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Thread: Quick question - olympic vs standard weights

  1. #1
    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    Quick question - olympic vs standard weights

    OK, I'm currently building a home gym to start working out but i have a few questions.. why do I need olympic bar + weights so badly? everyone tells me without these my gym is useless but offers no good explanation..

    to give you some backround I'm just starting out weight lifting, I've never done it seriously in my life besides back in high school. I'm extremely weak, please dont laugh, to give you an idea of how weak I can barely do 3 pushups and I only weigh about 105-110lbs..

    so to me it would seem I wouldn NOT need to start out with 300lbs of olypmic weights + bar.. however I am getting a power rack so it requires a 7' bar. Thats fine, however the bar weighs 45lbs and I know thats a joke to some of you but thats heavy to me.. I can probably rep it OK but I would like to be able to go a bit lighter to do warmup sets on.. I was thinking a 7' standard bar (20lbs).. will I really be hurt that much by not using olympic? (money is not a problem)

    Also is it possible to use a standard bar with olympic weights?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Lurking lilmase1153's Avatar
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    i got standard in my home gym (never use it) and i never had a proablem.. oly weights are not gonna make you any stronger, weights are weights.. soo get whatever you feel you need like if you need a lighter bar than 45lbs get taht 20lbs one. and than add weights slowly..

    second dont worry about strength we all gotta start somewhere man..
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  3. #3
    soon to be massive SDhick's Avatar
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    You are just starting so get what you are confortable with, write down a good routine, hang it in your room, and start a good eating plan.
    Then lift those weights, we all start somewhere.

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    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDhick
    You are just starting so get what you are confortable with, write down a good routine, hang it in your room, and start a good eating plan.
    Then lift those weights, we all start somewhere.
    Yep I have my whole plan all laid out, been working on this for almost a month now and I'm finally ready to execute. Actually I will probably be posting my diet and routine on here next week to critque....

    ---

    anyway, what do you guys think of this bar and weight set:

    7' Standard Weight Bar:

    http://store.yahoo.com/bigfit/weigbarbr7st.html

    150 Lbs Assorted Standard Plates

    http://store.yahoo.com/bigfit/150lbsasstan.html


    I'm going to buy locally used but it will be something like this, unless anyone has some reasons as to why I should go olympic then I will probably get these. Thanks again for the suggestions so far
    Last edited by NormanNormal; 02-11-2005 at 12:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BigTA1982's Avatar
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    I have worked out with all types of weights and bars. They are pretty much all the same. 45LBS is 45LBS. The biggest thing I have noticed though is the bench. Make sure you get a bench that fits you. For example, I cant use the benches that the smaller bars usually come with because they dont feel comfortable to me and dont feel stable enough. So make sure the bench or other equipment fits you.
    NOW
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    Bench Press: 370LBS 11/13/06
    Squat: 135 X 6 11/7/06 (bad back, just working on form)
    Deadlift: 400LBS 11/10/06

  6. #6
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    ok when i first started lifting, i used like 40 year old weights i found in my house. when i finally bought a bench press (which was a 50 dollar peice of ****) i bought normal weights. This was ok for a while but when i got much stronger, and bought a decent bench press, i had no weights for it and always regretted not having bought olympic weights in the first place. what im trying to say is, buy the olympic set because at some point, u will outgrow the normal weight set.

  7. #7
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    ilankaplan1 is right..the reason everyone suggests getting the olympic set up front is because it's the best value for the money, as most of the time you can find a 300lb set for about $110. Also, when you first start out, you'll be weak (like I was too), but you pick up strength pretty quickly, and realize that the heavier weights need sturdy equipment and bars. I think you can get an olympic style bar meant for a smith machine that weighs 15lbs, so then you could buy olympic plates, and when you step up to the 45lb bar you'd have plates, and a nice extra 15lb bar for curls or anything else so you aren't constantly moving the big bar.

    I have the spinner-type dumbells and ez curl bar with all the plates, and I have a 300lb olympic set for deads, bar curls, squats (yes I pick it up and put it on my shoulders for now), etc. I do dumbells for bench, so I keep the 300lb set on the floor at all times. My last "set" of the night is basicaly me reassembling the 300lb set after a complete workout, which is like adding insult to injury..lol. I knew after a short while without the 300lb set that I was going to need it soon as fast as I was progressing, so I got it and the power rack and bench are coming soon enough...now I don't have to start over on buying weights. This is one of the few times in my life I was thinking ahead.
    Last edited by Patz; 02-11-2005 at 07:08 AM.

