*MY HOME GYM*
By: Murph
27 June 2003

My current weight is fat. I used to be fatter but I am dieting trying to bring my weight down and to get into better shape. A good friend of mine keeps telling me that "round is a shape", but Iím choosing a different shape. Iím currently at 267 pounds. I stand 5í 11" feet. I have always been strong and have lifted weights for many years but stopped lifting In November of 1997. I remember the month because thatís when I earned my black belt and then moved to a place where my home gym couldnít come. Iíve been with out my home gym ever since.

My home gym was not a thing of beauty. But it was very functional. The basis of my gym consisted of 800+ lbs of Olympic free weights. I had various stations set up. Station one was my power rack. This piece of equipment was purchased but it could be easily made. I primarily used this for my squats. The bar is already placed at shoulder height and the weight can be loaded on the bar. Then step under the bar, place the bar across the shoulders along the back, make the lift and step forward a bit. Keeping your back straight and never going below horizontal with the thighs, squat down. Remember to breathe out during the exertion portion of the exercise. Squats are one of the best total body weight bearing exercises. Squats work many of the large muscles of the body.

The next portion of my gym was an Olympic bench. This was also purchased. These come in various forms. The best have adjustable racks on the side to use as a spotter. Some have a dip station attachment, as well as leg extension attachments. I never cared for the leg extension attachment. I found squats were a better exercise, and the attachments always seemed flimsy. The bed portion of the bench is usually adjustable in the incline or flat position. And the uprights are adjustable as well. In the incline positions you can work higher up the chest muscle or pecks.

I also had a flat bench that I made. This was very heavy duty and made of 2x4. I used this bench for various movements for the triceps, as well as chest pullovers. It also provided a place to sit for concentration curls and tricep extensions.

Another piece of equipment I made was a cable pull. Very easy to make this consisted of 2 eye hooks screwed into the main beam of the basement about 14 feet apart. Attached to the hooks were pulleyís. I threaded nylon braided rope though the pulleys one end of the rope being the handle I threaded a piece of pvc pipe though to use as a grip. The other end that held the weight was ĺ inch pipe. This was a tee joint with shorter lengths attached so I could stack the plates from the Olympic set. This setup actually worked very well. I would use this for cable crossovers and tricep pushdowns.

I also had a stationary bike for an indoor aerobic workout. As well as a heavy bag with gloves and a double ended speed bag. I have to say that a very good work out can be had with a heavy bag. Three minutes of non stop kicks, punches, bobs and weaving, can take the wind out of you pretty quick and then compound that with doing rounds your heart rate will rise pretty quick.

Lots of this stuff can be bought second hand at garage sales. Iíve seen plenty of good equipment for sale in peoples driveways. But donít skimp on safety. For the benches heavy gauge steel is best. Make sure there stable. If the bed is torn or ripped donít fret over that. That can be repaired. Either taped or re padded. Iíve done both. Use your imagination many things can be built to suit you. I even made a wooden man dummy to practice my kung fu.

Keep moving.
Itís good for you.

Murph



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