Tag Archives: barbell

Day 224: Close call

Day 24 - front

  • Weight: 137.8 lbs.
  • Workout C: 29 minutes, 44 seconds; next: Workout C, April 15
  • Total inches: 124.6
  • Protein: 134 g (4 g over target)
  • Calories: 2,299

Kettlebell swings can be dangerous. When done by an amateur. Like me.

I use a homemade T-handle, as described in “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links]. Author Tim Ferriss suggests making a new one every 6 months as they wear out and you don’t want to send a weight plate through a window.

Do I listen? No.

In nearing the end of my one-arm kettlebell swings during today’s workout, I nearly sent myself to the emergency room. The floor flange had become loose and bang! the two 15-pound plates crash on the floor.

Even this instruction set on making a T-handle warns: “Given how this device is to be used (repeatedly heaving it into the air), I recommend using a wrench to really tighten that floor flange.”

One plate had a small crack in its plastic casing, warping the inner ring. It’s a much tighter squeeze to put it on a barbell or a dumbbell, but fortunately still fits.

Even more fortunate, the crash didn’t break the floor or my feet. Whew.

Several readers have recommended places to shop for plates to add to my collection. I almost needed to add another 15-pound disk to the list as a replacement.

And the worst part: I think I would have completed the 25 reps for my right arm had my T-handle remained intact. No gain, but also, no pain.

Day 224 - side

Day 218: I’ve reached my limit!

Day 218 - front

Day 218 – front

  • Weight: 137.8 lbs.
  • No workout today; next: Workout C, April 8
  • Total inches: 124.4
  • Protein: 121 g (9 g under target)
  • Calories: 2,717

I’m stuck!

It’s a good kind of stuck. For my Yates row reps, I have completed the required reps at 135 pounds. The next stage is 150 pounds, but I don’t have large enough weight plates to move on.

Every big weight I can fit on the barbell is on there. I could strap on an extra 10 pounds (four 2.5-lb. plates), but it’s still not enough.

I’ve looked on Craigslist and found several barbell and dumbbell sets available for purchase at fairly low prices.

Perhaps the only way to continue is to not only bulk up my muscles and my eating, but my collection of home gym equipment, too.

Or, if you wish to donate your unused plates to my cause, they will be cheerfully accepted. (Please, no 2.5-lb. plates.)

Day 217 - side

Day 217 – side

Day 4: On the fly

day 4

  • Weight: 123.4 lbs.
  • Workout B: 53 minutes
  • Total inches: 116.6
  • Protein: 117 g (1 g over target)

I am not a gym rat.

When you’re a nerd in school, you find ways to get out of PE. Climb the rope? Have rubber balls hurled at your head? No thanks. (Though I did dig the square dancing.)

So given the choice between signing up for an expensive gym membership or getting the most basic equipment at home, I took the latter. (I think I could’ve gotten away with doing a free 30-day trial membership, but what would I do if I didn’t bulk up fast enough in that period?)

I’m now the proud owner of a dumbbell set, barbell, plates and a workout bench for just under $130. I also built a T-handle from pipes ($19) as a decent kettlebell substitute.

Even with my careful shopping, I hit a couple of potential setbacks with today’s Workout B.

“The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links] has great workout suggestions if you’re using a fully equipped gym. Otherwise, you might spend some time looking for alternate routines.

The first exercise is the slight incline bench press. Since I don’t have a power rack or a spotter, the safest alternative was using dumbbells instead of barbells.

Video: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

YouTube has so many videos demonstrating the proper way to do each routine. This made it a little easier in doing the exercise with different equipment or method.

The second exercise is the barbell squat. Again, without a squat rack, I didn’t want to take chances injuring myself using the barbell. Fortunately, the dumbbell squat provides similar benefits.

The third (optional) exercise is the kettlebell swing, and author Tim Ferriss gives a great homemade substitute to pricy kettlebells. In the book (and this video), he explains how to make a T-handle (or T-bar).

Video: How to make a T-handle as a kettlebell substitute

And the last exercise (also optional) is 3 minutes on a stationary bike to alleviate any leg soreness. I do have a mountain bike, but the tires are flat and the frame in general needs a tune-up.

So I did bicycle exercises on my back. Take that, neglected mountain bike.

The home gym is working out nicely, thanks to some improvised solutions. That makes me a home rat.