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  1. #1
    Registered User madmax79818515's Avatar
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    Question Making a home gym and could use some advice

    Hi everyone. As the title states, I'm trying to do a home gym in the best way I can with the space I have.

    Since the gyms reopened I haven't been as consistent as i used to prior to covid, and now that i started nursing school, im averaging 0-1 day a week. Therefore i want to just workout from home to free up more time for me.

    Problem is i have minimal space. But i dont wanna neglect my health and nursing school is heavy, so i gotta do something. My main thing is i wanna build muscle and eliminate belly fat. Im 5'8 160 lbs. Basically i look like a skinny guy with athletic arms and a small belly that hides very well under a shirt.

    Here's some equipment I'm considering. Unfortunately, I only have 45 posts and I need 50 in order to link you guys directly to what I'm talking about, but I'll do the best I can:

    1. My doorframes are too weak for a pullup bar, i was considering one of those foldable pullup towers. Go to google and type in with quotes "GoBeast Pull Up Bar Free Standing Dip Station, Portable Power Tower Home Gym Equipment, Storage Bag and Downloadable Exercise Manual" in order to see it. Again, sorry, this site won't let me link it :/

    2. No room for barbells. Would adjustable (bowflex?) Or regular screw-on dumbbells be enough?

    3. For cardio i was considering a space saving mountain climbing machine.

    4. This foldable bench: Go to google and type in with quotes "Escape Fitness Multi Purpose Fitness Station Deck for Step, Weight Training, Bootcamps, and More with Backrest and Storage Bin"

    Im concerned that all that i listed above won't be enough to help me, especially the dumbbells. I looked into resistance bands like bodylastics/letsfit but i heard they're not as effective as weights. But then again, I see that there are people here who follow plans involving only dumbbells (i.e. fierce 5), so I'm not sure.

    Any insight/advice please?
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  2. #2
    heavily caffeinated grapegorilla's Avatar
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    If you have enough room for "GoBeast Pull Up Bar Free Standing Dip Station, Portable Power Tower Home Gym Equipment, Storage Bag and Downloadable Exercise Manual" then you probably have enough space for a half rack or folding rack (https://www.roguecanada.ca/rogue-rml...all-mount-rack) that will allow you to pullups but also more. You may not have space for a full size barbell, but I have a training version that I think is 5' wide. You won't stack real weight on it, but it may be enough for now. Yes I would suggest the selecttech type dumbbells, but if you do go with free weights on a barbell you might look at getting some dumbbell handles and adding free weight as needed. For cardio, with space restrictions I'd be looking for something that folds up and or can be hung on a wall -- rower comes to mind. No idea about that bench. I can say that I've purchased crapy benches and sold them to buy a decent solid bench. If you can't actually try it out first then I would stick with a quality name brand.

    The rack opens up more options if you can get a barbell in there.
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  3. #3
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    I have a very small gym of ironmaster 75 dumbbells, ironmaster superbench pro, concept 2 rower, and 16kg and 28kg kettlebells. These things might be hard to get with the pandemic but you might be able to do something similarly minimalist, substituting whatever you can find. Could do powerblocks or spinlock dumbbells, a small utility bench, and a cheap road bike with a wahoo kickr core smart trainer for example.

    edit:
    flat bench: https://www.repfitness.com/strength-...ion-flat-bench this thing can be stored vertically on its end, has wheels
    2x100lb dumbbell set: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MN50JFQ

    cardio:
    https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices...-smart-trainer
    Put a real bike of your choice on it. Look into Zwift: https://www.zwift.com
    or hunt around on some classifieds, get an airdyne.
    Last edited by ampire; 02-18-2021 at 11:07 AM.
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  4. #4
    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    I have a very small gym of ironmaster 75 dumbbells, ironmaster superbench pro, concept 2 rower, and 16kg and 28kg kettlebells. These things might be hard to get with the pandemic but you might be able to do something similarly minimalist, substituting whatever you can find. Could do powerblocks or spinlock dumbbells, a small utility bench, and a cheap road bike with a wahoo kickr core smart trainer for example.

    edit:
    flat bench: https://www.repfitness.com/strength-...ion-flat-bench this thing can be stored vertically on its end, has wheels
    2x100lb dumbbell set: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MN50JFQ

    cardio:
    https://www.wahoofitness.com/devices...-smart-trainer
    Put a real bike of your choice on it. Look into Zwift: https://www.zwift.com
    or hunt around on some classifieds, get an airdyne.
    I'll second the recommendation for the Ironmaster Super Bench Pro, which stands up for storage and has a number of attachments that may save space. It also has a hybrid pad option to increase the width.

    My Rep FB5000 does not stand up perfectly for storage. Unless they updated the design (they should), the pad compresses when you try to stand it on end. I solved this by attaching a magnetic 1.25 lb hex Platemate to the end of the frame, but most people won't have one of those laying around.

