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  • Newb lifter needs a couple solutions

    I've started back up eating healthy a couple months ago after two years of eating SAD. I did primal for a good 6-8 months before that and was intermittently vegetarian/vegan before that. I loved eating primal but it got away from me and bleh blah, done with excuses, I got lazy and ate fast food and donuts and crap.

    I've decided to get healthy, and want to lift some iron, however EXCUSES! I live in a very small apartment with my girlfriend and do not have room for a weight bench. My apartment complex's "gym" has like 10 cardio machines and that's it. I've looked into real gyms however my car overheats if I drive it too far and I have no gyms close by and I can't afford to fix it. It gets me to work fine. I could use my girlfriends car but that would limit me to working out on the weekends only. I do have a source to get ahold of a bar and plates cheap and stash them in a closet or something, and think that may be a decent solution until we can afford a bigger place/I can get a new car/fix my car.

    So anyway, I'll have a bar on the ground. I could do deadlifts fine, and plan to, but without a rack that limits squats and others. Should I just load up what I can lift up to my shoulders myself to squat? What should my primary lifts be? I can get dumbbell bars too. I want to do something similar to Starting Strength.
    Starting DL: 135 Now: 380
    Starting Bench: 115 Now: 255
    Goal: Get stronger.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cavewizard View Post
    I've started back up eating healthy a couple months ago after two years of eating SAD. I did primal for a good 6-8 months before that and was intermittently vegetarian/vegan before that. I loved eating primal but it got away from me and bleh blah, done with excuses, I got lazy and ate fast food and donuts and crap.

    I've decided to get healthy, and want to lift some iron, however EXCUSES! I live in a very small apartment with my girlfriend and do not have room for a weight bench. My apartment complex's "gym" has like 10 cardio machines and that's it. I've looked into real gyms however my car overheats if I drive it too far and I have no gyms close by and I can't afford to fix it. It gets me to work fine. I could use my girlfriends car but that would limit me to working out on the weekends only. I do have a source to get ahold of a bar and plates cheap and stash them in a closet or something, and think that may be a decent solution until we can afford a bigger place/I can get a new car/fix my car.

    So anyway, I'll have a bar on the ground. I could do deadlifts fine, and plan to, but without a rack that limits squats and others. Should I just load up what I can lift up to my shoulders myself to squat? What should my primary lifts be? I can get dumbbell bars too. I want to do something similar to Starting Strength.
    Starting Strength is a barbell program based on having access to an apparatus that can get the bar onto your back, such as a power rack, squat rack, or squat stands. If you can't get your hands on a set of squat stands (or make one with 2 x 4's, 5-gallon buckets, and cement), you can't do starting strength. I mean, you could try Steinborn squats, but I wouldn't.
    The Champagne of Beards

    Comment


    • #3
      Whilst your situation sounds somewhat bizarre, I would offer the following.

      There are a huge number of exercises that can be done with just a barbell, dumbbell bars, and weights. With a workable bench of some description, you can do even more. Some basic ones:

      With barbell alone (list obviously far form exhaustive):

      Deadlift
      Cleans (Hang, power, and squat)
      Presses (strict, push, jerk, french - all assume you can clean the weight first)
      Squats (front, overhead - both assume you can clean the weight first, hack squat - depending on body dimensions)
      Snatch (standard and power)
      Rows (upright, bent-over, Pendlay)
      Shrugs
      Bicep curls

      This list alone will allow you to hit virtually all muscle groups once you add some basic bodyweight exercises:

      Push-ups (put weight in rucksack to increase difficulty)
      Pull-ups (assuming you can find somewhere to do them)
      Ab work

      Add in dumbbells and a bench (of any description or just use the floor) and the list is vast.

      Arguably the only exercises you won't be able to do are heavy squats (especially back squats), however olympic lift variants will still allow you to hit those muscle groups effectively.

      Comment


      • #4
        Okay, so heres what I'm thinking:

        Workout 1:
        1x5 Deadlift
        3x5 Clean then Squat
        3x5 Clean then Press (whichever type works out for me)

        Workout 2:
        3x5 Clean then Squat
        3x pushups to exhaustion
        3x pullups (chin ups?) to exhaustion (one of those doorway pullup bars)

        3x a week alternating.

