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  1. #1
    Registered User NX01Enterprise's Avatar
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    Beginner Advice for Home Gym

    Hi

    Please could I get some advice to help point me in the right direction?

    I have been presented with a chance to build a dedicated home gym area in a powered and insulated outbuilding. Size to be determined but the area available is probably 6m by 4m.

    I am a total dunce when it comes to these sorts of things and not sure if I know where to start. Due to where I live and living with someone who is extremely vulnerable to Covid going to a Gym is not logical or practical.

    In terms of equipment am I right in thinking that the best place to start is to build around having maximum muscle impact, i.e.

    Deadlifts
    Squats
    Bench Press

    All of which I had just started to do at the Gym before Covid and compared to most the levels of weights were low but start somewhere.

    Deadlift was 15Kg Bar and a single 20Kg weight on each side.
    Bench Press was 15Kg Bar and 10Kg weight on each side
    Squats had 15Kg weight.

    About Me: 43, Male, 25 Stone or 159 Kilograms, Hypothyroid for 20 years and only just getting medicated properly. In the past have done an hour of weight lifting with a trainer at the gym and not get hungry and I can hike up mountains and not get hungry so clearly have a BMR problem. Doctors sadly are of no help so trying to work it all out myself.

    Struggle to build muscle, after 12 months prior to stopping the Gym due to Covid despite some changes i.e. went from basic stuff and not being able to Bench Press, Deadlift or even Squat to being able to do those listed above. No weight change or body shape change but did feel fitter.

    Due to my weight, I am finding it hard to locate an all in one machine.

    At the moment I have a normal cycle, of which I am on the upper weight limit and have some resistance bands so can incorporate these into the build.

    Budget is flexible at the moment so thanks for any and all help.

    Regards

    Paul
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  2. #2
    heavily caffeinated grapegorilla's Avatar
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    I have a similar size out building gym and here is what I have in it:

    - similar to Rogue Monster 6-post rack, which also stores my weight plates and allows for a rack mounted reverse hyper

    - treadmill

    - echo bike

    - functional cable trainer

    - 5-50 dumbbells and a few kettle bells.

    My family use it with me so I try to leave some central space for their activities and reduce possible hazards (like making sure a treadmill accident won’t shoot them into a wall or a rack).

    You have quite a lot of space to work with. I’m happy to share a map of my layout if it would help.

    Rippetoe doesn’t get much love on this forum but of all the programs I’ve tried, none have been as effective. You should at least include the “starting strength” novice linear progression as an option to consider if the 3 lifts you’ve mentioned are your focus.

    If I had to start again, ranked by importance:

    - squat rack with barbell, bench, and weights
    - echo bike
    - functional trainer
    - dumbbells (adjustable if always working alone)
    Last edited by grapegorilla; 08-29-2021 at 01:05 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User IPW20X's Avatar
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    If you're going to be lifting at home by yourself, make sure you have safety catches on every risky lift you do (bench press, squat, overhead exercises etc). Practice getting out of the lifts using the catches and/or dropping the weights. So when the time comes to bail on a lift, it's no big deal.

    I would put together a training plan, and then build the equipment around that. Which will change over time. For bench, deadlift, squat....a power rack with safety catches, a very high quality barbell that can be dropped (spend extra on this), bumper plates and dumbbells, a good bench, and a very good floor material (I like horse stall mats). Build from there.

    I really like bumpers and good floors, something not many home gyms have. No matter the lift, I can drop it with no problem. That is the ultimate safety net.
    Last edited by IPW20X; 08-29-2021 at 02:19 PM.
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  4. #4
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Yes, squat, bench, and deadlift (or variation) are money makers, but also rows, chins, and overhead press are important, as is some kind of rotational movement.

