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Join a Club or Buy Weights?


Ok, so for christmas i decided im either gonna join a club or buy a weight set.

Im not gonna have alot to spend (300 max) and i want 100-125 pds of weight to start off with (weights, not including bar) , id need a bench, and i guess i could use the same weights for curls and buy a curl bar and dumbells?

any suggestions on where to buy? or should i just join a club?


IMO if you can afford it every month id just join a gym, thats just me tho... slap my nuts and call me crazy


I would say BUY WEIGHTS. Not sure where you are located or how much room you have for a home gym but let me just mention that for less than $300 I bought a squat rack, DB rack with DB from 10-55, bench, 3 bars, clamps, weight tree and about 300 lb of weights. Found it all on craigslist.com


I think you should take other things into consideration as well.

Maybe others can help me out with questions you should ask yourself before doing either, but I'll start out:

1) Do you get motivated by working out around other people?

2) Do you get agrivated/annoyed by working out around other people?

3) What price will be higher, the total lifetime cost of a home gym (with all necessary equipment) or a gym membership.

4) How far is a gym from my house, and is there one close by with all the equipment I need/want?

5) Can you stay motivated to work-out at home with so many 'distractions' so close by (like TV, couch, refrigerator...)?

I personally want to get a home gym once we finaly get our own house, but I am worried about my own motivation to be consistant at home. At least at a gym, if I go there, I'm going to finish my workout.

On the other side, if I'm too lazy to go out to a gym, having a home gym might stop me from missing a workout too.


do you guys think a bowflex is a waste of money?


If you bought a Bowflex and actually used it consistently, it wouldn't be a total waste of money. I think it would be a very poor value compared to other options for the price (like a power rack and Oly. bar).

The thing is, Bowflex customers seem to be attracted to the machine because it's faddish, the ads are slick, and it looks like less work than using weights. I think it's safe to say that in most cases the Bowflex ends up in the classified ads or is used as an expensive clothes hanger, in which case yes it's a total waste of money.


I do.

For the money, if you're going to get the squat attachment, and the lat pull down attachment, you could get a lot of freeweights and a power rack instead.

Plus with the bowflex, you're going to out grow it eventually and the resistance is going to be different throught the movements (different band tension at different points).

That could be good sometimes, but that's what chains and bands are for when working with freeweights, and if you're that advanced to where you're using bands and chains with freeweights, you're probably too strong to do any kind of low rep training on a bowflex.

Plus freeweights seem to have more variety and I personally get less bored with them than with a bowflex (I bought one and it's in storage with the other things I don't use).


after asking that, join the fucking gym :slight_smile:

youll get motivation and youll learn alot! free weights--best friend a man can have.


I would say buy weights! This way, you can save money in the long term and avoid distractions (shitty music, curls in powerracks and you will not need to lift a heavier weight than you can lift for ego's sake.

Apart from power-racks, reverse hypers and Glute-ham raise are extremely important if you want to squat and deadlift big numbers, get an authentic one from official Westside Barbell website or elitefts.


I say weights....although you have other things to contend with when you do that.

I like working out alone, listening to my own music, and being able to do whatever lifts I like.

On the other hand, I never have a spotter, so I have to be careful on ME day! I also don't have any mirrors, so its hard to check my form all the time.

As SWR said, it has alot to do with our personality. But I say buy the weights because you will always have them, they are always accessible, and they eliminate all excuses for not working out (I can't say that I'm skipping a workout because its snowing, I don't feel like driving, there's traffic, etc).


Can the thing even provide enough resistance to accomplish anything? The one I was goofing around on couldn't.
It may be an "all in one" type of machine, but it doesn't do any well.


I wouldn't worry about a home gym because you are limited by your bank account as far as the weight lifted and your eventual progress. It may be great for beginners, but someone serious would doubtfully be able to build a decent home gym under 600 bucks. Hell, the stronger you are, the more expensive it will be unless you are strictly into powerlifting and are only looking for a power rack.

I like the variety of a gym and the atmosphere. Bowflex machines are cute...and they eventually make great coat hangers in most people's homes. A couple of potted plants and the shit is like sculpture.


