New here and have a couple of questions

sun_fish
sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
Hi, my name is Karin and I just started the All Pro workout. I am new to resistance training and my goal is to retain LBM as I lose about 25 more pounds, decrease risk of osteoporosis, ward off depression, reduce risk of injury and pain as I age, and just overall physical health improvement. I am excited to see this group and know I will learn from everyone as I make my way through this unfamiliar territory.

As I am weak and ancient my starting weights do not allow me to only use a barbell and plates. Especially for the warm up sets, I have to use dumbbells, and also for some of the work sets on medium and light days. Is this ok to use a mix of dumbbells and barbell?

My other question is in regards to grip strength, or should I say lack of grip strength. Is this just something that improves as I progress? Especially on SLDL, towards the end of my 2nd work set I feel my hands are having a hard time holding the bar, even though the weight feels fine for the rest of my body.

Any other advice would be appreciated! I am going to post this on the ETP group as well.

Replies

  • pandorakick
    pandorakick Posts: 901 Member
    Hello Karin, welcome to the group! :flowerforyou:

    AllPro stated in the various threads over at bodybuilding.com that while the routine has been designed for barbells, it can be done using dumbbells. It is just harder to progress on dumbbells only eventually. Also, I'm doing a dumbbell only version of the routine myself, and while not ideal, it certainly does work. So from that respect I don't see any objections against using dumbbells if you can't handle the barbell for that exercise yet.

    Your grip strength will already improve by using dumbbells for some of the exercises. For training grip strength beyond that, you could take a look at the article here: http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/3-types-grip-and-8-ways-train-them
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    Hello Karin, welcome to the group! :flowerforyou:

    AllPro stated in the various threads over at bodybuilding.com that while the routine has been designed for barbells, it can be done using dumbbells. It is just harder to progress on dumbbells only eventually. Also, I'm doing a dumbbell only version of the routine myself, and while not ideal, it certainly does work. So from that respect I don't see any objections against using dumbbells if you can't handle the barbell for that exercise yet.

    Your grip strength will already improve by using dumbbells for some of the exercises. For training grip strength beyond that, you could take a look at the article here: http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/3-types-grip-and-8-ways-train-them

    Thanks so much! I read this article and will start incorporating some of these ideas. Looking forward to connecting with everyone in this group. :smile:
  • nmtGurl
    nmtGurl Posts: 159 Member
    I'm no spring chicken either, lol! I'm doing All Pro's for the same reasons too.

    My initial starting warm up and working sets had me using only dumbbells too. No worries, you will progress. Also when I first started I had incredible wrist and hand pain. (I have very skinny, weak wrists.) I thought I was going to have to get wrist wraps, but was told it would impede my grip strength. I'm happy to say, after about 2-3 weeks it got better. I also had to learn the proper way to grip the bar too. I found I was holding on too tight. SLDL are giving me some little callouses, but I'm ok with that :-) I've come across the article Pandorakick gave and found that helpful too. Glad you've joined the group! :happy:
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    I'm no spring chicken either, lol! I'm doing All Pro's for the same reasons too.

    My initial starting warm up and working sets had me using only dumbbells too. No worries, you will progress. Also when I first started I had incredible wrist and hand pain. (I have very skinny, weak wrists.) I thought I was going to have to get wrist wraps, but was told it would impede my grip strength. I'm happy to say, after about 2-3 weeks it got better. I also had to learn the proper way to grip the bar too. I found I was holding on too tight. SLDL are giving me some little callouses, but I'm ok with that :-) I've come across the article Pandorakick gave and found that helpful too. Glad you've joined the group! :happy:

    Thanks for your encouragement and welcome! Glad to hear what I am experiencing is not unusual.
  • Amerielle
    Amerielle Posts: 153 Member
    Hi and Welcome! I'm new here too. First of all I had to click on your profile to find out how ancient you are! Oh, my...I'm almost ancient too! lol Weight lifting is the fountain of youth so toss out the ancient thinking. :smile:

    Your goals are great, they are the same as mine. (Well, I also like to look nice and have people be surprised by how old I am haha)

    I also use a mix of barbell and dumbbells and am having the same grip issues...just hoping my grip will improve with time. My 20 year old weightlifting son has offered to teach me about straps and things but so far I haven't taken him up on it.

    I am not new to weightlifting but I am new to sticking with a program for progressive strength gains.
  • paprad
    paprad Posts: 321 Member
    Hey there and welcome to the AllPro gang.

    I'm pushing 50 myself and I hope to usher in the next century with less weight and more muscle!

