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workout routine
lying tricep extensions
bicep curls
front squats
bench presses
weight bench
barbell
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dumbbells
weight training
workout
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exercises
knees
A Beginner Workout Routine With Only Barbells
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The barbell is one of the oldest tools for weight training, perhaps the oldest tool after big rocks. So does that make it less powerful than the hundreds of machines available in a gym?

Actually, the opposite is true. When you workout with a machine, it will actually make it easier for you - thus, there are a few muscles that you won't work that you would if you used barbells. I don't think there's anything wrong with using the gym equipment, but there are some things you just need to do with barbells.

So can you work out at home with a $100 barbell set? Of course! Most of the exercises I do use just a barbell or dumbbells. There are lots of exercises that you can do with barbells to exercise your whole body. I'll give you a routine you can do - these are all standard barbell exercises.

The workout is a two day split. The first day you'll work the upper body, and the second day you'll work the lower body. You can choose how often to work out, but I would recommend that, to start with, do day 1, day 2, then rest one day. If you can work out every day and keep improving, by all means go ahead and do it - or make whatever adjustments you want.

Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

Day 1 - upper body

  • 3 sets - 8 reps: Military presses
  • 3 sets - failure: Pushups*
  • 3-8: Bent-over rows
  • 3-10: Bicep curls
  • 3-10: Lying tricep extensions

* If you have a weight bench, you can do 3-10 bench presses instead. Or, if you can't do regular pushups, do modified pushups from your knees (back straight).

Day 2 - lower body

  • 3-6: Front squats
  • 3-8: Deadlifts
  • 3-8: Romanian deadlifts
  • 3-failure: Bicycle*

* Not the kind you ride, - the exercise. Look it up.

Now I'll give you a few tips for starting.

1. Start off light

If you've never worked out before, don't pile 200 lbs. on the bar and try to do deadlifts. Make sure the weight you start with is light enough so you can practise good form right from the start. You'll work the right muscles that way, plus, you'll be safer and less likely to hurt your back. And make sure you use good form.

2. Keep making progress

If you're a beginner, you might be able to add weight each week or two. If so, great - push yourself. That's the only way you're going to get stronger.

3. Don't go to failure if you're beginning

If you've never worked out before, I recommend you don't go to failure. Wait a couple weeks to let your body get used to it.

4. Don't work out if you're sore

If you're sore when your next workout is scheduled, don't work out until you aren't. Your body is still recovering and needs more rest.

So that's the workout. You could train your whole life with barbells, they're that good. There are advantages to using machines, but it definitely isn't required to build muscle. This workout will help you put on a lot of muscle mass at home.


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