Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gym.

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Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gym.

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:45 pm

I've decided I'm finally going to invest in some dumbbells.
Firstly, I'm not looking to get big, like the hulk, just less small from what I currently am :P . The second part of the post goes into exercises, the first part, what equipment to buy.
I'm not sure what I should get but I'm looking at these three:

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... nformation

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... LL+SET.htm

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... LL+SET.htm

I've not used any in, well, ages, and when I did I was probably using them incorrectly.

The first set has the advantage of allowing me to go up to higher weights eventually.
The second set has more weight than the third set, without increasing the price much.
The final set lets me go up but 0.5kg when I want to, but isn't as high as the second.

The second however also has a bar (as does the first) where as the third one doesn't.

I'm not sure I'd need a bar, but if it was there I'd probably start to use it.


The second part of this post is, what exercises to do.
I'm hoping to build muscle/strength on my arms (all over) pecks and thighs especially my thighs.

I have nothing against increasing strength anywhere else, so I'm guessing I want to do a mixture of compounds (things like these), whichI know aren't the same without gym equipment, but for bench press:
http://www.dumbbell-exercises.com/ex...t/index.html#1

Squats:
http://www.dumbbell-exercises.com/ex...s/index.html#1

deadlifts:
http://www.dumbbell-exercises.com/ex...k/index.html#5


As for isolation I'm not sure what would be best.

I struggle to put fat on, although I have gained a little, I'm currently male, 5ft11, 59 kg. I'm hoping to increase that through muscle and fat gain. I'm currently eating 2500 on a bad day, and 2750 on a normal day. My aim is to slowly up the amount I'm eating.

I'm not so bothered about how I look as how strong I can get. I don't want to get big however (so in that regard I am bothered by how I look). But if I get strong and look small, I'm fine with that!

My diet is pretty sorted, as I do more exercise I add more protein, I always have a protein source after a work out, and I'm getting essential fats, iron, calcium etc. etc.
I've even [re]started having 2 table spoons of flaxseed oil in the morning, BLEH!

I have recently been doing press ups (weighted), crunches, squats and dips. My core feels like it's in an okayish state. But not amazing.

Lastly, this is a long term aim. I'm not looking to rush into it. I'm treating this as a year long process. if I need to buy more equipment on the way then fine. But I'm hoping to keep costs as down as I can. Like I say though, I'm not looking to be the hulk (at least, not yet :P ).

Thanks a lot, Tom :D .
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby thestoatyone » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:55 pm

First up, it looks like you've got your head right seeing this as a long term thing. It'll take a while, a year sounds like a sensible point to review where you've got too. Secondly a set that includes a barbell'll do you more good given your stated goals. Go for the heavy barbell set and do some cleans, front squats bent over rows and strict press. Throw in some press ups and some other stuff with the dumbbells as pudding and that should give you plenty to be getting on with.

Good luck!
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:16 pm

thestoatyone wrote:First up, it looks like you've got your head right seeing this as a long term thing. It'll take a while, a year sounds like a sensible point to review where you've got too. Secondly a set that includes a barbell'll do you more good given your stated goals. Go for the heavy barbell set and do some cleans, front squats bent over rows and strict press. Throw in some press ups and some other stuff with the dumbbells as pudding and that should give you plenty to be getting on with.

Good luck!

So we're thinking the £50 set.

How important is a bench? I have a small table that just fits my back onto it.

There's something a bit longer I can use, but both are wider than my shoulders.

Is that a problem?
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby baldy » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:54 pm

Why not join a gym? Ultimately I reckon to get strong you will need to get a barbell, so you can squat and deadlift.
Plus training in a gym can be cool.

Of the weights you listed, the metal dumb bells I reckon are the best. Have you thought about buy a kettlebell instead though?
Can think of a lot more (and fun) workouts that you can do with a kettlebell rather than a DB.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:06 pm

baldy wrote:Why not join a gym? Ultimately I reckon to get strong you will need to get a barbell, so you can squat and deadlift.
Plus training in a gym can be cool.

Of the weights you listed, the metal dumb bells I reckon are the best. Have you thought about buy a kettlebell instead though?
Can think of a lot more (and fun) workouts that you can do with a kettlebell rather than a DB.


I can't really afford to join a gym, more than that I'm not sure where I'll be in a couple months time (with regards to location).

I'm not sure what workouts to do with a kettle bell, how heavy I'd need it to be, how quickly I'd surpass it's weight, how soon I'd need to replace it.

You say I should go for the dumb-bells but that I should also get a barbell, but I can't really buy quality things right now. So surely I should go with the latter set? They might not be amazing quality, but what have you got against them (serious question, I'm a little confused about it).
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby ninearms » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:49 pm

Too light. A 50kg barbell will be too light for a complete beginner to squat with after about 2 weeks (or an hour of my excellent coaching), and too light to deadlift with after the age of 9. You will need more weight. Luckily they have buildings called "gyms" which often contain this kind of thing. They also charge you for the privilege, which helps to motivate you to go there (although routine beats motivation, and wanting to be awesome beats not wanting to be poor). If you train at home with dumbells after a couple of months the only motivation you'll have for lifting them is because you need more space under your bed for porn.

