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How To Get Started with Weight Lifting?

suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
Can anyone help with getting started with weight lifting at home, without going to the gym? How do you start? If we were to buy just one or two things to get started, what would we need? A set of 5-LB dumbbells?? Can you recommend some YouTube videos that are good for starting out? I need advice for both me and my husband-- we are both wanting to get started.
edited September 2020
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Replies

  • jessef593jessef593 Member Posts: 2,281 Member Member Posts: 2,281 Member
    Do you mean doing curls in your living room or actually getting the equipment for progression?

    Because if you want to actually lift weights I'd suggest a squat rack. 45lb Olympic bar. 6 45lb plates to start. 2 35lb plates. 2 25lb plates. 4 10lb plates. 2 5lb plates. And 2 2.5lb plates.

    Then a workout bench capable of adjusting its incline from flat to straight up.

    With that you can almost hit every body part. I'd recommend dumbbells from 5lbs to 60lbs as well. Thatll be good for a beginner following a proper lifting progression scheme.

    5lb dumbells are *kitten*. You'll feel a burn for 2 weeks and then theyll be useless for the most part. Your body adapts and you get stronger. Requiring greater stimulus or the results stop happening. That's why gyms have so many weights. For people at different stages. Not so that some people can show off. Though some do
  • CipherZeroCipherZero Member Posts: 1,420 Member Member Posts: 1,420 Member
    jessef593 wrote: »
    Do you mean doing curls in your living room or actually getting the equipment for progression?

    Because if you want to actually lift weights I'd suggest a squat rack. 45lb Olympic bar. 6 45lb plates to start. 2 35lb plates. 2 25lb plates. 4 10lb plates. 2 5lb plates. And 2 2.5lb plates.

    This is the right answer, although 4x45 is also acceptable and buy another pair when you need them.

    Do not cheap out on bars and the rack. I recommend Cap OB86PB and OB86PBCK bars as being relatively low cost and decent.

    Pick a beginner linear progression program - Starting Strength (SS), Stronglifts (SL), PHUL, whatever - and follow the program.

    Watch a lot of videos on those programs. SS videos are pretty good for learning the lifts.
    edited September 2020
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 1,588 Member Member Posts: 1,588 Member
    If you have the space, rack, bench (FID or at least FI), dumbbells or something like power blocks. I like power blocks because they are great for saving space and progressing.

    I have a full 90% commercial gym in my basement, but not everyone has that kind of space, so the above is what I would aim for. Obviously a bar and weights also. I recommend checking Facebook marketplace or Craig’s list and getting used equipment. Someone mentioned CAP, it’s crap, but if that’s all you can find/afford go for it.

    Personally, I have a rogue rack, rogue Ohio bar, star trac plates, an SSB, the power blocks, and a large variety of commercial equipment including a life fitness cable cross over, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, lat pulldown/low row, separate decline bench, plus a bunch of commercial cardio. I should be in much better shape with my gym setup lol, but using it seems more challenging than acquiring it was. 😜
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 715 Member Member Posts: 715 Member
    What do you both want to achieve? I adore working with lumps of iron but have limited equipment at home. A variety of resistance bands, however, is a very cheap option with many exercise possibilities. So if you are just looking to reap the benefits of resistance training rather than have an innate desire to lift, then consider other options before spending a crap ton of money on weights (which are a nightmare to store unless you have a dedicated area or don't mind tripping over them in your living room).
  • suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
    jessef593 wrote: »
    Do you mean doing curls in your living room or actually getting the equipment for progression?

    Because if you want to actually lift weights I'd suggest a squat rack. 45lb Olympic bar. 6 45lb plates to start. 2 35lb plates. 2 25lb plates. 4 10lb plates. 2 5lb plates. And 2 2.5lb plates.

    Then a workout bench capable of adjusting its incline from flat to straight up.

    With that you can almost hit every body part. I'd recommend dumbbells from 5lbs to 60lbs as well. Thatll be good for a beginner following a proper lifting progression scheme.

    5lb dumbells are *kitten*. You'll feel a burn for 2 weeks and then theyll be useless for the most part. Your body adapts and you get stronger. Requiring greater stimulus or the results stop happening. That's why gyms have so many weights. For people at different stages. Not so that some people can show off. Though some do

    Thank you. This is helpful.

    So, I am so uneducated about all of this that I had to google "curls," "squat rack," and "workout bench." I've seen those things before; I've been in a gym a couple times in my life. But, I really don't know anything about this stuff.

    I guess I meant curls in my living room, because we don't have the space for workout equipment. I also am wondering, when people talk about strength training, is that the same thing as weight lifting? Maybe I am interested in strength training, if they're not the same thing?

