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    Registered User jeffcomp's Avatar
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    Workout equip recommendation, please

    Hi all - hope everyone is staying healthy!

    Understandably, I am likely not the first person to ask about this, so if there is another thread that covers this well, feel free to point me there.

    I just closed on a townhouse, and now will have space to get some workout equip. I don't have any really specific goals, but I would like to lose some weight, burn some fat, and build muscle. I know... unique, ain't it?

    The space I have is 12.5 x 11. I do not have a workout partner, so I will have nobody to do any spotting. I work out a little now with free weights; I guess I will keep going there.

    First (and only) thought I have is an exercise bike. Not into the Pelaton idea, but maybe a Schwinn IC3, or similar?

    What else should I get? I hate the term "money is not an option", but truth be told, I have cash to spend, and I have no issue with putting it towards my body and general health.

    One other thought - a friend of mine told me to not get a Bowflex, as it's not "real resistance". Any truth to that, and should I stay away?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by jeffcomp; 12-03-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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  2. #2
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Bowflex is often referred to as Blowflex and for good reason. They're simply not well made and not recommended.

    If you want to start with the basics, consider a good adjustable bench (FI or FID depending on your preference) and a set of adjustable dumbbells (Powerblocks and Ironmasters get my vote). Alternately, or in addition to, a power rack, barbell and some plates. If I had money to spend and was only going to buy one machine, it would probably be a functional trainer. The Inspire FT1 or the Inspire sold at Costco are good bets if buying new. If you're into biking, I have little advice to offer. Biking aggravates the s**t out of my knees so I avoid it these days. The old Schwinn Airdynes are well made though and the monitors can be upgraded as well.
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    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    Bowflex is often referred to as Blowflex and for good reason. They're simply not well made and not recommended.

    If you want to start with the basics, consider a good adjustable bench (FI or FID depending on your preference) and a set of adjustable dumbbells (Powerblocks and Ironmasters get my vote). Alternately, or in addition to, a power rack, barbell and some plates. If I had money to spend and was only going to buy one machine, it would probably be a functional trainer. The Inspire FT1 or the Inspire sold at Costco are good bets if buying new. If you're into biking, I have little advice to offer. Biking aggravates the s**t out of my knees so I avoid it these days. The old Schwinn Airdynes are well made though and the monitors can be upgraded as well.
    I totally agree with Duplicitous, Bowflex equipment is overpriced, overhyped, poorly engineered and bio-mechanically inefficient.

    If you want to go down the free weight route, then the most versatile will be the rack, bench and Olympic weight set, but a an adjustable bench adjustable dumbbells can cover most of the basics, especially if combined with a few kettlebells.

    Again I have to agree, if you want to go with a single machine, then the functional trainer would be my choice and at it's price point the Inspire FT1 would be hard to beat. Another option is a home leverage system, Body Solid or Powertec are both good units, but my preference would be a Functional Trainer over a leverage system.

    Cardio wise you could also consider a rowing machine, the Concept 2 would be my recommendation.
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    First off congrats on prioritizing your health, and having the foresight to do some research!
    As others have said, don't buy Bowflex. From my perspective, more because it's hard to stay motivated to pull "just one more rod" and be satisfied. As opposed to testing your max BP and then beating it by 5 lbs the next week.

    Fitness success long term is all about whatever it is that motivates you to get into that garage consistently, 3x per week or whatever, and grind it out. Or looking forward to rowing 3000m on your beautiful Concept 2 rower. Or adding 10lb to your overhead dumbbell press with your sweet Ironmasters.

    Doing a competitive sport, individual or team, really pours fire on your motivation as well. Thought I realize team sports are pretty much out right now.

    Anyway, yea, get a FI bench, squat stands with spotters, barbell and weights, adj. dumbells, a pullup bar, and get to it!
    BTW as I've said elsewhere, I bought individual Titan squat stands, and use sawhorses I bought from Home Depot years ago to sport my bench press. Works fine for me so far...Get creative!
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    Above guys took care of you with main needs:

    Top Tier - barbell, power rack with safeties (or squat stand with safeties), bench (flat/incline/maybe decline as well but not necessary) and plates. Horse stall mats from tractor supply are also cheap and effective flooring. Regupol being the high end flooring option but it's binary between these two.

    Cardio - bike or rower (concept2 was already mentioned)

    Second Tier - Dumbbells - powerblock or ironmaster offer the best adjustables with most other options sucking. A lat pulldown/low row offers a lot (Titan makes a model that's a great value), maybe a functional trainer - Inspire FT1 is great and Costco version FTX is a fabulous deal.

    OKAY - here's the issue...a lot of this stuff is very hard to get right now. Usually you can just pay retail and pretty much get what you want but with Covid it's been hard and lots of. Used market is even tougher with hoarders trying to mark up prices though not as bad as it was. Here are some useful sites that offer decent value/quality - not super high end but just about everyone would agree decent here and not some big box store crap.

    Rogue Fitness
    Rep Fitness
    Titan Fitness
    Elite FTS
    Legend
    American Barbell
    Ivanko
    Inspire
    Ironmaster
    Powerblock
    Amazon has some of this stuff too

    I'm sure someone else can offer a few names. Definitely check availability, pricing and shipping costs as lots of high shipping today. Oh - don't skimp on a barbell either. There's a budget setup thread stickied I think. Decent reading for what to look for.

