T Nation

Home Gym Exercise Options

So I just set up a home gym - basic setup with a power rack, standard dumbbell set (screw-lock type), and full Olympic weight set (tons of weight). I have only two issues - my power rack doesn’t allow for a dipping attachment, and I can’t figure out a way to do weighted standing calf raises. Anyone have any thoughts? I love dips, but I don’t want to get another piece of equipment just to do them (although I think I may have to)…and bench dips are not my thing…
Thanks!

You could suspend a pair of gymnastic rings from your rack and dip on those.

Why can’t you do weighted standing calf raises?

DB

go to elitefts.com for dip straps and some other goodies to help you out. Everything I have came from there. I can’t f-ing wait for my power rack!!

Exactly how would I hold the weight and balance at the same time? I don’t have a smith machine…

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
Why can’t you do weighted standing calf raises?

DB[/quote]

[quote]mikeland wrote:
Exactly how would I hold the weight and balance at the same time? I don’t have a smith machine…

dollarbill44 wrote:
Why can’t you do weighted standing calf raises?

DB

[/quote]

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and work each leg separately. Use the other hand for balance.

You can do them off a weight plate or something else with a dumbbell in your hand and do one leg at a time. Or, you can load up the bar and do them like that as well.

just load a bar on your back and use two 25# plates as blocks and do your calf raises. Might seem a little off at first but you will get the hang of it. dont use the smith machine for anything other than hanging your towell.
mikek

UNILATERAL…BRILLIANT!! Sometimes the easiest answer is not always the most obvious. Thank you all for your responses…

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and work each leg separately. Use the other hand for balance.
[/quote]

For dips you could just lay a couple of 5’ or 6’ boards across the safety pins inside the rack out against the uprights. Lay them flat and have your thumb go over the edge of the boards. Use wider boards (2x10, etc.) to make the space between them smaller narrower ones to do the opposite. This will vary depending on the depth of your rack and assumes your rack is deep enough to this at all.

To make the space really wide use upright 2x4s and connect the ends with another cross piece to make a regtangle frame that lays over the pins. Have another cross piece screwed flat underneth the long boards and space them just wider than the width between your pins. This will kinda lock the unit on the pins so it will not be able to roll off. You could also build a narrow frame this way or do a narrow to wide pretty easily.

Finished 2x4s are pretty rounded already but you could also use framing stuff and just file/sand the edges. Either way it will be really cheap.

I have done something similiar to what Dorso said. Laying 2 bars on the safety pins and doing dips that way. It’s a little tricky, you have to make sure they don’t slide but if they are pushed out all the way to the rack it shouldn’t be a problem. They tend to want to slide out and not in. It depends on if your rack is big enough or maybe too big. Otherwise sometimes you can do dips off the back of 2 chairs. Sturdy chairs. Or one chair and the bar in the power rack and set it all up at whatever spacing works for you.

[quote]mikeland wrote:
…I can’t figure out a way to do weighted standing calf raises. Anyone have any thoughts?[/quote]

I suggest…standing barbell calf raises. I wouldn’t stress too much about elevating your feet on these, a slip would be too dangerous. Done from flat-footed to full contraction should be just fine. Load the bar across your shoulders the same as you’d do squats.

The 1-legged DB raises that have already been mentioned would also be killer.

Newyorkbarbells.com had dip bars cheap and try “rocking” calf raises… Load barbell in Oly squat position on upper traps, lift TOES up first threby “rocking” back on the heels then without pause, “rock” back up ON the toes- raising the HEELS. Hits back and front while strengthening the ankles. Try three sets of 25 with three different foot widths. And thank John Davies for these.

I’ve got a squat rack, and ran into the same standing barbell calf raise issue. I basically built a raised platform using bits of 2X4’s, load the bar on a low catch pin placement, and do the raises while leaning forward a bit against the uprights for balance. Yeah, it’s awkward, but better than nothing.

And I built a stand-alone dip station out of wood, with black iron pipes for handles. With a little planning, anything is possible.

T-Nation rocks. Thanks for all the replies.

Actually, I went out and bought another Olympic bar last night. I placed the two bars inside my rack on the safety bars and viola, it works perfectly for dips…

I built a platform last week, and was using it to do calf raises - I would cradle a 45lb plate nd lean against a lally column…but 45lb wasn’t enought weight (I’m doing ABBH). The above suggestions should work just fine…

Thanks again!

These suggestions are awesome. I’m not so lucky and don’t have space for a power rack. I have an olympic bar and weights, and thats it! In this case, are push-ups and overhead tricep presses and my best bet for building strong triceps? Any suggestions on quad movements in additions to barbell hack-squats and front-squats? I used to love lunges but I would now be limited to a weight I am able to get off the ground and behind my neck.

[quote]giant_steps_00 wrote:
These suggestions are awesome. I’m not so lucky and don’t have space for a power rack. I have an olympic bar and weights, and thats it! In this case, are push-ups and overhead tricep presses and my best bet for building strong triceps? Any suggestions on quad movements in additions to barbell hack-squats and front-squats? I used to love lunges but I would now be limited to a weight I am able to get off the ground and behind my neck.[/quote]

You might try lying tricep extensions, on the floor, then superset them with tricep pushups or maybe close grip floor presses if you can do it without crushing yourself. Or seated 1/2 presses with tricep pushups or bench dips, or use 2 chairs for dips. The possibities are limited only by your imagination. For legs you might be able to do Bulgarian squats, if you can find some kind of bench to put a foot on. Also step ups, lunges, overhead squats,deadlifts, etc. Again use your imagination. Pre-exhaust techniques work well in your situation. I would suggest trying to get some dumbbells and if you can’t fit a power rack in anywhere see about getting some free standing weight stands. But if you are serious about getting big and strong sooner or later you’ll need a better and safer setup. A training partner would provide some safety. Trust me, it’s no fun being stuck under heavy iron so be safe.

[quote]giant_steps_00 wrote:
I have an olympic bar and weights, and thats it! In this case, are push-ups and overhead tricep presses and my best bet for building strong triceps? [/quote]

If you’ve got a spotter, floor presses are the biz-omb (okay, I apologize for saying that). If not, I’d go for partial overhead presses, using the top half; from full extension, lowwer the bar until it’s at head height, then press back up. Another option would be 1-and-a-half Militaries; press overhead, then lower halfway down, press it back up, then lower all the way down. That’s 1 rep.

Why not front lunges? Rack the bar same as a front squat, then lunge to your hearts content. Also, 1-arm lunges; holding the bar the same as you’d do a 1-arm (or suitcase) deadlift, and have at it.

Thanks for the tips guys. I like the sound of those front lunges. I’m going to go spend some time outside training with a few moves I’ve never tried before.

I read (only) some of the great responses. Dorso has a fine idea for doing dips. Another idea (if it was not already mentioned) would be to drive a pair of thick dowles, (with supports) into your wall about 22" inches or so apart for Dips. It would be very inexpensive.

You know nothing can really replace Dips. They are one of those movements that you have to do.