    I am not new to lifting, but I don't think it counts if the last time I did it was in my early 20s, so I began NROL this year with a fresh start. Due to a bunch of injuries last year I can't lift heavy (and I have to make an effort not to dwell on how feeble my own stats are when I see how much the amazing women in MFP lift) - but I have started off with dumbbells and the way I figure it, next year this time I will be far better than last year this time - and that is something.

    I asked a similar question to yours when I started AllPro - and here's what I figure.
    - Try using the goblet squat as you add heavier dumbbells - it is easier to hold with 2 hands supporting the weight. Or you can support the dumbbells on your shoulder

    - Instead of bench press, try the floor press. If you find bilateral presses tough, do one arm at a time, and when you transfer the dumbbell to the other arm, first grip with both arms and then let the other arm take over.

    - at lighter weights, you may find the warmups don't work out to neat sizes at 25% and 50% of the working set. SImilarly - the 90% and 80% day may need a bit of adjustment since dumbbells come in round-figures (or they do here - my gym has dumbbells from 1kg to 20 kg) What I've done is to err slightly on the lower side, rather than risk injury by using the heavier option.

    - the thread on form has a bunch of videos using dumbbells - check them out because it is better to fix your form when you are using light weights itself.

    edited to add : and oh, my first month had me rubbing my aching knuckles and wrists wondering if I was getting some joint problems, but that faded away as my grip got better.
  • PennyHarris123
    PennyHarris123 Posts: 159 Member
    Hi, my name is Karin and I just started the All Pro workout. I am new to resistance training and my goal is to retain LBM as I lose about 25 more pounds, decrease risk of osteoporosis, ward off depression, reduce risk of injury and pain as I age, and just overall physical health improvement. I am excited to see this group and know I will learn from everyone as I make my way through this unfamiliar territory.

    As I am weak and ancient my starting weights do not allow me to only use a barbell and plates. Especially for the warm up sets, I have to use dumbbells, and also for some of the work sets on medium and light days. Is this ok to use a mix of dumbbells and barbell?

    My other question is in regards to grip strength, or should I say lack of grip strength. Is this just something that improves as I progress? Especially on SLDL, towards the end of my 2nd work set I feel my hands are having a hard time holding the bar, even though the weight feels fine for the rest of my body. #
    Hi, welcome to the group Karin. Nothing wrong with dumbells at all. Just work to the weight you can do and you WILL progress. I've just started 7 weeks ago weight training and now this programme adding some other sets when I have time. I love it. You will too. you will progress to barbells don't worry. Luckily at our gym we have a small barbell too which really helps on my 'weaker' sets!! I'm 44 so no spring chicken either. in just 7 weeks I've really noticed a difference in my shape....go for it.
    I have hard skin on my hands from it too!!! :flowerforyou:

    Any other advice would be appreciated! I am going to post this on the ETP group as well.
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    Hi and Welcome! I'm new here too. First of all I had to click on your profile to find out how ancient you are! Oh, my...I'm almost ancient too! lol Weight lifting is the fountain of youth so toss out the ancient thinking. :smile:

    Your goals are great, they are the same as mine. (Well, I also like to look nice and have people be surprised by how old I am haha)

    I also use a mix of barbell and dumbbells and am having the same grip issues...just hoping my grip will improve with time. My 20 year old weightlifting son has offered to teach me about straps and things but so far I haven't taken him up on it.

    I am not new to weightlifting but I am new to sticking with a program for progressive strength gains.

    Thank you! Ok, ok, I'll stop whining about my age - actually I feel pretty good for being 51 - amazing how taking off some excess weight makes you feel better. I imagine I will be feeling even better as I progress with lifting and lose another 25 pounds.

    I think I'll add your goal to mine, the one about looking nice and have people be surprised at my age!
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    Hey there and welcome to the AllPro gang.

    I'm pushing 50 myself and I hope to usher in the next century with less weight and more muscle!

    I am not new to lifting, but I don't think it counts if the last time I did it was in my early 20s, so I began NROL this year with a fresh start. Due to a bunch of injuries last year I can't lift heavy (and I have to make an effort not to dwell on how feeble my own stats are when I see how much the amazing women in MFP lift) - but I have started off with dumbbells and the way I figure it, next year this time I will be far better than last year this time - and that is something.

    I asked a similar question to yours when I started AllPro - and here's what I figure.
    - Try using the goblet squat as you add heavier dumbbells - it is easier to hold with 2 hands supporting the weight. Or you can support the dumbbells on your shoulder

    - Instead of bench press, try the floor press. If you find bilateral presses tough, do one arm at a time, and when you transfer the dumbbell to the other arm, first grip with both arms and then let the other arm take over.

