it, I think I'm going to make it a permanent switch.
    Yeah, the places I'm looking at the moment are sold out of everything, and increased their delivery times. I'm thinking of having 1-2 weeks off, then 1-2 weeks of whatever I can do with body weight, then evaluate from there. Buying equipment will be totally dependent on whether I can use my parent's garage, I haven't asked them yet!
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    Registered User lotusdeva's Avatar
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    I bought dumbbells, bands and about to order small squat rack with barbell. Even when gyms will reopen ( my gym manager said they are looking at 5 months), I am not going there for a while, not until there is medicine and/or vaccine for it
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    I don’t believe there is anyway they can keep everything shut down for more than a couple of months (even that is a stretch I believe). You would have mass bankruptcies and thousands of failed businesses. Unless that IS the reality of this situation and I’m living in lala land. I built my gym awhile back and now I am glad I did.
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  13. #13
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    I don’t believe there is anyway they can keep everything shut down for more than a couple of months (even that is a stretch I believe). You would have mass bankruptcies and thousands of failed businesses. Unless that IS the reality of this situation and I’m living in lala land. I built my gym awhile back and now I am glad I did.
    Damn, now I'm not only envious of your physique but also your home gym LOL
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    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    Damn, now I'm not only envious of your physique but also your home gym LOL
    Believe it or not I picked up that hoist rack, 350lbs of steel, troy barbell, hoist bench and the dip rack for $350. It was on clist. Went to meet the guy and I asked him straight out why so cheap. Asked him if I would be arrested if caught with it. Without getting too much into it he mentioned the proceedings of a divorce and that he wanted to liquidate a lot of his stuff quickly. I said say no more and took it. The stairmaster stepmill I got from a local gym for $250 after they purchased new ones. Bodysolid adjustable bench I picked up for $150. Built the whole gym for around $1000. Got seriously lucky.
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  15. #15
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Believe it or not I picked up that hoist rack, 350lbs of steel, troy barbell, hoist bench and the dip rack for $350. It was on clist. Went to meet the guy and I asked him straight out why so cheap. Asked him if I would be arrested if caught with it. Without getting too much into it he mentioned the proceedings of a divorce and that he wanted to liquidate a lot of his stuff quickly. I said say no more and took it. The stairmaster stepmill I got from a local gym for $250 after they purchased new ones. Bodysolid adjustable bench I picked up for $150. Built the whole gym for around $1000. Got seriously lucky.
    That's good, but it looks like you also have the space. One of the problems I have is no space (UK homes are on average a lot smaller than US counterparts). If I could get dirt cheap equipment I'd stick it in the garden and not worry too much about it being ravaged by the weather, but can't really bear to do that when buying new.

    Edit: I've been looking at equipment again this morning. I'm thinking if I get an independent squat stand, perhaps I can bring them indoors along with the weights, and just leave the bench outside (perhaps covered over). My wife won't be happy.

    Independent squat stand: £80 ($90)
    Bench: £80 ($90)
    90kg weights with 7 foot bar: £200 ($235)

    The heaviest I can lift at the moment with free weights is 100kg on front squats, so 90kg would suffice for now.
    Last edited by MrCarrot; 03-22-2020 at 03:08 AM.
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    Check out the book Convict conditioning.

    You can find the book used on amazon for cheap.

    I don’t own the book, nor have I used the methods but I have heard it mentioned here before and it gets good reviews on Amazon.
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    Despite the current situation...investing in a home gym was the BEST decision I ever made (related to working out). All you need is some kinda rack, bench, bars, and dumbbells to do everything you need. Yes, you can expand (if you have space and money) but those are just bells and whistles that nobody really needs.

    Warning, 9 out of 10 guys who start a home gym never go back to the commercial gym.
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Despite the current situation...investing in a home gym was the BEST decision I ever made (related to working out). All you need is some kinda rack, bench, bars, and dumbbells to do everything you need. Yes, you can expand (if you have space and money) but those are just bells and whistles that nobody really needs.

    Warning, 9 out of 10 guys who start a home gym never go back to the commercial gym.
    I'll be honest, I'm the other way around. I had a home gym in my bedroom in my teens and eventually outgrew it, and that's when I joined a gym. There might be a difference between UK and USA, where typically the average person in the UK has pretty limited space and when they do have a "gym" at home it tends to be a cheap bench and around 30kg of weights in a corner somewhere.

    At the moment I have literally zero space for a home setup other than the garden. But I'm thinking of putting it in the garden during the spring, summer and autumn and re-evaluating what to do in the winter.
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    Originally Posted by shaneinga View Post
    Check out the book Convict conditioning.

    You can find the book used on amazon for cheap.

