So I'm 18 and recently started weight training. I had a nerdy lifestyle for many years so my muscles are not very developed at all. However I was already in the gym for 3-4 months so I'm past that initial soft, painful stage where you don't even know the equipments.
The thing is I quit the gym and decided to buy stuff for my own home gym. I bough a barbell, 2 dumbbells, and a total of 24 kgs in weights, which is not that much to be honest. And recently I bought a pull-up bar that can be adjustable for sits and push-ups.
Now the thing is, I don't have a bench, and I'm not thinking about getting one since it's too expensive (I'd rather work out in the bed using pillows), and same goes for additional weights. So there are some exercises (like dummbbell flyes and barbell bench press) where (either because not enough weight or bad posture) I don't get tired or sore like I'm supposed to. I could go 5-10 more reps if needed.
My question is: imagine I have an exercise plan (and I still have my old gym one that I didn't finish because I quit ^^) where I get two or three exercises that for some reason do not get me sore. Are those exercises useless or are they still helping me grow? Also, I usually slow down a lot so that it takes more effort to do the exercise. Do you think that helps? Or is it worth to go waste around $40-80 in new weights/$100-150 on a bench?
Also, is there any way to make a home-made bench? The only think I though of was "borrowing" some plastic beer crates stored outside local coffees.
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You need to vary your workout to continue seeing gains... if you do the same sets every time your muscle does become somewhat used to it. I'd not worry about only having 24kgs, you can actually gain a lot of mass without adding much weight. Yes you might not become stronger but if tone and definition is what you want you can achieve that with light weights. With leg work outs they're generally very limited in what you can really do to mix it up but i'd just rotate the exercises to make sure i'm getting something from it. Abs is notorious for getting some results then struggling to get any further but the best thing about abs is that there are so many more exercises you can do to keep improving. I would recommend owning a bench, mainly because it'll help form and you're less likely to injure yourself. I got a very cheap one, you can always get some more weights but i'd not say it would have to be at all urgent. I set up my own gym I have a bench, a bike, a treadmill and a punchbag... I do also have things like a pull up bar and push up grips but i've built it up over a few years so that it didn't seem as expensive.