Keeping a set of dumbbells at home is the perfect insurance policy against missed workouts. They’ll support maintenance and even progression when you can’t make it to the gym.
But they aren’t without flaws for progressive strength training. Fixed dumbbells are pricey, so you probably don’t have a full set. And adjustable dumbbells usually top out at 50-90 pounds. This limits loading as the primary source of overload.
The only solution is to emphasize other strategies. Shift your focus to other forms of progressive overload, like these:
1. Higher Reps
Create more total volume. Getting to near-failure is critical for hypertrophy. Your heavy dumbbells may take around 10 reps to reach failure, while lighter ones could take 20. So you can still gain the benefits of near-failure training for muscle growth by just upping the reps. It will be grueling but it’ll separate contenders from pretenders.
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