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    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    OK thanks for the advice guys, anyone know where I can find these light weight 7' olympic bars? I've done a lot of searching and cant seem to find one.

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    What do you mean light weight? There are only gonna be 45LB bars

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    45 lbs is heavy for you? if you start serious lifting, though you may never get huge, i expect you will make rapid gains mainly off diet. being of your weight and only 3 push ups tells me your pretty much skin and bones, but thats not a bad thing, we all start somewhere.

    personally i think that getting a light bar that youll end up not using is a waste. why bench press when your that weak. i think you could build up some base strength by getting to where you can do at least 20 good push ups then start benching. or if you want to, get someone to assist you with your warm up sets. its not important how heavy it is, its how heavy it feels. at that light of a weight having some differences because of your assistant isnt super important, youll still be making gains.

    i think its great that your making the commitment to lifting, and i must also reccomend oly bar. i got standard and realized i needed only almost immediately within a month. that was 6 weeks ago and this weekend im

    gonna try to go buy a power rack (which i dont have lol) and an oly set. good luck man.


    MAJOR EDIT!!!!1111oneoneone....

    i was just now reading around and i found some inspiration for you. me. you can do 2 chins? ive only got one up on you. your not as weak as you think
    Last edited by jack_of_all; 02-11-2005 at 06:31 PM.

  12. #12
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_of_all
    45 lbs is heavy for you? if you start serious lifting, though you may never get huge, i expect you will make rapid gains mainly off diet. being of your weight and only 3 push ups tells me your pretty much skin and bones, but thats not a bad thing, we all start somewhere.

    personally i think that getting a light bar that youll end up not using is a waste. why bench press when your that weak. i think you could build up some base strength by getting to where you can do at least 20 good push ups then start benching. or if you want to, get someone to assist you with your warm up sets. its not important how heavy it is, its how heavy it feels. at that light of a weight having some differences because of your assistant isnt super important, youll still be making gains.

    i think its great that your making the commitment to lifting, and i must also reccomend oly bar. i got standard and realized i needed only almost immediately within a month. that was 6 weeks ago and this weekend im

    gonna try to go buy a power rack (which i dont have lol) and an oly set. good luck man.


    MAJOR EDIT!!!!1111oneoneone....

    i was just now reading around and i found some inspiration for you. me. you can do 2 chins? ive only got one up on you. your not as weak as you think
    Hey..I can bench around 170 now, and I deadlifted 225 10 times the other night without dying, and I still don't think I can even do ONE chin.

  13. #13
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    the only reason i can do chins is because i do curls and pulldowns so much, and reverse grip pulldowns at that... my favorite thing about chins is that they are a great bicep exercise... unlike pullups where i can do one and maybe two if im lucky and use a kipping motion.

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    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    I can definitely lift 45 lbs I just wanted something lighter to do warmup sets with then add the weight

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    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    actually.. I could get the 45lbs oly bar and then just warm up with lighter DB presses or something, what do you guys think?

  16. #16
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanNormal
    actually.. I could get the 45lbs oly bar and then just warm up with lighter DB presses or something, what do you guys think?
    If I were you, I would do just that. You're gonna get used to the 45lb bar in just a couple weeks. Every time you work the arms, chest, back..you get stronger for bench because you are more stable. My max bench has gone from about 110 in September to around 170-180 now. You'll really start picking up strength when you incorporate the deadlifts and squats into your routine. Seriously, I walk around feeling like a strong mofo since I started deads. They work EVERYTHING..sorta. You'll notice yourself getting stronger all over, and the olympic bar will be your warmup in just a few weeks.

  17. #17
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    You're really not starting out that bad either. If you compare your size to mine, and what weight you can do now it's not a big difference from where I was, and I'm a big man structurally, and by weight. You can do half you bodyweight, and I couldn't.

    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=58081

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    hey norman. i dont know if this was mentioned, but that 150 lbs weight set seems a bit pricy. I got a weight set at wal mart that consisted of two dumbells, 4 2.5lbs, 4 5lbs, and 4 10lbs, all for like 45$. If i'd added those 25lbs, it wouldve probably been like 55$ or somethin.

    how old are you norman?
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  19. #19
    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachtheterrible
    hey norman. i dont know if this was mentioned, but that 150 lbs weight set seems a bit pricy. I got a weight set at wal mart that consisted of two dumbells, 4 2.5lbs, 4 5lbs, and 4 10lbs, all for like 45$. If i'd added those 25lbs, it wouldve probably been like 55$ or somethin.

    how old are you norman?
    19 currently, also I just posted those links for reference, I plan on buying used locally.

