Minimal Equipment for Maximal Results

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been a lurker on this forum for some time and decided it’s time to get actually serious for once in my life about lifting weights.

I’m a 32 year old married working professional that has always been active, but never really hit the weight room. I know how crazy commercial gyms can be, so I decided to buy a few bits of equipment to help me on this road.

  • barbell
  • 360lbs worth of weights
  • squat stand
  • speed rope
  • dip & pull up tower
  • 85lb, 100lb dumbbell

I see everyone that is serious has a log of some sort whether it’s paper and pen or on this site. I am creating this log to hold myself accountable.

Once I figure out what program I am going to do with the equipment I have I promised myself that I will stick to that program for no less than 1 year. Just waiting on some guidance before I get started.

Edit: I know what program I will be doing now.

After searching through the forums and looking at all the program templates. I think I found something that will work for me. This will be based off the 531 protocol. I won’t use any sets or reps right now just to get use to getting under the bar.

DB Row
Ab Roller

Chin Ups
Roman Leg Raises (using the dip tower)

BB Rows
BB Curls

If your equipment isnt clunky it could be alright

Give weighted pushups a try with medium weight (2+ plate on upper back) and medium reps (for this, 10-20 reps)

The equipment I have is solid. Should last me a decade at least.

I was thinking that, but I have no one to help load it for me unless my wife is close by. I will do regular push ups from time to time though.

It’s doable to load up to 2x45 lbs on your upper back by yourself

Havent tried more but I am sure there could be some way.

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I might give it a try after some time, thank you!


Back Squat - 45x10, 95x6, 115x6, 135x6, 155x6, 175x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x2

Strict Press - 45x10, 95x5, 105x6, 115x5, 115x5, 115x5, 95x7

Chin Ups - 38 total

Dips - 54 total

Hanging Leg Raises - x20, x15, x12

Outside Run - 1 mile (7:24)

That was a great workout! I think 5 exercises is the perfect amount with the 6th being some sort of cardio for the level I’m at currently.


5 Mile Run

With the extra squatting, I’ll have to manage my running now going forward. My weekly 5 mile run I might just do once a week instead now.

A typical week will look like:

Sunday - cardio, stretching, vegetarian
Monday - lifting, eat meat
Tuesday - cardio, stretching, vegetarian
Wednesday - lifting, eat meat
Thursday - cardio, stretching, vegetarian
Friday - lifting, eat meat
Saturday - hike and enjoy life, vegetarian

I like training in the mornings because it starts my day off right.

I don’t know how many calories or any of that I need but I’m sure I’ll need more than I’m eating now. I will continue to eat my typical 3 meals a day for a few weeks and go from there. I’ve seen a few people recommend on this site to do that and then slowly increase the portions or add another small meal to see how that goes.

I plugged my info for a typical day into and it came out to 170c/84f/160p for a total of 2050 calories daily. That explains how I’ve stayed as lean as I have. Never knew how many calories I’ve been intaking.

What # should I shoot for? Like 2500? 3000? I want to gain some mass, minimize fat and get strong as hell.

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Warm Up
BB Complex (back squat, behind the neck press, front squat, rdl, rows) & stretching

Back Squat
135x6, 155x5, 175x5, 185x5, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5

Strict Press
65x10, 95x6, 105x6, 115x6, 115x6, 115x4

135x5, 155x3, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 245x3, 245x3, 135x12 (RDL), 135x12 (RDL), 135x12 (RDL)

DB Row
85lbs - 12x4 (12 sets of 4 reps)

Ab Roller
x15, x15, x12

jump rope & push ups for 13 minutes

Good focused workout. Learning “how to stay tight” during my lifts. DB Rows were heavy as shit. My back and grip are smoked from today’s workout.


After reading through a ton of logs and posts and seeing how everyone has a different style but are still getting results (such as @ActivitiesGuy, @flipcollar, @MarkKO, @ape288, etc). I see the common theme is to put on your hard hat, grab your lunch pail, and get into the gym and put in some hard work over a long period of time. Reps and sets and programs aren’t want gives you results. It’s busting ass in the gym, eating well, resting, and moving around.

I think I need to set some number goals on some big lifts, so I have something to work towards.

My goals will be the following numbers. I don’t know how to setup a timeline, but I know how to focus when I set my mind to it, I really get after it and get it done one way or the other.

These are not 1RMs, but just general numbers that I hit for my work sets or top set what ever you guys want to call it.

