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Thread: Dumbbells vs Barbells due to atrophy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    496

    Default Dumbbells vs Barbells due to atrophy

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    47 yo, 200 lb, fusion at c6/c7, c7/t1 and artificial disc at c4/c5

    Due to compressed nerves I have severe atrophy on upper left side of the body. I知 5 weeks post op and been back in the gym for 2 weeks now. The atrophy has made my left side extremely weak in the upper body to the point I知 unable to press the empty bar for 3 sets of 5. My question is, would it be beneficial to use dumbbells of differing weight for the press?

    I remember reading in either the book or on the board that the main detriment to dumbbell use is the ease of increasing the weight in small increments. If I知 willing to spend the money on magnets or some other for of adding small jumps to the dumbbells is there any reason I shouldn稚?

    My thought is that the significantly weaker left side will hold back the stronger side. It seems better to have one strong side at least.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    53,378

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    Get a light bar and start from there. Dumbbells are not stable, and if your weak side gets away from you it may well hit you in the face.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    441

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    As someone who was, and largely still is, in your position, I agree with Mark. I have been lucky to have not dropped a dumbbell on my noggin but I have nearly done so and that persuaded me to stick to a barbell. As you have probably noticed, when the weak side gives out, it does so without warning and even a 25 pound dumbbell is heavy when it falls on your teeth. Best of luck to you and I hope you recover fully and regain your strength.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Thank you both for your replies. I値l follow the advice given. Due to starting at such a low weight I値l go with 2.5 lb jumps to start and run that as long as I can. As Dalan knows it is extremely frustrating.

    Dalan - if you don稚 mind me asking how long ago was your operation and have you been able to get anywhere near where you were pre-injury?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    441

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt275 View Post
    Thank you both for your replies. I値l follow the advice given. Due to starting at such a low weight I値l go with 2.5 lb jumps to start and run that as long as I can. As Dalan knows it is extremely frustrating.

    Dalan - if you don稚 mind me asking how long ago was your operation and have you been able to get anywhere near where you were pre-injury?
    I don't mind at all. It's been three and a half years and for me, no, I am worlds away from my pre injury self. The most notable issue is that the damaged nerves for my tricep have only improved very slightly. It is still very weak and still atrophied, though not quite as atrophied as pre surgery but not even remotely close to what it was. At this point I'm assuming the damage is permanent.

    Don't be discouraged by my story. You may very well have a much better experience than myself and I hope you do.

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