Build an Old School Home Gym
The modern 24 hour gym scene is alluring isn't it? The mirrors, the cables, the chrome, the beautiful people.
I love the smell of spandex in the morning!
The reality is, that strongmen of old didn't get big and strong by using machines named after sea creatures. (That's a reference to Nautilus, for our readers from Rio Linda, Ca.) They built their powerful physiques with blood, sweat and iron. The weapons of choice were dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells baby.
Which reminds me of an awesome, newly released book I just picked up called
The Purposeful Primitive
by Marty Gallagher. This is pretty much the how to build muscle bible. But only get a copy if you are serious about gaining size and strength.
And now back to our program:
Did you know that all those wonderful machines glistening in the florescent lights are not as effective as good 'ol free weights.
Because they operate in only 2 dimensions, machines cannot match the movements or benefits of free weights. The paths of the machine weights are locked into a predetermined path, where stabilizing muscles are not used. Bodybuilders build mass on machines, but without 3rd dimension involvement, their muscles are mainly for show.
While pushing a barbell you are using stabilizing muscles to keep the load on the intended path. This causes more muscle growth and functional real world strength. And why not be as strong as you look?
So what is in an "Old School Home Gym"?
Your old school home gym will be based around a power rack.
The power rack allows you to safely perform bench presses and squats without a spotter. Pins will catch the bar if you are unable to complete a rep. Most power racks have pull up bars and can be fitted with dip bars. Another option is a cable system allowing press downs, rows etc.
For serious lifters, this is a must have piece of equipment.
Next you need an adjustable bench.
With an adjustable bench you can perform bench press flat/inclined.
As well as many seated exercises. A leg curl/extensions attachment is an option. Get a bench with no uprights.
You gotta have weights right?
You will need an Olympic style barbell to work with your power rack. An Olympic set will be 300lbs including the 45lb bar.
Buy a pair of dumbbells
You can get the adjustable plate style or the fixed weight hex style. If you go with the hex, buy in pairs and get the weights you will be using right away. Purchase heavier dumbbells as you gain strength.
These Russian training tools have great versatility. Build
size and strength
with heavy bells or burn serious body fat with swings and snatches. I use them and they work.
The above items are your main tools in your Old School Home Gym. Add any cardio equipment you already use and you are good to go.
You can purchase these items new for around $1000. If you go used, your costs could be cut in half. Check out used sports equipment stores or Craigslist and Ebay.
Remember that this is an investment in your health. Your home gym is open 24 hours, dues free and you're not burning gas to workout.
The drawback is your social life may suffer. But with your new body, you'll look even better on myspace.
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