Hey all, need your collective wisdom please. Got my hands on a used bench, dumb bell and barbell set for a steal and want to get some muscle on me but I dont have anyone to teach/spot me, can't afford a gym membership and am pretty strapped for time as I do shift work. Imagine I'm a prisoner asking for advice with limited resources and knowledge.

I'm not trying to look like Mr Olympia or a fitness model. I want to achieve some practical strength and a body thats a decent mix of bulkiness and, well, "normal" and just stay there. Think Tom Hardy as Bane, Fedor Emelianenko, Bas Rutten or Bruce Willis in the original Die Hard. I dont wanna look like Hercules is what I'm saying. Just decent arms, back and legs, I'm a hairy ape so anything that gets the muscles bigger mitigates that genetic unpleasantness.

To that end I was wondering if someone could help me with exercises that are minimalist, solitary and efficient. I was considering doing just Deadlifts, Pushups and Dips (fork out some cash for a cheap dip bar i guess) and seeing how far that gets me. I can't do bench presses as I've no spotter, Back Squats seem alittle too unsafe for me as I'm alone, no one to teach/spot me, cant afford the rack and, honestly, I'm really just trying to get girls to notice me alittle more, I'm not going to invest emotionally and put my ego in lifting the weights for their own sake, you know? Why endanger my spine for a vanity project? Zercher squats instead? (i dont know)

Remember, I'm a "prisoner" with limited resources and knowledge so what else can I do to achieve what I want on my lonesome?

Calisthenics? Pushups (put barbell plates in backpack or something)? Any isometric exercises? I cant really practice Olympic Lifts by myself because I'm coming from a place of total ignorance and could really mess myself up in the long run.

So, yeah, anything I can learn/do on my own that wont endanger me and get really good results.

Theres not much a guy with not much can do :(

Any advice you can give or websites you could direct me to would be grand. Thank you

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Wasn't trying to, though I know it comes too easily.

I can only go what he said, and it did make sense, as an external goal could take my inner drive to a new level. I've heard similar with training partners.

There are times I go in thinking WTF am I doing this to myself? And that negativity bleeds into the workout, but I see that as part of the battle, the challenge is from within.

Sand bags. I dont mean the £100 super duper endorsed by mr millionaire sand bags, I mean the bags of play sand you can buy in hardware shops. a 25KG bag of sand costs £3 here, sling a few bags in a large duffel bag and you got your kit

I trained for two years and never got close to Tom Hardys look .

I would be willing to bet that it took Tom Hardy more than 2 years to develop his physique as well.

Id say you are right and to add to it he only has to do two things look good and train , and do movies .

He would have a lot of down time and people falling over themselves to help him .

I know it's contrary to advice I've heard, but if I had a "look" as my goal I would have abandoned my training long ago.

For me it's been the process itself, which is unusual for me because I'm typically a results-oriented guy. I want it done already. One reason I rather hire out a lot of work around the house. I hate getting it done, and not having the time to finish things so I have to stare at the incomplete work.

For me it's the process itself, going in the gym each time, making each session a mini-goal, a mini-struggle and dealing with the results of that. 

I agree. I typically have and "end state" for the physique I want in mind........but it is constantly changing. It is the process that keeps me going more than my imagined "end state"

Sounds like you have more choices; for me at 6' 2", with ecto-sized bone structure I don't have much, except Not Skinny, lol.

I think your right on some levels , when I started my training my goal was to look like Hugh Jackmans wolverine , to my friends I was there but I didnt see what they did .

I guess we are our worst critics .

While not denigrating lifting, and being a desk-bound worker bee with limited spare time, I'd opine that you wouldn't be ill-advised to start with a modest course of body weight exercises and walking/jogging.

If you can't do 20 push ups, squats, crunches, and trunk twisters, starting with lifting may actually be demotivating.

Toss in working your way up, by walking/jogging to a two miles in 20 pace can only help.

If you split the body weight and the aerobics up, you're looking at two exercise periods totaling maybe 30-50 minutes daily.

BTW, to echo some earlier comments about looking like certain actors, a lot of those folks put in daily 4+ hours work outs when not filming.

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