How to Plan and Buy Equipment for your Training Progression during Lock Down?

Shanu Shashank
Shanu Shashank

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science
Well, most of us have had an initial bit of struggle training at home when the lockdown started, with no access to gym and limited availability of equipment. Going about with just body weight exercises could be difficult, more than maintaining muscle mass, it’s a matter of mental satisfaction that you get while training at the gym, especially if you have been into weights for quite a while doing some heavy deadlifts and squats. Trust me, that was the biggest factor intermittently troubling me initially - “How long will I have to be away from those exercises?” Personally, I have hated working out at home all these years, travelling 20 kms sounded easier for me than doing the exercises at home. However, we all need to learn to adapt with circumstances.

✓ I feel, when there is a will, there is a way, I am glad that somehow I have been managing to get fair enough weights and equipment at home and continue with my training. But, then why write it here? ✓ I know most of you would be still struggling with the arrangements at home, like what to buy, which all exercises to do and where to get them from . If you are a beginner who just started with weights, trust me that's a blessing in disguise for you, there is nothing to worry much, one simply needs to focus on adhering to routine, focus on getting the form and posture right, train with light - moderate intensity, since your training adaptations are low. However, this gets really into the mind when you have been an intermediate or an advanced level trainee, lifting for more than 2 years or so. Big question - “ How to manage the Progression?” ✓ So, before I start, one very important thing to understand is that your muscle tissues will grow when you provide enough load (intensity) and volume (overall work done), within a session/ a week or a chosen span of time. Now, for that matter, 5 kg load is 5 kg, whether you lift a bag of rice weighing 5 kg or a dumb bell, its the same stress being provided to your muscle tissues. While you can compensate for the volume in a session by adding a certain number of exercises with varied rep ranges and sets as per the individual adaptation. I won't answer the question of where to get the weights from and how much to spend on, however, I will simply cite some logical statements that can help you decide on how to plan your own progressions and buy things smartly. ➡️So, the first and foremost thing to keep in mind is to set your goal for the next few months, and accordingly prepare a training plan with all the variables. Once you have a plan, then go on deciding to buy the required stuff. No point in buying those bumper plates simply out of fascination of seeing somebody on social media. Trust me, this will save a lot of money that can be invested in buying more weights, rather. ➡️ Pick up your effective list of exercises for each of the muscle groups where you can work upon the progression by increasing the intensity gradually, while for other exercises - maintain a decent range, say 8-15, 8-20 to compensate for the overall volume, treating them as an accessory. For example - I pick up Bench press (floor press), standing military press and shoulder landmine press for chest and shoulders, while deadlifts, bent over row, T- bar row for back. Similarly, I am relying on back squat, romanian deadlifts, hamstring curls for legs, while bulgarian split squats and leg extensions with resistance tubes can just be treated as my accessory exercises. But, why am I choosing these? ➡️ Well, we all have our own set of favourite exercises and preferences when it comes to training, however, it is also equally important that you choose the effective ones which are biomechanically right and gives you better emg activation. But, why not dumb bells? ➡️ Reverberating the same point again, for me deadlifts and squats are really important, thus having a barbell becomes a valid point. So, increasing/ decreasing the weights with those plates becomes an easier option suiting my budget as well as mental satisfaction which I get from training. Increasing some lbs with dumb bells could be fun, but not so light on my pocket,hence the choice of barbell with plates for progression. Plus it gives me multiple options to train a varied range of exercises. So, no dumb bells at all? ➡️ No, am not saying one should not get a dumb bell at all( thats an individual call), however you can plan on getting a 2-3 separate set for some other minor muscle groups or exercises. Like a pair of 5 kgs and 12.5 kgs(just a hypothetical number). So, if my max in dumb bell chest press is 15 kgs, I can still train between 5kg and 12.5 kgs with slightly more number of sets. ➡️ What about the bands and tubes? - So, here comes the volume part. I would prefer keeping them towards the end for the accessory exercises again, since you will always have a limitation there. And yes, they can be pretty handy for doing the exercises involving circular movements or cables like chest fly, lat pull downs, delts fly, etc. ➡️ What about bench and squat rack? If you have that budget in hand, you can definitely go with either or both of them based on the exercises you do and budget you have. Like, if it's just a question of ROM for chest muscle, and your budget doesn't support buying a bench, go for a decent stepper(you can verify a suitable length online). So, I hope these points could be helpful enough in deciding what to do in this situation, you don’t have to follow exactly what I suggested,but use this as a reference to come to a logical conclusion. If you have anything, please feel free to put in the comment section. ✓ Remember, exercises are a part of life that can well help you stay fit and healthy, not just losing some pounds on scale. Find out reasons to do them than the excuses of not being able to do them!
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Lohith KS Chalam

Good article ! Could you please post some good upper body excercises ?

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