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Thread: Advice on how heavy my weights should be please

  1. #1

    Advice on how heavy my weights should be please

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    Hi - I'm a 40-year-old woman and have recently got into weight training for the first time. Loving it but I think I maybe need a bit more kit. At the moment I only have an 8kg kettlebell and I'd like to buy some dumbbells but I'm not sure how heavy they should be. With the kettlebell I can do about 12+ of the clean and the snatch (hope I'm getting the technical terms right) but struggle to do 10 of the shoulder press. I guess you need to have lighter dumbells because you hold two of them?
    Obviously I'm a complete novice! Any help appreciated. BTW I don't have access to a gym, everything's got to be at home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Brussels, Belgium
    When I started lifting weights at home (at the time - following a book New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women - it's really good book for beginners), I got a set of adjustable dumbells and a matching bar. That way my dumbells started at 2 kgs each, bar was 7,5 kgs and I had about 25 kgs of extra weights (0.5-2.5 kg sizes) I could add onto them - perfect starter kit! It is not worth buying set weight dumbells as they are not flexible enough and you won't be able do progress without buying a new set.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the advice - I think I'll do that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Sounds like the dumbbells you have are too light to be of much use. Unless you need a new set of bookends or 2 doorstops.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I am hideously biased but an adjustable sandbag (see my sig) could be a useful option that will allow you to easily increase the weight as your improve.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Calgary, AB
    Depending on which exercise you are planning on using the dumbbells for. Lighter dumbbells are far cheaper than heavier ones.

    At your KB weight, I would get a set of 5, 10 and 15 lbs dumbells to start with.

    10 lbs dumbells (5 kilos) for overhead press and triceps extensions - if you are going do that
    Then you can do lifts that involve stronger muscle groups one-handed lifts by combining dumbbells, and can build up to 30
    lbs on each hand (i.e back row) and chest fly & bench press with 15-20 lbs (7-10 kilos) (combination of 15+5 lbs)

    After that I would ponder:
    a) purchasing 30 lbs dumbbells (15 kilos) or
    b) membership in a well-stocked gym and starting barbell training and adding whatever dumbbells you need.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Edmonton Canada
    IMO you want a way to progressively increase weight. So a small set of dumbells probably wont do it. If you don't have room for a home gym the sandbag can be good as coach said or move onto body weight work.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I think I agree with our colleague above. Lighter db's won't do much for you.

    If you can do 12 snatches a side with an 8kg KB, you should be getting heavier bells, not lighter bells. Even "struggling" to do 10 military presses means you could go ahead and get a heavier bell for those, too.

    I would recommend getting a 12 and 16 kg KB, and doing more swings, squats, and push presses. Swings are especially beneficial.

    That - and progressive body weight stuff!

  9. #9
    Thanks all. Last night I got out my husband's 20kg kettlebell and had a go with that. I found there were several things that I could do with it (although getting it up the stairs from the cellar was a workout in itself!) and afterwards my 8kg felt puny, so I'm deffo going to take the advice and go heavier!

  10. #10
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    OK, here's another one for you - what weights should I get for my KIDS? They are 9 and 6 (I'll let the baby off as she can't walk yet!) and they love love love lifting my weight, but they struggle with it. The nine-year-old girl is hugely strong, she is a rippling wall of muscle, loves monkey bars and can do them for half an hour or more (the limiting factor being blisters) and she can manage my 8kg up to her chin and can just about pick up the 20kg. The 6-year-old is fit but not nearly so strong as his sister and he finds the 8kg a struggle. What do you all reckon? Shall I get them some little kettlebells?

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