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Limited equipment training programs

tkav1980

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Im sure a lot know, so ill be brief. I, like many others during the pandemic, put together a home gym.
Flat bench, adjustable bench, barbell, power rack, homemade single pully, and effectively what amounts to a single adjustable dumbell.

Personally, im following Dorian's blood and guts modified for my available equipment. For example, chest is flat bench and incline bench but with an added widowmaker or rest paused set to make up for lack in variety to achieve the desired number of work sets.
Phil hernon's old routine that he gave me works great for this set up too.

What I'd really like to do though, is build a resource of effective routines where you can accomplish nearly everything with limited equipment. Since I created this small gym, I've stuck to these two programs because I enjoy them and don't have the equipment to throw DC into the mix. So, I'd like to know what others do in this same situation.

What programs, how are you structured, draw backs you noticed and any creative modifications you implement into more well known programs.
 

jaxino

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I am having hard times doing legs, but 30mins of spinbike ed helped my legs to not shrink, those always been my lacking muscles so when a lockdown hits i always loose a good amount of cm there.

I have more or less the same equipment you have... And i do the usual JP style/low volume high intensity workout. (No idea but volume for me never worked, i really can't progress)
Usually i do 1 working set, rest, back off set on compound movements, all straight sets.
Then on less "safe"/non compound movements like flyes i do one straight set, rest, then a dropsets/cluster sets/rest pause.

Triceps Biceps Shoulders are 1 straight set, then 1 set with intensity techniques

Split is Push Pull Arms Legs Rest Repeat

For sure it's not the best because I don't have lots of different movements to do but i have no alternatives.

Thinking about investing 10k and building my own gym in my company building but that's another story.
 

FK86

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Any 5x5 or 5/3/1 variation is as bare bones as it gets. There's also Korte 3x3. You could run a specialization program if you wanted. I've always wanted to do Smolov for my squat, but I've never been able to get over having to put everything else on the backburner.
 

TripppleP

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I have been working out in my garage for 15 years. I'm 6'1 225lbs typically and still have a decent physique. After a while I just hated going to the gym and dealing with other people. I get a better workout at home.

Also as I get older and appreciate joint healthy I have changed how I work out compared to when I was twenty. Instead of leg extension, leg press, squat, ham curls, stiff-legged deads and then calves. I will now do a core routine, hip flexion and then adduction while standing one leg, single leg stiff-legged leads, one leg squats, dumb-bell on shoulders squat, and then leg curls by lying on my back and curling the balance ball under me. All this and toss in a balance pad here and there. I am able to squeeze the shit out of my muscles still but use lesser weight while sparing my joints and spine.

So in my opinion adding rubber bands, balance pad and single leg exercises helps t reduce the amount of total weight you might require to workout and save space, money and collecting the shit. Rubber bands and balances pads are light weight and arrive by mail from Amazon.
 

angus62

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Fk86 mentioned it but the specific 5/3/1 routine that worked well for me was this one. I used a trap bar for the deadlifts to make it a little more lowerback friendly with all the squatting on day 1 and day 3.

 

graybass

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Arnold once said, "Fuck you and all your sophisticated equipment! Complaining you need a reverse supinated wrist curl thingy" LOL He said give me a broom stick and couple cinder blocks out in the parking lot and I'll kick the shit out of your muscles like never before you fucking whiny pussy. There are only three muscles in the whole body, Chest, Legs, and back! Do 200 body weight deep squats and see what happens! Do 200 full push ups and see what happens. Do 200 chin ups and see what happens! We are so spoiled!
 

Dumbbell2008

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I know you asked about routines, so this post is slightly off topic, but I would get a dip station if you dont already have one. Probably one of the best pieces of equipment for a gym with limited space/budget. You can get a decent one on Amazon.

Another piece which really helps you add variety to your workouts with limited equipment are those "land mine" attachments. For example you can belt squats for legs, or t bar rows, meadow rows...etc. They are also not very expensive either.
 

KTT

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Apart from a rather limited number of hardcore bodybuilders who are misguided enough to believe that they have a chance to compete against the outright genetic freaks that now dominate bodybuilding competition, just about anybody else in this country can produce nearly all of the potential benefits of proper exercise without spending much if anything in excess of about twenty dollars. You can build both a chinning bar and a pair of parallel dip bars for a total cost of only a few dollars, and those two exercises, chins and dips, if properly performed, will stimulate muscular growth in your upper body and arms that will eventually lead to muscular size and strength that is very close to your potential. Adding full squats, eventually leading up to one-legged full squats, and one-legged calf raises, will do much the same. Using this very simple routine, when you get strong enough to perform about ten repetitions of one-armed chins with each arm, your arms will leave very little to be desired. Or, instead, you can do what many thousands of others are now doing and piss away thousands of dollars and years of largely wasted effort while producing far less results. The choice is yours. One of the best pair of arms that I ever saw on a man belonged to a guy that I knew about fifty years ago in New York, and he never performed any sort of exercise apart from chins and dips, and damned few of them.
- Arthur Jones -
 

buck

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I have been looking at some sissy squat machines as they are not to expensive and can be used for some other parts as well.
 

BALDNAZI

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In my home gym I have a Peloton for wifey but I have used it and it’s good for regular non spin class rides as well. A Rogue power rack, flat bench, adjustable bench, barbells, ez bar, Swiss bar, safety squat bar, DBs, pulley for cable work, bands and plenty of plates all on an Olympic lifting platform. I can get done everything I basically need to.

Im currently on my way back from shoulder/bicep surgery and a hernia surgery within the past few months. So it will be slow and steady til I can fully utilize everything I have. I’m going to miss the flexibility of machines and other things that a gym has to offer in my rehab but being creative I will be just fine. Curious to see what type of responses come up to the original question but for me it’s always been built around the basic lifts and add accessorie work to it.

Some of the most impressive physiques in history have been built on basic lifts with raw iron. No reason why we can’t do the same in our home gyms.

I can deal with the shoulder just fine but what’s really holding me back is the hernia repair. Cant squat or dead yet, but if I could I know I’d be well on my way to packing back my size on. Again, key for me are the big multiple joint compounds, work every time. So my suggestion is if you have limited equipment the main lifts are choice #1 and then use various techniques such as drops, rest pauses, muscle rounds etc to increase intensity.
 

TheOtherOne55

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Home gyms are great and I made due (and dieted hard) using my setup. Dips, variety grip on pullups, (both with added weight). I basically made due with great arsenal of Elitefts bands I own. That and about 100lbs of weights. Legs was more about additional volume and just gassing them in nonconvential ways. Chest was somewhat of a bitch though.
Mostly rotated my training around a PPL multiple times a week with added cardio. This is bare-bones though and yes, it worked. Not optimal though. Just in terms of lockdown stuff, if you are strong, it was a bitch.

Taking lockdown experience out of it, a home gym can be great—unless you have some serious injuries in the past. More equipment usually means more and different ways to train a muscle. After 2 serious shoulder surgeries, my pressing is still very strong but machines are just safer for me to use. I have a friend of mine who is a pretty decent national level competitor SHW. He threw down like 50k to just build out his home gym, being very selective with what (and the variety) equipment he chose. Very nice setup with a hack, a smith machine, and other goodies in there. If fitness is a part time interest, a power rack and some DB's will definitely work.
 

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