So the workouts I've been doing without a bench mainly consist of pushups and dumbbell curls. I've also used a bar while lying on the floor to simulate a poor man's bench press. My problem here is that I can easily do 30 pushups as one set. Doing several sets of these is no problem so I need more weight because I get tired (not physically mind you) of doing so many reps. My dumbbells are 25 pounds each and typically my bench press I described I'm doing around 80-90 lbs to start.
My main goal with my workouts is to bulk up slowly on muscle mass. I want to completely redo my workout routine with something like this:
Maybe something for abs? Abs is not a huge deal for me though.
Day 3 (dont need a bench for much of this)
Dumbbell incline on bench
Bent over rows
Not sure yet...
One of my main concerns is space since it'll be going on my back porch and ideally I'd like something with some kind of safety bars or whatever they're called that will catch the barbell if I can't get it up or drop it. I found a very basic one at Dick's...no safety bars though but the price is nice at about $120. Rough estimate is about 3'x5' in size which will work pretty well so if possible I'd like anything else to be similar. Any other suggestions on a better setup? Does my proposed routine seem adequate for starters?
So you're looking for an olympic bar and weight set, squat rack or cage and a bench? Will it be covered on your porch?
Bottom line, you get what you pay for but......
There's lots of bar/300lbs sets out there for $200-$300. But you'll want to upgrade your bar at some point. Iron plates are iron plates as long as they're dimensions are correct (45lbs plate should be 17.5") buy round, no octoganal, odd shape, etc. (they make deadlifting a pain). Another route is local craigslist or play it again sports, you might find some good deals less than $0.50 per lbs.
For the rack:
I had this one for a couple years, was fine for squating up to 315lbs. Any more than that, I'd look into an upgrade.
If you go with a cage you typically have a pull up bar and safety bars. There is also simple squat stands, but these are better suited if you have a platform and bumper plates.
For the bench, you could do a package deal at either link above or maybe local.
For your routine, check out starting strength. This will give you a very effective routine, but more so teaches correct form for your big compound lifts.
Body solid 11g cage is the best deal on the market. $500 shipped. Handles 600+ routinely.
Cheap alternative: Christians fitness heavy duty squat stands with safeties... very solid and affordable. Good for bench and squat...
If you can afford it, rogue or elite fts gear is top bitch