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Clever T-Nationers, I Need You!

I recently decided that I don’t want to go back to the gym. In my basement I have a bench, dumbells, olympic weight set, and almost everything I need for a good freeweight program. I now need the most important thing,a cage. or simple rack.

I need something to squat with. So far ive come up with buying barrels and filling them with water, then setting the bar on top of it then onto my back, but I don’t have any other ideas?

Of course, this will be temporary, until I can afford a new cage, so I don’t wanna spend a bunch of money buying wood or whipping out a blowtorch and stealing scrap metal.

Anyone have a good ol’ opinion?

temporary???

db squats
sissy squats
lunges
step-ups…

[quote]zlafosse wrote:
I recently decided that I don’t want to go back to the gym. [/quote]

Why?

While it is possible, I have serious doubts to the amount of progress someone can make while training at home compared to someone who has gym access at a well equipped facility. I just don’t see it in most of the people claiming to train at home.

I could see if you simply had no choice…or even if you had a choice but had the equipment to truly have acess to everything needed (not likely under 2-5grand). Other than that, I think most people would be better off in a gym (not a soccer mom, Planet Fitness social club, but a real gym)

[quote]Professor X wrote:
While it is possible, I have serious doubts to the amount of progress someone can make while training at home compared to someone who has gym access at a well equipped facility. I just don’t see it in most of the people claiming to train at home. [/quote]

I agree with this. A buddy of mine has an okay home setup and our training sessions there are just never the same intensity as going to a gym.

It’s just kind of a mental thing for me, on the drive (or walk, when I’m at school) over to the gym, you just get in that zone and you know that you’re there to train and nothing else.

I guess it might work for some people though, I can only comment for me.

Your momma!

Dumbell Squats. If you have really heavy dumbells, you can do some really good squats. You can create a great compound exercise program with just heavy dumbells. Some that come to mind are straight legged deadlifts, stepups, lunges, back lunges.

Have you considered buying bands and/or chains? I’m not sure how well they work in the long run, but they might help for now. And after you do get a rack, the bands and chains will still be great to have around.

  • POC

Question: are you squatting so much that you can’t clean and press the bar, settle it on your back, and then do your squats?

Or consider front squats; you wouldn’t have to be able to get the weight over your head.

Don’t be offended at the suggestion that you are using minimal weight; we don’t know a thing about you (this being your first post and your profile having no data about you), so maybe you’re still at the stage where you aren’t squatting a lot of weight.

Chinadoll’s suggestion is a good one, but it assumes that you have DBs sufficient for a good squat workout. You’d either have to have very heavy DBs or squat in a light weight range.

The Prof’s point seems to apply here: unless you can swing it financially, it’s difficult to create a home gym that compares to a commercial gym as far as variety of equipment.

Out of curiosity, why are you deciding that a commercial gym doesn’t work for you anymore?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
While it is possible, I have serious doubts to the amount of progress someone can make while training at home compared to someone who has gym access at a well equipped facility.[/quote]

I think it depends on the person and what they train for. Obviously bodybuilders benefit more from specialized equipment than powerlifters. I got the basic equipment that I need this summer and I have made more progress in 6 months than I ever made in a commercial gym. Partly its because only one local gym has a rack and even then its constantly in use.

Another thing is the social aspect. Some probably get energy from others, but I concentrate much better when I’m alone. In fact my intensity suffered greatly when I went to a commercial gym.

  • POC

[quote]PredatorOC wrote:
Professor X wrote:
While it is possible, I have serious doubts to the amount of progress someone can make while training at home compared to someone who has gym access at a well equipped facility.

I think it depends on the person and what they train for. Obviously bodybuilders benefit more from specialized equipment than powerlifters. I got the basic equipment that I need this summer and I have made more progress in 6 months than I ever made in a commercial gym. Partly its because only one local gym has a rack and even then its constantly in use.

Another thing is the social aspect. Some probably get energy from others, but I concentrate much better when I’m alone. In fact my intensity suffered greatly when I went to a commercial gym.

  • POC[/quote]

It does depend on what you train for, and your surroundings are a huge factor when it comes to mindset. I have access to three gyms in my area. I don’t train at one at all (because NO ONE there is serious), the other is used just for cardio (because very few people there actually lift in between all of the talking) and the last one seems to be where the true gym rats are, at least the ones that are left.

Personally, if my intensity suffered, I would have found a better gym (like I had to do here). The reasons are due to my level of training (it would take a lot of weights to make a home gym work) and the fact that my goals are not just strength alone but to gain muscle mass all over.

I just don’t give home gyms much credit unless the person has really gone all out. I plan to put one together eventually, but when I do, the plan is to do it well. I am doubting whether the OP is going to make anywhere near the progress he would at a gym.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Unless you are working with very heavy (near max) weight, there is no reason you can’t good morning the bar off of the forks, or start at the bottom of the squat and stand the bar off of the forks.

Or Zerchers. Just leave the bar on the forks, hook the crook of your elbows under the bar, lift, step back, and squat.

There is also the “exercises you’ve never tried” series of articles in the archives. There are a lot of interesting variations of exercises in that series that will give you tons of stuff to do without much equipment.

With my current school situation and my lack of money, I can’t even renew my membership. Also, the gym I go to does not allow dead lifting, which is ridiculous. I can’t clean the weight onto my back that im squatting. Ive been using the dumbbells and some higher reps with the 125 i can clean to my back, but I just wish I could throw the barbell onto my back.

You could also try belt squats. I’ve never tried them personally, so I don’t know how well they work, but you wouldn’t need much of an investment.

Elitefts.com has this, but you could probably improvise something if you are not using very heavy weights.

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=114&pid=1595

  • POC

I once saw a diagram for a squat rack built from scaffolding. It won’t carry thousands of pounds, but I think it will handle more than most guys squat.

I’ll see if I can get the link.

Went through this a few years ago, found this with shipping included!

http://www.megafitness.com/yuk0028.html

At that price when I priced out metal to build a low buck version as I own a welder and can fabricate things like that with no problem, just the metal alone was close to their price of their rack. Lumber for something similar was pushing 200 bucks, so I just said fuck it and bit off the 378 and got the rack. Easy, and in the long run it saved me money!!!

[quote]starsil9 wrote:
Went through this a few years ago, found this with shipping included!

http://www.megafitness.com/yuk0028.html

At that price when I priced out metal to build a low buck version as I own a welder and can fabricate things like that with no problem, just the metal alone was close to their price of their rack. Lumber for something similar was pushing 200 bucks, so I just said fuck it and bit off the 378 and got the rack. Easy, and in the long run it saved me money!!![/quote]

Man, thanks for that! My wife keeps bugging me about what I want for Christmas, and this should cover everything nicely.