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BrianW
Aug 4th 2007, 10:33 AM
****I didn't see the --Guy's living healthy-- forum at the top before I posted this. Sorry about that. I guess it'll get moved soon as a mod sees it. I hope so because I feel like a dork for posting this in the wrong section.****

I worked out with free weights for years but there came a time ( after I moved back to my home state ) that I couldn't find a decent work out partner so I joined a gym.
Problem solved right? Wrong. The place is always packed no matter when I go and that means waiting around to be able to use the equipment I need when I need it. I've thought that I could just be flexible in my routine and use whats available but there is just too much time waiting between exercises so I can hardly ever get a good workout and just feel like I'm waisting my time.

So I'm thinking about getting one of those The Total Gym's and I'm wondering if any of you have one or have spent any time working out on one and what you think of it.

Also just how much resistance can you get with one of these? I'll get the one that can use a bar to add extra weight but for squats and bench press I'm worried it wont be enough. Can anybody help me out? I have read the reviews I can find by using Google but I would also like some "real life" user impressions.

Dr_Tinshnipz
Aug 5th 2007, 02:28 AM
Hey man, are you talking about a "BowFlex" ? If so they are GREAT my dad bought one about 4 years ago and he is still using the same one. I don't see him much but when I talk to him he says its the same amount of resistance as the first day he bought it! He is also a tank now haha He does 2 hours every other day ( thats way more then enough ) If your looking into a Bowflex I recommend visiting their website and ordering their free DVD. It arrived at my house within a week!

God Bless

BrianW
Aug 5th 2007, 05:30 AM
No the name of it is actually The Total Gym. Its the one in the Chuck Norris commercial.

I may end up getting a Bowflex or something like it in the future but I want something I can just set up and use right away for now. I think I'm just going to go pick one up ( Total Gym ) tomorrow depending on the return policy. I'm a little wary that they do not have one set up at the store I go to because the have a model of all the other home gyms that they sell set up right on the show floor so you can run through some reps and get a feel for the different machines.

Toolman
Aug 5th 2007, 12:05 PM
Brian,

I would go with a set of the selectorized dumbbells and a good bench (that can incline and decline) but the total gym can be used effectively if one is consistent and intense in their workouts (which it sounds like you are).

I just think the dumbbells would give you more effecient and intense workouts than the total gym. Bowflex would be a better choice also.

Craigslist is a great place to find used equipment so you don't have to pay top dollar. People buy stuff they don't use all the time.

http://www.powerblock.com/
http://bowflexselecttech.com/global/content_basic.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302 031719&bmUID=1186315506981&CID=KNC-GOOGLE&CMP=KNC-GOOGLE&HBX_PK=bowflex+selecttech&HBX_OU=50&adID=DOAGOOGDQ37FS1
http://www.ironmaster.com/store/Quick-Lock-Dumbell-System-75-lb-set-with-Rack-pr-2.html

BrianW
Aug 5th 2007, 05:16 PM
I have all of the dumbbells and weights that I can ever need and a couple of excellent benches. The problem is that I don't have a spotter. I suppose that I could just use dumbbells to do my benching but I'm worried about ripping a peck or otherwise injuring myself as I like to work to failure. Thats why I don't bench with a straight bar or do other types of exercises alone. Its way too easy to get hurt or even kill yourself.

Toolman
Aug 5th 2007, 06:00 PM
I have all of the dumbbells and weights that I can ever need and a couple of excellent benches. The problem is that I don't have a spotter. I suppose that I could just use dumbbells to do my benching but I'm worried about ripping a peck or otherwise injuring myself as I like to work to failure. Thats why I don't bench with a straight bar or do other types of exercises alone. Its way too easy to get hurt or even kill yourself.

I've done tons of heavy work with dumbbells and consider them much less injury prone that lifting with a straight bar. I go to failure almost every set and have never ripped a pec.

Plus you can't get stuck under dumbbells like you can a straight bar so no need for a spotter to pull the bar off. Just drop the dumbbells.

But whatever you are comfortable with is probably the way to go.

