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Multi gyms - your opinions


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I don't have much experience with multi-gyms, but I would think you could buy some free weights along with a barbell and dumbbells for the money you'd invest in the multi-gym. Depending on your budget, you might also be able to pick up a squat rack and/or weight bench. Personally, I think that would be your best bet, because you can use free weights from your current stage right up to the advanced stages of weight training.

 

Mike

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I don't have much experience with multi-gyms, but I would think you could buy some free weights along with a barbell and dumbbells for the money you'd invest in the multi-gym. Depending on your budget, you might also be able to pick up a squat rack and/or weight bench. Personally, I think that would be your best bet, because you can use free weights from your current stage right up to the advanced stages of weight training.

 

Mike

 

ditto

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Thanks, they do seem to be expensive so I may look into alternatives. What do you guys think about using plastic bottles filled with sand etc in place of weights? I saw a book on bodybuilding that had a chapter just on that type of training.

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Sounds kinda cool. I would think it would be good for your stabalizer muscles, since the weight would shift. I still think that good ole' iron is your best bet, though. It's predictable, allows you to take your time and perfect your form and it's easy to gauge your progress by adding weight.

 

Mike

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I third the sentiment of free weights - multi-gyms often end up costing more than a good free weight setup, take up as much room, and can be outgrown or have "issues" with equipment that degrades or breaks down over time.

 

Best investment you could get -

Power rack (starting around $250-300)

300 lb. barbell set (can get one second-hand for about $100 and up if you have a Play it Again Sports near you or a similar store, expect around $200ish for a cheap new set)

Flat/Incline bench (check Ebay or other online retailers for cheap prices, may be able to get one for less than $100)

 

With those things, you've got everything you really could need from being a beginner to intermediate level, and if you advance further, all you need to do is buy more weight and you're good to go!

 

Multi-gym machines sound like more fun somtimes, but you'll never get the same results you'll get from free weight work and you're stuck with whatever they give you vs. the 100+ things you can do with a barbell or dumbbell set. Those people you see on infomercials that look great, have some decent mass and are ripped with almost no bodyfat? Trust me, they didn't build their bodies exclusively on the Bowflex, Total Gym or any of the other contraptions out there

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If you have an appropriate place (a doorway) you should get a bar for doing chin-ups. That won't cost much, and it allows you to do one of the best / most important exercises (as far as I know). Then you can get a set of free weights, for not much money as well. If you can get a bench for doing bench-press, or dumbbell press, or flies, then that's great. I think multigyms generally aren't better value than the alternatives, if it's money that you're concerned about.

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Other than a bowflex for those that can't squat 600+ pounds I'd never recommend anyone buy one. They never really work all that smoothly since the cables are rerouted so many times to different things. Plus they never seem to get the angles right with where they place the pivot points for all the different movements. I'm assuming it works for someone but you better hope your their exact same size.

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Thanks, they do seem to be expensive so I may look into alternatives. What do you guys think about using plastic bottles filled with sand etc in place of weights? I saw a book on bodybuilding that had a chapter just on that type of training.

 

Yard sales especially in the spring when "the joy is gone" from the new years res people and they are dumping stuff. That generally means a standard bench and weight set, but that's a great start.

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Thanks everone, I do have a chin up bar and do chin ups, pull ups and hanging leg raises - great piece of kit.

 

I may just invest in some dumbells and a barbell with some weights. I am aware of the limitations of bodyweight exercises and would like to pump my chest and arms.

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If you're strapped for cash, you could really get in good shape for free by doing pushups, pullups and leg raises. There's a navy seals workout that involves those three exercises (situps instead of leg raises) plus running. It depends on if you're looking to bulk up or get "cut."

 

Mike

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here's a navy seals workout that involves those three exercises (situps instead of leg raises) plus running

 

I actually have the US Navy Seals Fitness Guide in e-book form. If anyone wants it, feel free to PM me with the email address you want it sent to. I'll be more than happy to send it your way. I'll wait a week just in case a couple of people request it and then i'll send an email out to all who asked for it. It's pretty cool. When I skimmed through it, I suddenly wanted to run across beaches and jungles for miles on end perhaps do some swimming with an anchor attached to my waist off the shores of alaska without a wetsuit in extreme conditions with 250lbs of gear on me screaming bonzaiiiiiiiii!

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Thanks guys, I'm really looking to get cut rather than look like a bodybuilder, although I would like to get a reasonable chest and arms.

 

If anyone could suggest a basic routine I would be very grateful, as I need some sort of proper routine to follow. I do think my chinup bar was one of the best investments I've made in terms of exercise equipment, better than my lateral thigh trainer lol.

 

I'll PM you Lean and Green.

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Here's a link to the SEALs workout I mentioned. It's not as intense as what you'll probably receive from Lean and Green, but I think it would get you in great shape for free. It involves a lot of running, pushups, pullups, situps (which you could replace with leg raises) and swimming (which you could replace with cycling).

 

http://navyseal.s5.com/workouts.html

 

Mike

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Here's a link to the SEALs workout I mentioned. It's not as intense as what you'll probably receive from Lean and Green, but I think it would get you in great shape for free. It involves a lot of running, pushups, pullups, situps (which you could replace with leg raises) and swimming (which you could replace with cycling).

 

http://navyseal.s5.com/workouts.html

 

Mike

 

Thanks, looks like a great workout. One thing I was going to mention is that I have some resistance tubing and use it to do things like bicep curls. There is not much resistance but when I do bicep curls fairly fast after dozens of reps I start to feel it and doing that can leave my muscles really pumped and feeling like I've done a proper workout. Is this any good for me, or is it not an effective way to build my arms?

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To be honest, I think your arms (and entire physique) would benefit more from compound movements like pullups. If pullups don't make your bi's scream in agony, chinups probably will- and both will work your back. If you add some pushup for your triceps and chest, then bada bing, you have a well-balanced, toned upper body you can take to the beach.

 

Mike

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Dips are brutal, but they are a great exercise . If your kind of new to all of this, though, I'm a little worried about the dips. I've heard that dips on a bench can be a little hard on the shoulders. It would be a bummer for you to get injured at this stage in the game. Dips on a machine would be great, if you had access to a gym. It's your call of course, but I think you could hit those tris pretty nicely by doing pushups with your arms kind of tucked in at your sides.

 

Any ideas for what you might do for legs?

 

Mike

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I have done dips using a bench as well as with my feet raised on a chair and my hands on the floor - I could definately feel the muscles being worked.

 

I do a fair amount of jogging and fast walking, although was thinking of doing some squats to hit my legs.

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I do a fair amount of jogging and fast walking, although was thinking of doing some squats to hit my legs.

Pistol squats are good, it is very easy to vary the resistance by grabbing onto a doorframe or wall when doing them.

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