My advice would be, like Baldy's, to join a gym and do a squat, a deadlift, the bench press, the military press, pullups, and some type of rowing movement. If you're going to be moving in a couple of months join a gym when you move. Until then go to B&Q and buy a massive sack of cement or sand. Pick it off the ground and carry it as far as you can. Rest a bit and carry it some more. If you find any other heavy things lying around (big rocks, logs, scrap metal) pick them up and carry those around too. Try different ways of carrying them, and different places. Carry them up hills, and down. Try and throw them too. It's summertime. Take your shirt off. Wear a bandana. Now think about how awesome this sounds, and then think about how non-awesome lying on a small table (?!!!) and pressing 20kg dumbells for 9000 reps whilst waiting for the inevitable collapse of said table and your subsequent face smashing sounds in comparison.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby baldy » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:36 am

To add to what ninearms said, the best measure of strength that people use is normally 2xbw deadlift, 1.5bw squats and 1xbw bench press.
With some creativity it might be possible to do it using some large heavy DB's but it would be a pain in the ass.

If money is super tight, I reckon get a 8kg kettlebell -> http://www.strengthshop.co.uk/kettlebel ... l-8kg.html less that 20 pounds excluding postage. Then budget to buy a 16kg in the next month.

This is the kind of cool stuff you can do with a kettlebell

vs how boring dumb bells are
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby muchluv » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:14 pm

Pullup bar? There's plenty of ways to get stronger using your bodyweight (or as you are, adding weight to them like weighted pressups). For now until you are able to join a gym? Ninearms idea is good too check out some info on sandbag training? Have a look at Ross Enamait's stuff too.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby vegan hal » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:23 pm

oh my goodness. Ninearms strikes again with pure comedy gold! i'm stealing a a quote of his for my sig. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:37 pm

I've still not invested in anything, but I'm really considering getting a couple of kettlebells.

Unfortunately I think I've lost a little fat since making this thread (I'm skin and bone as it is:( ), but at the same time I feel a bit stronger than I did (hopefully that's not simply placebo). My arms don't feel bigger, but they do feel more sturdy.

I'm trying to find beginner work outs, this is not an easy task so far, however I've come across these 3 videos (they're a set):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_O1qcWXlck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzfEvjVFrmY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_awUdkBnNU

There's one part for example where two are in use during a squat (0.34 into the third video).
My squats are terrible anyway because, well, I'm just bad at them.

I'm a bit worried that 8KG will be a bit much for me, I'm not exactly great with weights, would it be terrible to start with a 6KG one instead?

Lastly, can anyone explain to me what the difference is in having one hand on a kettlebell when doing a press up?

Thanks a lot for all your help :) .

Edit:

Just placed an order for two 6KG kettlebells.
They should be with me hopefully by Thursday! Exciting stuff!
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Half way through my first workout, and I'm really glad I went with 6KG's. I'm finding it really hard going.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby powerlifer » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:01 pm

Remember about bodyweight exercises also, you can alter the leverage and many become a solid exercise for increasing strength.

Such as one legged squats, one arm pushups. Then you've got proper dips, pull/chin ups, adding weight in a backpack etc.

Sandbags are a good training tool also if you find your running out of weight with the dumbells.

You'll want to focus mainly on compound exercises for increasing mass and strength, although eating an excess of calories is essential also.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby Asleep on a sunbeam » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:17 pm

powerlifer wrote:Remember about bodyweight exercises also, you can alter the leverage and many become a solid exercise for increasing strength.

Such as one legged squats, one arm pushups. Then you've got proper dips, pull/chin ups, adding weight in a backpack etc.

Sandbags are a good training tool also if you find your running out of weight with the dumbells.

You'll want to focus mainly on compound exercises for increasing mass and strength, although eating an excess of calories is essential also.


How do I know if I'm doing dips correctly?
No where to do pull/chin ups.

I really struggle with squats, I'm sure the weights are helping but my left leg is really bad with them :( .

Cheers.
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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby powerlifer » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:29 am

You got a door man? Thats what i used to use before i had a bar. Rips your hands to shreds so put a towel over or gloves on.

Was meaning upright dips rather than them funny tricep dips that you could do on the edge of a bed which are pretty useless.

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Re: Looking to put a tiny bit of muscle on. Dumbbells, no gy

Postby muchluv » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:28 pm

You can get inexpensive pullupbars. I use the type that hook over your doorframe, means you can take it off and put it on easily. I would choose to avoid hanging off the door incase it damaged the hinges
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