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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to add strength training, I have been doing daily cardio for over 2 months now with decent results, but want to start building some muscle mass. I know the best way to do this would be to join a gym and use free weights, but between work and family I just don't have the time. I can spend some time at home doing this though. So my question is what is my best option for home strength training. So far I have looked at two options:

1) The selectable weight dumbbells like Bowflex Selecttech
2) Bowflex Revolution home gym

Would prefer to go with the dumbbells (much cheaper) if they are sufficient, but was curious if the home gym would give a more complete solution? Or is there a better option I am missing? (no free weights at home. Nobody to work with and a 5 year old around the house makes them dangerous.)
 

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Frank
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Never used the BowFlex machines but they look to have a lot of versatility. Im sure they're quite expensive. I'd look through craigslist for a used one.
 

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I dont like the boflex....Its unstable and most people who use it develop crap form. I would grab some dumbells, a barbell, and some plates. Then get a 45 degree seated bench and a adjustable flat bench (one that has a thing to hold a barbell would be best). I can think of a million exercises i could do with just a barbell, dumbell, and bench.
 

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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I dont like the boflex....Its unstable and most people who use it develop crap form. I would grab some dumbells, a barbell, and some plates. Then get a 45 degree seated bench and a adjustable flat bench (one that has a thing to hold a barbell would be best). I can think of a million exercises i could do with just a barbell, dumbell, and bench.
What about the need for a spotter? Are racks with lower large supports (to catch the barbell) sufficient to perform that task, or is it really not a concern? I have nobody close by to work with, and my wife is certainly not capable of handling even the weight I would be starting with.
 

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What about the need for a spotter? Are racks with lower large supports (to catch the barbell) sufficient to perform that task, or is it really not a concern? I have nobody close by to work with, and my wife is certainly not capable of handling even the weight I would be starting with.
Well i really dont recommend you lift too heavy at your house. if you are just lifting at your home gym i recommend you stick at 80-85% of your max for 6-10 rep range. It isnt smart to max out while at home cause if you get hurt there is noone there to help. At a gym however there are several qualified people on staff to help in case of injury.
 

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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice. I think I am going to go with dumbbell handles and plates and an adjustable bench to start with. This will take minimal space, I think allow me to do a decent range of exercises, and I can buy more plates as I need them.
 

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Unemployable
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I started out on a bowflex.. it was good for developing the habit, but nothing compares to pushing real weight. If it was up to me, I'd use strictly free weights but I almost never have a partner and live in a small apartment. They have an all-in-one weight machine that's made by pre-cor that more than gets the job. If you have the $$$ and commitment, I'd recommend one.

The dumbbells are a safer decision than a barbell. You can do almost anything you can with a barbell and I think I've been told it helps with form to use them once in a while. I used to go to bodybuilding.com and look at their exercise section because it broke down exercises by your equipment. But I have to add not to take everything you read there as gospel, make sure you look at multiple sources as you get more into it. It's great to see people getting in shape and don't be scared to ask questions here... a lot of people know what they're talking about and can lead you in the right direction.
 

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Never say never!
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I for one am one that works out at home. I would love to go to the gym. But I do not have the money right now. So I just use my dumbbells and my bench. I have a set of dumbbells ranging from 5 all the way up to 50 pounds. You can work out just about any body part with them. They are great for building overall strength and definition. If you use proper form.:)
 

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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I ended up going with a bench, a set of dumbbell handles, 8 10 pound plate, 4 5 pound plates and 4 2.5 pound plates. This allows me to go from 5 to 60 pounds a side in 5 pound increments. Been working with the dumbbells for almost three weeks now.
 

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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So after not doing any strength training beyond body weight exercises for 3+ months, I started back into a dumbbell routine again at the start of this month. I found that I hadn't really lost that much from where I was at (was doing a lot of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, etc. during the time when not working with weights.) I did find changing weights out between different lifts to be annoying (something that really didn't bother me before) so I went ahead and ordered these.

I was going to go with something like the bowflex selecttech, but after doing some research on several different quick select systems I went with ironmaster because:
1) No reported issues with durability. With any of the others I was reading about, there were reports of the locking mechanism becoming sloppy (allowing the weight to rattle) and the dumbbell breaking if dropped at all (haven't dropped one yet, but I'm sure it will happen sooner or later.)
2) They are expandable.
3) They are cheaper then the other systems.

I thought these 3 factors were more then enough to outweigh the extra couple of seconds it will take to change the weights. I will report back here after I've used them for a couple of weeks on what I think (they are supposed to be delivered today.)
 

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Boobs
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I am actually looking at picking up the ironmaster or power block myself cant decide between the two but which ever way I go its going to be a pretty penny for the 140lb set.
 

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Premium Member
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I'm late to the party here, but I got me the TO version of these:

Home Gyms by Bodylastics | The Home Gym reinvented!

I have these, a pullup bar, push up bars, and a mat. The bands are really high quality, really quick to change resistance (you clip more bands to the handles), and they come with 4 handles, so you can have 2 'weights' handy. I gotta tell you, clip a couple 30lb bands together, and wow.... tough stuff. I'm really enjoying them.
 

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I r bad spellr, stfu
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4,028 Posts
As usual I am going to piggy back what Cam said before. But I am going to add one thing. If you go with dumdbells you will not have "as much" risk of a crushing injury so you might be able to go bigger than with a bar bell. I cannot think of any exersice that you cannot do with a BB that you cannot do with a DB. Usually you will get better results also since you have to use more sabilizers with the DB's. My thought, join a gym that is on you way to or from work. That is what I do. Stop off for 30-45min of "you time" and then head home. good luck
 

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Motivational Speaker
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My thought, join a gym that is on you way to or from work. That is what I do. Stop off for 30-45min of "you time" and then head home. good luck
I work mostly virtual (from home.) The only time I was able to stick with going to a gym is when I was in school and working at UPS. Kind of strange... I would do 5-6 hours of hard cardio at work and then still stop at the gym on the way home. Since graduating, gym memberships have always been a waste of money for me. I never stick with going for very long. Working the dumbbells at home, on the other hand, has been quite effective. Just my experience.
 

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Motivational Speaker
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1,200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i wish "these" would cost a lot less, and went up to a heavier weight.... then i'd get me a pair too. A variety of dumbells is one thing i'm missing at my home gym.
Cost a lot less, I can't help you with (though as I mentioned earlier, they are a lot cheaper then the other quick change systems pound for pound.) They do have 2 different expansion kits. For an extra $199 you can get them up to 120 lbs a side. Or, if you spend $35 more, you can get them up to 165 lbs a side (is a special order item.)
 
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