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Dumbbell Exercises and Workout

Fitness Model Britt 2007 performing dumbbell curlFor many people lifting a pair of dumbbells forms their first weight lifting experience. Dumbbells are very simple and yet extremely effective. You can perform just about any weight lifting exercise with a dumbbell, or a pair of dumbbells and they have one major advantage over any other type of resistance equipment – they can be stored in a small space, such as under your bed or behind the sofa, making them a great way to do strength training at home.

Tip: Always start out with a pair of adjustable dumbbells. It is important that you can complete the required number of reps / sets for each exercise without either breaking form nor making too easy. Adjustable dumbbells are like having a full weights room.

Advantages of Dumbbells

Dumbbells actually have a big advantage over using barbells or resistance machines. Most people do not have equal strength on each side of the body, generally the right arm is stronger in right handed people, as this is more often used for work, carrying etc. By using dumbbells you can exercise both sides of your body equally to help balance your strength, and ideally, to create a symmetrical body.


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Dumbbells also form a vital role in strength training for wheelchair athletes. In August in the run up to the Paralympic Games we took a brief look at how David Weir trains for competitions. Many of hist strength exercises are done with dumbbells.

We have mentioned dumbbells in various articles on MotleyHealth, such as on Weight Lifting Workout for Over 50 Year Olds (used in 3 exercises) and in the Beginners Guide to Weight Lifting Exercises (used in 5 exercises), but until now we have never provided a specific dumbbell workout.

Simple Dumbbell Workout

As with any form of weight training you will get best results from exercising a few times a week, but do not workout (with the same weight training routine) 2 days in a row. Weight training must also be progressive – you must lift more over time to develop your muscles. For this reason, no actual weights are given. Instead you need to determine what weight you use based on your current strength.

Basically, you need to be able to perform all the reps / sets without struggling too much, but it must not be easy either. It is important to keep a note / training log so that you know how much weight you should be working with for each exercise. For each exercise we have embedded a Youtube video that best demonstrates the movement.

Explanation of Terms

Reps = repetitions, or repeats and sets refer to one group of reps. So 3 sets of 12 reps means you perform 12 lifts without stopping, then take a short rest (usually 1-3 minutes, depending on how much weight you are lifting) and then repeat the set of 12 reps two more times. So in total you do 36 repeats of the same exercise divided into 3 sets.

Weight trainers generally start with 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Some progressive weight training plans use other combinations, such as 5 sets of 5 reps. As a general rule though, more reps leads to larger muscles. Lower rep ranges (assumed that you are using heavier weights, so working just as hard) leads to more athletic strength. This explains why Olympic weightlifters do not look as big and muscular as bodybuilders.


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Ultimately, for the beginner the most important rule is to keep progressing – progressive overload – i.e. lift a heavier weight and / or perform more reps for any given exercise over time. This leads to one of the big advantages of purchasing adjustable dumbbells – you can easily increase the weight of the dumbbells to allow yourself to progressively overload the muscles.

Before you start the weight lifting it is advisable to warm-up with some light cardio such as jogging or skipping to get the blood flowing to your muscles. As a general rule, once you start to sweat, you are ready. Around 5 minutes is generally enough, feel free to do more.

This workout is without a weight bench. A chair can be used for the shoulder presses and concentration curls, although it is possible to do them standing.

1. Dumbbell Squat

Yes, you can squat with dumbbells! There are three main ways to squat with dumbbells. The first, the Goblet Squat is ideal for complete beginners as you only use one dumbbell. The second uses 2 dumbbells held in the “rack” position, and the third uses 2 dumbbells held by your side – these allow you to lift a heavier weight.

To perform a goblet squat stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width / hip width apart, and toes pointing slightly outwards. Grasp one of the dumbbell discs with both hands at neck height, with the dumbbell hanging downwards. Keep the heel of your palms well under the weight to prevent it slipping out of your grip. Your forearms will rest on the lower weight disc.

From this position simply squat straight down as low as you can and then return to standing position. Focus on keeping your chest upwards (otherwise the weight of the dumbbell will pull you forwards). Also when squatting down ensure that your weight transfers to your heel. Your knees will point outwards slightly. Maintain tension in the legs and core. Once in the lowest position, power up again through the feet, thighs, hips and glutes. Take a look at our page dedicated to squatting to see a photo of a good squat.

