Friday, May 06, 2005

Dumbbell Workouts

How to start? If I was starting over I would start with dumbbells. I think the best kind are the ones where you can change the weight. They usually come with 2.5 and 5lb weights which lets you work with 5 and 10lbs to start with. Some used sporting goods places carry 1 1/4 lb weights which are good because then you can increase by 2.5lb increments instead of 5lb. There's a reduced chance of injury in increasing weight slower and you can sustain your progress longer.

It takes about 6-12 weeks for your joints to get accustomed to weight training. Your muscles start adapting right away, a lot of people hurt their joints by increasing weight too quickly. (Been there, done that!) Take it slow. You're worth it.

So start your exercises with 2.5 or 5lbs. There are lots of different ways to workout. You can do 3 sets of 10 which is kind of a standard, and useful if you're starting light. You can do 5 sets of 5, and lots of other combinations. (for those who want to lift heavy right away, think about this. If you increase by 2.5 lbs every week for a whole year you'll have increased an exercise by 130lbs!)

I've read some articles that say that 20-24 sets are most since more than that and you start to lose benefit. If you're starting light you can do a full body workout every other day, 3 times a week. Most people go Monday, Weds., Friday. But you can adjust to your schedule. 3 sets of 10 will allow you 7 to 8 exercises. As you go heavier there are good reasons to go to sets of 5, but we'll get into that more later.

So here's 8 exercises you can do with dumbbells - you can see how they are done at I suggest working out the opposite muscle groups together one exercise after the other because this helps by keeping the joints warmed up and working opposite muscles help ensure that you are balancing your strength gains.

dumbbell Workout:
Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions;
Bench Press* and Dumbbell Rows;
Lunges and Rear Lunges;
Calf Raises and External Rotation**.

*you can bench on the floor if you don't have a weightlifting bench.
**this is good to prevent rotator cuff injuries when you start benching heavier!

Keep it up, E. You've inspired my own blog...
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