Ran Out of Weights - What to Do Next?

Afternoon people,

I’ve been working out at home with my Olympic dumbbells and a bench getting on really well. I’ve got enough weight that the DBs go up to 42kg each side. But after completing my last cycle of my workout, my top set on DB bench was 42kg for 8.

Just looking for advice on what to do next. Do i get another set of 5kg plates or is that enough weight to lift on DB bench and just look to increase reps?

I’ve not got this issue on any other exercise yet (doing lunges, RDLs, DIPs, Facepulls, Rows etc) but assume RDL will catch up the quickest.

I know this sounds a odd question, but i keep reading on here about how for hypertrophy training you shouldn’t’ chase the weight and 42kg in each hand seems enough to be chucking around (i weigh 99kgs right now).

Thank you

I don’t think I’d feel compelled to buy more weight until I could comfortably get a set or two of 12 reps with them. Even then you could play around with tempo and rest periods to keep it challenging if you didn’t want to purchase more plates.

Hypertrophy occurs with loads as light as ~30% 1RM / 30RM, provided sets are taken sufficiently close to failure.

42kg will work fine for a while

I’ve had similar problems myself recently, you could add resistance bands to your dbs or even make some or buy some wrist weights (the cost of weights right now is crazy expensive!!!).

Unless you are super advanced, just pay SPECIAL attention to your form, doing perfect and totaly controlled reps(and feeling muscle)…I guarantee you have much room for improvement with your actual weight plates :wink:
If hypertrophy is your main goal, once you you really outgrow those weights, play with proloungued sets, rest pause, very slow negatives…there are really challenges all the way.


You could also go overhead for your main big compound press and do things like a fly press or flies for your chest.

Could also do weighted chest dips if your shoulders can tolerate them and hold a db w/ your feet or use/get a dip belt.

There’s enough push up variations to keep most people challenged for very many years to a lifetime without having to do more than 12 reps/set. Here’s one if you don’t wanna bother with skill/balance/core components of advanced push ups which is something I did for a few to several months and fell in love with:

I don’t think of it as much different than a weighted squat in concept, I think some people around here have done those :wink: It worked great for even ramping up to a heavy 5 which is heavier than I feel comfortable w/ db’s. It takes very little weight to feel like your benching in the low to mid 200’s like around 15-25lb and push ups handles can make it harder and focus on chest more by increasing ROM and a deeper stretch.

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You can bench 42kg X 8 but not RDL? I feel this should go in the flame free confession thread :stuck_out_tongue:


There is a simple answer to this, rugby. My fractured hip and crushed disc in my lower back stop my going heavy without it flaring up.

At the moment I ramp up to sets of 35kg in each hand on RDL but I don’t really push it or progress much because my lower back doesn’t like any hip hinge movement.

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I guess what I’m kinda asking is, is 42kg in each hand enough weight to stop with and focus on other ways or hypertrophy and the answer I’m seeing is yes.

No one has said I need to use more so I’ll take that on board. Cheers


Super set them with other exercises. Or Iso hold. Or 30 reps. LOADS of sets, with decreasing rest time between sets like deepwater (I’ve never done this but the idea is simple enough).

Yeah 42 is more than enough. 32s/70lbs even would be fine.

As above plenty of options : could make main lift on incline or reverse grip(weird but underrated)

Personally i would do normal warmup, then just one top set of 8 reps or whatever, this mainly just for activation …then do normal chest work out -loads of pump and stretch for flys, deep push ups, dips, slow negatives etc and then finish with some balls out sets.
Ideally something like this…


Thanks for this. Long term do you rotate these intensity/ density principles using the same weight and still grow?

I’m just trying to get my head around long term planning. Like 6 months of different techniques and then after the 6 months restart the whole process again but using the same weights but you’ll still grow as you haven’t used that technique for 6 months.

Not sure if that makes sense but I get the idea that In a years time if I’m lifting more weight for the same reps then I can increase my size but really struggling with this long term idea that I’ll be lifting the same weight a year later and still be bigger.

Is it that you use a technique, get strong in that technique and see benefits, then change technique, rinse and repeat and when you roll back to technique 1 with the same weight your body will still grow because you haven’t done it in a while?

Any decent articles on it any one can post? Really interested to see how I programme this for my next year block.

Thanks all, sorry I’m a bit slow at getting this stuff. I understand getting stronger but just getting my head into this.

This a good way to look at things for long term progress. Basically go back an forth between performance/powerbuilding phases and beach/bro-split training…

Are you still playing rugby/need performance element in training?

Unfortunately not playing any more just doing a little coaching. I’m way too injured, just want to look like Thor (lol).

Cheers for the link I’ll have a look, hopefully I’ll get more of an idea about how to sort a year’s training when I’m not looking at increasing the weight on certain movements.

Edit: had a read but still want to know about people who lost for hypertrophy and don’t increase the weights but plan other ways over a year


…Best bet ask for tips from someone like @The_Mighty_Stu next time they pop up in a thread, could ask Thibadeau some questions in his forum also

occlusion training worth looking into as well
…can get results from using very light weights:

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Plenty of variables you can address to heighten stress or intensity during your training. I always think back to Shawn Ray saying that he could get a decent full body session in with nothing but a 35 lb dumbell. Here are two very simple ones you can try:

First, try slowing down your rep cadence. When I’m having a “bad shoulder” day, I’ve might complete a ton of presses with nothing more than a relatively light DB, and what looks like crazy slow motion reps, only in the middle 2/3 ROM. You’d be surprised how difficult it can suddenly seem as though repetitions add up and you find your muscles trembling from what might normally be a warm up weight.

Change your exercise order. If you’ve gotten used to a certain order of movements, reversing them will suddenly change what you thought was your strength level. Benching 300 lbs first may be common place for you, but trying it after doing flyes, inclines, cables,… suddenly 300 lbs is a lot heavier!


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You might want to address the fact that you’d benching is stronger than your RDLs.

Doing the above will really make sure you “own” or “earn” the weights that you use. I agree that the go to for progressive overload should not always be to add more weight. There are other ways to improve.

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Wish I could but crushed disc in lower back and fractured hip means I train any hip hinge movement lightly and never really push it otherwise it flares up and I’m bed bound for a while. I miss proper deadlifting so much.

Hi Rugby,

Considering your injuries I would recommend a full body high rep routine twice weekly, 8-10 excercises, one extended set a muscle with variation. You should definitely check out the works of Brian D Johnston, in order to get multiple ideas for hypertrophy with high reps, moderate volume. Variants of partial reps, pyramids, 50 rep challenge etc. Currently looking into this myself, and it do seem to be the middle ground of HIT-based and high volume training.