    You can do everything with a rack, barbell, bench, and plates. But if you think that will get boring then consider a landmine attachment, adjustable bench, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

    Workout Journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1630928323&viewfull=1#post1630928323
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  5. #5
    Registered User NX01Enterprise's Avatar
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    Many thanks all, apologies for the very slow response, had a bit of a family health crisis.

    Some very valuable information and really appreciated. Need to do some online pre-shopping and designing.
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  6. #6
    Registered User SickRotor's Avatar
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    I currently have Powerblock adjustable dumbbells (5lb-90lbs), an Ironmaster adjustable bench, and a cheap Amazon exercise bike. I've been able to do a lot and make progress with the dumbbells and bench. I'm working on creating space in the garage for a squat rack/cage with a pullup bar. I'd suggest choosing an adjustable bench over a regular flat one so you can do incline stuff. I was doing a lot of floor presses and laying on the ground before the bench and would recommend a bench ASAP.

    The Ironmaster bench does sit a bit low compared to other benches but it works for me at 5'11. I bought two pulleys to use whenever the rack comes but if you can swing it I think the dedicated lat tower machines that are either standalone or affix to the rack are better than the pulley systems.
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  7. #7
    Registered User BiGx5MurF's Avatar
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    The big 3 lifts are definitely best bang for buck. But once your lifts start getting actually heavy, form and technique, along with accessory lifts become very important to avoiding injury.
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  8. #8
    Registered User QDubs's Avatar
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    I just started working out again about 4 years ago after about a 25 year hiatus. I've been quite happy w/ my progression both exercises and equipment. So FWIW:

    I already had a TACX Neo 2.
    Started w/ body only, then some bands.
    + Utility bench
    + Dumbells: 1 pair, another, 2 more pair, another pair, then filled out 10-60 lb
    + Kettlebell. Then another and another then filled out through 70 lb. I wish I'd gotten all Kettlebell Kings to start with.
    + Rack (Rogue R-3)
    + Ohio Bar 2
    + Fringe Sport Color Bumpers 10-55 plus extra pair of 15's.
    + Crossover Symetry bands (My shoulders wish I'd discovered this earlier).
    + Games box
    + Titan safety straps since Rogue stopped making them but didn't tell me when I ordered them with my rack leaving me high and dry.
    + Body Solid Incline Bench
    + Rogue curl bar
    + I'm hoping for a Concept 2 from Santa this year.

    Somewhere along the way added Titan dip station attachment, landmines, spotter arms, various cable attachments that I use w/ bands, med balls, etc.

    The rack for me is critical. I use it every day not just for lifting but for a variety of bands, hanging and other stuff. I think overall this is pretty basic compared to what a lot of others have but its doing what I need and I'm pretty happy thus far.

    I did Regupol flooring (6' rolls) and am quite happy. A bit more expensive than stall mats but for me worth it. Good speakers (and sub!), wall mouted fan!. I also mounted an old flat screen TV w/ an old Apple TV to mirror Trucoach workouts from my laptop.

    I don't do heavy bench press because my elbows and shoulders complain too much. However, an empty bar w/ bands works great because the resistance increases as my elbows and shoulders are getting past where the pain would be. Squats w/ either the spotter arms or in the rack w/ straps.
    Last edited by QDubs; 09-20-2021 at 05:40 PM.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BiGx5MurF's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by QDubs View Post

    I don't do heavy bench press because my elbows and shoulders complain too much. However, an empty bar w/ bands works great because the resistance increases as my elbows and shoulders are getting past where the pain would be. Squats w/ either the spotter arms or in the rack w/ straps.
    I used to have the same issues with shoulders and elbows. Using a football bar helps a lot. But fixing my form, and building up my upper back, and rear delts helped even more.
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  10. #10
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    Start with a FID bench and spinlock adjustable dumbbells, a standard barbell and heaps of standard plates. You'll probably quit after a few months, but if you don't, then get a Olympic barbell and weight set. The money on the standard gear won't be wasted because they make the best dumbbells and they're better for weight belt work.
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