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Limited equipment at gym


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So in a nut shell, my university gym is like Planet Fitness (mostly smith machines with some free dumbbells) with less pizza. I'm broke, my school is in the middle of scenic No Where, TX and the nearest gym is 20- 30 miles down the highway so no gym memberships. They have another, more fully stocked weight room but its for athletes only. 


 


I was able to work around this and put together a workout plan based on the free dumbbells alone but they only go up to 50-55lbs.


 


Monday/Wednesday/Friday its:


 


Dumbbell Squats-3x12


Dumbbell Bench Press-3x12


One Arm Dumbbell Rows-3x12


Dumbbell Deadlifts-3x12


 


Right now I really have no idea what to do if I pass that. I've never been part of a gym long enough to encounter this problem. 


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If they have decent machines (not smith machines but regular resistance machines) then use those.  You can still do well when restricted to machines, you just won't develop as efficiently, and you won't learn the form necessary for barbell lifts.

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You can also do a more bodyweight oriented program (startbodyweight.com is a nice free resource) and use dumbbells to smooth out the progressions (e.g. one arm rows can be used as part of a pull up progression). Smith Machines can be used for a lot of the horizontal pull exercises :)

"None of us can choose to be perfect, but all of us can choose to be better." - Lou Schuler, New Rules of Lifting for Women

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You could also deadlift the actual smith machine iteslf.  That would be a good use for it.

Honestly the only use for it lol. I've still got a long way before i reach the limit. I'm progressing slower than I hoped but I am on a deficit. And maybe I should start practicing on doing pull ups because I've never been able to do one before. 

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Have you gone to someone beyond the front counter staff to find out if they make any exceptions for using the athelete only gym for people who want to use barbells? It could be as simple as asking and finding out if, short of becoming a school athlete, there is any way to use it.

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Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Have you gone to someone beyond the front counter staff to find out if they make any exceptions for using the athelete only gym for people who want to use barbells? It could be as simple as asking and finding out if, short of becoming a school athlete, there is any way to use it.

 

That's what I was thinking as well.  The worst thing that can happen is they say no. 

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I did and a few days ago and they said no exceptions. Athletes only :\

 

Bummer.  Well in that case, I would suggest looking into some body weight stuff.  Push-ups / pull-ups can be done pretty much anywhere (assuming there is something you can grab onto overhead) and are great movements.  Also, to me, it's really really hard to differentiate between a DB Squat and DB Deadlift.  Unless you are holding the weights at shoulder height in which case you are working your core way more then your quads because you exert so much energy keeping the weight stable, you'll never get enough weight to really tax your quads (similar to an OH Squat, IMO).  Also, chat with Waldo (although I know he's been busy with his house lately) or check out his blog.  Should help get you rolling with some stuff that you can do for awhile to "work with what you got" so to speak.  Hope that helps.

 

http://strengthunbound.com

Daily Log ]

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I did and a few days ago and they said no exceptions. Athletes only :\

 

Who did you ask, the front desk, or someone like an athletic director? It seems a travesty that they don't have barbells available to everyone.

 

Does this include club teams or legit school sports like football? I ask because you might be able to join some bullshit team to get access, but not actually do anything on the team. Like if they have ultimate frisbee and they count as athletes, they might be cool with you signing up and just showing up to practice and being a body once in awhile, if at all.

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Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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It is completely unfathomable to me that the weight room at your college is only for athletes. If a university or other form of school here in Norway did anything like that, there would be OUTRAGE in the media.

 

It's a different culture. Here in the states, the athletes have crazy training protocols and schools have the money to give them their own gyms to do it in. The real problem here is that the student gym doesn't have the proper free weights, I'm just trying to figure out a work around.

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Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Who did you ask, the front desk, or someone like an athletic director? It seems a travesty that they don't have barbells available to everyone.

 

Does this include club teams or legit school sports like football? I ask because you might be able to join some bullshit team to get access, but not actually do anything on the team. Like if they have ultimate frisbee and they count as athletes, they might be cool with you signing up and just showing up to practice and being a body once in awhile, if at all.

I asked one of the football coaches. The only barbells are smith machines. Nothing free.

 

And its legit school sports. Football, basketball, baseball etc. 

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The one rule for athletes and another for regular students thing in America is a bit nutty to people outside of America. However, they are borderline pro-athletes in some universities (and a lot of them will go on to be pro) and they also bring in a LOT of money.

 

It could be worse for you though. In England my university had a terrible gym, and on top of that it was expensive too. I spent my university days drinking heavily and eating pizza and burgers on a regular basis. Had i known then what i know now and had access to _something_ i wouldn't have got myself into such a mess.

 

I also recommend startbodyweight. I was doing those progressions before i switched (back) to barbells.

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Well there's two but the good one is reserved for athletes. 

My university (also in the states), had a similar system, with a fitness center for normal folks, and a weight room for sports. Protip, just walk into the weight room like you own the place. Different sports all use it, and they don't know who's on eachother's teams.

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If there's a smith machine, then there are weight plates, right?  Not the cheapest option, but could you bring your own barbell?  On second thought, that'd probably lead to some pretty unsafe situations since you don't likely have a rack either.

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