To squat with 2 dumbbells you need to first lift them in to the “rack position”, which means you hold the weights with your forearms vertical, your upper arms tight to your ribs, so that most of the weight is supported by a combination of the tension in your forearm and torso. From here squat in the same way described above.


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The third method just involves holding the dumbbells by your side. While this may seem the easiest way, and therefore the best option, you do have to squat with your legs closer together which generally means you will not be able to squat so deep. It is a trade-off between lifting a heavier weight and performing a better squat. Regardless of the type of squat you chose, perform the same sets / reps for each:

  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps*
*if you find it hard to hold a heavy weight reduce it and do more reps. To start with the dumbbells will not add a huge amount to your total bodyweight, but once you are carrying two 20 kg dumbbells (or more) it will make a big difference and really start to work the glutes.

2. Chest Press

The chest press is the equivalent of the bench press but instead of using a bench you simply lie on the floor. Ideally use an exercise mat, or at least a carpet that is well cushioned. Start with the dumbbells held by your side, with your upper arm supporting the weight.

Then lift the weights straight upwards, away from your chest. While lifting keep the weights parallel to your body (palms facing each other). If it feels more comfortable to allow the weights to turn inward a little on the lift this is OK. Straighten your arms, gently locking out your elbows, before bring the weights back down to your side.

  • 3 sets of 10 reps

3. One Arm Bentover Row

The bent-over row is a great back builder. To perform stand in a staggered squat / high lunge position, with one foot forward. Lean forward a little, with your leading arm gently resting on the knee of your leading leg or use a chair / table to support yourself. Position yourself over your dumbbell then pick it up from the floor.

The row is performed by lifting the dumbbell from the fully extended position (straight-arm) until it reaches your ribs. Focus on using your back to lift, rather than trying to use only the arm.


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Tip: start with your weakest arm and then on the final set work to failure, then match that with your stronger arm. This will help your weaker side to “catch up” with the stronger.

  • 3 sets of 12 reps on each arm

4. Shoulder Press

Shoulder presses can be done either seated or standing. Simply start with two dumbbells held at shoulder height with palms facing outwards. Then press the weights overhead until your arms are straight. Concentrate on stretching the shoulder muscles to fully extend the movement.

When your arms are fully extended overhead your biceps should be in line with your ears and your shoulders back slightly to ensure that you are well-balanced. This is important as when you start to lift heavier weights you will struggle to hold them overhead if you are not bringing them back to be in line with your body.

  • 3 Sets of 10 Reps

5. Single-Leg Deadlift

The single-leg dumbbell deadlift is possibly the hardest of these exercises to perform, but only because you need to train your balance a little. Using 2 dumbbells start with them held against the front of your legs. This differs from a barbell deadlift, which always starts with the bar on the floor.

In one movement extend one leg backwards so that your weight is entirely on the other leg while lowering the weights until they almost reach the ground. Then, extending through the ankle, knee, hips and then extending the lower back pull the weight back up to finish in an upright position while still keeping the rear leg off the ground. Reverse the movement to return the weights to the ground.

When lifting, the weights should remain close to your legs as you power up through the heels. There should be a slight bend to the knee, do not bend the knees too much or the movement will become more like a squat. Keep the back straight and do not overstretch, if you cannot bring the weights to the floor do not worry.

Single leg deadlifts target the Gluteus Maximus plus the hamstrings and lower back.

  • 3 Sets of 12 Reps

6. Lateral Raise

With the lateral raise you use 2 dumbbells and lift them out to your sides to shoulder height. Start by standing up straight with each dumbbell by your side (outside your hips) with palms facing inwards.

Then in a steady movement (not a jerk) lift the weights upwards until they are level with your shoulders. As you reach the top position ever so slightly tilt the front of the dumbbell downwards to lift the elbow up so that it is above the height of the weight. Hold the position still for a moment, then return to your side. Keep the movement steady and controlled on both the lift and the descent.

Lateral raises work the lateral deltoids, which are the rear shoulder muscles.

  • 3 sets of 12 reps

7. Triceps Kickback

The triceps are the largest muscle group in the arms, much larger than the biceps. So if you are looking to build bigger arms you need to work on your triceps and your biceps. While exercises such as the chest press and shoulder press work them, it is good to also isolate. The triceps kick-back is a simple way to do this.

