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Mass Dumbbell Workout

I started a mass/strength routine this week. I am having trouble with form and was told changing to dumbbells can make it easier to start out and also can give better functional strength for the purpose I need (mma).
I am embarrassingly weak at squats so I wont be running out of weight options anytime soon.

I found this workout on stronglifts.com
Workout A
Db Front Squat 5x5
Db Bench Press 5x5
Dumbbell Snatch 5x5
Pull-ups/Chin-ups 3xF

Workout B
Db Front Squat 5x5
Db Overhead Press 5x5
1 Leg Db Deadlift 5x5 ( will change two two legs to start)
Dips 3xF

Do you not have a bar to work with? For squats and deadlift, a bar would allow you to simply move much more weight, and in effect, get a lot stronger. DB’s being used for these movements are not the best option, very cumbersome and just won’t allow you to use the max amount of weight possible.

“More functional” is a term people throw around more often than not. I think squatting and deadlifting with a bar is far more functional and effective than using DBs for these movements. Upperbody work is different and DBs are a great way to stimulate strength instead of using a bar. But, I don’t seee how doing a movement where you’re going to have trouble holding the weight (squats mainly) will positively impact your strength if you can’t use the max amount.

I’ve been squatting for years (almost 8 yeasr) and I think that even now, using DBs would just be problematic and my squat would be no where close to where it is now. There’s functional and then there’s going overboard with the term.

I’m not trying to put you down, just saying that there’s a lot of BS floating around about strength gaining and the bottom line is think what is the best way to lift the most weight that’ll transfer over to what sport you do.

I’d comment about the rest of the routine, but I think if you’re going to take my advice (not telling you too, just offering), then the routine might change a little.

I hope this helps.

At the moment DB are heavy enough for me so weight is not an issue. I can not do much weight without my form going to crap. I have access to all the equip at the gym.

I have read many time people mention that you can use a heavier weight with BB. But if te exercise is more difficult with DB and causes same amount of strain on muscle as a heavier weight with BB isn’t it going to do the same affect?
The muscle doesn’t register the weight it goes by the amount of stress is put on it?
stronglifts.com/stronglifts-dumbbell-5x5
-strength-training-using-dumbbells/

I used to train mostly with DBs , because all i had was DBs and a pullup bar, and i think you can have a good workout with it, but its not optimal. If you have acess to a bar and other stuff make sure to use it, you can use DBs for most of your upper body work, but for legs it will somewhat limit your strength gains.

hey sawman,

I’d have to disagree with using DB for lowerbody. Why don’t you just do yourself a favor and listen to the more experienced guys? is that so hard? they dont have to help you…

Do you think that the PL champs ever got their max squat using a DB?
Same question but instead it’s Olympic athletes.

And as an MMA fighter yourself, I am sure you watch some UFC specials. You can clearly see that most of the weight training for the biggest movements is done with a bar.

You should at least use a barbell for low rep work in the 2-5 rep range, to develop max strength.

You could do this 1-2x per week, and then stick with DB’s, as your conditioning/hypertrophy work for the rest of the time.

Also, with DB’s you can do single limb exercises like 1-leg squats, split squats, stepups, 1-leg deadlifts, etc. Throw in some kettlebell swings (if you have access), and you could make some good progress without ever having to touch a bar.

Its just using a barbell for at least squats and deadlifts is much easier.

[quote]alocubano1110 wrote:
hey sawman,

I’d have to disagree with using DB for lowerbody. Why don’t you just do yourself a favor and listen to the more experienced guys? is that so hard? they dont have to help you…[/quote]

Actually I am not disagreeing with anyone. An experienced lifter suggested using DB’s and I was skeptical. I did some searching and found that routine and it was on a reputable site.

I am simply after an explanation as to why I should go to the bar. If this guy suggests to me again to go to the DB atleast I will have an educated reason to give him and I will understand better myself.

Can I just change the db squat and deadlift to bb (should I and why?)

Thanks for all the advice.

The why is: because its much easier to build lower body strength with a barbell.

[quote]sawman wrote:
I have read many time people mention that you can use a heavier weight with BB. But if te exercise is more difficult with DB and causes same amount of strain on muscle as a heavier weight with BB isn’t it going to do the same affect?
The muscle doesn’t register the weight it goes by the amount of stress is put on it?

I am simply after an explanation as to why I should go to the bar. If this guy suggests to me again to go to the DB atleast I will have an educated reason to give him and I will understand better myself.
[/quote]

the reason that the first paragraph is a fallacy is because DBs will NOT put just as much strain on your legs. The most difficult part of hte exercise will no longer be standing up with the weight, but rather holding onto it in an efficient fashion. That is, when you rack the DBs on your shoulders, it’s primarily your biceps, forearm muscles and maybe a few other grip muscles that keep them there, balanced on your shoulders. So what do you want to get better at, standing up with weight, or holding a weight balanced precariously on your shoulders?

If you were to use anything other than a barbell I’d recommend a keg, sandbag or even possibly an atlas stone over DBs. The reason for this is two-fold

  1. with the DBs you rack them on your shoulders, right over your center of gravity. With the sandbag/keg/stone you must hold it out in front of you, displacing your COG and forcing you to stabilize
  2. the DBs have handles on them, something you’ll never encounter in the real world, so in a sense, it’s the worst case scenario: a completely unrealistic implement (because it has handles) that nevertheless prohibits you from using more weight.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
sawman wrote:
I have read many time people mention that you can use a heavier weight with BB. But if te exercise is more difficult with DB and causes same amount of strain on muscle as a heavier weight with BB isn’t it going to do the same affect?
The muscle doesn’t register the weight it goes by the amount of stress is put on it?

I am simply after an explanation as to why I should go to the bar. If this guy suggests to me again to go to the DB atleast I will have an educated reason to give him and I will understand better myself.

the reason that the first paragraph is a fallacy is because DBs will NOT put just as much strain on your legs. The most difficult part of hte exercise will no longer be standing up with the weight, but rather holding onto it in an efficient fashion. That is, when you rack the DBs on your shoulders, it’s primarily your biceps, forearm muscles and maybe a few other grip muscles that keep them there, balanced on your shoulders. So what do you want to get better at, standing up with weight, or holding a weight balanced precariously on your shoulders?

If you were to use anything other than a barbell I’d recommend a keg, sandbag or even possibly an atlas stone over DBs. The reason for this is two-fold

  1. with the DBs you rack them on your shoulders, right over your center of gravity. With the sandbag/keg/stone you must hold it out in front of you, displacing your COG and forcing you to stabilize
  2. the DBs have handles on them, something you’ll never encounter in the real world, so in a sense, it’s the worst case scenario: a completely unrealistic implement (because it has handles) that nevertheless prohibits you from using more weight.[/quote]

Thanks, great responce.