    My other recommendation to save space is gymnastics rings. They are inexpensive and easily mounted to the ceiling with commonly available hardware from Home Depot or Lowes. This is a great way to do pull-ups. They work for dips and push-ups as well.
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    Registered User madmax79818515's Avatar
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    Thanks but I don't think I'll bet able to fit that rack in my house. It looks a lot taller than the GoBeast foldable station.

    Is it possible I can substitute pullups/lat pulldowns for something with dumbbells or resistance bands? Or would that option be ineffective?

    Also, how many weights should I buy for the dumbbells? Like up to 45 lb? At the moment, I can handle up to 15 lb each hand, as I said I've been inconsistent so I have to start small. Will I be able to build muscle with dumbbells alone though?
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  6. #6
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by madmax79818515 View Post
    Thanks but I don't think I'll bet able to fit that rack in my house. It looks a lot taller than the GoBeast foldable station.

    Is it possible I can substitute pullups/lat pulldowns for something with dumbbells or resistance bands? Or would that option be ineffective?

    Also, how many weights should I buy for the dumbbells? Like up to 45 lb? At the moment, I can handle up to 15 lb each hand, as I said I've been inconsistent so I have to start small. Will I be able to build muscle with dumbbells alone though?
    A 2x100 lb kit would build a lot of muscle, if you gain the strength to use them. The more you can lift, the more strength you gain, the more muscle you gain. 50 might not be enough for most men, a typical beginner trainee can reach 50s on benchpress and rows in like 2 months.

    You can definitely can build muscle with only dumbbells, but they have to be heavy enough of course. I have dumbbells that go to 75lb per hand myself, just ordered a kit to take them to 90lb per hand. You can make gains rapidly. Use them just like you would a barbell. Don't just do bicep curls with them, do exercises that use bigger muscles such as bench press, bent over rows, flys, shrugs, shoulder presses, etc. Thats where a real bench would be nice to have, the one I linked is one of the best you can get and its rarely in stock. Worth having a bench to go with dumbbells, otherwise you are limited to stuff you can do standing. Most of the benches on amazon are aliexpress trash. Also, bowflex is trash, don't buy bowflex anything.

    A substitute for lat pulldowns and pullups would be dumbbell bent over row, and you can make big muscle on this move.
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  7. #7
    Registered User madmax79818515's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    A 2x100 lb kit would build a lot of muscle, if you gain the strength to use them. The more you can lift, the more strength you gain, the more muscle you gain. 50 might not be enough for most men, a typical beginner trainee can reach 50s on benchpress and rows in like 2 months.

    You can definitely can build muscle with only dumbbells, but they have to be heavy enough of course. I have dumbbells that go to 75lb per hand myself, just ordered a kit to take them to 90lb per hand. You can make gains rapidly. Use them just like you would a barbell. Don't just do bicep curls with them, do exercises that use bigger muscles such as bench press, bent over rows, flys, shrugs, shoulder presses, etc. Thats where a real bench would be nice to have, the one I linked is one of the best you can get and its rarely in stock. Worth having a bench to go with dumbbells, otherwise you are limited to stuff you can do standing. Most of the benches on amazon are aliexpress trash. Also, bowflex is trash, don't buy bowflex anything.

    A substitute for lat pulldowns and pullups would be dumbbell bent over row, and you can make big muscle on this move.
    Thanks for the tips, ampire So should I avoid bicep curls/tricep exercises altogether and just focus on the compound moves?

    Do you know if any of those adjustable dumbbells are good? Something similar to the bowflex select tech, where you can just switch the weight without screwing/unscrewing?
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    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by madmax79818515 View Post
    Thanks for the tips, ampire So should I avoid bicep curls/tricep exercises altogether and just focus on the compound moves?

    Do you know if any of those adjustable dumbbells are good? Something similar to the bowflex select tech, where you can just switch the weight without screwing/unscrewing?
    You should focus on compound movements. Whether or not you want to add isolation movements in is up to you and your goals.

    Ironmaster or Powerblock are the 2 adjustable DBs most recommended and the only 2 I would personally buy at this point. NÜOBELL intrigues me, but they haven't been around long enough for me to buy sight unseen. Bowflex, Gold's, Reebok, NordicTrack, all those no-name clones on Amazon, etc. are crap.
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  9. #9
    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    Since the gym's my son and I used are closed due to Covid we set up a space in our garage to get a decent workout in. The work outs are total body focused but provide enough burn to satisfy my son who was a college football player (2020 grad, DL). Since the equipment needs to be put out of the way when not used we couldn't set up a bench, rack, barbells, or dumbbells. Instead we focused on the following, some of which we already had
    1) medicine balls and slam balls - a selection of SPARQ med balls and a 20lb Rogue slam ball
    2) Kettlebells - 16, 24, and 40 KG
    3) Sandbags - 150lb and a variable weight bag up to roughly 80lbs
    4) TRX suspended from the garage ceiling.
    5) roll up exercise mat.
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