T Nation

Training with Limited Tools


I have a friend who says I inspired him and he wants to work out but he cant go to the gym and all he has is a 5 lb, 15 lb, and 25 lb dumb bells. what are the best workouts he can achieve with these tools.


Take them all in one hand, then curl them. When that gets easy, join a gym.


nice, how bout he practices pushups, pullups, and squats?

After 6 months, he should have been able to build a tank to rob the nearest gym.

Or, he could scavenge around for heavy shit. Also, people who ask you to spoon feed them directions are not worth your time without a fee.


Seriously, not everyone CAN or WANTS to be a BB. It takes a lot of dediction and sacrafice. BUT, you can build a healthy and decent physique with body weight exercises. There are plenty of FREE routines on the internet. The secret to any training routine is hard work and consistency.


concentration curls

1 arm overhead db extensions

lateral raises

rear delt raises

plus bodyweight exercises


you can join a gym for 10$ a month..... not that hard. or invest in some weights for sub 1000$ and you have a decent start.
get some plate loaded db's some 25's and 10's and 5's lb plates and just start lifting.
Also what does he even want to achieve with a toal of 50ish pounds total of weight


Weighted Lunges (whatever he can find to put across his back), Glute Ham Raises (Especially), Push ups, Pull ups, sit ups, and arms (with the dumbells).

Everything he needs for now. When he gets all those down he'll be ready for the gym.


Thanks to all I will pass on the info


You can do a lot with nothing more than a chin up bar and a dip station. But you can't do anything with little pink stretch bands and the like.


1 arm snatch
1 arm swings
Turkish get ups

Ballistic pushups
Handstand push ups
1 arm push ups
BW squats
1 legged squats
Chin ups
Muscle ups

Would be good for conditioning but won't get him big. If he wants size he will have to invest in more weights or a gym membership. If he wants to focus on conditioning, he could get an OK workout with those.


Use Big Rocks for weights.


I used to do that... also I filled duffel bags with heavy stuff and used that too


1 arm push-ups = 1.2 BW bench with extra tricep, anti-rotation work, rotator cuff and serratus work (and when he can do, say, 10 strict with feet pretty close that's about a 1.5 BW bench)

Handstand PUs = can get to a BW military (when full range) + erector work

Pistols/jumping pistols, maybe +25 lbs = ...

chins -> L-chins -> lever chins: all you'll ever need for a huge back, rear delts and steel abs
-> one arm chins: add huge biceps to the above, and insane shoulder stability

Back lever (face down) - some erector work (although he'd better do sandbag deadlifts or back extensions, they're easier to control)

...and, of course, the planche and then rainbows (planche to handstand to planche)

Practically, with a chin-up bar and a lot of will, the only other equipment he'll need to build an incredible body is a heavy (can get heavier in time) sandbag, for deadlifts and other erector work (back extensions etc.).
To be realistic, how many people can bench 1.5 bw? Or do jumping weighted pistols? Or OA Chin-ups? BW can build great strength and mass, if you have enough will. And also, how does one look when he can bench 1.5 BW and can do OA Chins? (presuming he has a high calorie diet, otherwise he'll just be very strong)

Hope this helps,

(btw, if he gets a sandbag, he can use that for lunges and squats and a bunch of other stuff; also, a sandbag can easily get to ~300 lbs - sand + water is probably the cheapest option - and it's also dirt cheap...or sand cheap) (also, fixed chin-up bars can be found all around in cities, can't they?)


Good shit sterneneisen. Stole the post right off my keyboard. That's the problem with people these days. They just don't understand humans have everything they need to get very strong, muscular and far more functional physiques from bodyweight exercises. Every exercise u posted are staples in my program. I actually only own weights just to gauge my strength progression. Also for all of ur OL lifts: clean and press, deadlift, etc. No better way to build power imo.


Lol i used to Lift the couch and put it down again repeatedly.


My friend asked me what he could do to put on muscle. I told him to buy a beginner weight set and do compound movements and eat as much protein as possible (he doesn't want to use his free gym). So he goes out shopping and buys one 25 pound non-adjustable dumbbell...

So I just shook my head and told him not to ask for my advice again. Two days later he's telling a woman he works with he's starting to get into fitness and she says her son left behind his workout station when he moved out years ago and my friend would be doing her a favor by taking it home. He can now return the dumbbell and buy cigarettes and beer.

Moral of the story: No matter how limited your resources or how much of a dumbass you are, if you strike up enough conversations with women over 45, a home gym can be yours.


Im sure he has a schoolbag lying around. When pushups and pullups start to get easier, put the weights in the schoolbag,or books, or whatever, strap it on and do weighted pushups and pullups.


grabs random white people