T Nation

Putting Additional Weight on DBs

How do you guys prefer to add weight to your DBs, if the gym only has 80lb DBs or less ? I imagine a lot of people has come up with fancy solutions during the years.

Different excercises call for different solutions as well, as DB pullover (a plate on top of the DB?) , or DB incline bench (combo press, with cables?) are vastly different. My DB’s have some plastic coating too, so magnets are not a good solution :frowning:

Share your favourite homemade hacks, I need some inspiration! :slight_smile:

I usually just find a better gym. I am being serious. The first thing I look at in a new gym is how heavy the dumbbells are (and then whether they have HS equipment). Granted, I use them less now for chest than I used to, but 80lbs dumbbells usually mean the rest of the gym is designed for smaller lifters.

The gym IS designed for smaller lifters. No singlets allowed, no heavy DB’s, and crappy pop-music from the radio. Anything else “might tempt people to use steroids”. Dont ask me about their logic.

The thing is, I’m a student. Students dont have too much money. The gym I’m working out at is 30 sec of walking from my apartment, and it costs something like $100 for a YEAR. Therefore I’m willing to stay there for a year or two longer, granted I find solutions to problems like these.

You can use a strap to hold two dumbbells in an “X” for rows, etc… Might get awkward though.

[quote]pinkponyz wrote:
The gym IS designed for smaller lifters. No singlets allowed, no heavy DB’s, and crappy pop-music from the radio. Anything else “might tempt people to use steroids”. Dont ask me about their logic.

The thing is, I’m a student. Students dont have too much money. The gym I’m working out at is 30 sec of walking from my apartment, and it costs something like $100 for a YEAR. Therefore I’m willing to stay there for a year or two longer, granted I find solutions to problems like these.[/quote]

The only real solution to that problem is to buy your own dumbbells that you can screw into place. That way you can take the empty bar handles into the gym with you.

Where you train is very important. You may have some people claim that it doesn’t matter what everyone around you is doing…and that is utter BS. If you surround yourself with mediocre people, you will make mediocre progress. Their half assed attitudes will eventually rub off on you no matter how motivated you are.

You have much less drive to reach extreme development when everyone around you thinks 150lbs is “extreme” already.

The gym I am training has some big people in it (as in, my size and bigger) and that is much more motivation for me than when I was in a different city and was 50lbs bigger than just about everyone else.

In other words, what is easiest for you right now may not be what allows you to make the most progress. I would drive to a gym further out if it meant being around people who are actually trying to achieve something significant.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I usually just find a better gym. I am being serious. The first thing I look at in a new gym is how heavy the dumbbells are (and then whether they have HS equipment). Granted, I use them less now for chest than I used to, but 80lbs dumbbells usually mean the rest of the gym is designed for smaller lifters.

[/quote]

I agree. A gym with crappy weight stacks, DB’s and general lack of equipment will hold you back big time. At least if serious size/strength is your goal.

One little trick for overhead presses:
Instead of regular DB seated presses or standing presses, do this once the 80’s are too light:

Sit down on an incline bench with the backrest almost vertical. FACE the backrest and lean against it. This way you are basically doing a chest-supported overhead press… The angle of the backrest shouldn’t be a complete 90 degrees though.

You can only use about 60 percent of your working weight on regular OHP’s on this one if you get the setup right. You’ll need to experiment a tad with the exact angle, see if you want to press straight up or up and slightly forward, etc…

The exercise offers decent progression if you stay in higher rep zones (if you do your top set as a regular set: try 10-12 rather than lower reps… If you use something like DC rest-pause: 15-30 RP)

Still, finding a better gym beats every home-made trick I’m aware of…

[quote]pinkponyz wrote:
The gym IS designed for smaller lifters. No singlets allowed, no heavy DB’s, and crappy pop-music from the radio. Anything else “might tempt people to use steroids”. Dont ask me about their logic.

The thing is, I’m a student. Students dont have too much money. The gym I’m working out at is 30 sec of walking from my apartment, and it costs something like $100 for a YEAR. Therefore I’m willing to stay there for a year or two longer, granted I find solutions to problems like these.[/quote]

If you are maxing out the stacks/db’s there, then staying there for one or two years more is a waste of time and money…

I’m currently looking for a DC-ready gym since my old one closed about half a year ago or so(feels like I’ve been searching forever…) and man… At least you people have proper gyms. We have maybe 2-3 good gyms in the whole country.

[quote]pinkponyz wrote:
The gym IS designed for smaller lifters. No singlets allowed, no heavy DB’s, and crappy pop-music from the radio. Anything else “might tempt people to use steroids”. Dont ask me about their logic.

The thing is, I’m a student. Students dont have too much money. The gym I’m working out at is 30 sec of walking from my apartment, and it costs something like $100 for a YEAR. Therefore I’m willing to stay there for a year or two longer, granted I find solutions to problems like these.[/quote]

For adding small amounts you can buy strips of velcro. Put one side on the outside of the DB, and put the other side on one side of a small plate (2.5 or 5lbs) doing that to each side of the DB can get it up 10 lbs. You could try more, but be careful. Just leave the velcro on the outside of the dumbell and hope no one removes it, and hide the small plates after your done. Keep some strips in your bag just incase they disappear. I doubt anyone would complain about it. I never had a problem when i did it. You can usually find good strong 3 inch strips with sticky backs at home depot.

I’m norwegian, so I don’t count in “you people” if you’re referring to the US ;D

I’ll move to San Diego for a year next august, then I’ll probably move in near the Gold’s gym down there (if nobody can recommend something better, or unless it’s extremely expensive).

As for where I live now, there is a proper gym in this town, but I dont have a car (not usual, and very difficult, for students in this town). That means I’ll pay $100 a month for the gym, plus $100 a month for the bus-rides… instead of paying $8 a month for training where I do now.
It just isn’t possible for me to change gyms until I stop studying and start earning money.

Thanks for the rowing and overhead press tips, guys :slight_smile:

btw: I’m not currently maxing out on too many excercises. But I’m getting there ;D