Weights advise.... dumbbells??

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by LanceT, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. LanceT
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    LanceT Well-Known Member

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    Need some help from the weightlifters here....

    Currently 42 6' 195.4lbs 9.6% bf

    As background...After many years of the military, I have continued cardio & body weight exercises for the past decade. Run half marathons and recently a few tough mudders. But the years have taken its toll on the knees. Having some patella cartilage and tendon issues now.

    Now to land the plane:

    What is most effective for muscle gain and development mixed with elliptical work: primarily chest, arms, shoulders?

    I do a lot of pull ups, push ups, rows, etc now but just my body weight and on one of those doorway pull up/push up bars.

    Should I go with Dumbbell workouts or standard bench press, etc.??? I hear different "stats" on both being most effective and not really wanting to purchase a full outfit for both
  2. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Offhand I'd venture that the best thing you can do for muscle development is to cut back on endurance work. But it seems your knees are light years ahead of me on nagging you about that. Regarding barbell vs. dumbbells, my question would be what specific exercises will they enable you to perform that you cannot presently perform ?
  3. LanceT
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    LanceT Well-Known Member

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    Looking at more chest development I.e. growth and mass coupled with current pull ups and incorporate more bi & tri work. Only chest work I do now are push ups.

    Since I will be limiting cardio, I want weight gain to go to muscle as opposed to fat.

    Truly haven't lifted weights since college football days at beginning 90's...and then was only bench press, deadlifts, curls, squats etc
  4. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Lance, cutting back on prodigious amounts of endurance work will in itself likely lead to weight gain. Some or perhaps most of it will be fat and I think that, much as it collides with bro culture, extra fat is physiologically beneficial. And believe it or not, pushups, and lots of them, may be the single best movement for chest hypertrophy. Add to that the fat you will likely gain and your chest will get larger. And yes, dumbbells will probably afford you greater flexibility in the number of movements you can perform for upper body.
  5. LanceT
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    LanceT Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DL...appreciate the info and suggestions. Yeah, the weight is going to come, so my theory is build up the chest, arms etc and the gut won't look as big; well some truth to that. Been exercising so long, no way I can stop....just have to trade the cardio for some strength training.

    Thanks again and you've helped me decide in going with a nice multi-position/multi - function bench and some bowflex adjustable dumbbells.

    My wife will be grateful and happy for the space saving and lack of clutter now too. Win win now and I like when she is happy :)
  6. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    When Mama is happy, everyone else can be happy! :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    Not to throw a wrench in dream's plans for you, but I'm casting a vote for you to do complex barbell exercises (squat, press, bench, dead) on a incrementally planned overload program.

    You haven't stated whether your goal is strength or just mass, but either (frankly, both) can be achieved most simple, effectively, and safely through such a program.

    Don't give up on your knees too quickly, either. By the time I was 35, I figured I'd never play ball again. Now at 42, I play full court for hours and I don't cherry pick or take plays off. I owe it to squats.
  8. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Oh, this isn't Dream's plan for Lance. I was just asking questions, probing for clarity. Yes, there is hope for brittle, aging bodies. I never thought that I'd be doing gymnastics, pistols squats and heavy deadlifts, at the age of 57, with a torn ligament in my spine and patellofemoral knee pain.
  9. LanceT
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    LanceT Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EG. Looking more into mass/growth to adjust for limiting cardio. Will transition from running to elliptical and some bike...but will forgo squats for legs curls etc. The running and the side squat lunges wrecked me this last time. Tried the insanity asylum program and liked it, but too much knee recovery after doing it. Have a TENS machine now that aides the knees. And as we know, compensating for the knee pain tightens the hams and glutes which tighten the back and causes twice the stretching I do as it is. Then again the military and football sure didn't help the matter. Have a 10 yr old that fortunately likes fish and hunt more than ball now, so that helps a lot for some recovery
  10. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    IMO, leg curls will put far more stress on the knees than will a properly executed low bar back squat.

    But as to putting on mass, you're going to want weights so you can slowly increase intensity; as opposed to BW exercises where you can only increase volume. This is most easily and cheaply done via a barbell.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Either that or you could do the bodyweight exercises in a manner which will increase muscle mass. That said, I am not a bodyweight exercise purist.
  12. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    Right on, and I'm no barbell purist nor do I believe one can't gain mass through BW exercises.

    I do believe, however, that mass is most easily* achieved by progressively loading a bar.


    *aint nothing easy about it. Perhaps "quickly" would be a better choice.
  13. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    I love barbells and if I were making a home gym they would be my centerpiece. However, I am not even sure they are the quickest or even easiest all the time. In the long run to continually overload its easiest to add weight to a bar. If you have a rack or bench press its easier to set up than it is to get heavy ass dumbbells from the floor or rack into position to press them.

    Its also probably more space saving over the long run to use barbells and plates as you get stronger. Because if you are training to get stronger you will eventually get to a time when you outgrow your dumbbells.

    That all said you can make some great gains using dumbbells if you just keep training with a good intensity and a decent plan.
  14. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Leaf! Hope it's going well for you, friend.
  15. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dream. I am not near the computer nearly as much as I used to be. So not as active on here. How is NC treating you?
  16. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Charlotte has been very good to me. And it's the prettiest place I've ever lived.
  17. StrangeGator
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    I prefer barbells, but my new, super cheap ghetto gym is really crowded and it's hard to get a barbell station without a long wait. Been doing complex bench stuff with dumbbells, inclines, declines, flies, then finally get in line for a barbell to do close-grip BPs. I was away from the gym for several weeks and this seems to be a good routine for catching up. I still haven't caught up to my max from last November (305) before I sprained my wrist, but this routine is similar to the first four weeks of the program I was on late in the summer when I was building up to that point.

    That seems like a good place for Lance to start. Given that body composition and his weight, I don't if I'd be trying to change much. I am the same height, just under that weight but run about 12-13% bf. FYI, if you're adding life insurance coverage anytime soon, no way should you try to get any bigger. The actuary tables still ding you if you're six feet and way an ounce over 185. You could get pretty strong and lose weight at the same time. I was 183 when I hit my max on the BP.
  18. georgeboggs
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    georgeboggs New Member

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    I love to do gyming alot so that I turned my granny flat into my small gym. You can also do this for that you have to consult granny flat solutions.

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