T Nation

Barbell Set or Gym Membership?

Was at Sports Authority today and they had a 200lb Olympic barbell set on sale, pretty cheap i think at $139. As a straight up beginner could this work for me or would I be better off joining a gym with squats racks, lat pull downs etc. ?

For my goals i just want to get in a good routine (as far as trainging consistenly each week), work on some basic lifts-rows, front/oh squats and DL variations and would love to "keep it simple stupid’ :wink:

Room for the weights is an iussue but i have been thinking about just putting it on the rooftop of my building (i have access through the fire escape).
Can i build a strong balanced foundation with this or should i be looking to get into a gym?

There is a difference between can and will. Could you make good progress with this weight set? Undoubtedly. Will you. This depends on the person, but I feel that most beginners (and a significant number of intermediate, and fewer advanced lifters) would be better off at a good gym with a lifting partner.

Some arguments for the gym:

  1. You will be deadlifting over 200 lbs in a relatively short time.
  2. Heavy squats will be nearly impossible without a rack.
  3. Going to the gym with a lifting partner is generally more motivating, partly because of competition, and partly because it is more fun.
  4. Within the first six months, you will outgrow your $139 weight set. At that point you’ll be looking at making a significant home gym investment, or going to the gym anyway.

Of course, if you think you might eventually go the route of the full home gym, then this might be a good start. I still think I would generally go to a gym unless I couldn’t find anything decent in the area.

My weight set was 100& for 300lbs from sports authority, seems like you’re paying too much

if you can find a training partner go for the gym membership

You can make decent progress with no gym, no squat rack and no bench - I know I have. But you have to be good at driving yourself hard when no one is watching. And plan on buying some more 45s in the next few months. All of which you’ll have to lug through the fire escape every workout… but that should make a good warmup.

I sure hope you can lose your grip on a heavy deadlift without damaging the roof, though.

If you are a straight up beginner I would opt for the gym. Most beginners do not continue longer than a few months, and no offense, but if this is the case with you the gym would be preferable. I wouldn’t want to keep those rusty weights around the house gathering dust after the super tells you to get them off the roof. Those would be some pretty expensive door stops.

Once you are in the gym long enough to make lifting your lifestyle, you can decide whether to invest in a home gym. Long run will save you money, time, and aggrevation, but you need the space and initial investment.

Good Luck.

You will have to post pictures of girls up on your wall if you by a barbell set. Otherwise go with a gym that has sexy girls. Even though it breaks concentration you’ll at least want to go everyday.

I think by now you’ve noticed it depends on you. You can get in shape with nothing but underwear if your dedicated. Take an honest approach with yourself. If you’ve tried this before and didn’t keep up with it maybe your better off with a gym and a trainer. Not because they are good(since many or stupid even if they are not they have to follow a preset routine for everybody) but for the motivation.

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
i have been thinking about just putting it on the rooftop of my building (i have access through the fire escape).

That is just too friggin awesome to not do. Over time you could save money and get a rack up there, then add more stuff, eventually you’ve got a hardcore rooftop gym. DO IT

and yeah, you can make progress with just a bar

I like going to the gym for a few reasons:

  1. everytime I think I’m getting strong I see some huge guy doing 2x as much as me and that kicks my ass back into high gear.
  2. They have a much larger selection of weights/machines that I could never buy at this time in my life
  3. You can always find a spotter
  4. Cardio bunnies

Thanks for all the responses.
And yes, even though having the barbell set on the roof and working out in the sun prison yard style would be great…i think there were a couple of good points made about joining the gym.
Plus, like someone said, i wonder if my roof can support a drop Dl. We have leaks in our apt already!