Weight and Resistance Training - Need a Recommendation - Barbell Weights

08-06-2011, 12:21 PM
So I have a small apartment, but I've talked things over with hubby and he would be fine sacrificing one corner of the place to store a set of barbell weights. Now I need to figure out what weight range to get, and where to get a good set for the right price!

I'm relatively strong in that bodyweight exercises are really just too easy for me now, but I'm still definitely a beginner. I research the heck out of techniques using exrx.net and youtube (among other online literature), and have a couple of full-length mirrors to examine my form. What would be a good weight to start with for squats, walking lunges and deadlifts? What about shoulder presses?

I currently do shoulder presses as part of my 30-day shred with 5lb weights in each hand, but that's just way too easy now. If I wanted to lift according to the New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women I'm thinking 20 lbs (10 lbs each hand being a step up from 5 lbs each hand) to start with, but I really have no idea what's a good starting weight for deadlift and squat. At Stumptuous.com she mentions 45lbs as if it were a good starting weight for the deadlift, and I'm thinking I should probably start with 30 for squats and work up from there if I feel like I can handle it as I'm still working on my form a bit (great form from start to knees-parallel-to-the-ground, a little shaky going into the full squat).

My height and weight are up-to-date there on the left. Would 60-70lbs worth of weights be a good starting set, you think? That would be two 25lb plates and two 10lb plates...or should I get six 10lb plates so that I have more control over the range of different weights I can stack? Is that weird?

I'd love to know your thoughts!

08-06-2011, 01:07 PM
The reason Krista recommends 45lbs is because a standard Olympic barbell is 45lbs (well, 44.something) - so she is recommending you start with the empty bar. This is just IMO but cheap barbells that come in 20,25lbs are just not worth it for real lifting. There are some high quality women's bars at 35lbs (with a smaller diameter for smaller hands) if you wish, but 45lbs is the minimum weight for proper barbell usage. You can't go lower.

60-70lbs is fine to start (heck I started with 2x20lbs I think and now I've 600+lbs of Werksan plates... nope, not all once hehe) however you'll want to get a proper squat rack as well.

If you aren't sure where to start, just go with the regular bar for squats (44lbs) and the bar with proper sized bumper plates for deadlift - the plate quality is important because you are deadlifting plates that are a proper size. If you try and deadlift with those "mini" plates, your back will be going down farther than it should and make the lift akward.

This is where I buy my plates

^^The bumper plates can come in 2.5-5.0kg and are the same size as a 45lb plate, just (obviously) heavier. Believe me, that is one small difference that can make a huge impact when trying to learn the lifts.

Startingstrength.com by Mark Rippetoe has an amazing book and DVD, IMO, you should never touch a barbell without! I highly recommend it.
Here are some Youtube videos of his

08-06-2011, 01:12 PM
Oh and welcome to the dark side of lifting :) You'll never go back.

Apologies to those who have smaller bars but it's like Olive Garden compared to a true pasta dinner on the shores of Cinque Terre... you just cannot go back.

08-06-2011, 01:41 PM
Yeah, you want to try to get a bar with different weighted plates. The goal of lifting is to continually increase the weight that you are lifting so that while you might struggle with 60lb for a couple of days, it will quickly become too light and easy.

(For comparison's sake I've just finished Stage 1 of the NROLW and I'll tell you where I started the stage and where I finished:
Squats: start--30lb, end 125lb
Deadlifts: 60lb, end 135lb
Shoulder press: start 20, end 30 (those are hard!)
Lunges: start bw, end 60lb
seated rows: start 70, end 120.

You see I gained quite a lot of strength over the course of the workouts. You want to get equipment that will enable you to make those strength gains too.)

08-08-2011, 02:04 PM
Thanks everyone! Holy moly DietVet your before/after weights are really telling! I might need to get more weight than I thought!