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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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jtocci

I'm frustrated with the poor equipment in the local gyms.

I don't mean just the brands either. I don't care what brand it is as long as it attempts to use strength curve technology and works all the large and core muscles directly with single joint exercises. Despite living in a huge metropolitan area I can't find a gym that even comes close.

One of my main problems is finding any kind of glute machine. Out of eight gyms now visited, only one had a glute machine and it was a one leg at a time machine with a very limited range of motion. It also seemed to be designed to prevent an overweight person from using it correctly.

Am I being unreasonable? As an overweight person (5'6" - 280 lbs) my knees and feet get enough stress without attempting a squat or a leg press. Besides, isn't the largest muscle group still the glutes? By the look of the gyms around here I'd wouldn't say that.

Also, every low back machine in a twenty mile radius has a missing or broken seat belt. And about chest and deltoids, I couldn't shake a stick at the press machines, but there were very few machines that isolated the pectorals and zero that isolated the delts.

I have carpal tunnel issues and it isn't smart for me to use press machines. And don't get me started on the total lack of pullover and rotary torso machines. Eight gyms, not one of either.

So that's it. I'm done looking for a gym. It seems to me that with today's technology I should be able to buy three or four machines with three or four exercises each and expect a whole body workout (strength curve and isolated exercises) minus calves, biceps, triceps and forearms (easy to do with a set of dumbells). A real home gym. I'm looking and I'm not finding.

Meanwhile, I've bought an old Nautilus Super Pullover with too little weight and a 2ST Rotary Torso. I'm looking for a used 2ST Glute Extension but I don't think anyone ever bought one so I don't have my hopes up.

Before I start designing my own machines, I'd like to know; anybody figure out a way to have it all (strength curve and isolated exercises in an 8' x 8' space) yet? I'm all ears!
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

There's the Eccentric Edge plateloaded rotary multi-station machine. Great machine, does a lot of different exercises. But no way in hell will it fit in an 8x8 space, unfortunately.
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McNultyEssex

Although not as good as a well designed machine, you can still make significant improvements using cheap, space efficient equipment, e.g. dumbells/barbells, bench, chin up bar, etc.

I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but I think hard work is the most important factor over equipment.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Also, wrist exercises may improve the carpal tunnel, as long as you start very light, and progress gradually over time.

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jtocci

alexmac wrote:
Although not as good as a well designed machine, you can still make significant improvements using cheap, space efficient equipment, e.g. dumbells/barbells, bench, chin up bar, etc.

I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but I think hard work is the most important factor over equipment.


I'm not afraid of hard work, but I don't agree. I've got a small frame, but as a 280 lb guy I have a hard time doing most multi-joint exercises. I just can't justify it.

Doing a leg press when I over-stress my knees walking around just doesn't seem right. I could probably press a huge amount, a number that would make me very uncomfortable. All barbell exercises involving the triceps cause a popping sound in my right elbow that scares the heck out of me. I also can't hold on long enough to get a burn when doing pulling exercises that involve gripping a bar, then my wrists hurt and tingle for hours, sometimes interfering with my sleep.

I know it sounds like I'm falling apart but I'm only 35 years old. I play racquetball two or three times a week (badly but I enjoy it) so I'm not unfit. In my opinion I'm just a very fat guy with a small, short frame that was not built for all this extra weight. So I'm caught, in this situation where its very difficult to build muscle because I can't apply the leverage to the large muscles without machines, yet the proper machines are not available.

I think somebody should design a line of machines for fat people, but of course there just isn't a market for that. I'm going to end up making a couple machines myself, I just know it.
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medici

Spain

jtocci wrote:

So that's it. I'm done looking for a gym. It seems to me that with today's technology I should be able to buy three or four machines with three or four exercises each and expect a whole body workout (strength curve and isolated exercises) minus calves, biceps, triceps and forearms (easy to do with a set of dumbells). A real home gym. I'm looking and I'm not finding.



That you've purchased a used Nautilus pullover suggests you have a lot more disposible income than most of us. As such, you're equipment options will bring envy from us.

You've touched on an important matter: other than specialized or high end gym equipment (which are pretty much the same thing), the range of home gym equipment is rather amazing.

Craigslist is an interesting index to what people buy, hardly use, then resell. Chuck Norris' Total Gyms, admittedly overpriced manyfold as little more than simple mechanical parts, do not hold their retail value. Bowflex, which has alread lost millions of dollars in personal injury suits, class action suits, and retrofitting units in the field - all due to genuinely idiotic design - likewise are a pennies on the dollar resale matter. Same for the old Soloflex machines.

