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There are a great number of extremely enthusiastic and committed bodybuilders out there that work exclusively out of their homes and very seldom, if ever, see the inside of a gym. Purists will roll their eyes and write these bodybuilders off out of hand as lacking sufficient dedication to deserve the term. In some ways this mindset is justified in the sense that disciples of home bodybuilding don’t get the benefit of the professional guidance of qualified gym instructors and obviously the use of extensive ranges of equipment and facilities. They are also excluded from the camaraderie and fellowship of other bodybuilders which is a notable source of personal growth.
The flip side of the coin, however, paints a different picture in most cases. Many people who practice home bodybuilding do not have access to a gym, can’t afford the fees or don’t have the time and the very fact that they go to the trouble of setting up at home shows a love of and dedication to the sport that is often lacking in serious gym rats. That said, it is unfair and inaccurate to slate home bodybuilding as a non-entity in the sport and I’ll wager that there are probably more pounds of muscle build in basements and back rooms than in formal, boutique gyms.
Whatever your reasons are for home bodybuilding, there are a couple of things that you need to do right at the start of the process to ensure that your efforts are channeled in the right direction and you do not waste your time or worse, injure yourself. At least a couple of consultations with a fitness professional are essential to get your physical state assessed and your planned routines/goals vs. body type established. At this point most instructors will be able to work out a basic regimen that fits in with these points and takes into consideration what your personal circumstances are regarding space, available equipment and at what frequency it will be possible for you to come in for re-assessments.
If it is impossible to get to a gym, there is a plethora of instructional video and printed material available and many reputable online training resources and forums which can serve both as a source of advice or inspiration and provide the missing fellowship factor. Once the groundwork is done for home bodybuilding, the serious business of investing in your body can begin.
When it comes to available space and equipment there is no definitive standard to adhere to and no right or wrong scenarios.Obviously the more you can afford both in equipment and space the better. There are many really good complete home gyms or individual home gym machines available, most designed to be portable and compact. Just get advice on this while chatting to the pro to ensure you don’t buy any lemonade makings! If the often exorbitant cost of these machines is beyond you, don’t despair. A simple homemade weight bench with a leg extension/curl bar and a couple of sets of barbells can offer you the following routine options:
- Stiff leg deadlifts
- Dumbbell upright rows
- Dumbbell curls
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell pullovers
- 75° incline bench press
- Dumbbell squats
- Dumbbell calf lifts
If you are technically minded and can drive a welding machine, some impressive gym quality machines can be build from scratch using measurements and specs from online or printed resources or scoping out the gym machines on your visits. All in all, legitimate and relevant work can be done from a home facility and if the commitment to your goals is there, good progress made. Home bodybuilding does not need to take a back seat to gym work and can be an excellent source of convenient access to bodybuilding for those who can’t do the gym circuit or supplemental workouts for those who do.