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Need help with gaining strength

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  • Need help with gaining strength

    Hey guys.
    I've got some questions for you -

    Is it possible to gain strength using dumbbells alone?
    If so, I'd be glad if you link a program to follow

    I've yet to buy a weight bar - is it wise to use it with no gym guidance, or chances are I'll just do the exercises wrong and damage myself?

    I'm very limited with my time and money for the time being so going to a gym is not an option atm.
    Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?

  • #2
    Absolutely possible, yes! If it's a book you're after, I found the Bodysculpting Bible does a fairly nice introduction to full body dumbell training.

    Good form is very important, so if you're ever unsure, YouTube is a useful resource to check. You'll soon tell from the "likes" and comments whether someone is doing it right!

    If you're limited with money, I'd definitely say just stick with your dumbells for now and save a bar for later. Once you have a bar, you ideally need a stand for it too, and larger weight plates for things like deadlifts... initial cost can quickly mount up!

    Hope that helps.
    Went primal for the weight loss, stayed for the quality of life!

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    • #3
      as long as the weights go up yes, but you will be able to use more weight with a bar which = more muscle

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      • #4
        Dumbbells are not ideal because they cannot be loaded and lifted in balance like a barbell -- especially for the squat and deadlift -- and that makes it harder to maximize your effort. It is also much harder to load in small increments with a dumbbell. Typically you will have to move up 10 pounds at a time (a 5 pound jump in each hand) as you progress with your lifts. Whereas with a barbell you can get plates as light as 1 pound to add as you advance.

        The key to strength training is linear progression. You have to push your muscles harder every workout if you want to drive adaptation. Do sets of 5 reps and try to lift more weight each workout.
        April 2012, SW 330 / CW 266 / GW Able to do 10 pull ups
        Personal best lifts: Squat - 315, Deadlift - 435, Bench - 275, Press - 165 Strong enough? Not yet!

        Father of 3 young boys who has gone Paleo to kick a 40-year addiction to carbs. An aspiring powerlifter who wants to be the strongest (and now fittest) dad on the playground.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deadliftdan View Post
          Typically you will have to move up 10 pounds at a time (a 5 pound jump in each hand) as you progress with your lifts. Whereas with a barbell you can get plates as light as 1 pound to add as you advance.

          The key to strength training is linear progression. You have to push your muscles harder every workout if you want to drive adaptation. Do sets of 5 reps and try to lift more weight each workout.
          My dumbbells got plates on them so I can advance as I want.
          I've always done 12 reps * 3 set exercises, but felt I'm hitting a plateau / losing my form after a while.

          Could you link to any programs (as to how much reps, sets and which exercises one has to do using dumbbells)?
          Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gilleh View Post
            I've always done 12 reps * 3 set exercises, but felt I'm hitting a plateau
            Switch to 5x5 and eat more.
            "Go For Broke"
            Fat Kine-230/24% @ 6'2"
            Small Kine-168/9%
            Now- 200/8%
            Goal- 210/6%

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wanderlust View Post
              Switch to 5x5 and eat more.
              +1. 5x5 + food + hard work = muscle
              Josh Vernier, CPT

              My Journal

              Evolution Revolution Fitness

              "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

              -Ayn Rand

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              • #8
                Will do. 1m rest?

                Could you link to any programs (as to how much reps, sets and which exercises one has to do using dumbbells)?
                Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gilleh View Post
                  Will do. 1m rest?

                  Could you link to any programs (as to how much reps, sets and which exercises one has to do using dumbbells)?
                  FAQ:The Program - Starting Strength Wiki

                  3 - 7 mins rest.
                  Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
                  Sandbag Training Guide on Kindle
                  The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
                  Brute Force Sandbags
                  www.facebook.com/sandbagfitness
                  http://fitedia.com/ - Health and Fitness eBooks, video, audio and workshops

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gilleh View Post
                    Could you link to any programs (as to how much reps, sets and which exercises one has to do using dumbbells)?
                    I don't have any, because all the good strength programs that I know are barbell based.
                    "Go For Broke"
                    Fat Kine-230/24% @ 6'2"
                    Small Kine-168/9%
                    Now- 200/8%
                    Goal- 210/6%

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gilleh View Post
                      My dumbbells got plates on them so I can advance as I want.
                      I've always done 12 reps * 3 set exercises, but felt I'm hitting a plateau / losing my form after a while.

                      Could you link to any programs (as to how much reps, sets and which exercises one has to do using dumbbells)?

                      Study Confirms Light & Heavy Weights Build Muscle, Specificity principle in Building Strength

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                      • #12
                        aka intensity! Interesting read.

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