How Important is Proper (and expensive) Equipment?

To Add Lean Muscle Mass that is…..

Some people are just born lucky with good genes. All they have to do is run, do some pushups and pullups, and they have the most amazing body imaginable. Actor Paul (Fast and Furious) Walker is a great example of someone who only has to do martial arts and surf to keep his body looking great.

True story. A few years ago, I got into carpentry as a hobby, and tried to build myself a cabinet using nothing but basic tools like a hammer, saw, nails, etc. It worked, but…I then decided to invest in powertools, and it made a big different. The quality of the work was better and more precise, and my time was used more efficiently. Lesson? Often enough, it’s all about the tools and having the right tools for the job.

Let’s say for example that one of your goals is to build up your arms. To do that, you need to exert a powerful enough force in lifting the weight that your muscles have no choice but to grow. So if you only have a set of 20 pound dumbbells to work with, your muscles will only grow large enough to lift 20 pounds. Want bigger arms? You’re going to need bigger weights.


Arms workout with the Beast Master, Sagi Kalev


My recommendation? If you’re going to be working out at home, you’re going to need a variety of weights – 10 to 50 pounds in 5 pound increments would be ideal. If space is an issue, go for adjustable dumbbells – PowerBlocks or Selectechs are two of the more popular choices. (And don’t forget the chin-up bar…you want that V-shaped torso you’re going to need to build your back and lats…)

And while a gym membership (with access to a wide range of equipment) can be a good thing, don’t think for a second that you can’t get into great shape without all that fancy equipment. Bottom line is all you really need is weights, a pull-up bar and an adjustable bench. Don’t have access to even that? No worries, and no excuse not to workout. Focus on bodyweight exercises and calisthenics.

If you want to opt for bodyweight exercises, check out Insanity. It’s a great core cardio workout program, and more ideal for someone who is looking more towards leaning down than adding mass.

Most gymnasts that I know, got their body from doing pure calisthenics routines. If you can find ‘an adult jungle gym’ around your area, definitely utilize it. Check out the calisthenics workout that I do at the Santa Monica Muscle Beach.