Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

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Slacker
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Slacker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:27 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:44 pm
I believe home gyms are a grand idea, but that in reality they are rarely used as much as one would workout going to a gym. There are too many distractions,,there are to many excuses. One being that you can work out any time. When you can do a thing at any time, that time becomes no time.
When people tell me they have a home gym and exercise, I don't believe them.
Then again there are many people who go to a gym and their exercise is self delusional.
Me, I like a gym. You to go there. That alone is part of the commitment. Once there, you can have all the weights you want. Not just the couple matched Dumbbells you bought. Essentially then you are maxed out on the largest. To get better you have to buy more.
A home gym is often like those lonely cold hotel gyms with limited equipment and no atmosphere.
People who won't workout on their home gym equipment, likely won't get much done at a commercial gym either (unless they have a personal trainer or some other outside force to "keep them accountable"). In fact, there is a GIGANTIC segment of the commercial gym market that is tailored specifically towards courting these specific customers ($10/month charges - they don't actually want you to show up and survive off of having 4000 members making monthly dues but only 300-500 showing up consistently and the rest showing up maybe a few times a year).

Someone who is motivated to go out of their way to get to a commercial gym is likely to have the motivation to work out from home on their own equipment too.

Now, the idea that some people get better results in a commercial gym has merit. Maybe I'd be Class I USPLA instead of Class II if I went to a commercial gym (WITH workout buddies)...but I don't compete anymore, so I don't care about trying to get those extra few pounds on my lifts.

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Monk
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Monk » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:53 pm

h82goslw wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:44 am
To OP I found a great website on this forum last year and use it often. Darebee.com has fantastic workouts.
Whoa! darebee.com is awesome! The workout plans don't quite line up with my individual fitness goals but are right in line with what is being discussed in this thread and look appropriate for lots of people. The nutrition section looks valuable for me. Thanks for posting this!

2015
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by 2015 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:11 pm
2015 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:21 pm
Quite impressive you engaged in hard core competition for 25 years. It does take a special form of determination and drive in that sport or any other. One of the best side effects is the type of person it turns you in to. It's no wonder you accomplished your goals.
Thanks! You are correct and over the years I talked about how it has impacted my professional growth and drive. It was very instrumental. That may be able to be said for a lot of athletic endeavors.
I'd venture to say it impacted more than your professional life. I know I don't need to tell you after 25 years competing having mastery over the body takes a high degree of self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control. These and other competencies required for physical competition spill over and influence success in many other domains in life. I've never known anyone with mastery over their physicality as a result of years of hard work who wasn't highly effective in other ways as well. Again, quite impressive.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:38 pm

EnjoyTheJourney wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:30 pm
Kettlebells are inexpensive and very versatile.
Kettlebells are very expensive (compared to alternatives) and their functionality is pretty limited. They are ideal for swings, and...? A barbell or adjustable DBs are superior for the large majority of movements.

This thread isn't for me because I have a 2-car garage gym that probably costed more than my car did new. But, I've trained and been a pretty high level competitive athlete almost my entire life, not to mention devoted 11yrs of university education and most of my career to this subject.

I would agree that TRX (or much cheaper alternatives like WOSS or gymnastics rings) is probably a good place to start for someone with limited space and somewhat ambiguous fitness goals.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by BruDude » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:59 am

www.x3bar.com

It works. Really well. I have one. Check out the FB users group with progress pics. Some of them are pretty nuts.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by forgeblast » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:37 am

I was in the same boat. I started looking at the fold away racks that mount on the wall, etc. But in the end I went with kettle bells.
I am doing the Simple and Sinister program, and its a work out! I do that one day, then I have a pull up bar for rock climbing that I use on the next day. Then I take a day, and go back to S&S. I have found that the kettle bell work outs are really helping me.
https://garagegymathlete.com/ is a good site if you want to make your own equipment.
Also check out reddit there are a lot of great kettlebell and bodyweight threads.

I bought my kettlebells from kettlebell kings. They are highly rated and are of great quality.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by alfaspider » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:57 am

Obviously, everyone's fitness goals are different, but I strongly advocate traditional weight training equipment. Cardio doesn't really demand fixed and specialized equipment. A pair of running shoes, and perhaps a jump rope for when you can't get outside is all you really need to get the cardio you need. Treadmills, elliptical machines, etc. are fine if you like them, but I wouldn't call them an important foundation- really just things to use for running specific training (i.e. pacing work) or to give a break from calisthenics if the weather does not allow running/cycling outdoors.

