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home gym options(16 posts)

home gym optionsHank
Mar 19, 2001 10:40 AM
got some room in the basement and would like to start doing a bit more than just push-ups and sit-ups. I'm pretty wimpy, and don't want to get too involved or spend too much money or get anything too huge. So I'm wondering what you guys do or if anyone could suggest a good routine or some good equipment or point me in the right direction. Right now I'm thinking a free weight setup of some kind but I'm open to anything (do any of these Soloflex type things actually work?). Thanks for any input.
re: home gym optionsPaulCL
Mar 19, 2001 11:15 AM
A suggestion: Spending $100's of bucks on a home gym may not be your best option. Personally, motivation to workout at home is a big problem (that damn remote control keeps calling my name). If you spend the money on a club, you should get lots of motivation from fellow sweaters and a personal workout created for you. A lot of clubs/workout facilities have short term membership deals so that you can try out the club. Locally here in N'rth KY/Cincinnati we have Moores and a place called "Better Bodies" that offer $30/month, pay as you go, memberships. Just a suggestion.

PS If you want to buy stuff, don't buy new. The classifieds are full of used equipment for sale by those who lost their motivation.
re: home gym optionsHank
Mar 19, 2001 11:21 AM
Thanks. I'm definitely gonna look used and try to keep the price under $200 (looks like you can get Soloflex on eBay for around $400 but I would really have to be convinced on that). Don't want to join a gym because that would cut into my riding time (especially getting to and from) and don't really like the atmosphere in those places anyway. Basically want something I can do for 15 minutes or so 3-4 times per week. I'm not too bad at sticking with routines.
Just say "No" to Soloflex.E3
Mar 19, 2001 11:45 AM
I had one. The rubber straps and the various parts are a pain to switch around. The exercises don't feel right, the tension isn't constant through the range of whichever movement you're doing due to the elasticity of the rubber bands.

For general toning, building, and fitness, use free weights and exercises that use your body weight for resistance.
They're ok.Mel Erickson
Mar 20, 2001 9:43 AM
I have one and use it regularly. Yes, they feel different than free weights, but so what? Does it work? You bet! I agree they are a pain to change bands but no more of a pain than changing free weights and you have plenty of time between exercises to make the change. I bought a used one for a song. If I were buying new I would go with the Bowflex. Unless you have a partner free weights are too risky. We're not talking Mr. Universe here, just strength training.
Don't need much.E3
Mar 19, 2001 11:37 AM
I'm "buffer" than since my high school days with only a set of pushup bars and a set 20 lb dumbbells.

Pushup bars allow me to do deeper pushups. Vary the width and positions of the bars to work different areas of your chest and arms.

With the dumbbells, I do curls for biceps, kickbacks for triceps, shrugs for upper back, and standing flys for shoulders and back.

I also do dips between two chairs, with the heels of my feet on the floor out in front of me, for chest, arms, and shoulders.

I do high reps, 12 to 30 per 3 sets. I whip through this routine, or a variation of it, in about 20 minutes, including ab crunches. It gets my heartrate up pretty good for a while.

Don't spend on fancy-schmancy equipment. Save it for a new bike!
Don't need much.Hank
Mar 19, 2001 11:51 AM
great suggestion. Push up bars. I'm gonna check those out. Thanks.
Depends on your goalsBipedZed
Mar 19, 2001 11:50 AM
Are you looking to build strength/muscle mass/tone?
Upper body AND lower body?

You could start with a decent bench and some 15-20lb dumbbells and work from there. Add an Olympic bar and weight set as needed.

As far as machines go, I've heard OK things about Bowflex, never used or seen one myself. I've always been a free weight guy.
Depends on your goalsHank
Mar 19, 2001 11:54 AM
my main motivation comes from mtb - seems like the better shape your upper body is in, the less chance you'll get injured when you wreck. I thinking a real simple free weight set up with push up bars is probably gonna do the trick. Thanks.
Don't do it!!!!!!!!!Largo
Mar 19, 2001 1:30 PM
Hank, save the peso's. Unless you want to "body build", you would be amazed at the results you can get from properly executed push ups, chinups (both ways), situps, and other body weight resistance excercises. If you want weights, seriously, go to a gym. Its not the amount of weight you use, but the form.
Wieder home gyms...dave
Mar 19, 2001 1:37 PM
I bought a Wieder home gym for around $400 about 3 years ago, and really like it. I got a model that includes the leg press function, which is good for cycling. The gym also has leg extension and curl, cable crunch (for back and abs), pulldown, butterfly, arm press and rowing. Home gyms are on sale this time of year at places like Sears.