    Now, my husband would probably love the weight lifting with all that equipment. He's interested in getting a gym membership. But the gyms in our state are still closed because of Covid. So I'm wondering if there's something we can do at home that doesn't take up space, to at least get started with it.
  • suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    What do you both want to achieve? I adore working with lumps of iron but have limited equipment at home. A variety of resistance bands, however, is a very cheap option with many exercise possibilities. So if you are just looking to reap the benefits of resistance training rather than have an innate desire to lift, then consider other options before spending a crap ton of money on weights (which are a nightmare to store unless you have a dedicated area or don't mind tripping over them in your living room).

    Exactly-- we don't have space for equipment. And, I don't want to spend a lot of money because we are just starting and I would want to really be dedicated to it before spending lots of money.

    OK, resistance bands sound like something I should look into. For me, I just have heard many times about the benefits of strength training, and I'd like to try it. I'd like to get stronger.

    For my husband, he is looking for a way to get stronger and in better shape-- something that he enjoys, and the idea of developing his strength is about the only thing that appeals to him. When he was younger he was very strong, for a long time, without ever doing any lifting, and now he's 44 and noticing that he's a lot weaker.
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 715 Member Member Posts: 715 Member


    OK, so here is a video that shows how you can use bands instead of iron. There are endless videos on You Tube and the band sets usually come with some exercise ideas. I have three types of bands: the long ones shown in the video, the cable types that you can attach handles to and the smaller loop bands that you can put round your thighs. You'll find all three types easily and they are inexpensive.

    To get the most out of the bands you need something around mid chest height that you can attach the band to for things like face pulls. Looping it round a banister rail or a strong door handle can work. We have a couple of iron rings in our outside wall to anchor the bands to.

    A pull up bar is also a good thing to have, plus (if it is securely fixed rather than an over door removable bar) you can attach bands to that for all sorts of things, including assisted pull ups and push ups.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,764 Member Member Posts: 2,764 Member
    I like resistance bands a lot, but I also wouldn't get ones with grommets (metal loops). They can be seriously dangerous. I like the ones like @SnifterPug shows above.

    There are also ones that have handled with 3 holes for different bands. Like this one -- safe and very affordable. For getting started, these would be good. Don't discount bodyweight exercises. Doing heavy sets with barbells makes absolutely no sense until you can do basic bodyweight pushups, squats, lunges and assisted pullups or pressups. There are 1000s of YouTube videos that are low impact and great for bodyweight exercises and geared toward beginners.

    This one is advanced, but it gives you great ideas on everything that you can do from home.



    https://www.amazon.com/WLTY-Resistance-Comfortable-Exercise-Strength/dp/B0876BD7VC/ref=sr_1_17_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=handles+for+resistance+bands&qid=1599668423&sr=8-17-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRk9TREJNTVhWNFVNJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzgyNDU2M01XQlBYUTQ4SzMzTSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTgxOTAyM1EzSTk3UjNVMkomd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9tdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
    edited September 2020
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 9,008 Member Member Posts: 9,008 Member
    First and most important question before reading anybody's replies which their goals won't necessarily be in line with yours.

    What are you and your husband,s goals?
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,867 Member Member Posts: 24,867 Member
    Bigger muscles need higher weights than smaller muscles, and you don't want to waste your time doing a million reps, hence the need for a range of weights.

    When I moved here in 2016, I didn't find any gyms I liked so started acquiring things for a home gym. I tried resistance bands and did not care for them. I bought a set of dumb bells (with rack) that goes from 5# - 25# and separately bought 3, 8, and 12#. I also bought an incline weight bench. My set would probably be fine for you for some time, but your husband would probably need heavier weights fairly quickly, so you guys might want to consider adjustable dumbbells.

    I thought this was a good beginner article. If you're not familiar with kg, just mentally multiply by 2.2 to get pounds :)

    https://www.coolblue.nl/en/advice/what-dumbbell-weight.html
  • suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
    @SnifterPug Thanks so much; I’ll definitely be looking into all of that!
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 7,599 Member Member Posts: 7,599 Member
    suzievv wrote: »
    jessef593 wrote: »
    Do you mean doing curls in your living room or actually getting the equipment for progression?

    Because if you want to actually lift weights I'd suggest a squat rack. 45lb Olympic bar. 6 45lb plates to start. 2 35lb plates. 2 25lb plates. 4 10lb plates. 2 5lb plates. And 2 2.5lb plates.

    Then a workout bench capable of adjusting its incline from flat to straight up.

    With that you can almost hit every body part. I'd recommend dumbbells from 5lbs to 60lbs as well. Thatll be good for a beginner following a proper lifting progression scheme.

    5lb dumbells are *kitten*. You'll feel a burn for 2 weeks and then theyll be useless for the most part. Your body adapts and you get stronger. Requiring greater stimulus or the results stop happening. That's why gyms have so many weights. For people at different stages. Not so that some people can show off. Though some do

    Thank you. This is helpful.

