Home gyms


Active member
are they good? coz.. the nearest gym from me is pretty far and i like to work out w/o ppl watching me lol.. coz im kinda weak.. lol

and.. what home gyms are good? any recommendations?
I find they help me a lot. What I did was buy the home gym (just a set of free weights) untill I bulked up a little, then headed to the "real" gym when I thought I wouldnt be embarrassed. Then I acctually continued to use the home gym every night before I went to bed. It helps with toning your muscles.
Well, my man, you've come to the right place. IM me on AIM: Thepaintedballer. I do a lot of work with a personal trainer, do a little personal training on the side, and work out five days a week. Between the two guys that I consult on every client and myself, we've got 68 years of experience.

Really, I started three years ago with 105lbs of weight and 3 bars. That was sufficient for me. I use a cheap competitor home gym system, and for leg workouts I substitute cross-country runs of about a mile and a quarter. Don't knock the homemade machines- I'vefound them to be darn good.

As for commercial cable jobs... I kinda shy away from them because they don't give an accurate representation of your strength. However, the homemade cable machines I've used are without a doubt my favorite.
JulesLee said:
and.. what home gyms are good? any recommendations?
I actually got two great gyms at home, and I can really recommend both!
One's calles "G-A-R-D-E-N" and the other "B-A-S-E-M-E-N-T".
Had a great 5 hour workout session in the "G-A-R-D-E-N" last saturday, much better than any commercial gym can offer.. :viking:
I can get in MS Paint and give you the layout of a nice homebuilt cable machine, if you or someone you know has the welding skills to build it. Material's a bit pricey, as all metals are going up, especially iron.
well i dont own my own home(16 here).. and my home is really small.. I guess ill start small and go to the gym when im kinda buffed up! :D
listen, man, the whole point of what I said is: you don't need to go to a commercial gym to bulk up, or go there once you bulk up. The only plus to those places is safety, and I wouldn't trust my life to some of these folks. Before making a committment to one, I'd first scope the place out and look for a. equipment and b. are they safe. Keep in touch if you have any questions, I wrote a little ten-page guide for all my potential clients and whoever else wants to lift. Just ring me up if you want a copy emailed to you. It has about 25 exercises and all the important safety information you'll need.

I'm not knocking commercial gyms, but I don't dig the larger ones because you're less likely to get the personalized service you like and deserve. I'm sure some of these places are great, I just don't trust either a. safety/quality of spotters or b. equipment.
We have a wellness center that fufills every one of your requirements and then some. Its not a commercial gym, as it does not exist out of Madison, but they give you the same personal experience and you really get to know everyone there. I suppose you COULD stay at home, but there is a point where the home gyms are not going to help. You can only buy so much weight "over the counter."
I disagree- as long as you possess the proper storage space, you can tailor the amount of weight you have to the level at which you lift. It's what the home gym I go to for personal training purposes has done for years- and the owner is a former Mr. Louisiana, and trained a Mr. America. 90% of his stuff is homemade, too. It's also the same principle I've applied. While cost may be a concern, the cost of weights will not equal the cost of memberships to commercial centers, therein lies the benefit of home gyms. Also, you can get your friends over to lift with you, and thereby have reliable spots that you know you can trust.

Again, it's just a convenience and safety thing- I've tried it both ways.
Space is a factor. Saftey is a factor. Access to the best training equipment is a factor. If you are truely in it for the long haul...then you shouldnt be worried about money. Somethin else that comes into play...Travel. If you are going to use the local Golds Gym, you are going to need to head down there at least twice a week to benefit from it. Whatever fits your schedule. And your ultimate goal. BTW, Mr. America's have nothing on Mariusz Pudzianowski.
C/1Lt Henderson said:
Space is a factor. Saftey is a factor. Access to the best training equipment is a factor. If you are truely in it for the long haul...then you shouldnt be worried about money. Somethin else that comes into play...Travel. If you are going to use the local Golds Gym, you are going to need to head down there at least twice a week to benefit from it. Whatever fits your schedule. And your ultimate goal. BTW, Mr. America's have nothing on Mariusz Pudzianowski.

Do I sense a rude tone to this post? Don't be disrespectful to people from my hometown :) S'all good.

Nevertheless, we already covered space and safety. Never lift alone- but I wouldn't trust some guy I don't know at the local gym to help me out. If you do, then that's not a problem for you. From a personal standpoint, a few good bars and freeweights provide the best results that I've seen. They develop both muscle and balance. You don't need to sink a fortune in equipment to have a good body.

