In between dumbell weights

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    In between dumbell weights

    I have a bit of a problem!

    I've been doing ironborn on 10 kg (22 lb) dumbells.
    However i've come to the point that most / nearly all of the exercises are not giving me that challenge anymore I need for effective progress.
    I tried to up the weight, but! here's the kicker: If I go to 12 kg (26,5 lb) I can hardly do any of the exercises decently! Hell, tricep extensions basically lock my arm and I can hardly get it to move.

    What is an effective way to up my functional strength, so that I can effectively train with 12kg. Should I invest in lower increment weighted discs? ( 4x 0,5 kg ) So I can up with 1Kg on each arm in total?
    Should I just go for 12 and try as hard as I can?
    Do 10, but with more reps and sets until I can do 12?

    Any suggestion on how to tackle this barrier in a meaningful way would be greatly apreciated ^^

    #2
    Hi Basura Nephilim

    not a huge dumbbell expert but a long time kettlebell user where small jumps simply don't exist (you move up 4kg at a time at least traditionally by 8kg). I suppose I would stay with 10 and increase the number of reps then when it starts not to make sense anymore (like when you are doing series of 25 plus, isn't it time to up the weight ) you can either =
    - increase the weight and lower the reps back to the plan
    - apply a KB strategy
    * first day you replace one set with the heavier DB while keeping the first and successive sets at the initial weight
    * after a while you replace a further set
    * move on until you replaced all sets

    As well think that you don't progress linearly... in other words some exercise progress faster than other depending on many things so it can become quite rapidly illusory to use one set of dumbbells for everything because this limits you to your weakest exercise (eg a fly vs a deadlift, it is likely that if you use the weight you use for flies for DL it is not nearly heavy enough to impact) ... This is why the big inconvenient of DB training is that very fast you can need a full rack of them (fixed weights) or need constantly to change plates
    hope it helped

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      #3
      Hi Basura Nephilim!

      Did you consider Strength Protocol already?
      It follows the same workout pattern but it's completely bodyweight based.
      However, the exercises on Strength Protocol seem to be more challenging than the ones on Ironborn.

      Hope it helps.

      Good luck!


      ~Rui

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        #4
        Are you tensing your muscles hard ? I see people in the Fitness Centre pick up light dumbbells and just go through the motions, I tell them to tense as if lifting very heavy, really focus on tensing rather than movement.

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          #5
          Another way to tackle this could be to use different weights for different exercises, depending on what you can handle. For example, stick to 10kg for the tricep extensions, but use 12kg for curls...

          The way Ironborn is structured, you should be able to use your rest times to add or remove a couple of plates.

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            #6
            You can also increase your time under tension with the lighter weights, i.e. do the rep slower so you have to hold the weight longer.

            I have a similar problem as most moulded dumbells after 10kg are in 2.5kg increments. You can of course if you have a set of home type with the screw collars get some extra plates.

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              #7
              I apreciate all your input!
              To be honest, all advise given here is proper advise, that is very useable, they all hold considerable merrit.
              I'm gonna apply most if not all of it and see how I can make it work for me.

              Thanks again for your ideas!

              Comment


                #8
                Let me try to sum it all up.
                Your muscle need progressive overload to grow and become stronger. So you should try to do a little more work each training session.
                There are several ways you can progressively overload your muscle
                1. Increase intensity. The simplest one - just add more weight. Being able to increase it in small implements is important especially for isolation exercises. Investing in 0.5 kg plates would be ideal.
                2. Increase volume. In other words - increase the amount of work. Do more sets or more reps.
                3. Make light weights feel heavy. Lift and lower weights slower and focus on tensing the working muscle. Lift faster, be explosive (don't sacrifice form though). Do one and a half reps. Decrease the rest time between sets.

                One important catch: don't try everything at once. Change one variable and see how you perform. Fitness is a marathon, so don't rush.
                And one more thing: look up proper form on youtube and focus on doing everything with a perfect technique even if it means decreasing the weight for a while. That alone will allow you to progress much more in the future.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Khagrim View Post
                  Let me try to sum it all up.
                  Your muscle need progressive overload to grow and become stronger. So you should try to do a little more work each training session.
                  There are several ways you can progressively overload your muscle
                  My experience with the gym was that I was told that I should do the progressive overload thing as well.
                  Though the advised weight increasing was just...not doable for me, though the guy there insisted it should be done that way.
                  So I have some insecurities and doubts about how to do certain things.
                  In all fairness, I think food and rest play a big part in that as well. I don't like food much, so I have a hard time getting in all the extra I need. And I have just troubles falling asleep, and or waking up. So I rarely get enough rest.

                  I figured I could do things as you state ''the easy way'' and up the weights, cause I felt like things have gotten easier, but ran into a barrier with that.

                  People above pointed out things which might seem obvious to a lot of others, but I blame my experiences with the gym and the insecurities I got from that, as to always being abit unsure how to do things right when it comes to exercise.

                  Currently, i'm following your step 3 for now (Or Thinman's advise from earlier). Taking it slow, and really flexing the muscles. It's definately giving my body a kick.
                  Was thinking of doing more reps, and some extra exercises on top of that when my body handles it all easier again.
                  THEN i'll move on to extra weights.


                  Thank you for your very concise and exact options though!
                  I apreciate it, and should be helpful if others happen to stumble upon it!

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                    #10
                    Hey Basura Nephilim ,how long have you been working out ,did you start with 10kg dumbbells from the start of working out or did you progress fromsome lighter weight?

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by lovethedoggo View Post
                      Hey Basura Nephilim ,how long have you been working out ,did you start with 10kg dumbbells from the start of working out or did you progress fromsome lighter weight?
                      Started with 7,5 Kg in April doing some upperbody sculpt. and some misc exercises with and without weights.
                      In May I started Ironborn with 7,5kg
                      In June I continued Ironborn but went to 10 kg.

                      My notekeeping and exercising has been a bit sketchy and patchy. But I noticed exercises I did with 10 got significantly lighter and easier. Even when at first they were fairly hard. I did the particularly difficult exercises on days even when I didn't have to do them, to ''catch up'' those muscles a bit.
                      After I completed my 10kg round of ironborn, I figured I could manage the same difficulty rating again. Difficult but able to power through it until things got a bit easier again.
                      This turned out false, as with tricep extensions I can't even straighten my arm most of the time, it just locks bent no matter how hard I try (12kg)

                      I think this should be pretty complete in terms of info, on how things went and are.

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