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If You Only Had Dumbbells...

Lets just imagine I’m stuck in a desert somewhere. If I had only dumbbells (handles and plenty of different weights) what lifts would you focus on? The goal is Max Strength Gain not Size gains.

Thanks

You can do pretty much everything with DBs that you can do with a BB. However, your strength gains will be limited by how heavy your dumbbells are.

But to answer your question:
-Unilateral work
-Lunges
-Goblet squats
-rowing
-overhead pressing
-rear delt work
-various bench pressing variations

I’d worry about food and water first. Not to mention getting out of the desert.

Seriously though, if you’re working for max strength, you’d be better off mixing dumbbell and barbell work. The best lifting options would be the ones you can handle the most weight with, in good form.

My old gym only had dumbbells, I managed to get stronger using them.

Like boyscout said, you can do pretty much anything with DB’s that you can do with a barbell. I taught myself deadlift form using DB’s, then threw in stiff leg deadlifts, lunges, bulgarian split squats, pistols and squats with one DB held overhead, one hanging between the legs.

That about covers lower body.

For upper body you’ve got bench and overhead press, then bent over rows, high pulls, DB snatch, thrusters and unilateral veriations of the above.

There’s also bodyweight exercises that shouldn’t be forgotten about.

[quote]RedRaven wrote:
If I had only dumbbells (handles and plenty of different weights) what lifts would you focus on?[/quote]

The basics. That doesn’t change (much) just because of the available equipment. With any training program, you always need to make it fit your available resources (time, equipment, etc.).

The biggest factor will be loading the dumbbells with a challenging weight.

In any case, here’s one example of a dumbbell-only, deserted island, uber-strength-not-size extravaganza:

Monday
Dumbbell squat/deadlift 5x2-4 (holding weights by your side)

Bulgarian split squat 2x5-8

Waiter’s bow 2x5-8 (imagine a good morning done while holding the weights to your chest)

Wednesday
Neutral-grip flat dumbbell press 5x2-4

Bent 1-arm row, elbow in 4x4-6 (back emphasis)

Dumbbell push press 3x4-6

Friday
Dumbbell swing 4x4-6 (load the heaviest weight possible, swing to waist/navel height)

Bent 2 dumbbell row, elbows out 3x5-8 (rear delt emphasis)

Weighted crunch 2x5-8

Hammer curl 2x5-8

Overhead extension 2x5-8

Very nice, thanks

[quote]RedRaven wrote:
Lets just imagine I’m stuck in a desert somewhere. If I had only dumbbells (handles and plenty of different weights) what lifts would you focus on? The goal is Max Strength Gain not Size gains.

Thanks[/quote]

id carry the dumbbells from point a to b to c to d.
increase weight, increase distance, improve time

press it in every angle possible

pull from every angle possible

throw it at the catcus

do arm circles with it

punch with it

static holds

shit man

what r u tryin to get at

spoon it

talk to it

eat with it

My whole workout are usually done with Dumb-bells.

Chest: Incline Press