When I first started out in weight training, I trained on an old bench with a flimsy arm curl bench.
The shed I trained in would reach 95 degress celcius in the summer and 20 below in the winter. I guess you can say it was very extreme weight training.
I’ve come along way since training in my shed but it gave me a good start. If you’re a home trainer and have no lat machine, leg press, or leg extension apparatus, don’t worry.
You can still get a good workout without a pec deck or scott curl bench. Although I recommend you get the following equipment.
If you want an effective weight training routine at home, you need some of the basics. First you need a flat bench. It doesn’t have to be a state of the art olympic bench but a solid bench that can support a little bit of weight. It would be all the better if it is an adjustable/flat incline bench. You can probably get a half decent bench at you local health equipment store for under a couple of hundred dollars.
Secondly, you need squat stands. These can be bought for under $200, but you can improvise and make your own out of wood or get a friend or relative to make you a pair. You might be able to find a half decent bench with adjustable squat racks attached for under $200. This is probably your best bet since you have a bench and a squat rack together.
The point to bear in mind is that without the bench or the squat rack, you can’t really progress in either the bench press or the squat, both standard exercises.
These exercises are a must whether you are training at a gym or weight lifting at home. Needless to say, you will also need a bar with weights and some dumbbells.
I suggest you find enough weight to challenge yourself. You can probably pick up a cheap barbell set including dumbbells for under a $100. Walmart or somewhere similar usually have a half decent selection of weights and their prices are pretty cheap. Also, there are some online stores that might have some half decent equipment at good prices.
In fact, I just finished ordering 90 pound dumbbells from the fitness depot here in Canada for $180 (About a buck a pound). There is a fitness store here in my city but they want 1.50 per pound of weight. That works out to $270 for both dumbbells. Even with shipping, the price from fitness depot, ordered online, is cheaper.
Here is a very effective and proven beginner’s routine that will you can use for weight lifting at home. This home weight lifting routine can get you growing and keep you growing for some time. This routine is very basic but always remember that more is not necessarily better.
Here is the training sequence:
Now, you can be flexible with this schedule to match that of your own needs. For example, maybe you can only workout twice per week. In that case, simply adjust the schedule to match that of you own.
Warm up 1 minute jumping rope
Bench press 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Squat 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Seated dumbbell press 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Bent over rowing 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Calf raises 3 sets of 25 repetitions – This exercise can be done with no machine or weight. Simply use some stairs and place only your toes on the edge of the stairs. Keeping your legs slightly bent, raise up using only your toes.
Barbell curl 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Triceps press 3 sets of 12 repetitions
Crunches 3 sets of 12 repetitions
Finish the workout off by doing 3 to 5 minutes of jump rope.
The above weight training routine can prove extremely effective for not only the beginner but also the intermediate or advanced weight lifter. I suggest you do a quick warm up before each exercise for about 20 repetitions (calf raises being the exception).
Calf raises will require a standing calf machine but if you don’t, you can simple hold a loaded barbell across your shoulders for added resistance.
This home workout routine should be performed three times per week. Remember to train your body only when it’s refreshed and not sore. If you feel any soreness, take a day or two off.
Try this home weight training routine for 12 weeks and remember to try and increase the weight whenever you feel stronger. I suggest you aim for 5 to 10% of you current workload.
All the best
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.