I add low weight, high rep squats, hanging knee raises (using a chin-up bar), an "ab wheel" (great exercise for $10), and other free weight work for a biceps and triceps.

I also try to ride an indoor trainer 1-2 hours per week.

Weight training has really paid off this spring. I've ridden very little due to bad weather, but lost very little speed.
Go with the free-weights and push-up barslook271
Mar 19, 2001 1:43 PM
It's all you'll ever need. You can do any number of excercises using steps, chairs, and free weights. You could even go without the push-up bar.
re: home gym optionsHaiku d'état
Mar 19, 2001 1:45 PM
i'm no expert, but i evaluated my options and found that free weights at home would be the best choice for me. i despise gyms, but frequently workout at the office fitness center, which is a 30x30 room packed with machines and cardio equipment. i prefer to workout at home in the privacy of my garage with blaring music and the climate controlled to my liking.

I have a home free weight workout station in the garage setup with metal plates and plastic (sand-filled) plates. i bought the bench on sale from service merchandise and got the sand-filled (cheap) weights and a cheap bar for free -- about 100 pounds. then, i bought a nice weight set and straight bar/adj. dumbbell combo, then began buying plates and hex dumbbells from the local sporting goods superstore. expect to pay about $.50 per pound for new metal weights, at a good rate. i don't know much about this stuff, but i do know that there's standard-type and olympic weights, and the olympic have a large opening and aren't compatible with standard. i personally didn't see the benefit of olympmic, and they were more expensive, so i went with the other.

here's a rundown of what i've built for under $190:

~140 pounds of sand-filled plates plus hollow straight weight bar
~100 pounds of metal plates
2 each hex fixed-weight dumbbells, 10 to 40 pounds in 5 pound increments
2 nice quality adjustable dumbbells (just add plates)
one nice quality, 14 (or heavier?) pound straight weight bar, solid metal
one nice quality curl bar
sit-up mat

and, i managed to eek by without paying for a copier base from an office friend of mine at an old employer, which makes for a nice cushioned flooring to put under the whole setup that pads for my feet and for the weights; i can drop 'em on the floor and not chip the floor or weights.

I also invested $10 or $15 in "weight lifting for dummies", and checked a bunch of online resources. the only thing i've found much more convenient at the gym is legwork, as the bench leg extension was not adjustable to my leg length. there are many ways around that with free weight workouts sans bench, but i haven't found them yet.

two things i'd like to have, and probably will pickup by winter of 2001, are a good jumprope, and those hand-squeezy things that make your grip stronger.

and...buying used IS definately the way to go, but all our used sporting goods stores were out when i was in the market, and NOTHING was posted in the newspaper except stairsteppers, treadmills and the odd rubber band machine.

good luck.
An olympic bar, some bumper plates....Cora
Mar 19, 2001 6:52 PM
and some resourcefulness so that you can learn the proper technique for squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk, etc.
You don't need heavy weights and can obliterate yourself with just the bar given the right intensity.
Add a pull up bar,sit ups and variety (don't get into a routing - mix it up)
For something really challenging try http://www.crossfit.com
These aren't cycling specific workouts, but they will kick your butt and make you FIT.
Thanks everyone!Hank
Mar 19, 2001 7:11 PM
Great info from all. I bought some cheap dumbbells today and am getting the Dummies book. I'm also gonna get some push up bars. Maybe I'll add a bench and an Olympic bar in the future. I appreciate all your help. Thanks again.
Check out Consumer Reports magazineMel Erickson
Mar 20, 2001 9:50 AM
They just reviewed a ton of home gyms. By the way, I bought my used Soloflex for $80. Money well spent. There are others more convenient but it works and it was cheap. Free weights are an option but I work out alone and they can be risky when you get to exercises that require more weight and don't have a spotter. I'd say if you want to use free weights go to a gym.