T Nation

Home-Lifting Techniques

Hello all, greetings from San Diego.
Wonderful forums here, been reading diligently for like 3 days straight. I’ve learned quite a bit… but I think I have a legit beginners question for you all.

I am a beginner lifter, but hardly have any tools (weights) to increase up to. I also have trouble finding free time for the gym and such, plus have enough bills on my hand. I will be getting a membership soon, but this thread hopefully may get some useful information to viewers who are in my current position.

I am 5’11", 150 lbs. Bench around 200,
and when I do curls I prefer to use 35s or 40 lb weights. 3x10. I follow a very flexible work out plan, which usually consists of:

Mon - Arms (curls, etc)
Tues - Chest & Abs (push-ups, sit ups, roller, etc)
Wed - Repeat Mon
Thurs- Repeat Tues

… and so on.

I am just sick of having to do 30 reps to feel any sort of burn, and wonder if this is even helping since I can’t really increase the weight I’m lifting?

Now, BEFORE YOU FLAME ME, I am quite aware I do not work out my legs. I have had had a condition called Osgood Slaughter(sp?) in my knees for about 6 years now. Now, at the age of 18, I figure I still have a couple more inches to grow. My father, brother, and mother all being over 6’ and such. After I am done growing, this condition should have healed(?) and my legs would be at their fullest potential, and then I could lift without pain.

BUT ON TO MY ORIGINAL QUESTION…
For the ghetto lifter like me, (hopefully many of you had your days without a weight bench) what are some good “at-home” methods to get some serious reps without just doing burn-outs?

Now, I know relative strength is what matters and as far as that is concerned, I’m fairly strong for my size; but I will be honest: I want to get bigger! Maybe there is something I havn’t thought of! … and believe me, I’ve been curling a barbell with ankle weights and 2-litres filled with water tied to them for a few weeks now… all will be well when I get that new weight set… but until then, any suggestions?

BTW… geez I’m just so full of questions tonight… what T-products are more suitable for a young man such as myself? I am anxious to try Spike, which is in the mail, but I don’t want to order a product that really won’t give me any results (I have a very high metabolism, so fat isn’t really a concern to me at this point) I can pretty much each whatever I want. But yeah, any help is appreciated

Cheers, Dylan

EDIT: Please don’t flame I’m such a newbie…

just found this and it pretty much solved it, but I still am curious of methods for serious weight gain?

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459922

Thanks.

Nothing beats food and exercise for gaining mass. The best bet is usualy to read through some of the articles and make changes acording to what you identify as a problem. Take for example your exercise selection and set/rep scheme, then read amything ever written on this site. Compare, contrast and conclude.

You will get as big as you’d like doing curls. You need to do bigger exercises to get bigger. What do you do for back exercises? Pull ups require very little equipment-- you can do them on a door.

For weight gain, it’s all about the nutrition…and getting yourself to a decent weight set. It’ll be mighy tricky (actually, damn near impossible) to get seriously huge with bodyweight exercises only)

I’d look into this article by Dan John, called “The 1-Dumbbell Workout”, but wherever it says dumbbell, imagine it says “barbell grabbed in the middle, which makes it a very long dumbbell”:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459205

Also, I understand that you have a valid leg condition. But, what about your back and shoulders? Even with your “ghetto” barbell, you can train back (any kind of rowing) and shoulders (overhead presses, front raises, upright rows).Just something to keep in mind.

Thanks for all the input… I’ll definately be purchasing either a weight set or a gym pass within the month… (I’m thinkin a weight set though). The dumbell article is excellent.

Thanks

I neglected to mention that usually once or twice a week I do rows and front raises… whenever my back / shoulders feel well rested (I push shopping carts all day, so my shoulders are usually pretty sore) Those things get heavy!

But thanks a million guys

I certainly prefer weights, but there are a few hard core muscle building bodyweight exercises out there.

  1. I do 1-arm pushups with my feet spread apart as far as possible. If its too hard, you can set up with you hand elevated on a step or two.

  2. Inverted rows. You can use a sawhorse. Lie on your back on the ground, row yourself up to the sawhorse.

  3. 1-leg squats with the back leg up on a chair, bench or step. Without dumbells they will get easy after a while though.

  4. Ham arches-lie on your back, put your feet up on a chair and lift your lower body off the ground by flexing the hams, glutes and lower back. Switch to single leg after a while. Still, it will get easy after a while.

I would recommend pull-ups and Dips. You can build a pretty nice dip rack out of 2x4?s.You can also add weight to a belt (with rope) for more resistance. I don?t know anything about your disease. But some one mentioned Bulgarian squats. Good luck.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
I certainly prefer weights, but there are a few hard core muscle building bodyweight exercises out there.

  1. I do 1-arm pushups with my feet spread apart as far as possible. If its too hard, you can set up with you hand elevated on a step or two.

  2. Inverted rows. You can use a sawhorse. Lie on your back on the ground, row yourself up to the sawhorse.

  3. 1-leg squats with the back leg up on a chair, bench or step. Without dumbells they will get easy after a while though.

  4. Ham arches-lie on your back, put your feet up on a chair and lift your lower body off the ground by flexing the hams, glutes and lower back. Switch to single leg after a while. Still, it will get easy after a while.[/quote]

Ahh, yes I can do about 10 1-arm pushups … I will incorporate the rest this week. Thanks.

In your reading over the last couple days, have you come across John Berardi’s Massive Eating yet? You should give it a thorough read and gear your nutrition accordingly if not.

My osgood schlauters went away after about a year but im only 5’8" so you might something going there.

You could make dip bars and pullup bars and a weight belt like someone suggested and that should be enough for your upper body.

I’ve seen home made sleds on the site and you could make one by affixing an old tire on top of a plank of wood. That way you could work out your legs with out hurting your knees (probably).

Wonderful input guys…
Yes , I read the article last night shortly after posting this… answered many of my questions. I actually went to the grocery store today and even picked up that grocery list!

I also have Osgood Slaughters but am done growing (I’m 23 now). Anyway, for me it never hurt while lifting. I was really scared of working out my legs though, so I put it off for a long time. When I finally tried squats I was surprised they didn’t bother my knees. Have you tried working out your legs or are you just afraid that your knees will hurt? If you haven’t tried it’s worth giving it a shot.

Another thing to consider is that as your legs get stronger it will take some stress of your knees and may help with them hurting.

I havn’t really tried lifting them recently… but I had to quit all of my physical activities when I was first diagnosed because the pain and soreness was overwhelming at night. Now I can squat and such without pain but if I try to lift weights with them it still causes pain… I’m only 18 so hopefully these nasty little guys will go away by the time I get my set (and the chance to do some REAL T-Training)