Back Squat 405lbs
Press 225lbs (Strict Press or Push Press)
BB Row 315lbs

I don’t know if these numbers reflect imbalances or anything of that nature, but it would be awesome to hit these numbers. I think I would be strong and look strong.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Because I only have a barbell, squat stand, plates/bumpers mix, 1-85lb db and 1-100lb db, and a dip/pullup station this is the only equipment I’ll have access to get strong.

My current program setup is the following:

DB Row
Ab Roller

Squat or Front Squat
Press or Push Press
Chin Ups
Roman Leg Raises (using the dip tower)

BB Rows

Any advice would be helpful!


Thanks for the shout out, puts me in very good company indeed.

I think your goals are good, although I’d probably push the squat a bit harder given the row and press goals simply because personally I’ve never gotten close to either that press or row for a single let alone reps whereas my squat went beyond 405 lbs quite easily. I’d suggest shooting for 500 lbs on the squat, keep the other goals the same - you don’t have a timeline so there’s no rush but once you achieve them you will be strong AF, guaranteed.

I like the look of that. It actually resembles something I theorised about for similar circumstances, so I’m very curious about how it’ll go for you. Hopefully you’ll start a log if you haven’t already so I can follow:

Day one

Squat, work up to heavy five then some back off sets of five to eight
Press 5x10 cleaning every first rep

Day two

Press, work up to heavy five then some back off sets of 10, cleaning every first rep
Barbell row, 350 set

Day three

Squat 350 set
Dips, work up to top weighted 10 then backoff set at bodyweight for AMRAP
Chins/pull-ups or barbell row 5x10 depending on how your elbows tolerate chins/pull-ups


are you thinking in terms of wrapped or unwrapped? If you’re talking unwrapped, I think you’re underestimating how difficult it is for most people to reach that number. 500 is a fine long term goal, but if his current max is around 250, that’s going to take a long, long time to reach. I do see your point, and I know that it’s easier to get stuck on the press than the squat.

The thing that stuck out most to me was the fact that you listed your press goal of 225 as strict OR push press. Those are such different things that I would specify one or the other. I know a lot of guys that can push press 80 more lbs than they can strict press. There’s a very reasonable chance that, if you’re good at leg drive, you’ll be able to push press 225 with only a 185 strict press. I see that sort of ratio regularly.


@flipcollar, @MarkKO I’ll respond to you guys in more detail after work. Thanks for the feedback. So I misquoted myself earlier. It’s not a 315 bb row but a power clean. I’m learning how to power clean currently, but will stick with the rows right now to build my strength up. Not that I would ever stop doing them.

But after 3 months of getting use to all the movements and building the habit of lifting regularly and getting stronger along the way, this is the total I want to chase. It really appeals to me!

Based on the numbers of those elite guys I think for me personally I can get to these numbers by working my ass off.

Back Squat - 405
Power Clean - 315
Push Press - 225

I think I would be strong and athletic especially for my current size (5’6 165).

If I was going to chase those numbers how would I adjust my template or how would I put together a program that will allow me train for the pendlay total?

Thank you for that! Pardon my ignorance but what is a 350 set?

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Sorry let me clarify. I would want a big Push Press.

Ok… so a 315 power clean is a MASSIVE number. I feel like you don’t realize how strong that is. A full clean at 315 is very difficult to reach… most people do not have the ability to reach a 315 power clean in their lifetime. Whereas, you could get to a 225 push press in a year from where you are, potentially. Just putting that out there, since you asked if these lifts seem ‘balanced’. I’ve push pressed 275, and I can’t come CLOSE to a 315 power clean.


Agreed. Big disparity between the two. I used to rep 225 for sets of 5 of on the push press, whereas my best power clean is only 265lbs.

Also, your ability to power clean big weights is going to be somewhat dependent on squatting strength and I don’t think a 405 squat is going to yield a 315 power clean unless you are incredibly explosive naturally.

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I understand this, but I got to have a goal right? So let’s say the highest PC I could possibly reach then. Even if it’s 250 I’ll be happy lol

I understand this. I’m just setting a high goal so I have something I can shoot for. I don’t know if I’m really explosive or not, guess I’ll hand to find out!

I figure a 405 squat as a base will help me kind of figure out what I need to do to get my PC up.

So maybe I’m approaching this all wrong. let’s not put numbers to the lifts.

I know for a fact I want a big back squat, big power clean and a big push press.

Obviously I need to get stronger overall, but what is the best way in your opinion to get these lifts (as my main core lifts) to increase substantially programming/program wise?

In my friends 5/3/1 book there is a program called Morning Star that is 3 training days which has a power clean, squat and press (I guess I could do push Press 2x) that maybe fits what I’m looking for. I’m just looking for some guidance.