Weightlifting & Exercise/Chest Press
QUESTION: Is there a great difference between a bench press and lifting hand weights in the same motion? I don't want to skimp on building potential, but I figure if I buy hand weights I won't need a bench or even a gym membership.
Speaking of gyms, do they mostly attribute their membership costs to the weight machines and free weights? I was wondering if there could be a gym that is really cheap, but only invests in cardio, yoga, and very low impact aspects of working out.
ANSWER: Hi James,
Actually yes there is some difference, but anything is better than nothing. A bench press using a bar incorporates certain stabilizer muscles, a bench press using a dumbbell uses different stabilizer muscles. I am not sure how you are going to do bench presses without a bench though. To get a similar workout push-ups using different hand positions can give you great chest workouts.
Gyms like any other business attribute their membership cost to many varied expenses, personnel is usually the largest cost, rent, utilities, phone, advertising, equipment costs and maintenance, office expense etc. In order to make a profit they must cover all these expenses. Most gyms work on a very low profit margin. I owned my own Personal Training Studio for about year so I know first hand that equipment is one of the larger initial expenses but only plays a small part in the membership cost.
You do not need a gym membership to get fit and to build muscles, many people do it in home gyms, some with almost no equipment. A Bench and some weights purchased at a yard sale. I have picked up some nice equipment at auction for a few cents on the dollar. Most of it was only used once or twice then became a clothing rack until sent to auctipn or put out in the yard to sell.
Hope this helps,
Have a great day
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I would arch backwards a little over the desk stairs, and if I feel endangered I could always drop the weights to the sides. I don't understand how a bench press would offer anything worthwhile compared to hand weights since you can be assured of not over working one side. Mostly the middle portion of the chest would not get as much attention?
I figured with a gym with lower inpact stuff they wouldn't have as much liability if there is nearly no way anyone could get hurt.
I assume you mean deck stairs and not desk stairs. So what you are doing is replacing the bench with the stairs. That should work fine, you are just substituting the stairs for the bench, it is still essentially a bench press.
I have to assume you mean that a bench press with a barbell offers nothing different than a bench press with dumbbells. The major difference is in the stabilizer muscles that are targeted and not in the actual major muscles targeted. Either will work the chest muscles. If you want to go even cheaper than dumbbells try push ups.
Low impact "gyms" May have less "liability problems" and may pay a little less for their insurance, but in most cases there is not that much difference in membership fees. If you are able to find one that offers a significant discount in rates, then you may want to try it out. There is always a way people can get hurt, my uncle committed suicide in a padded cell. No Gym or anywhere else is 100% safe.
Hope this helps
Have a great day