  20. #20
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    I bought all my weights used. You should be able to find good deals if you look. Don't just look in the paper, ask around and see if someone has something they want to sell or better yet give away.

    I would recommend Olympic weights if you are going to buy them new. They have a better resale value, the bar rotates so you can do cleans and snatches, the weight is easier to put on because of the larger diameter hole and the bars are much better quality.

    However, there is almost always a use for standard plates, so if you get some don't worry about it. Many multi-purpose benches take standard plates on the lat pulldown and leg curl/extension stations. Also you can use them for adjustable dumbbells, which is a great use.

  21. #21
    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    OK I think i've made a decsion.. I'm going to buy an oly bar + plates and use DB's to build up some strength first.

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    Bulking UP NormanNormal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_of_all

    MAJOR EDIT!!!!1111oneoneone....

    i was just now reading around and i found some inspiration for you. me. you can do 2 chins? ive only got one up on you. your not as weak as you think
    You know its funny you should mention this.. my arms are so weak and frail not to mention skinny.. but my legs and back are actually pretty strong. My upper legs (dont know the name of the muscles sorry..) are pretty thick (at least in comparison to my arms) and its definitely mostly all muscle.

    I know this is going to sound crazy but its the only explantion I can think of. In high school we had a crazy setup where we had 5 floors and more than 6 double flights of stairs to get between floors. All my classes were on different floors and I had take my backpack full of books because I did not have time to get to my locker in the basement. Most of the time my bookbag was so heavy that I could not even carry it around as a freshman, I remember one time it was so heavy my mother couldnt even pick it up. Must have been 40lbs.. After carrying that bag on my back for 4 years I think I got a lot stronger in my legs/back.. freshman year i could barely lift it and senior year it was nothing. who knows

    I'm really curious as to how much weight I can squat.

  23. #23
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanNormal
    You know its funny you should mention this.. my arms are so weak and frail not to mention skinny.. but my legs and back are actually pretty strong. My upper legs (dont know the name of the muscles sorry..) are pretty thick (at least in comparison to my arms) and its definitely mostly all muscle.

    I know this is going to sound crazy but its the only explantion I can think of. In high school we had a crazy setup where we had 5 floors and more than 6 double flights of stairs to get between floors. All my classes were on different floors and I had take my backpack full of books because I did not have time to get to my locker in the basement. Most of the time my bookbag was so heavy that I could not even carry it around as a freshman, I remember one time it was so heavy my mother couldnt even pick it up. Must have been 40lbs.. After carrying that bag on my back for 4 years I think I got a lot stronger in my legs/back.. freshman year i could barely lift it and senior year it was nothing. who knows

    I'm really curious as to how much weight I can squat.
    Probably not as much as you think right off the bat. Squats involve a lot of stability from the shoulders and stuff, but you'll more-than-likely progress really fast. I've got huge legs..i know my calves are like 19in, but I squatted ten reps of 135 the other day and it near killed me from exhaustion. Of course, I don't have a squat rack either so I'm basically having to power clean the bar, get it over my head, and then gently bring it down to my shoulders. Luckily, I can rep out 95 on bbell shoulder press so I think I'm still safe on my makeshift squats. I think when I get the rack soon I'll try some serious weight, but even with my big legs, they've really blown up just by doing the small stuff. Squats are mostly technique, and that much I didn't have. Just remember to stick your butt out first and foremost.

  24. #24
    David Hasselhoff wannabe Eddan's Avatar
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    I could be wrong here, but I think the bar that women use in competitive Olympic lifting is thinner (as women often have smaller hands). Perhaps that bar also is a tad lighter.

    Having said that, I still think it shouldn’t be a big problem if you buy a 45 pound bar. You will get stronger pretty fast.
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  25. #25
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    Probably not as much as you think right off the bat. Squats involve a lot of stability from the shoulders and stuff, but you'll more-than-likely progress really fast. I've got huge legs..i know my calves are like 19in, but I squatted ten reps of 135 the other day and it near killed me from exhaustion. Of course, I don't have a squat rack either so I'm basically having to power clean the bar, get it over my head, and then gently bring it down to my shoulders. Luckily, I can rep out 95 on bbell shoulder press so I think I'm still safe on my makeshift squats. I think when I get the rack soon I'll try some serious weight, but even with my big legs, they've really blown up just by doing the small stuff. Squats are mostly technique, and that much I didn't have. Just remember to stick your butt out first and foremost.
    You could do front squats instead. Then you'd only have to powerclean the bar instead of pressing it also.

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