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An equivalent to SS with equipment/spotter limitations?

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:54 pm
by dyecal
The SS program looks really awesome, but due to uneasy access to a gym, and the downside of not knowing anyone at the moment that would be interested to group up/be a spotter and what not.

Soooo, I am curious if anyone knows of any really good and time tested workouts/programs like SS, just without the need of a barbell and 2 people. :)

I only have dumbbells at the moment, and the exercises for them just seem so isolated (mechanically) so I'm not really sure what to do =X. Also, bodyweight exercises look interesting, but I'm not sure how effective they are compared to say the SS program.

Also, I'm 21, weighing in at 135 lbs (and obviously looking for gross mass gain :P)

Any help would greatly be appreciated :D

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:35 pm
by hoosegow
Call me ignorant, what is the SS program?

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:00 pm
by dyecal
hoosegow wrote:Call me ignorant, what is the SS program?
If you asked me that yesterday, I wouldnt have known either hehe.

The Book Written By Mark RippeToe and Lon Kilgore
http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength ... gy_b_img_b

Wikia Page - Not Written by Any of the Book Writers..
http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/ ... ength_Wiki

Great Collection of Videos by Mark Rippetoe regarding each of the SS Basic Lifts..
http://www.youtube.com/user/timdonahey

Links courtesy of Wilburburns :)

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:11 pm
by pdellorto
What equipment do you have, exactly? You said you can't do Starting Strength because you don't have a barbell and a spotter (although, you don't really need a spotter), but then you say you only have barbells.

Did you mean dumbbells? It might be easier if you list what you've got.


There are bodyweight routines (I like www.simplefit.org's circuits a lot), but they're not going to get you as big as if you are barbell squatting and deadlifting. Bodyweight exercises plus gymnastics can get you very strong, though, but you'll need to learn gymnastics to do it.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:22 pm
by TimD
You just said you have barbells. OK.
Day1
1 Power Clean and then Press 5 times, 3-4 sets
Bent rows 5X5
Front Squat 5X5 (poweclean the weight up)

Day2
Deadlift 5X5
P bar dips Amrap
supersetted with chins Amrap

Look under the milk thread and do what Pdll calls the gomad thing. Eat

Do A, rest a day or two, then do B, rest a day or two, and repeat. Constantly keep pushing the weights up untill you plateua. Back off, the return a few lbs heavier than you original starting point and push again.
Tim

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:35 pm
by dyecal
Damnt ><. Dumbells I mean... I only have dumbells. Sorry about that.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:35 pm
by wilburburns
First off, you don't need a spotter for SS. But you do need a barbell, plates, and a squat rack or cage is quite useful.

You could do most of the SS Lifts with a decent set of Dumbbells though. It would be hard or nearly impossible to do heavy squats or Deadlifts though.

If you can get a bit more detailed on exactly what equipment you have, I'm sure many here could help.

Also, have a look at the Ross Training Site, because Ross seems to do quite a few different routines with a minimum amount of equipment.
http://www.rosstraining.com

And don't forget to look at the Sticky from this site detailing many beginner routines..
http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3817

BTW: posting from my wifes new netbook sucks... The Keyboard is way to small for me...

Cliff

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:42 pm
by dyecal
wilburburns wrote:If you can get a bit more detailed on exactly what equipment you have, I'm sure many here could help.
All I really have at the moment are 2 dumbbells with an assortment of plates...sadly.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:12 am
by stuward
Two of my favorite exercises are dumbbell snatch and turkish get ups. They are more whole body exercises. They're great for a lot of things but not really for raw strength.

You can follow something similar to SS with DBs, Bench and press are easy substitutes. Use DB presses:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Del ... Press.html
(do it standing)
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Pec ... Press.html
You can do dips with added weight as well.

For rows:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Bac ... erRow.html
Or this if you have a high bench:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Bac ... ngRow.html
Also do chin ups With a weight attached somehow.

Squats options:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Qua ... Squat.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Qua ... tepUp.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Qua ... Squat.html

Deadlift options
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Ham ... dlift.html
Do them on one leg to make it harder.

It's not as good as a barbell but you can get a good workout.

Stu

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:59 am
by pdellorto
You will probably want to buy a barbell. It's one of the simplest, cheapest, and best workout tools you can ever get.

It's hard to build with just dumbbells alone. I know of only a few "dumbbell only" routines. Here's one:

http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-dumb ... dumbbells/

I think you'd do well to learn to do dumbbell swings and dumbbell snatches. They're easy to learn, and you can make up for a lack of weight with explosive training. At least to some extent.

You might also consider some creative exercising - sprinting, jumping (long jumps, box jumps, jumping for height, etc.). Learn to make a sandbag and workout with that. Find, build, or buy a pullup bar and do pullups.

