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Can I Get In Decent Shape WITHOUT...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
free-weights?

Guys before you flame me, please hear me out. I'm 5'7", 145. Nothing special. I am not big my any means. But Ive felt the best when I was working out and felt my most confident.

I've been in and out of the gym but one of my biggest problems is a spotter on chest day. I used to go with someone reliable and we would get along great. We were consistent and all until he moved away. Now I am stuck with this arrogant jerk who does nothing but criticize me. He also goes whenever he feels like to the gym so I am stuck at his mercy.

My question is: How can I do chest without needing a spotter? Can i use the machines and get decent results like I would when I did bench press? I do not want to rely on anyone for a spot.

I know ppl will say just ask someone around you. I've tried that before. Asking someone to spot you for 6-7 different sets just gets tiresome.

Please does anyone have input?
post #2 of 17
Bench in the rack if you dont have a spotter. Don't go to failure.

Alternatively: skip bench press. do weighted dips instead.
post #3 of 17
You can always use dumbbells for bench press. It's not quite as good for gaining mass as the bar, but you get some benefit with stabilizer muscles and you don't have the mental hangups from worrying about squashing yourself. It can be a little dicey once you get to bigger weights, but at 145 lbs you should have a ways to go before that's an issue.
post #4 of 17
google convict conditioning

i used to ask a random guy to spot me and it generally went ok
post #5 of 17
post #6 of 17
Use dumbbells
Use a cage
Don't train to failure
Work up to only 1 big set so you only have to use a spotter once
Do weighted dips, I personally don't like them
Do pull overs and flys and shit like that.

Personally i'd just ask someone or use dumbbells. I use dumbbells entirely now for my bench press.
post #7 of 17
You need to be very strong to work your chest with DBs without a spotter.

Bench press is safe. Just don't over load your self. Bar work is safer than DB imo.

Fwiw i don't train with a spotter and i got up to 100kg bench with no issues.

In b4 everyone says they can bench 120kg lol

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post #8 of 17
You can bench without pins/safeties or a spotter if you don't put collars on the bar. If you get stuck, tilt the bar to the side and let the plates drop off that end. It's noisy and awkward but it beats getting pinned or rolling the bar down your torso.
post #9 of 17
Use dumbbells. But be careful. DBs are a double edged sword. On the one hand, they are harder to stabilize and do which is why 2XDB is usually less than BP weight, and that's good because it develops the muscles that stabilize the weight as well. But you can also hurt yourself with dumbbells, especially if you can't safely finish the exercise. After you do your set, can you safely get the DBs back to your thighs and sit up without screwing up your back? Or can you drop them without hurting your shoulder? I have done both when I really pushed with the weight and was a bit careless with form.

Bottom line as others have said is to leave a rep or two in the tank regardless of which exercise you do. That will keep you out of trouble.
Edited by Scrumhalf - 9/10/11 at 7:29am
post #10 of 17
I'd say just go ahead and use the smith rack and some safety pins.

That and just vary your workout. Dont forsake the bench entirely, just substitute other things often. ONce you are mixing in enough other excercises, you've got yuor bench down to 3-4 sets per session. Not too much of a hassle.

You're going to have to use a spotter sometimes, because there IS a huge value to going to failure (if you are trying to grow). It depends on what your goals are.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuy View Post

You need to be very strong to work your chest with DBs without a spotter.

Bench press is safe. Just don't over load your self. Bar work is safer than DB imo.

Fwiw i don't train with a spotter and i got up to 100kg bench with no issues.

In b4 everyone says they can bench 120kg lol

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

wtf why do you need to be strong to work your chest with dumbbells without a spotter? Its not that hard to get into position and when your done you just lean forward and drop the weights.Theres no reason why you couldn't work your chest with dumbbells when your weak.
post #12 of 17
You can try using bodyweight exercises - things like press/push ups, pull/chin ups etc. I know it sounds like they aren't much compared to free weights, but there are actually lots of variations (intensity, time, combinations) that mean you can really mix things up and get a really good workout regardless of your level.

I've been reading a book called "You are your own gym" which I've found really helpful as I've been getting into shape too. The book has over 100 different exercises, none of which require weights or a gym, with exercise routines for all levels of fitness. While I still use weights occasionally, bodyweight exercises are great if you don't have easy access to a gym or are travelling but still want a workout
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuji View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuy View Post

You need to be very strong to work your chest with DBs without a spotter.

Bench press is safe. Just don't over load your self. Bar work is safer than DB imo.

Fwiw i don't train with a spotter and i got up to 100kg bench with no issues.

In b4 everyone says they can bench 120kg lol

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

wtf why do you need to be strong to work your chest with dumbbells without a spotter? Its not that hard to get into position and when your done you just lean forward and drop the weights.Theres no reason why you couldn't work your chest with dumbbells when your weak.

If you need a spot on bench your forcing reps. Id like to see forced reps, and the result, using DBs.

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post #14 of 17
BW is good for strength for sure... I am a firm believer in building a good strength foundation before hitting weights...

Although i have access to.a.great gym, i prefer working out in the playground down stairs...

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post #15 of 17
I suppose you could give TRX a try too. I never really tried it out, except for a few abs classes, but as a strength training method people seem to like it.
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