Everything equates to whatever your opinion of "safe" and "good equipment" is. You'll find a niche and a method that you'll like, and that'll be it. Just be sure to try both ends of the spectrum, i.e. free weights and cables. Then, before sinking cash into either of them, go on and see which one would fit your goals best.
No offence meant. I just thought the cable weights were a bit advanced for a beginner to set up at home. I myself have 1 set of free weights. I just use the gym to utilize more weight.
I was just messing with ya. I can give anyone who wants them some plans for a cable machine that's homemade and practically letoff-free. It's the only cable machine I'll use, because the commercial ones aren't a real representation of your strength. I think I've said that I've put 200lbs of weight on one and repped, when I max at 140 on the bench press.

Cable machines shouldn't be too big of a deal to set up, after all, it's usually just following directions and attaching the necessary cables. As long as you can read english or some other common language, you're golden. And you've got a good point about the commercial centers having more weight. But a weight plate isn't that expensive, and if you're in a rural area, go to your local farmer (in my case, my grandfather) and jack some tractor weights. :) Granted, if you're going to get weights in bulk, then it'll be a pretty penny out of your wallet. The price of all metals, especially iron, is going up right now. But it's nowhere near what you'd pay for a Bowflex or similar device.

My little crash course guide is still up for grabs as soon as I get it on to this computer. Friggin new computers with no floppy drives :(

Here's the fabled document

The Akmed Jones Guide to Weight Training: Basic and Advanced Exercises and How To Achieve Quality
Revision #1: Physical Training for Aerobics, Strength, and General Fitness

Overview of Lifting Practices and Purposes

The body is an amazing machine. It is capable of functioning despite the severest of conditions and circumstances. However, there are weak links in every body, and through training with weights we can strengthen this physical chain. Before beginning any physical training, there are a number of questions the lifter should ask his or herself prior to implementing any training regimen:
1.What do I want to get out of lifting?
2.Is lifting at my age, condition, etc. safe?
3.What specific benefits are there to lifting weights?
4.What can I do to accelerate my progress, and what else can I do to ensure success?
And the answers: The first is a question that only the lifter can answer. This document focuses on training for strength and general health, and therefore is suited to those who wish to gain physical usefulness in those capacities. Number two is quite simple. While improper lifting techniques and the use of heavy weights can prove detrimental to lifters of all ages, studies have suggested that there may be an impact in the growth of children aged twelve and under. The elderly can still lift in whatever capacity their body allows- I have seen men 65 and older lift and enjoy themselves at it. The main limitation is the presence physical conditions or weaknesses, and any lifter of any age should consult a physician before starting a regimen.
The benefit of weightlifting is seen in both body and mind. As the body’s strength increases, our general self-esteem and confidence can be noticeably higher. As it is said, exercise is fifty percent mental.
Many athletes of notable fame have turned to anabolic steroids or other pharmaceutical ways of increasing their strength. Anabolic steroids, while they accelerate the progress of the muscles, deal their own great damage to the body internally and should be avoided. The best route to success is consistent technique and the practicing of proper dieting habits.
Any lifting regimen is defined by these four questions, and others that the lifter may feel are important. Weight training is versatile and a lifetime activity. With the proper practices, people aged 6 to 66 can enjoy the benefit of lifting.

General Guidelines for Lifting: Safety and Protocol​

Everyone has heard the old adage, "safety first". Lifting weights is a totally useless activity if you lift in such a way that endangers your life. There is no practical purpose to lifting if one is to drop a bar on their neck and dislocate a few bones in the spine. That being said, it is generally accepted that when lifting, one should have a spotter available to aid them if needed, or if a spotter is not available, work with lighter weights to ensure safety. Common sense prevails in lifting.
The question every lifter should ask his or herself before hitting the weights is "am I in the physical condition to lift today?" Lifting with an injury will only aggravate the condition more and further damage the body. The author attempted to lift when he wasn’t aware of a fractured clavicle. Do as we say, not as we do.
However, it is normal after a workout that one should feel sore in the groups that he or she exercised. Taking a day off in between sessions is perfectly acceptable. Your body is in a way damaged, and that day of rest and recuperation will allow the damaged or lost cells in your body to replace themselves. If soreness persists after several days, go easier on your lifting. A day of soreness is fine- two or three is your body’s signal to slow down.
Aside from the obvious afflictions to avoid in weight training, the lifter needs to take pains in lifting correctly. There is a technique to exercising, and this will be covered in later sections for individual exercises.