You can get very strong with calisthenic exercises, but the difficulty is that it can be very difficult to get the progressive overload you need to get strong while maintaining motivation (at least for me). 50+ push ups in a set is a lot tougher mentally than bench pressing your five rep max. Variations can help, but often emphasize secondary muscle groups.

I'm also not a huge fan of kettlebells for general fitness because they create dynamic loads. Dynamic loading is great for sports training (since many sports demand explosive movement and quick reaction), but significantly increases the risk of injury. The principle of progressive overload is that you body gets stronger by slowly adapting to bearing more and more load, but as soon as you place a force on the body it has not trained to absorb (for example, an unexpected lateral force in a misplaced kettlebell swing), it is likely to cause injury.

Therefore, I would say that if you have home fitness equipment, it should be barbell and dumbbell training. If you have very very limited space, a bench and a set of adjustable dumbbells will go along way. If you have just a bit more space, and especially if you have gotten strong enough that you need very heavy dumbbells to continue overloading, I would advocate a squat stand (partial power lifting cage) and barbell set, which allows you to safely perform the "big 3" lifts (deadlift, squat, bench press). Rouge fitness makes the gold standard IMO, but they are a bit more spendy.

https://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-rigs ... uat-stands

For super cheap home workout ideas, I also reccomend scoobysworkshop.com. Scooby is an older (50+) natural body builder with great down to earth advice for people looking to get fit.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by fishmonger » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:36 am

In December I purchased a full set of dumbbells (5-50 lbs) for about 900 bucks. Some of the best money I ever spent. Added to a bench and pull-up bar I already had, just cancelled by gym membership that was $82/month. Will pay for itself in less than a year.

Also picked up a cheap exercise bike for free off Craiglist. It's bare bones compared to the Pelotons of the world, but both the wife and I use it, and at worst it's a good way to warmup

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by John88 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:31 pm

Wife and I work out at home and have Power Blocks Classic, a cable machine, and a bench. If we had to - we could do away with all the equipment and just do body weight exercises and perhaps a pull up bar and bands to supplement. In case you think body weight exercises are too easy try a Pistol Squat or Bulgarian Split Squat.

The Power Blocks are nice because they take up very little space and can be used in place of barbells in most exercises. If you want more resistance you can add resistance bands. I highly advise learning proper form to minimize injuries. Because I have rotator cuff issues I have done a lot of research on which exercises to avoid and how to make certain exercises more shoulder or joint friendly. For starters I focus on compound exercises (deadlifts, squats, back work, chest, and core).

Example of exercises I avoid because of my bad shoulder: dumbbell flys, dips, bench pressing-instead I do pushups. Push Ups can be made harder with bands, a weighted vest, or feet elevated. No upright rows or overhead pressing, instead I do Landmine presses or use a cable machine.

I do not have knee or back issues but use the Power Blocks for front squats and deadlifts which are supposed to be a more back or knee friendly. The Power Blocks also are handy for Farmer Walks.

There’s a ton of information from trainers on the web about workouts and some of it conflicting. There is no way I can work out now at 60 like I did in my 20s. Find someone with knowledge that relates to where you are in your fitness level and age. For example I like some of the articles by Tony Gentilcore found here https://tonygentilcore.com/articles/ but many of his articles are too hardcore for me.

For Resistance Band workouts James Grage has some nice examples on YouTube; https://youtu.be/UpvCxfouOwQ

Wife does yoga and I do a lot of stretching. We try and hit 10,000 steps per day also do fast walking or light jogging on off days to exercise perhaps the most important muscle-our hearts. Equally or perhaps more important is what we eat. We try and avoid processed foods and sugars but are OK with fruit, veggies, low glycemic carbs such a sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, black or brown rice, etc. and sometimes bread such as Sprouted or Ezekiel bread.

Good luck on your journey,

Finridge
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Finridge » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:20 pm

Consider getting some PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9eFSjKVE64

You can do almost everything with dumbbells and these take hardly any room.

There are some other adjustable dumbbells on the market, but these are probably the best.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Finridge » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:23 pm

Consider getting some PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9eFSjKVE64

You can do almost everything with dumbbells and these take hardly any room.

There are some other adjustable dumbbells on the market, but these are probably the best.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Atilla » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:57 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:13 pm
Atilla wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:08 pm
Five minute plank in the morning ....
I want to see a video of that. :)
300 seconds baby, counted by the ticking battery-powered quartz clock on the wall.
It would be a real boring video.