    I don’t own the book, nor have I used the methods but I have heard it mentioned here before and it gets good reviews on Amazon.
    Reading it again now, there's a huge sales pitch on why calisthenics=good and weights=bad, which ignores enjoyment or sport factors (e.g. powerlifting, Strongman), but if you can grit your teeth on that section, it's a very good book
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
    Diet restarted, target 69.x Kg, progress poor so far :(
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    I'll be honest, I'm the other way around. I had a home gym in my bedroom in my teens and eventually outgrew it, and that's when I joined a gym. There might be a difference between UK and USA, where typically the average person in the UK has pretty limited space and when they do have a "gym" at home it tends to be a cheap bench and around 30kg of weights in a corner somewhere.

    At the moment I have literally zero space for a home setup other than the garden. But I'm thinking of putting it in the garden during the spring, summer and autumn and re-evaluating what to do in the winter.
    My space is tiny - about 5ft x 7ft in my shed. I have a squat stand with safety spotters and dip handles, a selection of bars (4ft - 6ft) including an EZ bar and a folding bench. I have about 180kg of cast iron plates and a wooden beam across the roof joists that I put up for pull ups. I hinged one of my work benches so it folds up out of the way for working out and back down when I need to use it - the squat stand and bench fit underneath and the bars are racked on the wall so everything stows away neatly.

    Can you fit a shed in your garden of make a small covered pergola?
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    Originally Posted by ajdahlheimer View Post
    You have a link to this? I love Rogue stuff, but it seems like their stuff is significantly more expensive than the more generic brands. I am in the market for some bumper plates myself.
    https://www.roguefitness.com/socal-econ-bar-plate-set

    Its not a lot of weight, but it's as much as I can jerk atm so I'll add some plates when I get better.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    No.
    You need though to have alternatives that you can easily use and store at your own place.
    Straps like TRX,Lifeline or blast straps that hook up easily in a door frame or other way.
    Many great leverage bodyweight movements you can do with them.
    Learn to use a kettlebell.
    So much you can do with this tool that takes up a very small space.
    Once you learn correct technique on ballistic and grind movements you'll have a lot of options.
    I wouldn't sink $700 in home equipment unless i was able to keep it.
    Who knows when something like what we are going through will happen again.
    Good luck.
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    My buddy works at a local crossfit gym and he's been advising his clients to get a sandbag from Amazon and he's structured them some home workouts with a sandbag.

    I have a home gym already but thinking of getting a sandbag as well (but I do have a concrete patio in my backyard and weather is clearing up nice here in California). I mean any fitness is still fitness.
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Whilst I'm tempted, absolutely nothing is in stock. A few web sites are even removing product pages altogether because they have no stock and are receiving an insane number of hits for stuff they don't have.

    For the time being I've been doing pull ups and today I found a giant tractor tyre in a field so I flipped that over several times and then did kind of partial deadlifts with it, followed by one legged squats by stepping up onto the tyre with one leg.

    I borrowed some push up handles so will start doing weighted pushups, and I'm going to fill a bucket with sand and attempt curls with that.

    I must admit whilst it's far from ideal I feel less anxious doing something rather than nothing, and the exercise keeps my nutrition on track.
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    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    I don’t believe there is anyway they can keep everything shut down for more than a couple of months (even that is a stretch I believe). You would have mass bankruptcies and thousands of failed businesses. Unless that IS the reality of this situation and I’m living in lala land. I built my gym awhile back and now I am glad I did.
    Probably true, but gyms will be considered both non-essential and dangerous likely being pretty late to be allowed to re-open. If your financial situation is solid I'd lean towards getting equipment, if it's shaky then keep your money, you may need it.
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Whilst I'm tempted, absolutely nothing is in stock.
    Given your constraints you should probably consider odd implements and a strong man type routine. Should be fairly easy to find or make some kind of heavy objects you wouldn't mind storing out in the yard. (treated lumber, concrete, used metal, large rocks, tires etc.)
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    Check Amazon. You can get cheap squat stands, adjustable benches, barbells and plates on there with fast shipping. I got a cheap bench on there and it was at my place in two days.
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    Before they closed down, I was talking to the owner of the gym I deliver mail to...he told me a bunch of people were trying to “rent” dumbbells and barbells from him before it closed down. Ha ha. I understand the desire to work out...but not like anyone is going to lose their gains in a couple months...he’ll, it would probably do some people some good to completely recover from all the overtraining they are doing.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Definitely don't blow the £700, economise for now. You don't know what tomorrow will bring.

    The company where I've been working have decided not to renew lots of people's contracts (after 1st April) for "stability reasons" due to Covid So looks like I'll be looking for a new role next week. Normally I checkout their nearest gym before I apply for any roles (it's an important factor!), not sure how that'll all work currently?
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