Just starting this week BFL and I belong to a smaller women's gym that I really enjoy. The issue is that they do not have dumb bells past 15 lbs. I know for some exercises this is too light. They do have the bars with weights, and some Smith machines. I hate to invest in dumb bells for home when I have a gym membership. For those exercises where I need more than the 15 lb weights should I try to replicate it with the equipment or a bar? Another example would be chest press, I have access to a machine or the bar/bench but not the heavier free weights.
Hi Dawn, Congrats on starting BFL. The bars with weights work well for muscle building. Most body builders use a bar for most of their lifting (Squats, Bench press, rows). I'm not sure how high your bars with weights go but that should work fine. I would only use smith machine when it becomes difficult to carry the bar to the bench due to the weight.
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