[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Strength is relative[/quote]
Yes and no. There are different “types” of strength such as absolute strength (probably the most common, like bringing your squat from 225 to 315), strength endurance (like squatting 315 for 10 minutes), relative strength (“strong for his bodyweight”), etc.
I’d argue that the methods you listed will allow progress, but won’t necessarily increase absolute strength. You’ll likely get better at the chosen exercises, and may see some muscle growth, but you won’t end up much closer to using a heavier dumbbell.
The most optimal way to get stronger is, by definition, going to require increasing the weight lifted. To be clear, what are your exact goals? “Getting stronger” isn’t a goal.
Also, what’s your current height, weight, and general fat level (pudgy, average, ripped, etc.)?
I thought you only had a 20 pound dumbbell? Exactly what equipment do you have?
Why is 5x12 stuck in your craw? You’ve mentioned it a few times, but that’s certainly not a magic set/rep pattern. The methods you’re talking about - using one weight and manipulating the sets, reps, exercises, and/or techniques - will improve performance/endurance and size (to an extent), but not maximum strength.[/quote]
I definitely am over-thinking this. Thank you for your response, you seem like you would really be able to help me a lot, but I’m going to give this a rest and just keep squatting around with my dumbbell (as pussyfooted as that sounds to some here) and doing what feels good.