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16

My # 1 recommendation is: start working out now with what you have. Body weight exercises, some dumbbells and a few cardio machines should keep you busy for a long time. Don't wait until you have all the equipment you might need or gym membership - those are nice to haves. The most important step is starting....there are plenty of people who get in great ...


14

Another key point is this is largely a hamstring exercise as much as it is a lower back exercise. With proper form your lower back is not the only muscle group working to help you stand up. Another thing to think about: your lower back is just another muscle group, that through strength training will become stronger and greatly reduce the likelihood of ...


14

There are several arguments about correct bar placement. The two main locations are "high bar" and "low bar". Both pictures you have portray a high bar placement. The trapezius isn't designed for massive loads; however, if you have the bar a couple inches lower so that the load is split across the mid scapula. The low bar position is better suited to ...


13

There is a difference, in that you are changing the load on your core. Squats are not "just a leg exercise" as many people assume that it is. There are several variations of squats, and they each have their place. If you choose to do dumbbell squats, I highly recommend Goblet Squats. Instead of the weight at your sides, it is in front of you. This ...


11

Olympic Bars The IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) and the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) have set forth standards for what a barbell has to be for use in competition. These standards are largely compatible, so most manufacturers will manufacture for those standards: Men's bar: 20kg (~45lb) Women's bar: 15kg (~35lb) Junior's bar: ...


9

Definitely go with an Olympic bar. They will be a standard weight and have a standard diameter. If you go with anything else you may be stuck buying proprietary weights for an non standard sized bar. A typical bar will be 6-7 feet long. I would go with the longer one since you plan on doing deadlifts. The good thing about buying weight is you don't need to ...


9

How can several hundred pounds of pressure on the trapezius be safe and comfortable? I've always found bare barbells unpleasant on the trapezius. The pad's sole purpose is to address that exact issue. I don't think it's dangerous at all, it's there to prevent injury to your traps. If using the pad allows you to perform this exercise, then use it. ...


8

Preference I collar my squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses just because it annoys the heck out of me if the plates slide around even an inch or two. The noise and the asymmetry irritate my aesthetic preferences. With squats, only once have I seen the plates move more than an inch or so, and it was a good indicator that my set had been sloppy. However, ...


8

Pro Dumbbell Allows for a more natural movement. You can do more movements. Could not do flies with a bar... A seasoned lifter does not need a spotter. Work your fixator/balancing muscles more. Force you to use each side equally. Can really help if you have a muscle imbalance. Can help stress smaller muscle groups. Stretches muscles better (with ...


8

Center of gravity is the point in a body around which the resultant torque due to gravity forces vanish. Wikipedia The center of gravity of any given rigid body (like a barbell) is fixed. For objects with movable components, like sandbags or water bottles the centre of gravity can move. Note, that while the centre of gravity of a barbell will be ...


6

A few recommendations (to address your questions): Get a power rack, they aren't that expensive but they are very versatile. You can use them for squats, and as a personal spotter for bench presses. (bench sold separately). The lower cross bars are there to act as your spotter so you never have to drop the bar on the floor or worry about the bar ...


6

The ball bearings allow the weights to rotate without the bar in your hand needing to rotate. As you move a weight in most exercises, unless you have amazing form, some amount of rotational energy will be transfered to the weight. This is true in Olympic lifts even if you have perfect form. If the weight was not allowed to move freely, you would need to ...


6

There are several different approaches I have found to deal with this very problem: Get your own squat rack for your house. Clean the bar from the floor. Get a spotter to help you. Use the bench press barbell rack so you are only cleaning from waist up. Use the steinborn lift. Each of these has their own pros and cons, and you'll need to evaluate what is ...


5

I would vote that you join a gym. It can certainly be expensive (and less convenient), but the net positives outweigh the negatives. First, an Olympic barbell costs ~$100. Basic, cast-iron weights cost a little more than $1/pound (at least where I live.) So just to get started, you're probably looking at $300, just for a barbell and weights. Second, ...


5

I would stay away from the Bowflex or similar 'adjustable' dumbbells, they're basically an overpriced gimmick that would drive you away from using them with their rattling sound and difficulty in setting the weight you want. WHAT I would recommend, especially for P90x or similar routines where you're using light weights, are rubber coated hex dumbbells, ...


