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Help a girl out? Buying a bar+weights and need some opinions please!

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  • Help a girl out? Buying a bar+weights and need some opinions please!

    I was planning on higrading my dads weight set, circa 1980, since he's no longer using it, but that's not an option.

    Ive been using my bowflex, 20lb kettlebell, and 40 pound bag for most things, but DLing a bag is tough, and I'm more worried about form than focusing on lifting.

    So I'm planning on buying one. I'm wanting one with a healthy supply of 2.5 plates so that I can increase in 5lb increments as needed, and apparently, I live with a bunch of rich peeps. All sets in the local stores are bank. I can justify dropping around $120 for now.

    Clothing, Toys, Electronics, Jewelry, Jaclyn Smith - Kmart.com

    http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_1...&blockType=G36

    and

    CAP Barbell Standard Grey 110-pound Weight Set | Overstock.com

    are the two that I've found for right now.

    I don't have the foggiest idea of what I need. The last two have dumbbell handles as well, which I'm not terribly worried about, but would be helpful at some point, I suppose.

    I don't' know what brand bar is interchangeable with most plates, or if they are standard diameter and all plates fit all bars? Something tells me that's highly unlikely.

    Any comments on what collars/clips are best?

    Anything else that I should know before whipping out the checkbook?

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by Eklecktika; 03-18-2011, 03:05 PM.
    Chief cook & bottle washer for one kid, a dog, 6 hens, 2 surprise! roosters, two horses, and a random 'herd' of quail.

    ~The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something one knows nothing about and refuses to investigate~

  • #2
    These are 1" bars. You'll find them very difficult to deadlift with, because the plates are smaller and therefore you need to get way closer to the ground, putting yourself in an anatomically disadvantageous position. An olympic bar (2" diameter) is a much better investment. As you mentioned, plates are not all standard. There are 1" and 2".

    The olympic set will be more costly, but it'll last forever if you take care of it. As for plates, anything under 35lbs is going to also put you too low on an olympic bar, unless you buy a few bumper plates which can ge purchased as low as 10lbs per plate. Then you can use smaller iron 2.5's, 5's, and 10's to continue loading the bar once it's the right height off the ground.

    If you don't plan to deadlift and don't have a squat rack, or work on olympic lifts, a set of adjustable DB handles of any size will be totally sufficient. No bar necessary.
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    • #3
      I agree with Kyle. It's worth waiting and saving up the cash for an Olympic set (Olympic refers to the bar's style, not its brand). An Olympic bar weighs 45 lbs (the 2" diameter ends are weighted) and, obviously, requires plates with 2" diameter holes.

      Note that a huge pile of 2.5 lb plates won't actually be that useful -- instead, they'll be a problematic nuisence. You don't want to have to move a whole stack of plates around every time you change lifts. Also, note that for proper deadlifting form, the use of 45-lb plates is assumed to get the right height for starting the lift.

      As a small female, I started my weight room with the following:

      Combo squat/bench rack
      Bench
      Olympic bar
      2 35-lb plates
      2 25-lb plates
      2 10-lb plates
      2 5-lb plates
      2 2.5 lb plates

      Before long, I bought another pair of 5's and other pair of 2.5's, which enables me to create any weight combo I need. Now I just need the 45's...

      Do get a squat rack or power rack (that's what I REALLY want, but they cost more) if you possibly can. It'll open up your world.

      ETA: Is there a used sporting goods store in your area? I got a great deal at mine because I was buying so much at once. Craigslist?
      Last edited by BarbeyGirl; 03-18-2011, 08:02 PM.
      Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        craigslist for sure. post a "wanted" ad and check the for sale section daily.

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        • #5
          You are cheaper not buying loads of 2.5 plates but two each of 2.5 / 5 / 10 / 20 / 40 etc. You will see that combinations of those can achieve you any 2.5 multiple - ahhh, the magic of binary numbers...
          http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Thor Falk View Post
            You are cheaper not buying loads of 2.5 plates but two each of 2.5 / 5 / 10 / 20 / 40 etc. You will see that combinations of those can achieve you any 2.5 multiple - ahhh, the magic of binary numbers...
            01110100011010000110010101111001001000000110000101 11001001100101001000000110110101100001011001110110 10010110001100100000011001100110111101110010001000 00011100110111010101110010011001010010000001101000 011000010110100001100001
            Binary to Text (ASCII) Conversion
            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paleo-...43036789093004

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            • #7
              There is A LOT of used/like new stuff out there, equipment with dings and scratches, or overstocks, that if you look, you can save a bundle!

              I get almost all my stuff from a chain for used sports equipment called "Play it Again Sports". I have a pile of plates, dumbbells, etc., that had dings and scratches or minor cosmetic flaws...but once I started using them, you can't tell any difference. End result = more gear + big $$$ savings.

              I also got a overstock Power Tower from them for next to nothing, plus dumbbell racks, etc. that were brand new.

              Also...I buy all my kettlebells from a local gym. (Not one of the big chains, but a smaller old-school one.) Now...this may sound like a strange idea, but they buy a pile of equipment, and thus get a huge discount. They just add my order to one of theirs (I admittedly may have to wait a couple of weeks to get the item), and they add a small mark-up for their trouble (we all have to make a living :-) )...but I still save $$$$. In some cases, 30% or more!

              In short...look for used stuff or at "non-chain" dealers...you'll save a bundle. :-)
              Last edited by Phil-SC; 03-19-2011, 03:47 AM.

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              • #8
                Have you checked Buy Weights | Best place to buy weights online ? Under "Used equipment ". Definitely check out craigslist as well

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                • #9
                  +1 to craigslist. Get an olympic bar. You also only need 2x 2.5 plates, same with 5 lbs. 10's it might be worth having 4 plates, but no more than that. a bunch of 25 lbs. Skip the 35 lb unless it comes with the set (25 + 10 = 35!)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by simodalcais View Post
                    01110100011010000110010101111001001000000110000101 11001001100101001000000110110101100001011001110110 10010110001100100000011001100110111101110010001000 00011100110111010101110010011001010010000001101000 011000010110100001100001
                    Binary to Text (ASCII) Conversion
                    LOL - nice.
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                    • #11
                      check craigslist

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