    Hope that helps.
    ▪█─────█▪ Rogue Barbell Crew #27 ▪█─────█▪

    ▪█─────█▪ Mech6 Crew #26 ▪█─────█▪

    Home Gym: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175136471&p=1615740991&viewfull=1#post1615740991
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    Could get a real bike and put it on a trainer such as Wahoo KICKR Core. Otherwise for a stationary bike you could try the Concept 2 Bike Erg.
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    Originally Posted by jeffcomp View Post
    Hi all - hope everyone is staying healthy!

    Understandably, I am likely not the first person to ask about this, so if there is another thread that covers this well, feel free to point me there.

    I just closed on a townhouse, and now will have space to get some workout equip. I don't have any really specific goals, but I would like to lose some weight, burn some fat, and build muscle. I know... unique, ain't it?

    The space I have is 12.5 x 11. I do not have a workout partner, so I will have nobody to do any spotting. I work out a little now with free weights; I guess I will keep going there.

    First (and only) thought I have is an exercise bike. Not into the Pelaton idea, but maybe a Schwinn IC3, or similar?

    What else should I get? I hate the term "money is not an option", but truth be told, I have cash to spend, and I have no issue with putting it towards my body and general health.

    One other thought - a friend of mine told me to not get a Bowflex, as it's not "real resistance". Any truth to that, and should I stay away?

    Thanks in advance.
    A pull up bar, an adjustable bench (inclined+declined), a squat cage/squat rack, a barbell and enough weight.
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  8. #8
    Registered User jeffcomp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gym62richard View Post
    I totally agree with Duplicitous, Bowflex equipment is overpriced, overhyped, poorly engineered and bio-mechanically inefficient.
    So, umm, I guess you are not a Bowflex fan?

    Thanks for all the nice replies!

    When you guys say "power rack", do you mean something like this?:

    www dot dickssportinggoods.com/p/ethos-power-rack-1-0-17au6uthspwrrck10gmu

    And is the idea that I would then buy a barbell, plates, and an adjustable bench to go along with that rack?

    I took a look at this demo of the Inspire:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    Looks nice, but seems rather lackluster to me; I can do many of those exercises with free weights and exercise bands. Maybe not all, but I think most.

    The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    Looks nice too, but I question the flexibility here as well.

    The BRUTEforce 360PTX looks pretty darn good:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    ...but I am not sure I want to spend that much. Not if I am getting a bike and a rower as well.

    Which brings me to... do I need a bike AND a rower? Is one or the other sufficient, or should both really be on the menu?
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  9. #9
    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jeffcomp View Post
    So, umm, I guess you are not a Bowflex fan?

    Thanks for all the nice replies!

    When you guys say "power rack", do you mean something like this?:

    www dot dickssportinggoods.com/p/ethos-power-rack-1-0-17au6uthspwrrck10gmu

    And is the idea that I would then buy a barbell, plates, and an adjustable bench to go along with that rack?

    I took a look at this demo of the Inspire:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    Looks nice, but seems rather lackluster to me; I can do many of those exercises with free weights and exercise bands. Maybe not all, but I think most.

    The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    Looks nice too, but I question the flexibility here as well.

    The BRUTEforce 360PTX looks pretty darn good:

    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

    ...but I am not sure I want to spend that much. Not if I am getting a bike and a rower as well.

    Which brings me to... do I need a bike AND a rower? Is one or the other sufficient, or should both really be on the menu?
    You're correct, no Bowflex fan here, there's a whole sticky thread on Bowflex equipment, read it, it may be informative.

    Yes the Ethos rack get's pretty decent reviews here, it looks like a solid rack for the money, combine it with a decent adjustable bench and Olympic bar and plates and you have the foundation of a good home gym.

    I mentioned the Inspire FT1 only if free weights were not an option, the FT1 would make a great addition to a rack bench set up, but you could replicate many of it's functions with a set of dumbbells, but not all, besides cables do add something different. Having said this, after a rack, bench set up any additions are for variety, I'd advise taking your time, once you've had some time with a rack set up, then reassess your training needs.

    Cardio wise, personally I'd start out with one piece of cardio equipment, bike or rowing machine?, which do you prefer?, if you hate a particular piece of equipment, you ain't going to use it.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Brandon2576's Avatar
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    I would try to get a barbell, plates, bench, and a power rack. That covers the basics you will be able to do so much with that (squat, bench, deadlift, rows, pullUps, overhead press, etc).

    You can get a few sets of dumbbells too, but dumbbells build up in price pretty fast (which I know you said you don’t care about price but still who doesn’t wanna save money).

    I wouldn’t invest in any cardio machines like treadmills or bikes. If you wanna do cardio, just go on a run outside or a bike ride. You don’t need a fancy expensive machine to do cardio.

    On a final note, if you wanna lose fat, you gotta “put the fork down” as coach Greg would say. It’s all about the calories in calories out. You gotta eat less calories. When you eat less calories you go into a caloric deficit which causes weight loss.
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