Our motto is, "Train smart. Move well. Play hard." An old school dumbbell workout can be an excellent tool to do just that! Read on for three reminders about HOW to Train Smart with dumbbells. And find the article, "5 (more!) reasons to use dumbbells," for our thoughts about WHY.
1. Choose the right weight for you.
That old line, "No pain, no gain," is just that - old! Outdated! Unnecessary and untrue! You can definitely get a great workout, make gains in strength and fitness, lose weight, and improve your health without pain! Choosing the appropriate amount of weight, number of reps, and sets is key.
It is fine, even welcome, to feel your muscles working hard, to feel fatigue after your workout and to feel some residual sensation the next day. But if you are feeling pain in your joints, at the attachment points of your muscles, in your connective tissues, or in places you weren't targeting (hello, low back pain!) you may be lifting too heavy or trying to advance too quickly.
"NO PAIN, NO GAIN...NO WAY!"
Take a step back, check your ego, make sure your expectations and goals are realistic for you, and make the adjustments to keep your workout sustainable and effective. This is something a trainer can absolutely help you with! An experienced trainer will help you manage the program so that you make progress toward your goal, even if your goal is maintaining your current fitness level.
2. Keep it simple and consistent.
One of the beauties of a dumbbell workout is that it can be very simple. Lifting weight puts stress on your body in multiple ways, which means multiple benefits in relatively few exercises:
increasing bone density, strength, muscle mass, muscular endurance, cardiovascular function, core stability, and joint stability;
decreasing muscular imbalance, asymmetry, and weight;
improving sleep, breath capacity, posture, mood, and self-confidence.
Define your goals, develop, or get help developing, a program that addresses your specific goals, and then stick to it! Consistency in a simple program will get you far! Much further than intensity in a routine you do once in awhile. Much further than trying a different trending workout every month.
You CAN and WILL see a huge difference if you can manage to stick to an effective program and the simplicity of a dumbbell workout is ideal for maintaining consistency over time.
CHALLENGE YOUR BODY IN NOVEL WAYS.
3. Mix it up.
Another beauty of dumbbells, is that there is such a HUGE catalogue of exercises to choose from. You can really mix it up, even while hitting the same targets. Avoid overuse injury, maintain muscular balance and symmetry, and avoid boredom by including variety in your workout. Challenge your body in novel ways to keep making gains.
This is another place a trainer can be an excellent investment. Professional trainers GEEK OUT on discovering and devising novel ways to workout - trust me, I live with one! An experienced trainer has many, many tricks up his or her sleeve. So, if you are having difficulty with one exercise, for whatever reason, rather than struggling through it, seek the advise of a trainer and get in touch with some different ways of accomplishing the same benefits.
We are huge fans of training smarter - not more, longer, nor harder. Check our social feed for a few full body dumbbell workouts and cues and tips for maintaining good technique and getting the most out of your time in the gym, home gym, or backyard.
Train Smart. Move Well. Play Hard, friends.