One can equip a good home gym with just Craigslist. Olympic sets, safety/power racks, Smith machines, Hack slide/leg press, seated calves machines are found all the time. I'm amazed at the volume of commercial equipment likewise available.

But what's missing is a User's Guide - a book akin to the old "Tips, Tricks, and Traps" books for computers and software standard in the 80s and 90s. You've done a pretty good job of needs assessment - as good as it gets as a newbie. As newbies, however, we cannot comprehend how our needs will change, becoming more sophisticated with experience - which says a strategic guide for "growing with" and "growing into" your home gym would bode well.

I'm working on such a book. It seems to me the key element lies with the tricks and tips portion - how to extend the range of standard equipment in order to rival a decent commercial gym, and being able to do so without investing an arm and a leg.

best
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Robert Francis

New York, USA

kayo wrote:
I'm working on such a book. It seems to me the key element lies with the tricks and tips portion - how to extend the range of standard equipment in order to rival a decent commercial gym, and being able to do so without investing an arm and a leg.

best


Here's the appendix for your book.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR NON-STOP
CONTINUOUS GAINS

1-Chin Bar

2-Dip Bars
(Both made with $8.00 worth of plumbing pipe and lag bolts)

3-Hip Belt

4-Barbell Plates
(set budget at .20/lbs.)

zand....

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jn6047

I would think that there would be a great need for gym equipment for fat people. But to me, that need is rediculous. The most important thing in my opinion that you need to do is lose the fat. I would suggest finding a nutritionist/trainer who has worked and been succesful with over-weight people. Using a few isolation machines will hardly be of any real benefit in my opinion. Diet and cardio for fat loss should be your main focus.

jn6047
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Ciccio

Cardio for fat loss is BS!
And especially for the over-fat harmful to the joints.
But besides this, yes, go on a reduced calory diet!

Franco
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kata14

Ciccio wrote:
Cardio for fat loss is BS!
And especially for the over-fat harmful to the joints.
But besides this, yes, go on a reduced calory diet!

Franco

Long and boring session of cardio is BS. High Intensity Interval Training for fat loss works real good.

Kata

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Ciccio

kata14 wrote:
Ciccio wrote:
Cardio for fat loss is BS!
And especially for the over-fat harmful to the joints.
But besides this, yes, go on a reduced calory diet!

Franco

Long and boring session of cardio is BS. High Intensity Interval Training for fat loss works real good.

Kata



Yes, I hear this before, but do you really need it if you're already training High Intensity Weight Training 3xweek? I think not.

Franco


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HamsFitness

Dont take this the wrong way please but I see this ALOT.

You admit you are overweight - likely from years of over eating and less than active life.

Easiest solutions would be to sort your diet out which will reduce your body fat levels, which in turn will increase your mood, vitality and range of motion in many exercises.

Zand said it best.

I wouldnt worry about isolating muscles and exspensive equipment.

If you are too weak or injured to work compund moves, how do you suppose working around those weak links with isolation moves will improve your situation?

When you can squat your body weight full depth 50 times in under 90 seconds and chin and dip your self a reasonable amount of times, say 15, then you will have seen a huge change - then move to combining them in a array of combinations/circuits, do this before you even consider the costly machines - if price is no object find a trainer that knows their stuff and give them the money to get you where you want to be.

Body weight squats, pullups (or body rows) and dips will be far less stressful on your joints and carpal tunnel than a game of high impact raquet ball - FACT.

It seems that you are looking for a complication answer to a very simple question, perhaps as an excuse for a lack of motivation/effort?(no offence intended but like I said, I see this ALOT).

would you build a house by buying taps and light switches first? No, you would lay the foundations first - get your self able and working in a full range of motion at a high intensity with big compound body weight moves.

It shouldnt be complicated, but it should be tough - if you dont believe these three moves are enough - try them for 6 weeks and report back - better try for 6 weeks than to sit around and look back in 6 weeks wishing you had tried.
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jn6047

I respectfuly disagree. Low intensity cardio has it's place in weight loss. How on earth is he supposed to make any progress if he is unable to do simple basic exercises? How is he suppused to do any HIT interval training if he is unable to do most exercises?

