Over the years there have been many methods of training that have come and gone, some for the greater good and others because they weren’t seen as fashionable anymore. The latter in this post are the ones that we will be taking a look at because even though they fell out of favor it doesn’t mean that they weren’t and aren’t great for building not only strength but also lean muscle tissue and strip fat.
Lets look at Dumbbell Training.
Now, I’m not talking about dumbbell curls, chest flies or anything resembling the typical isolation movements you will seem most people doing with these excellent tools of iron. I’m not saying that dumbbell isolation work doesn’t have it’s place or isn’t useful but there are plenty of other exercises you can do with dumbbells that will give you far more bang for your buck.
In the days of old there were lots of incredibly lean and strong people who trained almost exclusively with dumbbells. You will find dumbbell training has a lot of ‘real world’ strength carryover too.
Here is a list of 6 different dumbbell exercises that you would certainly benefit from using.
– Clean & Press (single or double dumbbell)
– Renegade Row
– Bent Press
– Get Up (single or double dumbbell)
– Farmers Walk or Walking Lunge
Now depending on your overall goal the sets, reps, load and rest periods will differ but for the purpose of this example we shall say that our ‘client’ is already doing the following:
Monday – Squat, Bench, Pull Up all for 5×3 or 5×5 on a rotation
Thursday – Squat, Incline Bench, Deadlift all for 5×3 or 5×5 on a rotation
However Tuesdays & Fridays have now become free and some extra training can be done. Using the list of exercises above we can create 2 workouts that will help generate a great stimulus to further enhance your strength and improve body composition.
Tuesday – Clean & Press or Snatch, Renegade Row, Get Up – Done in a ladder set fashion with single dumbbells. So 1 left, 1 right, then 2/2, 3/3 all the way to 10. Once you hit 10 move on to the next exercise.
Friday – Get Up, Bent Press, Farmers Walk or Walking lunge – Done for time, 10,15 or 20min per exercise. Starting with the Get Up will help activate your entire body, you can start light and ramp up sets of 1,3 or 5 , basically any reps you desire (personally I would go for 3 or 5).
If you add these two days in to your training you will not only gain strength, lean mass and improved body comp, you will also fortify your shoulders for years to come.
Working with dumbbells is also a great alternative if you don’t have access to a gym, or enough room for a home gym that allows you to have a squat rack or stands. You can but adjustable dumbbells that go as high as 50kg these days, if you think you can’t build good strong legs with out *squats then try doing Goblet Squats with 1 50KG dumbbell, they’re tougher than they look.
*Now I love the squat and the deadlift too, they are 2 exercises I personally feel should be in everyone’s program as they stimulate the most amounts of muscle possible, but not everyone has the necessary equipment and sometimes alternatives must be considered.
Add 1-2 days of dumbbell training to your program based around compound movements and watch new results unfold before your eyes.
Bonus Tip: Buy some FatGripz to attach to the dumbbell to make the exercises even more challenging and recruit more muscle with every rep.