Defining the Types of Exercises​

This document is intended for those who already have a working knowledge of the body and its different systems. There will be diagrams placed at the back of this document to acquaint the neophyte, but by and large, this is designed for those who are familiar with the muscle systems and groups.
Any form of exercise can be divided into two main types: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise keeps blood and oxygen flowing throughout the entire body, and is usually intended for weight loss regimens as a compliment to dieting. Aerobic exercises can include any exercise where many muscle groups are working at the same time, and oxygen is constantly being exchanged in the body. This includes running, swimming, or any strenuous cardiac activity.
Anaerobic exercise in the general category that lifting falls under. Anaerobic exercises involves little heart work, but it is important to keep blood and oxygen flowing to the body parts being exercised. A steady supply of oxygen through breathing is essential to success in anaerobic lifting. Some exercises require a certain accepted way of breathing, and this will be covered later.
A good exercise regimen should include a repertoire of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. This is flexible- if your upper body is too sore to work one day, do some running. Or, get it all in during a single session and rest the next day. The only thing that needs to be set in stone is the consistency of the exercise. After three or four days, the muscles in your body will begin to deteriorate and atrophy. The general well-be4ing of the body should include physical strength as well as cardiopulmonary endurance. Even if you’re not a sprinter, it doesn’t help to have all this physical mass and strength, and be unable to use it because your heart and lungs are too out of shape.

Basic Equipment for Weight Training​

Everyone has seen the commercials for different bodybuilding apparatuses, advertised by famous lifters and competition bodybuilders. While the equipment is nice and efficient, $5000 worth of equipment is not needed to have a well-muscled and well-defined body. Most of the equipment can be made by hand if you possess the proper skills- bodybuilding legend Casey Viator was trained on equipment that was entirely handmade. There are, however, basic necessities to lifting. There are generally two choices to your preferred gear: Free weights or cable machines. Because cable work incorporates its own equiment, we’ll cover free weight equpment.
Free Weights- Equipment
1. Bars. The bar is the most essential piece of equipment to lifting with free weights. They come in many shapes and sizes, from five pound hollow-core bars to thirty-five pound tempered steel bars. Without the bar, we may as well simply hold the weights in our hands and lift that way- which is perfectly acceptable and provides a good workout. However, for convenience and safety, a bar or some type is necessary.
2. A bench. Pressing is not the only exercise that a bench can do. A simple flat bench can work abs, biceps, triceps, latisimus dorsi, deltoids, and more. Many brands of benches are available that allow a sort of "free weight gym", with appliances for butterfly exercises, bench pressing, leg exercises, and more.
3. Weights. This is self-explanatory.
4. Collars. These are safety devices designed to keep the weights in place on the bar and prevent potentially lethal accidents. They are well-worth the cost, and much less expensive than a surgery to the cranium or jaw because somebody lost their balance on the bench.
5. Gloves. These are optional. Weight lifting gloves are fairly inexpensive and keep the hands from becoming raw or blistered by contact with the bar.
Free weight machines are oftentimes cheaper than the cable machines on the market, but there is a certain amount of benefit to them aside from cost. Free weights require fine balance to work effectively, and there is "full" resistance in the machine. Many cable machines cause a certain amount of let-off that reduce the resistance of the weights. For example, if you can do 150lbs on a conventional bench press, you may be able to go to a cable machine and press 200 lbs. It’s all a matter of choice and convenience. However, cable machines are safer when not working with a spotter.
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Mods, I apologize for the double post- post length was too high by several thousand characters. Use your discretion with this.

Exercises with Free Weights​

Hopefully, you haven’t glossed over the last 1400 words to simply get to the meat of this document. But, if you have, here it is- a list of exercises ranging from basic to the advanced, with full explanations of the benefits and safety concerns and hazards of each. However, there is one important factor to realize about all of these exercises. Quality is far more important than quantity. The number of reps in each set doesn’t make much difference if the exercise is not done correctly. Generally, work until you feel the muscles have been worked enough for one set- don’t concentrate on the number of repetitions.

Upper Body
Bench press

Areas worked- Pectoralis Major, Triceps

Directions: Lie flat on the bench. Do not arc the spine. Grasp the bar, and bring it to the chest. Breathe in while moving the bar downward; exhale when raising it again. Keep the elbows bent and being the bar down straight. Maintaining the proper balance is critical. Always have a spotter present.
Hazards: Dropping the bar, becoming pinned by the bar. Have spotter present at all times.
Triceps extension
Areas worked: Triceps
Directions: Stand in a bent position, leaning against the bench for balance. Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and extend straight out behind the back. Return dumbbell to the former position.
This is a simple exercise and can be done without a spotter. It is likely that you may feel quite a bit of soreness after working- this is normal. This is a difficult exercise and works the muscle groups well.
Hazards: Dropping dumbbell. Keep a firm grip.

