Guide to Basic Weightlifting Equipment
When it comes to exercise equipment, with the possible exception of the jump rope, you really can’t get much more basic then the gear you need for weight lifting.
The first body builders probably just used very big rocks! But seriously, one of the nice thing about weight lifting is not only is it a great way to get in shape, and build strength and self-confidence – it does not really require any real fancy or expensive equipment.
Basic Weightlifting Equipment
Now you can join a gym and have access to all the weight lifting gear you can imagine, both free weights and machines. But you can also accomplish many of the benefits of weight lifting with a basic set of barbells, dumbbells, and a good home workout regimen. Dumbbells usually are the familiar one-piece bone-shaped hand weights. Barbells are usually used for the more advanced workouts and longer muscle groups. This is the long bar with adjustable weight by adding or subtracting weighted plates. Although you can purchase a dumbbell-sized bar, and effectively use plates to make a dumbbell, generally speaking Dumbbells are fixed weights.
For basic weightlifting equipment most pros recommend a 5-50lb Hex Dumbbell set*. The hex refers to the shape of the weights – they are hexagonal rather than round, so they will not roll when you put them down. You walls and your toes will thank you.
As far as a Barbell set goes it depends on how much weight you want to have available to you in terms of the plates. And the nice thing about barbells is of course you can always purchase additional weight plates as you lift and increase your abilities. But a decent starter set of Barbells and plates* is definitely under 200.00. Garage sales are a great place to find barbells and plates – unfortunately people do not always stick with their commitment to lift weights. A curling bar* is also a good idea. Basically a curved barbell (you can use the same plates as on your straight bar) that makes the action of doing curls easier. You also may want to pick up a weight bench*. This too can often be found used. A weight bench is essential for doing many weight lifting exercises for the back and chest – and it also can be used for ab crunches, and triceps dips with your dumbbells.
Other accessories you may want to consider are a good pair of weight lifting gloves* to protect your hands while lifting. Unless you have a back problem you already are aware of weight belts for additional support are usually not necessary for basic weight lifting workouts. In fact some trainers so they do more harm than good because they allow a lifter to lift more they really are physically capable of, and cause certain muscles in the forearms and lower back to receive less of a work out and less of a benefit from your weight lift routine.
Don’t forget that the basic physics of weight lifting is to apply force against muscle contraction to overcome the force of gravity – that same feat can be accomplished by lifting your body weight – and if you are really on a tight budget or pressed for space a simple chin-up bar* can be installed in any doorway to get in some lifting and strength training.