I have a light frame. Can't imagine a fatbastard doing it.
Moderator Warning-Free Since 2017.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by livesoft » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:13 pm

^More power to ya! :)
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by LivinGood » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:51 pm

I have a pullup bar, 35 lb kettlebell, yoga mat, and a rotating library of about 15 yoga dvds. Hike, bike to work, ski/snowboard. Life is nice and simple.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by c_e_UofU » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:26 pm

FWIW I think you should ditch the elliptical if you want to expand the home gym. They are one dimensional machines that plateau quickly on fitness levels. There is a reason that up and coming companies like Peloton offer classes on bikes and treadmills and not ellipticals. You can incorporate a HIIT routine on those that you can't do on some of the other cardio equipment. (although I do enjoy a good rowing machine...)

As for other advice (if you're still taking it. The thread is a little cold, but I'm a workout nut who just got to this party) equipment versatility is key with limited space. Block or adjustable dumbbells are your friend. Also bands are a good choice to make too. A multi position bench (again you can youtube so many ways to use it) and a treadmill help round out my limited space.

Recomendations:
https://www.titan.fitness/strength-equi ... bench.html
https://www.amazon.com/PowerBlock-Elite ... ods&sr=1-1
https://www.treadmillreviews.com/nordic ... ll-review/
https://www.power-systems.com/shop/prod ... gKUkvD_BwE

All of it will run you less than $2k which sounds like a lot unless you use it 5 times a week. My wife, myself, and oldest son all use it instead of gym memberships so It was a sound investment. Hope this helps!

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:39 pm

I still have an old Vision Sports Lee Haney Gold System power cage and setup for 30 years now. Was worth its weight in gold.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:39 pm

And now our 12 year old is using it.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by z91 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:51 pm

I have an Ironmaster set and highly recommend this, or the Powerblocks. I like the Ironmaster more as they feel more like regular dumbbells to me.

I have the Super bench, so I can do all sorts of bench exercises and dips/situps as well. I have a pullup bar screwed into a doorframe which doesn't take up any usable space.

Running can't really be done at home without a treadmill/elliptical/bike, but I personally think it's better to do those outside.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:35 pm

Weight bench and dumbbells, especially the selectable kind, can go a LONG way. A door mounted pull-up bar as well. Dumbbells are generally better for you as they work more muscles typical and help with balance and stability. They also can be safer as they are easier to drop out of the way.

A kettlebell and a slam ball will also take up little space and are great tools.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by rj342 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:44 pm

At home I have a couple sets of dumbbells, and a bicycle. Real riding outside better for you mentally and physically (works your balance and therefore core, more than a stationary. Just don't have space for much more - modest sized house about 1700 sq ft.
So the rest I *do* outsource...
As a lifetime alumni member of the local university 4 miles away I get access to the Student Rec Center for $25/month which gets me big workout area with all kinds of freeweights incl barbells and racks, benches in addition to machines. Also indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, sauna. Indoor track.
IOW a lot more than a Planet Fitness, for a lot less than a Bally, etc.

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telemark
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by telemark » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:41 pm

I wouldn't recommend buying a skateboard just for this, but if you already have one there are some fun strength exercises you can do with it: standing rollouts with your hands on the board, pike ups with your feet on the board, getting in a plank with your feet on the board and then walking on your hands or doing pushups. Not a substitute for free weights but an interesting supplement.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Jazztonight » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:01 am

The Stone Wall wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:55 pm
...Pull-ups, push-ups, and squats are essentially the Boglehead three fund portfolio of exercises...
Through the years, I've come to understand the truth of this. Our primate bodies were designed for pulling, pushing, and squatting. Since reverting to a bodyweight workout I've never had an injury.

I spoke to a well-respected bodybuilder several years ago and he put it all in perspective for me, saying that at (my age) I was no longer "building muscle; I was basically trying to 'maintain' what I've got."

At 72, my 3x week home workout consists of 14 sets of 7 pull-ups, squats, and pushups (plus 2 extra reps to equal 100 of each). This is done in about 30 minutes. (Occasionally I'll do "pushup Burpees" instead of pushups and squats.) Cardio consists of 'brisk' walking the other days. I follow a sensible diet and keep my weight steady.

I've met many men who were able to bench press hundreds of pounds but couldn't do one pull-up. I've seen many adult women who can do pull-ups.

Finally, I'll share one of my favorite personal quotes: "Chimpanzees and other apes do the equivalent of pull-ups all day long. Have you ever met a chimp with a rotator cuff injury?"
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by alfaspider » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:22 am

I have a power rack at home at about 350lbs of plates. I like my bumper plates a lot more than the steel plates at most commercial gyms. I use it regularly (despite the naysayers here). Rogue fitness makes some neat stations called “guillotines” that fold up and attach to the wall. They give you a place for all the major lifts (bench, overhead press, squat). Great compromise when you are limited on space.