5

It all depends on the weight your lifting and the form you use. If I drop a napkin on the floor, I can safely bend down and pick it up without bending my back and using my legs. It's not bad for my back for obvious reasons. Even if I don't have proper form, the weight is so light, and I am still young enough, that no damage will occur. Stiff leg deadlifts, ...


5

I'd double check the rack to be entirely sure the pins can't be set outside the rack. Maybe I'd ask someone who works at the gym. Maybe the rack has holes on the side, and the pins can be turned backwards? But let's assume you can't get a rack at chest height where you can press. Switching gyms is a fine option that sounds closed to you. Buying a power ...


5

The mats are a good idea even if you are in a single family home on the ground floor. They will help protect both the floor and your equipment. Any lift where there is a risk of dropping the weight can't be done in an apartment. It's for the same reason you can't run and jump without bothering your neighbors. Impact noise travels through ceilings and ...


4

People get injured lifting with their back because their backs are weak. Not using one's back is one solution. Strengthening one's back is a better solution. The point of stiff-legged deadlifts is to start light and slowly progress to weights that are challenging--that is, heavy for you--but still solidly doable. This is a safe way of loading the back in ...


4

Never trust a barbell. The gym owner will swear it's 45 pounds. It ain't. Your workout partner will swear he weighed it last year and it's 25 pounds. It ain't. There are a lot of different bars, whether Olympic, standard, curl or whatever, and they're being built to different weights. When it comes to precision, different brands have different standards. A ...


4

From Starting Strength: The dumbbell version of the exercise [...] involves a greater amount of instability [...]. This is especially true if the weights used are sufficiently heavy to challenge your ability to finish the set. Most trainees use dumbbell bench presses as a light assistance movement, and never appreciate how hard they are or how useful ...


4

You have made solid progress. Congratulations, keep up the hard work. If I were you I'd switch to a program that adds weight weekly or monthly, such as Rippetoe & Kilgore's Texas Method from Practical Programming, or 5/3/1, or another similar program. That will keep you adding strength for quite a while longer. I'd consider switching up exercises, to ...


4

Dumbbells are an excellent choice for bench and overhead pressing. For deadlifts they're kind of not great, because it gets awkward as soon as it gets heavy. I'd do lots of Romanian dumbbell deadlifts, or dumbbell power cleans, instead. For squats, I'd do lunges with dumbbells before I'd do the Smith machine. That his is just not right.


3

Barbell deadlifts require different form than dumbbell deadlifts, because the bar has to pass in front of your knees as it rises. Dumbbell deadlifts allow the knees to stay farther forward, allowing the use of more leg muscle and less back muscle than the barbell. The dynamics are similar to lifting with a hex bar. Dumbbell handles are usually closer to the ...


3

From some of the videos I've seen, you want dumbbells that have the weight free from the handle that you hold onto for certain lifts, like the snatch. This allows you to throw the weight and not have to spin the bar in your hand.


3

"i have the weight by my side with the dumbbells, or across my shoulders with the barbell?" You answered your own question, there is a physiological difference in the origin of the weight and therefore a difference in where the force / work is applied to move that weight, specifically the posterior chain.


3

This answer is a complement to Meade Rhubenstein's which covered the dumbbell very well. Your question also included the barbell. There are two main types of barbells: "Standard" barbells, the diameter is about 1" on average, but there is no guarantee that the weights from one manufacturer will fit the bar made by another. In short, they are not really ...


3

I heart deadlifts and good morning's. Deadlifts are a pretty natural body movement we do probably more than we think about it (sans weights to start usually of course) - lifting kids off the floor, picking up something you dropped, opening lower cabinet doors, putting/removing items from the trunk of your car... The exercise is just a way of strengthening ...


3

As somebody mentioned, it is not the exercise that causes the lower back pain; however it can cause more stress on it further especially if you have had a lower back and weak hamstrings to begin with. When the stiff-legged deadlift is used correctly, it can help benefit your lower back and hamstrings by effectively targeting them and growing them stronger in ...


3

No one directly said this, so I thought I'd contribute (the other posters talked around this): When you do a stiff legged deadlift, you maintain your spine in a fixed curvature, and pivot at the hips. If you curled and uncurled your back, yes, you'd probably injure it. But by holding it in position, you perform a powerful isometric exercise for the lower ...



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