Minimalist home gym help

  • Hi Everyone!

    I'm planning to start the journey Monday, October 1.

    I don't have a home gym with a stationary bike, or a weight machine. 

    I did go out any buy a mountain bike, and starting Monday I'll be ridding it to work, which is about 5 miles per day round trip. 

    I have two 5lb dumb bells, but nothing else. 

    For people that don't have a home gym or gym membership, what are you doing for the aerobics exercises and the weight machine type exercises?

    Thanks, I can't wait to start the journey!


  • Good luck with the journey Cal.  I would suggest you buy exercise bands and perhaps a pullup bar.  This is probably the cheapest you can get by with and still "hit your 10's".  Aerobics on the mountain bike and walking/running work.  It also will work if you are on the road.  Minimal space/maximum benefit for BFL routine.

  • The best solution is to buy a set of weights. garage sales and craigs list are the way to go here. You can get a very good workout free hand. Pushups pull ups, lunges etc. but it's much easier to add progressive resistance with a weight set. you will need much heavier weights in short order

  • I think I'm going to get this:

    The Weider 2980X single station at-home gym has the equipment you need for a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.

       6 integrated workout stations including a high pulley, chest press, chest fly, leg developer, preacher curl and low pulley station

       cable-and-pulley system offer up to 214 lbs. of resistance

       81-lb. DuraStack weight stack

       4-foam roll leg developer for lower body muscle development

       300-lb. weight capacity

    I guess I'll still need a barbell and free weights too ??



  • I guess I thought you were living in a studio flat in manhattan or something...What I purchased in 2008 was a Gold's Gym bench with leg extension/preacher's curl.  

    The bench goes beyond horizontal for decline bench presses.  I use all settings for upper and lower workouts, so be sure it has that feature.

    I sold the barbell rack back to Play it again sports (consignment sports outlet) for about 100 bucks.  I also bought dumbbells 5-25 with a rack and 5 weights for the leg from 25-35#.  This will allow you to work all of your muscle groups and the dumbbells are much safer than barbells if you are working out alone.  since then I have worked up to 45# dumbbells purchasing incrementally as I plateaued.  This takes up about 100 sq ft.  

    All in all, I think I spent less than $300 starting out, but consignment or craigs list would be worth looking into.

    I have been at this for several years and 10 BFL challenges, so I have to say that it works for me.

    Hope this helps,



  • Hmm, I thought about going for a bench but looking at the BFL book they showed all the machines for many of the exercises, that's why I was thinking about the home gym.  I'll have to think about this, I could go either way, as long as both are effective, which appears to be the case.

    Thanks for your help Frick, I cannot wait to start the journey!


  • Hope it all works out for you.  I remember my mother in law say, "those things usually just collect dust after 3 months". as I was putting my bench together.  LOL.  That was over 4 years and 3 jeans sizes ago.

    Good luck on the journey.  



  • I ended up getting this, it was on sale for $100, and looks perfect to start off with.  I think if I got some dumbbells without weights, I could use the smaller weights from this set too.   I think this should cover me at least for the first 12 weeks, then I can add-on as I go.

    (reg. $149.99)
    thru Oct 6
    Adjustable Preacher Curl Bicep Pad!
  • Good Buy Cal.  It looks similar to the gold's gym bench I got.  Can I suggest adding some ankle length socks to go around the leg cushions?  I put about 3 pair on mine to ease some of the discomfort during leg extensions.  No excuses now, dude!  Get started and get your money's worth.

  • Day one workout done.  It's been years (like 20+) since I did any weight training, it was awkward as I read the exercises from the BFL book - LOL!  I'll watch some youtube workout videos, but I figured the first week would be a bit of trail and error.    

  • I have maxed out my rag tag collection of dumb bells and the left over barbell with about 42lbs of weight my kids used to mess with.  I can hold 2 dumbbells in my hand at one time while doing walking lunges from room to room in my house but I can't hold 3!!!!  My weight bench is my sewing seat and the end of the bed pushed together, not bad but the sewing seat is on wheels.  Been looking at yard sales, garage sales, Goodwill and Saint Vincent's but no luck finding anything that I need.  Guess it is time to spend some $$.  Thank you for the ideas on where to look.

  • Hey Cal,

    I have had a Soloflex Weight Machine for 25 years.  It is free weight adaptable, and you can do bodyweight exercises.  If you check Craigslist or EBay you can hunt one down for $100 or so.

    "Hypochondriacs are their own terrorists."  Saul Bellow

  • I travel a lot and not all hotels have gyms and some are generally crowded. I'm too cheap to pay for LA Fitness or something similar.

    I use my suitcase for in-room exercises. I'll throw bottles of water in for extra weight and then add my laptop for more weight. I throw my BFL book and any magazines I can find as well.

    Sometimes it takes 25 reps to get to 9, but that's what I do. I'll eventually buy a set of water/travel dumbells.