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Just sayin...
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by Just sayin... » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:46 am

Late to this thread, but I’ve found that using resistance bands while traveling give me largely the same workout I get at my local gym. Based on this review by The Wirecutter (https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... nce-bands/), I purchased the medium-sized Bodylastics set ($40), along with a hip resistance band ($9) and, while on a recent 2-week trip, was able to get a good 1-hour, every-other-day workout (plus, the entire kit-n-kaboodle fits in a small pouch in my suitcase). There are literally hundreds of YouTube videos that can coach you on proper form, workout plan, etc., but the greatest factor is that you actually do whichever exercise you plan on doing!

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:20 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:22 am
I have a power rack at home at about 350lbs of plates. I like my bumper plates a lot more than the steel plates at most commercial gyms. I use it regularly (despite the naysayers here). Rogue fitness makes some neat stations called “guillotines” that fold up and attach to the wall. They give you a place for all the major lifts (bench, overhead press, squat). Great compromise when you are limited on space.
The "guillotine" is a totally different rack. Everybody makes a fold-up rack now-a-days, although (surprisingly) Rogue's is actually comparable in cost (not so with most of their equipment). I love my bumpers too, but for some heavy compound lifts they are simply too thick. I think I have 390lbs. of bumpers and I can not fit them all on my bar. I can pull 435 6-8x, which is why a lot of my deadlifting sessions are now done at work. Same problem with my sled: I can push/pull (in this case, a lot) more weight than the sled can hold using bumpers. I only have fractional steel plates, need to pick up some steel plates.

alfaspider
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:04 am

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:20 pm
alfaspider wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:22 am
I have a power rack at home at about 350lbs of plates. I like my bumper plates a lot more than the steel plates at most commercial gyms. I use it regularly (despite the naysayers here). Rogue fitness makes some neat stations called “guillotines” that fold up and attach to the wall. They give you a place for all the major lifts (bench, overhead press, squat). Great compromise when you are limited on space.
The "guillotine" is a totally different rack. Everybody makes a fold-up rack now-a-days, although (surprisingly) Rogue's is actually comparable in cost (not so with most of their equipment). I love my bumpers too, but for some heavy compound lifts they are simply too thick. I think I have 390lbs. of bumpers and I can not fit them all on my bar. I can pull 435 6-8x, which is why a lot of my deadlifting sessions are now done at work. Same problem with my sled: I can push/pull (in this case, a lot) more weight than the sled can hold using bumpers. I only have fractional steel plates, need to pick up some steel plates.
Fair on the bumper plate weight limits, though I think 95%+ of the folks reading this thread (and 99.9% of humanity) are never going to hit 435 for even a single rep. Really no need to go that high for general fitness or even natural body building unless you have a very large build. That's mostly the realm of serious power lifters.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by megabad » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:52 pm

Blues wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:52 am
PowerBlocks are great dumbbells. Add a bench and you can do full body workouts.
+1 this. Powerblocks are really the only option for weight training in confined spaces. If you aren't doing legs, I like the Bowflex better but the max weights don't go as high as I recall. These are definitely the most compact options that still allow for a full range of workouts.

cheapedy
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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by cheapedy » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:09 pm

I got into amazing shape a few years back. All I did was buy a resistance band kit and attached two old door hinges with lag bolts in my bedroom closet for the straps. One at standing bent arm height, the other one at sitting on floor bent arm height. Used the top one for chest press, tricep press, used bottom for lat rows and bicep curls. Did shoulder work by placing straps under feet. Did these workouts quick and finished with wall-sits or air squats for legs.

My workouts were done after waking, two to three times per week, quick and intense, keeping heart rate up throughout. After a few weeks I got really lean and could faintly see a six pack. Unfortunately, a shoulder impingement issue caused by sleeping on my side forced me to quit.

Since my injury I lost motivation and am now content to just be an old guy getting his execise by walking his dog at the park.

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Re: Recommendation for home gym (limited space)

Post by BelVita » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:44 am

Take a look at Ironmaster. I have their adjustable dumbbells, bench, and many attachments for years. Look like the day I bought them and they're solid.

ETA:

I also have PowerBolcks too. I love their ease of changing weights but loathe the feel of them around my hand. 9 times out of 10 I'm using the Ironmasters.

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