I'll second that recommendation of Ross Enamait's site. He's got a book that might be useful to you, too. I've never read it, but I've heard nothing but good things about it:

http://www.rosstraining.com/infiniteintensity.html

But ultimately, I think you'll end up wanting a barbell and weight. It'll allow a much greater range of exercises and more precise loading (you won't need as many plate combos to get to a given weight).

Hope that helps,

Peter

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:44 am
by hoosegow
Duh. Starting Strength. Sorry.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:55 am
by dyecal
Hmm well after reading a ton a stuff, it seems SS is way too good to pass up. It'll probably take me a while to get the money to pay for everything though (barbell + however many weights I need + squat rack + bench). And should I invest the money into weightlifting shoes?

And one last thing, a lot of people have been saying that you dont need a spotter for the program. Which I can see is feasible with all but the bench press. If it's too much weight for squats, you can easily disengage the set. However, with a bench press...if it's too much weight, how are you supposed to get yourself out of that situation? I'm sure there has to be some technique...and would love to know it :D

Thanks :)

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:55 am
by pdellorto
dyecal wrote:Hmm well after reading a ton a stuff, it seems SS is way too good to pass up. It'll probably take me a while to get the money to pay for everything though (barbell + however many weights I need + squat rack + bench).
You can probably get a pretty good Olympic weight set cheap - I'd keep an eye out for garage sales, estate sales, and check Craig's list, freecycle, and used sporting good store if you have them nearby.

I'd go with:

- copy of Starting Strength
- barbell and weights
- rack
- bench

in that order. In the meantime, do that Stronglifts 5 x 5 with dumbbells or use Stu's advice about your own workout. Or get a place to do pullups and try Simplefit. You may as well get started...a base of fitness before you start squatting isn't going to hurt you. Just try not to learn any bad habits. :)
dyecal wrote: And should I invest the money into weightlifting shoes?
I'd leave that for last. You can do it barefoot if you don't have otherwise suitable shoes. My "weightlifting shoes" are Chuck Taylor All-Star low-tops; before that, it was bare feet.
dyecal wrote:And one last thing, a lot of people have been saying that you dont need a spotter for the program. Which I can see is feasible with all but the bench press. If it's too much weight for squats, you can easily disengage the set. However, with a bench press...if it's too much weight, how are you supposed to get yourself out of that situation? I'm sure there has to be some technique...and would love to know it :D
Until I started with my strength coach, I'd never benched with a spotter before. There are a couple adjustments you can do:

- Use Dumbbells instead of a barbell. A good exercise in its own right, maybe superior to the barbell (just harder to fine-tune the load), and it's easier to ditch the weights if they are too heavy.

- Safety first. Don't ever, ever, ever do the guillotine.
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Pec ... Press.html
Ever. Mess that one up, and you're dropping the weight on your neck.

- Go a little on the light side. You're going to have to unrack the weight yourself, so anything you can't push up from above your head and pull into position, you can't bench. That'll be self-limiting. In addition, you should err on the side of conservatism. If you're not sure if you can do 3 x 5 x 135, go with 125 or 130 instead. It's the hardest lift to bail on, so take care on loading it.

- Worse comes to worse...lower the bar to your chest. Then roll it down your body to your thighs. Sit up. From there, you can tilt the bar to one side and put it down, or roll it to your knees and stand up with it and put it down.


I've had to do all of those, especially the last one. I once got pinned, by myself, under 85# of weight. Yes, that's not a typo. A 45# bar plus 2 x 10# weights per side. I was aiming for a double, and it came down and just sat on my chest. I had to roll it off me, and the knurling scraped up my t-shirt and my thighs. It was pretty sad. But it works.

I hope that's helpful.

Peter

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:01 am
by wilburburns
At a minimum, you will need some type of Bench to press on. Just be sure what you buy has some safeties/spotter poles.

Also, Be conservative when doing the Flat Bench Press. By this I mean, Don't work yourself to failure, but judge by the last rep whether you think you can complete the next rep. This may slow your linear progress, but I'm sure you would rather be safe than sorry.

Now a few tricks that I have been told regarding being pinned under the bar on a Bench...
1: Don't use collars. Therefore, as a last resort, you can lean over and slide the weights off. The Bar can become a catapult at this point, so there is still danger in this method.
NOTE: STupid JackAss Type Video here and may not be safe for work, but this video does show the technique for removing plates when collars are not used.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRYr5CQ-rVY
Also, I would likely kill the spotter if they ever did that to me..

2: Watch Rippetoe's Videos regarding the bench. Especially this one which discusses Spotting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mygns0H6Ok4

And This one regarding lockout before re-racking..
HMM, Can't find that video link currently, but it's in Tim Donahay's Videos.

3: Read the Book....
Mine is still on Order, but I'm sure it will have more tips and info regarding the lift.


Cliff

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:04 am
by pdellorto
One final tip - bench in the rack! If you're got a full cage, you can set the pins to just below your chest height for the bench press. That way if you fail, you can drop the bar, exhale, and squirm out from underneath. It's not pretty, but it's safe.