View Full Version : I lack the means, but I'll try...

10-11-2007, 04:16 PM
I am starting a journal as of today recording my regime attempts with limited equipment, basically comprising of a standard bar, bunch of plates, squat racks and myself. I am basically entirely new to weights outside of casual dumbell lifting, and some reading around.

Yes... I don't even have a bench. This is a problem. The nearest gym to me with a decent weights room and not just a bunch of exercise bikes is a good 45 min drive, which I can't really spare at the moment.

I should obtain a bench soon but have no idea where to put it in my three bed palace. Still I've made do in the past, hopefully it won't cost me my spine.

My experience with weight lifting isn't entirely terrible, I have quite a lot of experience with isolation exercises (mainly with dumbells unfortunately), thanks to 'selective' training in the army.

I am 5'11, 24 years old and about 190lbs, I'm not positive on my weight, haven't weighed in since my last medical. I am in pretty good health, I have had a number of impact trauma injuries in my lifetime, but never a stress injury. Goals are improved strength and improved bulk. I feel I am quite weak at the moment for my frame, but to be fair to myself I have only ever practised the big compound exercises with joker weights, I never actually "tried."

The best "bench" exercise I can do is a limited ROM dumbell press off the floor; this is pathetic I know, but better than nothing, or maybe it isn't...

Anyway, workout one consisted of:

DL 3x5 - 140lbs, 140lbs, 150lbs - I feel I could have done more, it's odd as I struggled a lot more with the first rep of the first five of 140lbs than I did with the 150lbs, suggesting I didn't warm up properly.

BPOTFWDBIMC (bench press off the floor with dumbells, I might cry) - 3x5 - 123 lbs, 123 lbs, 134lbs. (combined weight of dumbells). This feels almost fruitless, I can't see myself making much progress with this ROM, I imagine I'll plateau straight away...

One arm dumbell row - 3x5 (per arm) - 95lbs, 95lbs, 100lbs. Probably could have done more, doing this off the side of my chair isn't as good as a bench... really must get a bench...

Squat - 3 x 5 - 85lbs, 171lbs, 171lbs - first set I just tried out squats with weight.. it wasn't my first time, but it wasn't far off it, I then upped it to what felt comfortable on my back, it was quite hard but not impossible, and I am sure I could have done more. I note my squat was heavier than my DL which really adds fruit to the fact I probably could have done notably more on my DL. I do not have full confidence in my squat rack either. All this nags at the back of my mind and I'm sure it knocks a score or so off my weight.

French curls - 2 x 8 (per arm) - 24lbs, 25.1lbs - yes I have pathetic triceps...

Ab curls with weight on chest - 2 x 8 - 51lbs, 62lbs - my problem with these is that I find it hard to challenge my abdominals - I did at one point do the style of sit up where you lie on a decline bench, and put the weight plate behind your head for maximum leverage, or phantom weight if you like. I stopped doing these when I thought that the range of motion I used probably wasn't great for my back. I'm thinking of perhaps doing weighted hanging raises. Either way I'm not concerned about them as an exercise, I've always been good at ab exercises so I'll just try and strengthen my core as much as possible.

I might have done too many exercises in this plan, I am going to rotate it, three times a week, with another routine that is very similar. DL - overhead press - squats - bicep curls - lateral raises - ab exercise. Again I might drop an exercise. I'm just starting out for the moment and it helps to get all this stuff down.

My major exercises seem to be relatively weak. 150lb DL and a 170lb squat. However, I have not done these more than five times in my life and any start is a good one. Hopefully can make some decent early progress.

Diet is quite random, I am taking in about 3300 cals a day.

I feel sorry for anyone who made the mistake of reading my journal, but I am the type of person who makes pen notes of what I lifted on the back of a beer coaster or something, and a more structured history is really useful.

10-11-2007, 04:36 PM
i read it all, nice and good luck u should really get a bench.

10-11-2007, 05:43 PM
don't be so hard on the floor press:
(other good ideas in there, too)

just be careful since you're starting out and ask plenty of questions here and elsewhere. get a pullup bar ASAP. as a beginner you can make nice gains with nothing more than the floor presses, pullups, squats, and deads.

10-17-2007, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

I have done two more workouts, still no bench. I have stuck to the compound lifts as suggested.

Workout # 1 (Fri):

3 x 5 Squat:
150lbs - 172lbs - 172lbs (fail last two)

3 x 5 Deadlift:
128lbs - 150lbs - 172lbs (fail last rep)

3 x 5 Floor press (combined dumbell weight):
134lbs - 134lbs - 145lbs

3 x 5 pullup:
5 BW - 5 BW - 3 BW (the shame... the utter shame... this was my bread and butter exercise for five years and I can't do 15 combined..)

Workout # 2 (Mon):

3 x 5 Squat:
150lbs - 172lbs - 183lbs - 194lbs (did one rep as a "test")

3 x 5 DL:
150lbs - 172lbs - 183lbs (rounded my lower back on the first rep of the 183lb set and this put me off the rest of the set giving me three fails. Really annoying, though at least I now know what it feels like to REALLY take the weight with your back instead of your legs (feels like ****, it doesn't hurt but you just realise it would probably be healthier to swim in toxic waste).

3 x 5 Floor press:
145lbs - 145 lbs - 156lbs (last 2 fail)

3 x 5 pullup:
4 BW - 3 BW - 3 BW (tragic...........)

I am progressing pretty well, though hardly any lift weight to write home about.