Question: how to work up to dumbbell weight?

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    Question: how to work up to dumbbell weight?

    Hi, I started working out for the first time ever this summer and have done 3 programs (30 Days of Strength on level 1, 30 Days of Gravity on level 1 and 2 but mostly 2, and Spartan Trials on level 2). During Spartan Trials I was using makeshift* weights that weighed about 7 pounds for the days that required dumbbells. I just bought 10 pound dumbbells and was hoping to start Ironborn and use them, but when I tried Day 1 (upper body) I quickly realized I was not ready for the exercises and was risking hurting myself.

    I can't afford the gym or buying any other weights so my question is, how do I work up to using the 10 pound dumbbells comfortably? And by comfortably I just mean being able to do exercises to fatigue in proper form without hurting myself, I don't expect it to be easy.

    Any exercises you can recommend? Should I keep exercising with the 7 pounds? Or use the 10 pounds and start off small? In either case, would appreciate knowing which exercises would help me build up strength and get used to the 10 pounds the fastest. Thank you in advance!

    *The makeshift weights are 2 pound dumbbells inside 5-pound wraparound ankle weights lol. It's all I had to work with.

    I'm sure some people will have some better ideas, but I would maybe try one set with the current 7lb dumbbells and then do one set with the 10lb set. Then when that's comfortable, do two sets with the 10lb set. Keep going until you're doing everything with the 10lb set.


      Try the upper body days w your 7s, and lower body w the 10s. The pictures show all one size but there is no shame in swapping dumbbells. 7s might be perfect for shoulder press, you can prob do chest press w 10s, and you may even want just the 5lb ankle weights on wrists for lateral raises.


        In Ironborn every exercise kinda can requires a different weight. For bicep curls I could probably have used 6 kg dumbbells, I did them with my 4.5 kg dumbbells. However any shoulder flyes I did with 2 kg dumbbells.

        And my husband uses 12.5 kg dumbbells for curls... and for flyes he uses my 4.5 kg dumbbells and sometimes even the 2 kg ones we have.

        Don't worry about using a weight that is a little below your maximum capacity for an exercise. If you find the dumbbell you're using for the exercise is a bit too light, then you can either switch to a heavier one or simply do the exercise slower. By taking five seconds for a rep you will greatly increase the effect is has on your muscles, with the same weights.


          Drop sets (or at least a modified versions) would help. Start on the first set with a very challenging weight (as in you probably can't do all the required reps) and then drop down to your lower weights (absolutely no shame here, it is a common practice). As you gain more strength you will do more and more with the heavier weight (be patient, form over weight). Once you can do the first set or reps with the heavy weight hold on to them and work on getting through the second set and so on.

          And like everyone else has said change weights for different movements. You are new and will grow quickly but the most important thing at your stage is the proper movement patterns so focus on that first and the weights will follow.


            Baston 'rin Noen Azercord Thank you all for your responses and advice, they were really helpful!!


              Hey there. An interesting dilemma...

              The other Bees have given some sound advice, actually.

              At the gym, we don't use the same weights for every muscle group. Your arms aren't as strong as your legs; so it's okay to substitute your improvised dumbbell/ankle weight for whichever body part is appropriate (ie 10lbs for lower body). Take for example, the 10 pounder would be perfect for goblet squats.

              I would suggest doing the upper body exercises with the 5lbs ankle weights to start with. If that's too easy, move up to your improvised dumbbell. And when that starts getting too easy, move up to the 10 pounder at last.

              How do you know when it's gotten too easy? When you get to the point at which you can do extra reps.

              Hope that helps!


                patwillwoo that does help, thank you I appreciate it!!