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Thread: Dumbbells

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Wakefield, United Kingdom
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    Default Dumbbells

    What level of training advancement do dumbbells typically become useful to add in? Intermediate? Advanced?

    Does anyone have any recommendations for including them in a home gym when necessary?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    I don't use them at all for novices or early intermediates (typical weekly or bi-weekly progress) unless there's some kind of injury or other necessary workaround that necessitates deviation from what I'd consider to be more optimal programming.

    After that, they become more useful - though I would never say strictly necessary - as a way to do assistance work that allows useful stress to be applied to targeted areas without as much systemic stress (i.e. DB press or DB bench as assistance work, IIRC Baker even likes things like lateral raises and such for already properly strong late intermediates and beyond doing hypertrophy focused blocks), or to do accessory exercises that only become more relevant later on (DB rows and such).

    To reiterate: I don't think any of those things are absolutely necessary. But they're nice options to have for a late intermediate or advanced lifter. They're merely distractions - ones that have proven tempting but unproductive - for countless novices.
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  3. #3
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    Nov 2018
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    Wakefield, United Kingdom
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    Thanks Michael, very helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    The older I have gotten the more they seem to aggravate my shoulders when doing pressing movements so I avoid them.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2010
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    Austin, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear59 View Post
    The older I have gotten the more they seem to aggravate my shoulders when doing pressing movements so I avoid them.
    I don't know if this applies to you, but I've seen a lot of people over the years who do barbell stuff more or less well but throw it out the window for dumbbells. They flare their elbows way out on both bench and overhead DB movements, instead of having their elbows somewhat tucked on both. Because your hands aren't tied to a straight barbell, this usually leads to the bells being held at something of an angle, but that's fine - maybe it's this angle they perceive as wrong and want to avoid, but it's fine.

    Like I wrote above, I think DBs are a nice, useful option to have for a late intermediate into advanced lifter's repertoire, but not a must-have. However if they're appropriate for you and you haven't been tucking your elbows it's worth a try. If you have, no biggie, your body taught you to stay with the barbell.
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