As for joint issues, every exercise we do is harmful on the joints, some less so than others. Seriously, it's not equipment this guy needs, it's guidance. He's 5'6 and 280 and unable to do simple exercises and some here would recomend HIT intervals? Wow...

jn6047
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kata14

I agree depends on frequency, with 3xweek nope. But with 2xweek HIT (basic exercises) and 2xweek HIIT (jumping rope) are ok for me.
I know that I'll have to forget gaining muscle mass with HIIT, but my BF % is very low now.
IMO a little bit of cardio can work for JTocci.

Regards
Kata
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Crotalus

I worked out for years in a space of 5 X 8 feet and the workouts were some of the best I had. Only reason for joining a gym was in the winter having to double up on sweat clothes and wear gloves and in the summer having to workout at 5 am or have the sun blasting me to 100 degrees. When slightly unmotivated to train somedays, those factors could easily convince you to skip a workout.

In that space I had the indisposible Shrug Bar, chinning bar even though nobody on Earth sucks at chins worse than me, a 2 1/2 " fat bar for presses and curls, Dip bars and a dumbbell bar long enough to load enough for one arm rows.

If the temps weren't so extreme in there , I'd never have joined Gold's, though now using JREPS I really appreciate a lot of the machines with easily accessible weight stacks.
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HamsFitness

kata14 wrote:
I agree depends on frequency, with 3xweek nope. But with 2xweek HIT (basic exercises) and 2xweek HIIT (jumping rope) are ok for me.
I know that I'll have to forget gaining muscle mass with HIIT, but my BF % is very low now.
IMO a little bit of cardio can work for JTocci.

Regards
Kata


Of course it can, any amount of increase in energy output will cause him to burn more calories than he currently is.

What counts is how injury free he can stay long and short term and which will burn the most calories both during and after working out - sadly traditional cardio is at the lower ends of the scale on both counts.

Low impact high intensity anything will work better than nothing.

Like you say, some are less strenous on joints than others.

To the poster -

In addition to what ever workouts your chose - add deep breathing exercises frequently
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davise

When I first started working out at home again after giving up my gym membership I didn't have a lot of equipment. Shrug bar and a chin, dip station. I did Matt B's 3 x 3 until I could add a power rack, straight bar, curl bar, powerblock dumbbells and hyperextension bench.

I also bought my wife a bowflex ultimate XTLU. I like the bflex, but it just doesn't have enough weight resistance for a stronger male other than for things like leg ext, leg curls, side laterals, flyes etc.

It just doesn't have enough resistance for leg presses, squats and even over time you can use all the powerrods for incline presses etc. The leg extensions on the bflex are extemely painful in a good way and there is plenty of resistance for those.

My wife loves it and uses it all the time. If they made a ruggedized version of it with a lot more weight capacity they could market it towards a smaller niche market.
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kata14

There are many "fashion shows and thick talkers" at the fitness centers near here, so I decided to train in my own garage (6x6 space) and the equipment is:

A power rack,
A bench,
2 BB's (also an olympic BB),
4 DB's,
A lot of cast iron plates,
A looking glass on wall,
A rope.
And there's no place to put my car!

I have very little time to train and I'm following advanced A&B routines by Drew's article.
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Landau

Florida, USA

Low Intensity Cardio = Seriously Wake Up, Fat Chance, get through with these notions please - seriously c'mon!
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McNultyEssex

jtocci,

It's good that you're not afriad of hard work. That should stand you in good stead.

I wouldn't bother with specific 'cardio' training; I think it's a myth. To lose fat, you must consume less calories than you expend. Try cutting your daily intake to 1500 kcal. Then, exercise to build muscle.

I think you're right about avoiding leg presses, squats. Leg extension exercise places minimal compression forces on your knee joint.

Alex
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

jn6047 wrote:
I respectfuly disagree. Low intensity cardio has it's place in weight loss. How on earth is he supposed to make any progress if he is unable to do simple basic exercises? How is he suppused to do any HIT interval training if he is unable to do most exercises?


It's only worth doing in very, very few situations. Usually when dealing with the morbidly obese. For most others, "aerobics" is very highly overrated, and not a very productive use of time or an effective way to lose fat.
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mufasta

"It seems that you are looking for a complication answer to a very simple question, perhaps as an excuse for a lack of motivation/effort?(no offence intended but like I said, I see this ALOT).

would you build a house by buying taps and light switches first? No, you would lay the foundations first - get your self able and working in a full range of motion at a high intensity with big compound body weight moves."

I have to agree 100%.

Get Darden's Flat Stomach ASAP off of eBay. Your around 75+ lbs. over were you should be. This book will give you

1) The diet you need

2) 5-6 BASIC exercies that will get you the results you need.