    So, I am so uneducated about all of this that I had to google "curls," "squat rack," and "workout bench." I've seen those things before; I've been in a gym a couple times in my life. But, I really don't know anything about this stuff.

    I guess I meant curls in my living room, because we don't have the space for workout equipment. I also am wondering, when people talk about strength training, is that the same thing as weight lifting? Maybe I am interested in strength training, if they're not the same thing?

    Now, my husband would probably love the weight lifting with all that equipment. He's interested in getting a gym membership. But the gyms in our state are still closed because of Covid. So I'm wondering if there's something we can do at home that doesn't take up space, to at least get started with it.

    I would suggest watching/trying a few Sydney Cummings workouts on YouTube and see if you like her workout style. You don't need a lot of equipment and most of her workouts would fall under strength training.
  • suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
    @MikePfirrman Thank you! That’s very helpful.

    I think the body weight exercises would be enough for me. I am unfamiliar with the differences between body weight, strength training, and weight lifting. I’ll look into beginner bodyweight exercises for me.
  • suzievvsuzievv Member Posts: 407 Member Member Posts: 407 Member
    @DancingMoosie Thanks; I will look her up and try that out.
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    For first time weight lifters the resistance bands and tubes are your best bet. Once you know for sure that it's something you are willing to invest in then go for it. Weight lifting for weight loss is not a good idea if you don't incorporate a solid cardio routine. Doing cardio exercises the most important muscle of the body while burning way more calories. I don't mind strength training but weight lifting is overrated.
  • DevilsFan1DevilsFan1 Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member
    sal10851 wrote: »
    For first time weight lifters the resistance bands and tubes are your best bet. Once you know for sure that it's something you are willing to invest in then go for it. Weight lifting for weight loss is not a good idea if you don't incorporate a solid cardio routine. Doing cardio exercises the most important muscle of the body while burning way more calories. I don't mind strength training but weight lifting is overrated.

    This is wrong. Weight lifting is the best defense against aging that there is. Weight training exercises your heart plenty. Ever done 5x5 back squats at 80% of your 1RM? Weight training builds muscle and strengthens bone and a hard workout burns a ton of calories (15 sets of hard lifting will burn around 500 calories per session).

    I'm a cyclist and a powerlifter. If forced to give up one, it would absolutely be cycling because it offers way fewer health benefits.
  • DevilsFan1DevilsFan1 Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member
    If you want to do weightlifting, then do weightlifting. Body weight fitness is great for fitness and mobility, but it isn't weightlifting. If you want to lift weights, you need a squat or power rack, a barbell, and weights at a minimum. If you want to bench press, you need a bench too. Expect to spend at least $500-$1000 to get started. I have no idea what your budget is, but you really get what you pay for when it comes to strength training equipment.
    edited September 2020
  • CipherZeroCipherZero Member Posts: 1,420 Member Member Posts: 1,420 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    Expect to spend at least $500-$1000 to get started. I have no idea what your budget is, but you really get what you pay for when it comes to strength training equipment.

    Exactly, and remember the lifespan of black iron gym equipment is measured in decades.

    If given the choice between a $50 monthly gym membership or buying the needed stuff for a home gym, remember a $1000 home gym pays for itself in under 24 months. It's always available, you're not catching other people's viruses, and the chalk on the bar is yours.
  • cgvet37cgvet37 Member Posts: 1,189 Member Member Posts: 1,189 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    If you want to do weightlifting, then do weightlifting. Body weight fitness is great for fitness and mobility, but it isn't weightlifting. If you want to lift weights, you need a squat or power rack, a barbell, and weights at a minimum. If you want to bench press, you need a bench too. Expect to spend at least $500-$1000 to get started. I have no idea what your budget is, but you really get what you pay for when it comes to strength training equipment.

    The only way you can build a proper home gym for that much is buying used, or buying cheap. Rack, bench, barbell, and weights.
  • cgvet37cgvet37 Member Posts: 1,189 Member Member Posts: 1,189 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    sal10851 wrote: »
    For first time weight lifters the resistance bands and tubes are your best bet. Once you know for sure that it's something you are willing to invest in then go for it. Weight lifting for weight loss is not a good idea if you don't incorporate a solid cardio routine. Doing cardio exercises the most important muscle of the body while burning way more calories. I don't mind strength training but weight lifting is overrated.

    This is wrong. Weight lifting is the best defense against aging that there is. Weight training exercises your heart plenty. Ever done 5x5 back squats at 80% of your 1RM? Weight training builds muscle and strengthens bone and a hard workout burns a ton of calories (15 sets of hard lifting will burn around 500 calories per session).

    I'm a cyclist and a powerlifter. If forced to give up one, it would absolutely be cycling because it offers way fewer health benefits.

    Fifteen sets of hard lifting? I would love to see anyone do 15 sets of at least 80% of their 1RM in any of the three major lifts
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