        If I do deadlifts on both is that too much?

        I could use the edge of the bathtub for a bench, I think, but would only have room for dumbbells in there. I could dumbbell bench press?
        Last edited by Cavewizard; 06-14-2013, 05:56 AM.
        Starting DL: 135 Now: 380
        Starting Bench: 115 Now: 255
        Goal: Get stronger.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you will regret limiting your squat to the amount of weight you can clean. And I'm assuming you're talking about front squats, which are a great exercise, but not a replacement for the back squat. The spinal loading and ability to use significantly heavier weights (not to mention posterior chain recruitment) make the barbell back squat far superior to the front squat as a main strength exercise.

          I also don't think you'll have an easy time dumbbell bench pressing on the edge of the bathtub. Get squat stands and a bench.
          The Champagne of Beards

          Comment


          • #6
            Can you get started moving iron with your limitations? Yes. Will your progress be limited until you get good equipment or join a gym? Yes.

            Sent via A-10 Warthog

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm assuming this is all a fairly short term solution, in which case the lack of back squats won't be a huge problem.

              Your program looks fine, although I would stick with weighted push ups as opposed to balancing on the edge of the bath.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                Can you get started moving iron with your limitations? Yes. Will your progress be limited until you get good equipment or join a gym? Yes.

                Sent via A-10 Warthog
                I still think you will be able to make good progress with just the barbell, weights, and dumbbell handles. However, once you have some spare cash/space Rich's suggestion of getting a bench and an adjustable weight stand will allow you to do all the exercises you need at essentially zero ongoing cost.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, in 6 months to a year we'll have a car paid off and her student loans done with so we'll have some extra money for stuff we want, and might even get a two bedroom apartment so I could put a bench in there with some other stuff. I just want to be able to do the best I can with what I have.
                  Starting DL: 135 Now: 380
                  Starting Bench: 115 Now: 255
                  Goal: Get stronger.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is what I roughly suspected. Get the cheap barbell and weights to start with; you can do very good work with just those. If you can find a cheap stand at some point, get it (they don't take up much space). Good luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by maclrc View Post
                      This is what I roughly suspected. Get the cheap barbell and weights to start with; you can do very good work with just those. If you can find a cheap stand at some point, get it (they don't take up much space). Good luck
                      Don't buy a cheap barbell. Especially if you are going to clean.
                      The Champagne of Beards

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The OP said "I do have a source to get ahold of a bar and plates cheap"

                        I assumed that the bar was of decent quality, just being sold cheap. If this is not the case, then Rich is correct (if somewhat pedantic), as cleans with poor quality bars can be problematic due to the increased rotation required over most other lifts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If that barbell's not good, the best value in my opinion for a beginner is this:

                          Cap Barbell Solid 7' 1000 lbs Test Bar Black | Wayfair

                          You can get 10% off with a coupon code and have it shipped free. Works out to be one of the best deals out there.
                          The Champagne of Beards

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                            If that barbell's not good, the best value in my opinion for a beginner is this:

                            Cap Barbell Solid 7' 1000 lbs Test Bar Black | Wayfair

                            You can get 10% off with a coupon code and have it shipped free. Works out to be one of the best deals out there.
                            I'm not knocking the product, but it amusingly has this written at the bottom:

                            "This product contains one or more chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm."

                            Directly below that it says:

                            ">See something odd? Report it here."

                            Priceless!

                            If you go down that route, I assume you shouldn't be in too much danger touching the bar, just don't eat it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by maclrc View Post
                              I'm not knocking the product, but it amusingly has this written at the bottom:

                              "This product contains one or more chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm."

                              If you go down that route, I assume you shouldn't be in too much danger touching the bar, just don't eat it
                              Most fitness equipment has that same disclaimer. I wish we didn't live in a world so thoroughly steeped in awful, harmful chemicals.

                              But yeah, the bar goes in your hands and across your back. Please don't put it in your mouth. Even as a party trick.
                              The Champagne of Beards

                              Comment

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