TOPICS:
Home Workout

The rack-free bodybuilding gym is all about doing more with less. Grow in your garage with these three pieces of equipment and three workouts.

Your neighborhood gym may have the latest exercise machines, rows of benches, and squat cages lining the walls, but if you never make it there, you don't get any points for good intentions. You'll still see that monthly ding against your checking account, though!

For many Americans in search of their RDA of exercise, lack of convenience is the first and greatest obstacle. That's why setting up a home gym in a garage or spare room could be your low-cost answer. It's hard to blame commute time when your fitness workshop is just a few feet away!

You may think a home gym is a cost-prohibitive space hog, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes, you just have to choose between implements. For example, while there's no doubt that having a squat rack can be a wonderful thing, they're expensive and take up a lot of space, especially when you factor in barbells and plates. Plus, if you're training with muscle mass rather than powerlifting in mind, you can get all the stimulus you need with a few dumbbells, a bench, and a bar.

shop Bodybuilding.com store

This gym is all about doing more with less! Get ready to have your expectations shattered.

The Equipment

Adjustable bench: You could theoretically survive on a steady diet of standing presses and floor presses, but given how many ways you can use a stable, well-padded bench, it's worth the investment. Look for one that offers multiple incline and decline positions. A bench that can be positioned at a 90-degree angle will provide back support for overhead presses, too. As a bonus, you can always toss your back foot on the bench and do Bulgarian split squats.

Adjustable dumbbells: Dumbbells are great when your goal is to build muscle; they allow for a longer range of motion than a barbell, and they're harder to stabilize. This one-two allows you to stimulate more muscle fibers.

Because it's expensive and space-prohibitive to own a full rack of dumbbells, a solid alternative is to select from among a growing number of adjustable dumbbells. These modular weights allow you to use weight ranging anywhere from 5-100 pounds per bell, giving you all the versatility you need for a fraction of the dough. If you opt for a pair that allows for quick weight changes, you can include more dropsets and supersets in your workout.

Pull-up/dip combo: A pull-up/dip tower is one of the most valuable pound-for-pound pieces of equipment you can own. It allows you to wield your body weight through a variety of pull-up variations, all of which emphasize different areas of your back, and a few incarnations of the dip, which is a proven pec-and-triceps builder. If having the tower won't work for your space or budget, you could use a fixed pull-up bar, tall boxes, or parallettes for dips.

null

The 3-Day Home-Workout Split

If your adjustable dumbbells top out at 50-60 pounds, you may not have enough weight to stimulate hypertrophy in the ideal 8-12-rep range on every move here. If you've reached your top weight, one solution is to reduce your between-set rest intervals to increase carried-over fatigue, which is still considered a measure of progressive overload.

Low-rest supersets allow you increase the intensity while keeping your joints happy at the same time. The judicious use of the pull-up tower allows you to batter a ton of upper-body sinew with just your body weight, and you can use a loaded backpack or dip belt to manipulate your rep range.

Workout 1: Chest and Back

You'll alternate chest and back moves throughout this workout before ending on a move that hits both—the classic bent-arm dumbbell pull-over. Because these are such large, strong body parts, you may have to manipulate rest periods to fail within the target rep range. Keep your smartphone handy.

Workout 1: Chest and Back
1
Incline Dumbbell Press
Superset with next exercise
4 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row
Superset with previous exercise
4 sets, 8-10 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
3
Dips - Chest Version
Use added weight as necessary. If you can't do 10 reps, break each set into segments until you reach 10 total.
4 sets, 10 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
4
Pullups
Use added weight as necessary. If you can't do 10 reps, break each set into segments until you reach 10 total.
4 sets, 10 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
5
Dumbbell Flyes
4 sets, 12 reps (Rest 60 sec.)
6
Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
4 sets, 12 reps (Rest 60 sec.)

Workout 2: Legs

Start with jump squats, which prime your muscles and nervous system to fire more rapidly during the moves that follow. Just don't go to muscle failure on this move; keep a few reps in the tank.

You'll pair these with goblet squats, which hit your quads and glutes and place a high demand on your core. If your weights don't go heavy enough to really challenge you in the rep range, put two heavy dumbbells in a backpack and hug it to your chest. Romanian deadlifts, a key hamstring/glute builder, come next, followed by alternating dumbbell lunges.

Workout 2: Legs
1
Jump Squat
Superset with next exercise
5 sets, 5 reps
2
Goblet Squat
Superset with previous exercise
5 sets, 5 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
3
Romanian Deadlift With Dumbbells
5 sets, 8-10 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
4
Dumbbell Rear Lunge
Alternate legs
5 sets, 10 reps per leg (Rest 90 sec.)
5
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
Single-leg
4 sets, 20 reps per leg (Rest 60 sec.)

Workout 3: Shoulders and Arms

You can do this workout in straight sets, or use supersets or trisets to speed up the work and get a fast muscle pump. Here, quick-changing weights are ideal. Supersetting antagonist muscle groups like triceps and biceps works especially well to get the blood pumping in your arms.

Workout 3: Shoulders and Arms
1
Seated Dumbbell Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
2
Side Lateral Raise
Triset with next 2 exercises
3 sets, 10-12 reps
3
Front Two-Dumbbell Raise
Triset with previous and next exercises
3 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
Triset with previous 2 exercises
3 sets, 10-12 reps (Rest 90 sec.)
5
Seated Triceps Press
Superset with next exercise
4 sets, 8-10 reps
6
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Superset with previous exercise
4 sets, 8-10 reps (Rest 60 sec.)
7
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
Superset with next exercise
3 sets, 10-12 reps per side
8
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Superset with previous exercise
3 sets, 10-12 reps (Rest 60 sec.)

You May Like

Andy Speer's 3 Favorite Strength-Training Moves
Andy Speer's 3 Favorite Strength-Training Moves
The Real Reasons All Runners Need To Lift
The Real Reasons All Runners Need To Lift
Scorch Fat And Build Strength With Just One Kettlebell!
Scorch Fat And Build Strength With Just One Kettlebell!
Craig Capurso's Ultimate Back Workout
Craig Capurso's Ultimate Back Workout
17 Hot Tips For 2017: Getting Back Into The Gym
17 Hot Tips For 2017: Getting Back Into The Gym
Get Muscle: Your Guide To Putting On Max Size!
Get Muscle: Your Guide To Putting On Max Size!