BrianW
Aug 5th 2007, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the advice Toolman. I'll give it a try tomorrow and see how I feel with it. I guess I don't have to go all out until I get the hang of it. My main problem I guess, apart from worrying about injuring myself, would be having to learn the new technique so that I can fully concentrate on my contractions without having to worry about keeping the dumbbells steady. But I'd have to do that with a Total Gym as well so this is really a great idea that will allow me to utilize the tools that I already have.

Toolman
Aug 6th 2007, 12:36 AM
Dumbbells are great and require even more stabilizer muscles utilized than a straight bar does.

I laid off straight bar bench for a year a while back and worked strictly with dumbbells.

When I came back to flat bench my bench was over 225 lbs. for reps the first week. I use dumbbells pretty often and can't imagine training chest without them. They are also great for shoulders also and arms of course.
Bentover rows with heavy dumbbells are a great lat exercise.

This site has tons of ideas for how to hit the various muscles with dumbbells. Just click on any bodypart on the righthand side:
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Give it a shot, I think you will be happy.

JIML
Aug 10th 2007, 05:49 PM
Don't get a bowflex, those things are crap, and they are expensive too. Best equipment is of course the free weights, but if you're afraid to bench by yourself you might want to look into smith machines. On a smith machine, you still bench a barbell, but it has safety devices that let you hook the bar when you feel like you can't lift it. Of course it has downsides, since the bar movement is controlled by the machine, you do not work the smaller stabilizing muscles.

BrianW
Aug 10th 2007, 09:31 PM
I'm just going with the dumbells for now thanks. I am looking to buy a machine though ( Bowflex type) but that will be after I build the new house.

The Total Gym is I was looking at only cost a couple hundred bucks and seemed like a relatively cheap and easy alternate to the gym.

Phil413
Aug 14th 2007, 01:57 AM
Don't get a bowflex, those things are crap, and they are expensive too.

Completely disagree, started using one about 4 years ago, due to not having an adequate spotter with free weights, and I've put nearly 4 inches on my arms. Still do a lot of dumbell work when I'm on the road and working away from home, but still love my bowflex. In fact I've took all of my olympic weights and put them into storage.

BrianW
Aug 14th 2007, 01:13 PM
Now thats a ringing endorsement! Very cool.

Slug1
Aug 14th 2007, 01:32 PM
Sheesh, where have I been! Moving this over to Guy's Living Healthy ;)

A820djd
Oct 31st 2007, 07:10 PM
Well I hate to be a jerk about this, but just food for thought.. When is the last time you seen a huge dude with 20 inch pythons who never goes to the gym but uses just a bow flex or a total gym? I've used the total gym with 2 fingers for like 20 reps on quite a few exercises... Maybe I have to be a chunky guy to feel the FX of the total gym, but it just doesn't work for me...

sidekickchick
Feb 1st 2008, 01:17 PM
I'm just going with the dumbells for now thanks. I am looking to buy a machine though ( Bowflex type) but that will be after I build the new house.

The Total Gym is I was looking at only cost a couple hundred bucks and seemed like a relatively cheap and easy alternate to the gym.

So did you ever buy the total gym?

Confused64
Feb 5th 2008, 03:24 PM
I'm just going with the dumbells for now thanks. I am looking to buy a machine though ( Bowflex type) but that will be after I build the new house.

The Total Gym is I was looking at only cost a couple hundred bucks and seemed like a relatively cheap and easy alternate to the gym.

I have one. Used it for 3 years, then decided I needed something more. Good piece of equipment, just no longer suited my needs.

BrianW
Mar 10th 2008, 04:01 PM
Just an update.

I stuck with the free weights and it has worked out extremely well. I haven't purchased a Total Gym or a Bowflex but I did get a really nice lax tower second hand.

I've found that using dumbells to work on my chest has allowed me to hit my pecs from various angles using alternate positions and has actually improved my workouts and gains tremendously.

Toolman
Mar 10th 2008, 04:06 PM
Brian,

Excellent news. I'm so glad you gave the dumbbells a shot and that they have worked well for you.

I couldn't agree more. I LOVE training chest with dumbbells. So many angles that can be hit.

Good stuff! Thanks for posting.