Get your diet in order. First and foremost. Follow what Darden details in basically any of his books. Hell, the article Florida Dreaming on the home page will get you going in the right direction.

I have a question, why do you want to do a glut machine? Stick to the basics.

Body weight squats.
Pushup ups
Bent row w/ DBs and the like

Remember KISS. Take 3 months to get to a good base point. Do the work just to lose that fat first. Health will follow since that much weight is going hurt any real attempts to progress.

One other thing, be safe with raquetball. Carring that extra weight can easily contribute to an injury which can just make matters worse.


Take a big step back and keep things simple. Your upset and frustrated which is understandable. But don't make things worse by trying to do too much way too soon.
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Law&Order

For someone of your weight,the first step would be a caloric deficit diet.Plus i would elevate activity levels to help speed up fat loss - treadmill,stationary bicycle, and swimming... nothing too strenuous.At 5'6/280lbs,i would advise you stay clear of lifting any heavy objects - it's a slow process.

With being that overweight blood pressure is always a major concern - remember,the internet is full of misconceptions.If you're uncertain on how to proceed get someone to help you.... someone with a proven track record.

And be sure you stay in close contact with your doctor/specialist.
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jtocci

kayo wrote:

That you've purchased a used Nautilus pullover suggests you have a lot more disposible income than most of us. As such, you're equipment options will bring envy from us.


Not really. The Bowflex machine is more money than I spent on a used pullover and a rotary torso ($800). I'm going to get a hip extension next and then I'm out of space and money. I figure this is as close as I'm going to get to filling in the holes in a gym workout until I break out the welding machine.


kayo wrote:
You've touched on an important matter: other than specialized or high end gym equipment (which are pretty much the same thing), the range of home gym equipment is rather amazing.


I agree. A huge range of dubious value.
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jtocci

Wizard wrote:

You admit you are overweight - likely from years of over eating and less than active life.

Easiest solutions would be to sort your diet out which will reduce your body fat levels, which in turn will increase your mood, vitality and range of motion in many exercises.


Perhaps I'm being hasty but you'll have to forgive me, I get this all the time. My mood is great, my doctor hasn't said a word and my blood pressure is 120/54. I don't eat candy, deserts, junk food (burger) only once a week and I only drink water.

I haven't had a soda, not even diet soda in years. I have led a less than active life, if you consider stationary biking, racquetball, weightlifting, chasing six children and moving four times in the last year less than active. I don't.

Anyway.

From your point of view my problem should be I eat too much good food. Today I ate three eggs for breakfast. You see a problem, I don't and let me tell you why.

Two years ago I went on Atkins and went from 240 to 205. Then I went off Atkins and went to 285 in two years. IF I diet again, THEN I am likely to break 300 and I refuse to let that happen. No more diets, period. I need to increase my activity to the point where I can lose my weight WITHOUT watching what I eat or I am going to die very prematurely. Don't bother trying to change my mind.

Wizard wrote:
If you are too weak or injured to work compund moves, how do you suppose working around those weak links with isolation moves will improve your situation?


Easy. I can't do a chin up, nor a pulldown on a cable machine, without hurting my wrists, but I can do a pulldown on a machine. Repeat for the other muscles and I'll build muscle I can't reach right now, thereby raising my caloric requirements and losing fat.

Wizard wrote:
Body weight squats, pullups (or body rows) and dips will be far less stressful on your joints and carpal tunnel than a game of high impact raquet ball - FACT.


I beg to differ. I can't do a single dip because of the pain. I can't even drive a motorcycle where you have to lean forward in the seat because of the discomfort, but me and my nlite 150 gram racket can play for an hour with only some tingling in the wrist.


Wizard wrote:
It seems that you are looking for a complication answer to a very simple question, perhaps as an excuse for a lack of motivation/effort?(no offence intended but like I said, I see this ALOT).


I don't know, maybe I wrote something I didn't intend, but I'm looking for some home equipment with specific specs. Nothing more.

Wizard wrote:
would you build a house by buying taps and light switches first? No, you would lay the foundations first - get your self able and working in a full range of motion at a high intensity with big compound body weight moves.

It shouldnt be complicated, but it should be tough - if you dont believe these three moves are enough - try them for 6 weeks and report back - better try for 6 weeks than to sit around and look back in 6 weeks wishing you had tried.


Sorry but I just don't see a reason to risk my knees and wrists.
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