T Nation

I'm New - Limited Equipment

I’ve worked out a bit in the past but I’m in pretty bad shape at this point. I also do not have access to a gym. About the only equipment I have is a dumbbell I can load with 60 lbs, some furniture gliders, a pull up bar, an old bench, and a walker I got from my grandparents that I can use for dips. So with this limited equipment here’s some exercises I found that I could do. Later on I can always get a dumbbell that weighs more but I think the one I have will work for these exercises for now. I’m pretty scrawny, 5’6" about 145 lbs.

Turkish Get Ups
Pull Ups
Ab Slide Outs /w furniture gliders
One arm dumbbell snatches
1 leg squats /w one foot on the bench
One arm bench press

I plan on eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal, eggs, tuna, frozen veggies, and drinking lots of milk. Did I mention I’m pretty much broke after I pay my bills? So my grocery budget is extremely limited. Maybe I’ll put on some muscle though. Any suggestions on other exercises I can do with my limited equipment or other extremely cheap food ideas would be great. Or if I’m on the completely wrong track here, let me know that as well. Thanks.

A couple of ideas for you :

Take a look at doing goblet squats with the db.

Get into body weight exercises eg press ups (all variants) and you can make them a lot harder by changing the stance (wide/narrow) and getting your feet higher (use your bench) also use pauses to make things harder still.

Pull ups (notice you have a bar) to make those harder improvise with some extra weight eg a loaded rucksack if you have one.

EDIT…The whole ‘other’ side is to get really creative with stuff that is just lying around, in my example a quick look in the garage gave me boat anchors, old batteries jerrycans, chains–all sorts of heavy stuff.
I live close to woodland and a good hard workout for me is to carry a big lump of beeech or oak back up the valley.
The key is to ‘see’ exercises in every day stuff , i am a great fan of Dan John who talks a lot about the key movements like :
Picking weight up
Getting it overhead
Carrying it around.

So : old batteries = farmers carry
Mooring chain in rucksack = squat accesory or weighted pull ups.
Jerrycans full of water = more farmers carries and overhead pressing.

Basically …have fun with stuff.

Take a look at local adverts for cheap equipment.

Food wise : most guys report being able to buy ground beef at pretty low cost, some places you can get chicken drumsticks bulk and low price too. Fresh veggies can work out cheaper especialy if you can buy from a market.
Just thinking back to my impoverished student nurse days–making up big pans of chilli made with cheap ground beef, cans of tomatoes and bulked out with lots of beans (useful and cheap protein)–i still batch cook now and stock up the freezer with that kind of stuff even though i earn comparitively well nowadays.

do you have a car? Set it up on a flat stretch (or slight incline so it doesn’t get away from you) and push it along.

Seemed to work for Conan.

(I’m just some beginner, don’t look to me for any reliable advice on nutrition or working out, other than what I’ve been told by others, or what seems obvious)

I’m body-weighting this week as I’m away from my gym,

Push ups (feet raised on a chair, regular, diamond, etc etc)
Pull ups (off edge of balcony, but you’ve got a bar, so use that, duh)
Inverted Rows (if your bar is one of the fit-in-a-doorway ones, you could just lower it)
Squats (use your DB like BigNurse said)
Dips (Chair again)
I like to do situps or plank for abs, but rollouts are probably more manly.

For me the biggest problem of not having a gym is not that I can’t find a way to do some exercises (I like to over-head press my kayak) but the discipline of starting (and finishing a workout)

you might be a better man than me, but if not: treat it like a trip to the gym, set a time, remove all distractions, get some music or whatever floats your boat (Flex Arm Hang for a play through of “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” ) and plan the routine.

Pasta, Potatoes, Rice & Bread are all cheap. (I tend to avoid Bread and Pasta, not for any scientific reason, they just remind me of fat people)

Mince (or Ground Beef, depending on where you come from) is cheap, and with a small investment in 'erbs and spices, can be made to taste less like Rectum.

I like to tackle plenty of fresh fruit and veg, the kind that can be eaten raw, and broadly speaking (as long as you avoid truffles and bananas*) is cheaper than your average bag of crisps and a coke.

To make rice less goddamn boring, I cook it with various beans, and more 'erbs and spices.

Eggs are pretty cheap, and you can make more or less anything into an omelette.

I also like to drink Beef Stock, I have no idea if it has any beneficial qualities whatsoever, but it makes me feel manly, and psychology is half the battle.

Someone will mention food logs and the like, the general concensus is “keep one”

*Banana Famine in australia, very serious, don’t want to talk about it.

Assuming you can do some pull ups and dips I would do this:
Day 1
Warm up: 2 sets of inverted rows with half of your max reps each set)
A. Pull ups 3xMAX (every week try to add one rep to each set ,for example:
1st week 3x4
2nd week 1x5,2x4
3rd week 2x5,1x4
4th week 3x5
5th week 1x6,2x5 etc…
B. Kroc Rows (see here the explanation,and how to progress with it: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/building_a_big_freaky_back )
C. Concentration Curls 4x8-10 (add weight or reps each week)

Day 2
Warm up: do 2 sets of half of your max push ups for example if your max push ups are 20 do 2x10
A. Dips 3xMAX (progress as in pull ups)
B. Push Ups 2xMAX (add reps each week)
C. Wall Handstands 1xMAX time (every week try to increase the time.When you will be able to do it for 2-3 minutes with ease start doing half handstand push ups.Begin with 1 set of max reps and when you will be doing 1 set of 10 add a second set and work your way up to 2x15.When you will do that work the same way on full handstand push ups)

Day 3
Warm Up: 2 sets of half of your max bw squats
A. work on 1 leg squats(go easy here.Work just on balance and getting to the bottom position without falling.when you will be able to go down in full control try negatives like going down with 1 leg and squating up with both in close stance etc…)
B. DB Goblet Squats 1x20 (breathing 20-rep squats style.when you will be able to do 20 reps with 60 pounds with ease work on 30 reps with 60 pounds)
C. Natural Glute Ham Raise 3xMAX(pushing your self up as little as possible.when you can do about 5 reps with no help work your way to 20 reps)
D. 1 leg calf raise 4x15-20 (do this on a step or something and when you find 4x20 easy add weight)

-Always use perfect form!!!
I am not the best guy to talk about nutrition so maybe someone else helps you here.Also search the site it has got a ton of great articles on that(and on everything!!!)

Hope it helps!!!
Forgot to ask, how old are you?