The following course is designed as much as possible to require NO EQUIPMENT. Nevertheless, I’ d like to make a pitch for dumbbells, just in case you become interested in some type of equipment after a while . Consider making your first investment in exercise equipment in a set of dumbbells. Here’ s why. You can get a good set of steel dumbbell bars along with collars (the thing that goes on each end to hold the weights on) and some weights pretty cheaply. Try discount stores such as Wal-Mart and second hand sport shops. At the time of this writing, prices for the weights should be about 50 cents per pound, and a few bucks for each bar. That means you could get about eighty pounds worth of weight for forty or fifty bucks, and with dumbbells, you can really do a lot with this amount of weight.

You actually might do a lot better than this price wise if you shop around. Thin steel weights are preferable to fat plastic ones, because you can fit more of them on the bar, but don’ t let that stop you from getting plastic if you find a good deal. Try to get a variety of plates so you can make two very light dumbbells, say five pounds each (including the weight of the bar) all the way up to two dumbbells of forty or fifty pounds. Exercises that you can do using such dumbells include (I will describe most of these movements later on):

· Lunges, holding dumbbells of a medium weight at your sides or at chest level.
· “Flies” for your pecs, laying down on a bench (start out light).
· Bent over rowing, with one knee and one hand on a bench, the opposite foot on the floor (you can build up to some heavy weight on this one)
· Curls. With a dumbbell in each hand
· Overhead presses for your shoulders and triceps
· Lateral raises (keeping your arms straight, raise them from hanging at your sides to an overhead position.) Use a light weight.

You don’ t need really heavy weights with dumbbells like you do with barbells,
because dumbbells require more muscular effort to control, and for this reason they also build well rounded muscles. You can look at a weight training book at the library to get a feel for what other dumbbell exercises you can do. By combining some dumbbell work with the principles and other exercises described I this course, you can continue to build your physique for a lifetime. Dumbbells take up little room and can be stored easily.

There is no expensive piece of equipment, even one costing thousands of dollars, nor any fancy gym membership, that will do much more for you than this simple and inexpensive equipment. Even if you later on decide to purchase some type of more sophisticated equipment, you will always find plenty of uses for the dumbbells in your routine.