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Added dumbbells to my workouts last year, I still feel weak... am I expecting too much?

netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 533 Member Member Posts: 533 Member
Look.
Honestly, I'm one of those people who (if going from sedentary to working out) take a few months just to do a regular pushup. Even at my lightest and fittest (I was almost breezing through Insanity at one point back in 2012) I couldn't do a single pullup.

I added in weight training (sorta) last year, around may/june

I'm still using only about 8-9kg for my bicep curls, and about 8-9kg for a shoulder press with my adjustable dumbbells... I still squat with about 10kg per hand, tho I did get a barbell I can load up to about 30kg total... I feel like I'm still weak... fwiw I'm about 55kg atm, at 159cm, and I THINK I could do more with my lower body if my weights went higher than that... is my upper body "doomed" to be weak?

Replies

  • MaltedTeaMaltedTea Member, Premium Posts: 4,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,753 Member
    No. However, without proper progressions, you're doomed to stay stuck lol

    Take stock of your current home equipment and find a program that incorporates progressions (perhaps starting with bodyweight and all the variants available there).

    That's just me. There are many other folks with much more experience who can chime in with additional/different advice.
  • netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 533 Member Member Posts: 533 Member
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    No. However, without proper progressions, you're doomed to stay stuck lol

    Take stock of your current home equipment and find a program that incorporates progressions (perhaps starting with bodyweight and all the variants available there).

    That's just me. There are many other folks with much more experience who can chime in with additional/different advice.

    Yeah with my lower body for sure.. with my upper body I still have weight I can add, but it's just now taken me 3 months to add 1kg to my heavier set that I think was fairly light to begin with.. and I'm still struggling with it
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,703 Member Member Posts: 38,703 Member
    You only mention curls and OH press for upper body...what else are you doing? If those are your only two exercises, all you are working is biceps in isolation and your shoulders. Most of the strength in your upper body is going to be in your core, chest, and back...endless bicep curls aren't going to do much.

    Do you bench press or do pushups? Three point rows with dumbbells? Pull-ups or lat pulls? Additional core work?

    How often are you training? Consistency is very key with strength training...doing this or that here and there isn't going to get you anywhere and you'll just be spinning your wheels. I would look for an actual structured program that incorporates dumbbells, bodyweight, and probably resistance bands and follow the program. Most people who just do their own thing end up spinning their wheels. Where strength is concerned, your body is one unit and should be trained as such...doing some bicep curls isn't going to result in a whole lot.

    Squats (and/or squat variations)
    Deadlifts (and/or deadlift variations)
    Bench Press (and/or chest pressing variations)
    Rows (various variations)
    OH Press (various variations)
    Pullups and Dips are good accessory work

    What kind of rep range are you working with? It wouldn't be unusual at all to have little to no progress in weight if you're doing high reps, which trains muscular endurance more than anything vs a lower rep scheme that allows for lifting more weight.
  • netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 533 Member Member Posts: 533 Member
    I do a lot of bodyweight stuff, and then I do a variety of upper/lower body with weights (yes for pushups, rows, etc, anything really that can be done at home with dumbbells)... I started with probably 3 and 5kg, but what I'm using right now sounds low? I basically go until it's too heavy for me to do another rep (not super high reps, I find the weight I'm doing hard enough it's a struggle to do maybe 8-10 reps)
    I tend to do cardio on weekends and do weights about 4x a week , in total I work out about 6x per week for a good hour per day
    edited February 16
  • netitheyetinetitheyeti Member Posts: 533 Member Member Posts: 533 Member
    thing is I can see muscle in my back, shoulders and arms (I carry most fat in my hips/thighs) and I'm seeing veins down my arms but my strenght is absolute poop
  • MaltedTeaMaltedTea Member, Premium Posts: 4,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,753 Member
    I do a lot of bodyweight stuff, and then I do a variety of upper/lower body with weights (yes for pushups, rows, etc, anything really that can be done at home with dumbbells)... I started with probably 3 and 5kg, but what I'm using right now sounds low? I basically go until it's too heavy for me to do another rep (not super high reps, I find the weight I'm doing hard enough it's a struggle to do maybe 8-10 reps)
    I tend to do cardio on weekends and do weights about 4x a week , in total I work out about 6x per week for a good hour per day

    Not sure if you've managed to try anything different in the interim? Based on the highlighted part above, I'm wondering if accessory lifts/exercises for the body parts of concern would be helpful to you?

    There are two focused threads (albeit old) on this topic, it seems...

    * Favourite Accessory Exercises?
    * Question re: adding accessory exercises to my routine

  • DD265DD265 Member Posts: 131 Member Member Posts: 131 Member
    I was in your position, only I got to the point where I was having to reduce my weights, and saw a physio, who became my personal trainer for a couple of years until I moved away.

    In my case I had weaknesses and imbalances and tension which were all contributing to my body lifting very ineffectively, and I was pushing the muscles that were working until they couldn't hack it any more, without realising. We started off focusing on glute activation, abdominals and lung fitness as well as mobility. It was probably 6-8 months before we started lifting weights because several muscle groups were just so weak.

    Not saying it's the same for you, but it could be an avenue worth exploring.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 6,777 Member Member Posts: 6,777 Member
    It doesn't sound like you're weak, only that you think you are.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,765 Member Member Posts: 8,765 Member
    When you say you feel weak, please explain how you measure strength.

    Nothing is doomed to be weak, one just needs the proper stimulus coupled with consistency.

    Can you list your programming as far as exercise selection, days, and volume(reps-sets) for the past few weeks and we can go from there to help you along.
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