T Nation

Routine for Only Free Weights?

So been doing 5 3 1 for a bit and getting decent results. But my schedule is all over the place so it’s been hard to get to the gym. So I want to stop going to the gym I’m signed up for and only use my apartments fitness room. They only have very basic equipment.

There’s one combo machine and a bunch of free weights. No bars…so what I was wondering is there a decent routine that I could start doing that mostly involves free weight dumbells and some of the machine. I’m lost as to what I can do so if someone could point me in the right direction that would be great.

Well with dumbells you can do pressing excercises, Rowing excercises, some leg excercises( lunges, DB RDL etc ) and a multitude of different isolation excercises. Point being you should be able to create a balanced routine with what you got, but offcourse a barbell would make your life muh easier and your excercise selection
bigger.

Here is a sample routine I pulled out of my ass, so take it for what it is.

Upper.( A )
DB Bench: 3-5 sets x 8-12 reps.
DB rows: 3-5 set x 8-12 reps.
DB OHP: 3-5 sets x 8-12 reps.
Lat pulldown/Chins: 3-5 setts x 8-12 reps/ A total of 30-60 reps.
Biceps and Triceps: 3-5 setts x 8-12 reps.

Lower.( B )
DB lunges: 3-5 setts x 8-12 reps pr leg.
DB RDL: 3-5 setts x 8-12 reps.
Standing one legged Calves raises with DB: 3-5 sets x 10-20 reps.
Abs: 3-5 sets x max reps.

If you train 4 times a week, you will then hit each muscle group 2 times a week.

This is just meant to show you how you can create a program with minimal equipment.

Depending on how heavy the dumbbells get, you could also do DB squats.

Go to the “training” link on the top nab bar of the site, scroll down to “exercise videos” and type “dumbbell” in the search field. It lists over 30 exercises with dumbbells for all body parts with great demo videos!

I’d also buy the biggest kettlebell I could find and use heavy swings to supplement the dumbbells.

Most apartment gyms have dumbbells that only go up to around 55 lb or so, so you are pretty screwed for any real lower body work. The most intense leg workout I can think of might be Bulgarian Split Squats with the highest dumbbells they have to failure. You might be able to get some hypertrophy out of it, even if you don’t gain much strength. There are a lot of dumbbell variations for upper body that can make 55 pounds a little more challenging, but again you probably won’t be increasing strength much at all. I’d just focus on volume and increasing your work capacity, given what you have. Do a lot of core work too.

Thanks for the tips. I checked out the gym yesterday in more detail and seems like upper body will be fine the issue will be legs…they have a machine that can do some extensions curls but no squats will hurt. I guess squating with 50lbs dumbells is something but wish there was more I could do.

[quote]torontolifter wrote:
Thanks for the tips. I checked out the gym yesterday in more detail and seems like upper body will be fine the issue will be legs…they have a machine that can do some extensions curls but no squats will hurt. I guess squating with 50lbs dumbells is something but wish there was more I could do.[/quote]
Spend a bit of cash on a barbell and some plates; deadlift, row, clean and press, and floor press in your apartment.