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It can be daunting to approach the gym to weight train for the first
time. You may be wondering, "How much weight should I use," "How do I
incorporate weights into my workouts," Or " What if I'm using free
weights wrong?" Well do not worry, we are here to help. Here we will
break down the different types of free weights. We will tell you what
you will need to know when starting out training with free weights,
which components you will need for an at-home gym, and we will include
some basic free weight exercises to work out your lower body and some
free weight training exercises that you can incorporate into a cross-fit
There are many valuable qualities of training with free weights. They
offer a limitless range of motion, allowing for easy movement. As free
weights offer a full range of motion, using free weights develops muscle
stabilization as the body must activate stabilizer muscles to help
maintain balance while performing free weight training exercises.
Let's break down the different types of Free Weights.
Dumbbells are handheld
free weights, with a handle and matching weight attached to both ends.
They typically range from around one pound to 25 pounds. They are cost
effective, space effective, and many of the exercises you perform with
dumbbells are close to bodyweight exercises, so they
are a great way for beginners to weight train and to slowly build up to
Barbells and heavier weight training. They are the best weights to start
Dumbbells offer a great range of motion (ROM) and
thus utilize more "stabilizer muscles" than barbells. With
dumbbells the possibilities are pretty much endless.
They can be added to bodyweight exercises to make them more difficult
and to build strength. However, to build larger muscles, and to provide
your muscles with a maximum overload option, you'll want to consider
are the only plates used in competition. They are more adaptable than
traditional steel plates. Training with Olympic plates
often focuses on larger muscle groups and gives you the option of higher
weights than you would have with dumbbells. Lifting with Olympic
Plates is a great way to maximize strength and increase muscle
size. Olympic Plates are primarily used with
Olympic Bars are
more adaptable than traditional bars, more stable, and can hold more
weight. They are used as a weight lifting option where the bars do not
bend over time, and thus do not complicate lifts. Olympic
bars are more adaptable than traditional steel weights and
bars, as they have reduced torque. The ends of Olympic
bars have revolving ends that roll independently of the bar.
This reduces the torque during specific lifts where the weights are
prone to spinning. Olympic bars often include grip
plates which are convenient built in handles to prevent sliding.
Bumper Plates are Olympic
sized plates made of thick dense rubber. They allow the athlete to drop
the loaded Olympic bar from an overhead position
without the risk of damaging the lifting platform, the bar, or the
These plates are only needed for Olympic lifts, but can be used to
reduce noise and vibration in deadlifts as well. They are softer for a
home gym as they won't smash through your foundation, or crack and chip
if you accidentally drop them.
Kettlebells are an excellent way to increase core
strength and target muscles that dumbbells and barbells can't reach.
They consist of a bell, handle, and "horns". They are harder to control
than dumbbells, thus incorporating more core strength, stricter form,
and more muscle activation.
Kettlebells encourage precision, because you can
more easily tell when a part of the exercise is off. These pave the way
to perform more advanced exercises properly. When you train with a
kettlebell, your core has to work harder to stabilize
the weight and this builds improved athleticism.
Kettlebells are easy to travel with as they won't
roll around your car. You only need a single kettlebell
for a good workout, not a selection, so they are a great first addition
to an at-home gym.
At-Home Gym Essentials
You don't need a lot of space for an at-home gym. You can build one
in your garage. The most important thing is to make sure that you have a
solid concrete floor or to reinforce and cover the floor if it is wood.
Here is a list of the at-home gym essentials that you
need to cover the basics of your at-home workouts.
Barbell and set of Bumper Weight
Barbell and Olympic weight training is an earned right and should
only be implemented after the athlete has a foundation of strength
training from calisthenics, dumbbells, and kettlebells with proper
movement and execution. That being said, they are a staple of any home
gym as they build maximum strength and muscle size.
A good gym should start with a quality Olympic bar
and set of bumper weights. If you have an interest in
Olympic lifts down the road, it makes sense to go for the bumper
weights. Even if your current workout doesn't necessitate them,
by investing in them now you can have that option down the road, and
they aren't much more expensive than steel plates.
These take up little to no space. Pull-ups are one of the best upper
body development exercises with few substitutions.
You cannot do many rep schemes without a way to hold your barbells
off the ground to start and end your lifts. You also simply cannot move
as much weight without it. Accessories can increase its utility to make
the most of this more spacious home gym element.
You only need a single kettlebell
for an entire workout, as opposed to a range of
dumbbells, so this is a must for your at-home gym. If
you're just starting out you could work with just one
kettlebell. If you're looking for the comprehensive
at-home gym experience, opt for two, one with a heavier weight for
Grab a shell and fill it to 60 pounds for females, and 80 pounds for
males. The best material for the ideal weight and bulk is to use a mix
of sand and rubber mulch.
On a limited budget you can get everything that you need for your
at-home gym by buying pre-owned equipment here from us at Buy
and Sell Fitness.
Exercises with Free Weights to Work out Your Lower Body
Weighted Reverse Lunges
Weighted Stationary Lunges
Weighted Side Lunges
Weighted Hamstring Curl
Weight Split Squat
Using Free Weights for CrossFit Workouts
Dumbbell walking lunges
Single arm dumbbell snatches
One arm overhead squat