Concentration curls
Areas worked: Biceps
Directions: Sit on a bench or other surface with dumbbell between legs. Keep elbow pressed to the inner thigh. Lift dumbbell to about chest level. Repeat for both arms.
Hazards: Dropping weight.
Standing curls

Areas worked- Biceps, triceps
Directions: Stand with curling bar in hands. Lift bar to chest, return. Keep the bar even.
Hazards: Dropping weight. Use collars.
Row curls

Areas worked: Biceps, triceps
Directions: Stand in the position for the triceps extension with hand on a dumbbell. Lift dumbbell from the floor to your chest, while turning the wrist 90 degrees outward. Return weight and wrist to original position. Repeat.
Hazards: See above.
Reverse curls
Areas worked: See above
Directions: Stand in standing curl position with palms facing outward on the bar. Lift bar to chest and return to waist level. Repeat.
This is a much harder exercise than the standing curl, so use light weights at first, then increase weight gradually.

Hazards: See above

Wrist curls
Areas worked- Forearms, biceps
Directions: Sit on bench with curling bar held at stomach level. Curl the bar using the wrist, and return the bar. Repeat. Can be done with single dumbbells as well.
Hazards: If wrist pain occurs, use lighter weights until the muscles become accustomed to the weight.
Neck Extension

Areas worked: Trapezius, various other neck muscles
Directions- Sit on bench with hands on forehead. Press neck forward, applying pressure with hands. Repeat with side-to-side motions or from the back of the head. This exercise can be done with a partner as well.
This exercise is useful in general life because the possibility of breaking the neck is always present in athletic activities and various accidents. Strengthening the muscles in the neck will help decrease the possibility of crippling injury or death in such an accident.
Hazards: None to speak of.
Standard crunch
Areas worked: Abdominal muscles- interior abdominals, exterior and interior obliques
Directions: Lie flat on the back with hands across the chest. Lift body halfway to knees and retreat. Repeat as needed.
Hazards: None to speak of, other than overdoing abdominal work.
Incline crunch: See Above- use bench or other inclined plane. Another variation is to lie upside down and perform crunches in that manner.

Bent over row
Areas worked: Pectoralis major, biceps, triceps
Directions: Stand over curling bar at approximately a ninety degree angle. Grasp bar with palms facing outward and lift bar to chest. Return bar, repeat. Upright rowing can be performed in the same manner, standing erect and lifting the weight to the chin or nose.
Hazards: Dropping weight, loss of balance. Use collars.
Shoulder shrugs

Areas worked: Deltoid, trapezius
Directions: Hold a dumbbell in each hand; roll shoulders up, back, and around, or vice versa. Repeat.
Hazards: Dropping weight.
Wrist rolls with drilled bar
Areas worked: Muscles surrounding ulna/radius; forearms
Directions: With a drilled dowel or steel bar, attach weights via rope. Roll rope upwards completely. Unwind and repeat.

Hazards: Dropping weight. Ensure that rope used is supple and well-tied.
Overhead curl
Areas worked: Triceps, latisimus dorsi
Directions: Lie across the thinner part of the bench comfortably. Take dumbbell over your head and towards abs. Return over head and repeat.

Hazards: Weight slipping. Use collars if using a simple bar. Hold weight in a triangle with the palms.
There are other variations and exercises that can be done with free weights- the possibilities are endless. Be imaginative and try something new in each workout.

About the author:

Akmed "Evil, Aquaman, A.M." Jones (alias) was forged on anvils of hard work, discipline, and moral and ethical quality, a regimen that would kill the average man of his age in this politically correct, Mr. roger's Neighborhood version of what the majority of the free world has become. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and lifting, as well as preaching on the above anvils to people his own age, whenever he's not doing the first three.
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I wrote it as a little guide for clients and decided to distribute to a couple guys I consult over the internet.

I'm mailing the original to a potential client, a girl friend of mine who does a little lifting and whose father doesn't want her lifting with me because I'm... well.... male. So I'm doing the best I can until I actually meet the old man for myself.
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Incline bench is excellent stuff especially if you have a spotter for heavier weights. I like the bench press, you don't feel too much pressure and it relieves a lot of stress after you do some sets. My biggest problem though is working my upper back around my shoulder blades, there just doesn't seem to be a good enough way to do it.