Most people will bash the Bowflex on here. Myself, I predominatly use a Bowflex simply due to where I live. Shipping free weights or squat racks to the Caribbean is ridiculously expensive.

I do use Bowflex consistantly, so it is not a waste of money for me. Yes it was expensive, and in the US I could of got more for my money - but I have to pay a high per pd rate to get things here.

I am still a beginner now with probably about a year under my belt. I've made huge inroads into my strength, muscle, and body. People actually notice. Basically.. its a form of resistance. May not be ideal, but for a newbie you should see results when cominbed with some dedication.

Now flame away at me!



Questions you gotta ask yourself:
*Time? How much? How often?
*Spotter? Needed, or not?
*Knowledge? What you know or don't about proper lifting methods, techniques, etc...
*Cost? Gym vs. Home? Long term vs. short term gains and expenses?
***Purpose? Why? For me, for my family, for the chicks, for work, for play? Answering this one will determine the outcome or necessity of all the others. Remember, what you do or don't do with your life is your responsibility and no one will ever know, BUT YOU!!! I am in the same position you're in right now, but I do not have the space in my home and there is a gym within walking distance that will charge me $25/mo. I'm looking for size and mass gains as well as high endurance levels. For me, I'll take the gym and take advantage of the spotters, trainers, saunas, etc...


I like going to a gym simply because everything I need is there, and there is no upkeep for me. I can workout and go home. No worrying about keeping up the equipment, they do that. But that's me.


Here was my wish list for my gym a couple of years ago. I have everything but the rower now. the most important are a jump rope, 7' barbell and 315lbs of plates a flat bench, 53lb KB and dumbells.

Power Cage w/
Flat Bench
Pull Up Station
Seated Row Station

Dip Station (home Made)

7' Olympic Bar
5' Olympic EZ Curl Bar
5' Olympic Bar (Deadlifts)
6-45 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-35 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-25 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-10 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates
2-5 lb Ivanko (OMEZH) Plates

5-110 lb Power Blocks Dumbells
Flat / Incline / Decline Bench

Swiss Ball
Jump Rope
Jump Stretch Bands
10lb Medicine Ball
88/53/23/33/18lb KettleBells
AB Slings
Dip Belt
120 lb Heavy Bag
20" Plyo Box (Home Made)

Concept II Rowing Machine

This is the home gym I have slowly Built it takes up a 20 x 20 room.


A few points about joining a gym:
Once you are at the gym, there is little else to do but work out. So even on an off day, you get there and you go through with the program, at home you are much more tempted to hang it up.
A gym gives you access to a community of like minded people. Even if you don't talk to anybody, you are surrounded by lifters, and in a physical atmosphere. Motivation through osmosis, I guess. Advice, training partners and spotters are more readily available. Eye candy is usually around, this may help or hurt. Many feel driven by those around them, feeling they must have others see them work hard.
Of course there are flip sides to all of the above. If you can't get motivated to go to the gym, being there won't help. It is hard to find excusses not to go to your garage (basement, spare room, etc.)
Other people can range from distraction and nuisance to unpleasant and dangerous. Often unwanted advice is given out. Crowded gyms can detract from a workout. Showing off gets you hurt.
If you do sign up to a gym, examine your contract, examine the gym, and try to make an informed choice.


I just picked up some dbell handles and about 140# of weight - I figured that's enough to get me started while I'm rehabbing a couple injuries (plus I can try to build up my numbers to something that's not terribly embarrassing for when I do decide to head to the gym).

Between bodyweight work and the dbells, I think you'd be able to do quite a bit on your own. When the time's right you can always switch to a gym.

Of course, for getting in shape for powerlifitng, or bodybuilding competitions, you'd probably be better served by going to a gym.


Are you serious? How much was shipping?


I'm definately not as informed on the subject as some of the other posters, but here's my two cents.

The Bowflex is more smoke and mirrors than anything else. Your probably better off getting some basics like a chin up bar, sufficient bench, and a bunch of addable and subtractable weights.

Plus, about the Bowflex...wouldn't the bands be harder to pull in the Winter when it's colder and vise versa?