    - at lighter weights, you may find the warmups don't work out to neat sizes at 25% and 50% of the working set. SImilarly - the 90% and 80% day may need a bit of adjustment since dumbbells come in round-figures (or they do here - my gym has dumbbells from 1kg to 20 kg) What I've done is to err slightly on the lower side, rather than risk injury by using the heavier option.

    - the thread on form has a bunch of videos using dumbbells - check them out because it is better to fix your form when you are using light weights itself.

    edited to add : and oh, my first month had me rubbing my aching knuckles and wrists wondering if I was getting some joint problems, but that faded away as my grip got better.

    Thank you so much for all the great ideas. I just finished the first week and I already feel less awkward and like maybe I am doing this sorta right. Watching videos has helped tremendously, and I will definitely be trying some of your ideas.

    Regarding the inability to get exactly the 25% and 50% warm up weights, as well as the 90% and 80% weights spot on, this is something I had to get over. I looked into All Pro a couple of months ago, and when I realized I couldn't make the numbers work with what I was able to lift, and even the feeling that figuring all that out was just too confusing, I just thought well that's not for me. I am glad I decided to look at it again and I feel like it is going to work out great for me. And I completely agree with going lighter when the weights don't work out perfectly, I have had my share of injuries over the years from overdoing it.

    Thanks again!
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member

    Hi, welcome to the group Karin. Nothing wrong with dumbells at all. Just work to the weight you can do and you WILL progress. I've just started 7 weeks ago weight training and now this programme adding some other sets when I have time. I love it. You will too. you will progress to barbells don't worry. Luckily at our gym we have a small barbell too which really helps on my 'weaker' sets!! I'm 44 so no spring chicken either. in just 7 weeks I've really noticed a difference in my shape....go for it.
    I have hard skin on my hands from it too!!! :flowerforyou:

    Hi, thanks for the encouragement! I am really glad I joined this group. It is so reassuring to hear my difficulties are not unusual, and great to connect with others that have the same goals. That is great that you are noticing changes in just 7 weeks, gives me hope!
  • pandorakick
    pandorakick Posts: 901 Member
    Regarding the inability to get exactly the 25% and 50% warm up weights, as well as the 90% and 80% weights spot on, this is something I had to get over.
    To make it even more simple, All Pro advised in the "AllPro: A Simple Beginner's Routine part II" thread over at bodybuilding.com to keep the warm up weights for the various exercises the same throughout the week. This would mean taking 25% and 50% of the weigth on your heavy/100% day, and use those very same numbers also for the medium and light days. :tongue:
  • PennyHarris123
    PennyHarris123 Posts: 159 Member

    Hi, welcome to the group Karin. Nothing wrong with dumbells at all. Just work to the weight you can do and you WILL progress. I've just started 7 weeks ago weight training and now this programme adding some other sets when I have time. I love it. You will too. you will progress to barbells don't worry. Luckily at our gym we have a small barbell too which really helps on my 'weaker' sets!! I'm 44 so no spring chicken either. in just 7 weeks I've really noticed a difference in my shape....go for it.
    I have hard skin on my hands from it too!!! :flowerforyou:

    Hi, thanks for the encouragement! I am really glad I joined this group. It is so reassuring to hear my difficulties are not unusual, and great to connect with others that have the same goals. That is great that you are noticing changes in just 7 weeks, gives me hope!

    it's the best thing I've done, keep at it :smile:
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    I just finished week 3, gotta love those light days! My grip strength has improved quite a bit and using a combination of dumb bells and barbell has been fine. I just started reading Starting Strength, wow, lots of detailed information in that book. I feel I have already improved my squat form and have been using my phone to video myself each time. This week I feel like my pants are just falling off so I am thinking I might have a nice surprise next time I weigh or measure.

    Something kind of funny - when I did my 10 rep max test, I somehow got the idea that you start with 50% of that for your work sets. Not sure why I thought that - must have been all those late nights reading small text and all those numbers and percent signs swimming in my head. I realized my mistake while reviewing the program during the first week. I was a little surprised as I was feeling like the weights weren't especially light. As I was just coming off physical therapy for my knees and had hurt my shoulder trying Strong Lifts in April, I decided that I needed to stick with the weights I started with and it was a good thing I messed up on the numbers. I am using this first cycle to really work on form.

    I added a couple of planks and some ab work after each session, then some foam rolling and stretching. Over all, I am really loving this workout. Of course I may not say that after my heavy day week 4! Thanks everyone for all your support.