Muscle Building Mania
HOME GYM ALTERNATIVE.
If you have deep pockets, an alternative to outside facilities is purchasing
equipment and building your own home gym. This can be a very expensive
endeavour, but not impossible.
Your best bet is to visit local sports equipment stores to see what is available.
After you get over the “sticker shock” take copious notes on each piece of
equipment that will fit your personal program. If you can afford the individual
pieces by all means purchase them.
However, for most new bodybuilders that kind of investment is prohibitive. A
good alternative is to watch for “used” equipment. The possibilities of obtaining
just what you need are very high.
Some of those possibilities are bodybuilders who have moved on to more
sophisticated equipment or people who thought they would give bodybuilding a
whirl only to find it just wasn’t for them. Even though we caution people not to
spend money on expensive equipment, there are always those who jump into
any new venture blindfolded.
Some good places to shop for used equipment, are bulletin boards at local gyms,
local newspaper classifieds, Thrifty Nickel and don’t forget yard sales.
Next, we need to take a look at what equipment is available for the bodybuilder
home gym and the purpose they serve.
Free weights are the simplest and most cost effective pieces of equipment for the
beginning bodybuilder. Free weights consist of barbells, dumbbells and weight
plates. They are called “free weights” because they have no cables, pins or
Available as normal weights or Olympic weights, be advised that Olympic
weights are generally much more costly. The Olympic bar is also “thicker” at the
ends to accommodate the larger hole present in Olympic weight plates.
Barbells come in all shapes and sizes. They consist of a bar that is usually 4’ to
7’ in length and can weigh from 20 to 45 pounds. Varying weights are attached to
the ends of the bar. The weights are attached using collars or sleeves. You can
find barbells in a “fixed collar” design. This prevents the weights from sliding off
the end of the bar, but they are limiting as the weights cannot be removed. With
adjustable collars you can add and remove weights to suit your own purposes.
The longer 7’ bar that is generally referred to as an Olympic bar can hold 500 to
1500 pounds. As mentioned, these are usually more costly. There are also other
Olympic “specialty” bars available that are designed for specific purposes such
as biceps and triceps.
The weight plates that fit the ends of the bar come in standard increments of:
2 1/2 pounds