Use the same stance as with the one-arm bentover row. With the dumbbell in the rear hand lift your elbow so that your upper arm is parallel to the ground and the forearm with the dumbbell hanging downwards. Note – you will only need a small weight to start with. Then extend your arm, keeping your elbow still, so that your triceps do all the work.

  • 3 Sets of 12 Reps

8. Standing Dumbbell Curl

The curls are probably the most famous of all dumbbell exercises. They are done last because the biceps are the smallest muscles that we are exercising. You can either perform curls by alternating each arm, i.e. doing one “set” of 24 exercises, with a total of 12 on each side. Or by performing a set on the left and then a set on the right. Here we run through 3 variations of the bicep curl. You do not have to perform all three, but if you are really keen to increase the size of your biceps (often the main reason a younger guy will buy some weights) then you do need to “hit them from all angles“.

What is important is that if you curl on one arm and then the other that you work both sides equally. Alternating each arm has the advantage that you give your biceps a little longer to rest in between each exercise and so in theory you can work them harder.

Start with your dumbbells by your side with palms facing forwards. Then simply lift the dumbbells using only the biceps to your shoulder so that your palms now face towards you. Try very hard to keep your body completely still so that you do not generate momentum from the legs or core to power up the weights. Lifting slowly is effective as it really helps to maintain good form. The biceps curl targets the biceps brachii.

  • 2 sets of 12 reps on each arm

9. Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a variation on the standard curl.

Rather than starting the lift with your palms facing away from you, you lift with the palms facing your hips. Then curl the dumbbell, maintaining the line so that your palm continues to face in the same direction (inwards). Then return the weights to your side, ensuring that the arms are extended.

There should be no twisting of the forearm as you lift. Hammer curls target the brachioradialis (elbow flexors).

  • 1 set of 12 reps

10. Seated Concentration Curl

Concentration curls are a pure isolation exercise in which you focus on building the peak of the bicep. You can perform them standing, in a similar position to the bent-over row but with the back of your forearm resting on your inner thigh. However, it is easier to do them while seated. Concentration curls target the brachialis muscle.

Simply sit down with your legs spread wide. Lean forward and rest the back of your forearm on your leg. Starting with the dumbbell in the lowest position, with your arm extended and palm facing upwards/outwards, then curl the weight up to your shoulder, keeping your body still at all times. The only part of your body that should be moving is the forearm, with the bicep contracting to lift it. It concentrates all the work on the bicep, and also when performing it you may look deep in though too!

  • 1 set of 12 reps

So, there is the basic dumbbell workout that can be done at home, or in the gym. No bench required.

Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com

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  42 comments for “Dumbbell Exercises and Workout

  1. Jason Stone
    November 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for this…you may know me from the “How to get fit at home in 20 Minutes” forum (you may be getting a bit sick of me by now!).

    As you may recall I have a 30Kg set of dumbells…after a little experimentation I have taken it down to 7.5 kg (each arm) to begin my routine. I have been doing the basic reps 2-3 times a day….

    I am little perplexed are you saying I should ONLY exercise 3 times a week ….that I should avoid doing the SAME routine each day…I am vaguely aware of the need to “trick” the body by changing the routine…but at the moment I am still not QUITE what I should be aiming for….

    The routine as written here seems quite serious….I am sure I can build upto it….but if I have to avoid the “same” routine then how do I vary it?

    Thanks

    Jason

  2. MotleyHealth
    November 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Hi again Jason, certainly not sick of your questions!

    It really depends how you workout. One thing – are you using 7.5 kg for all exercises? Or are you still just doing curls? If doing more exercises then you will vary the weight. Also, if you do a more intensive full body workout you will need more recovery time. Yo can (and should) still do other some cardio exercise on the other days.

    The best way to grow muscle is to work it hard and then give it time to recover. Doing the same exercise every day is not ideal. This routine is really not all that “serious”. Give it a go.

  3. Jason Stone
    November 21, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I am doing the “20 Minute” workout Twice a day and the dumbells separately….I have only just started doing curls …I have downloaded video’s for pecs from youtube but have not not begun them yet…

    Yoou much time should I spend on this …and you are suggesting I only use the weights 2 or 3 days a week ? I am doing the same thing I did with the 20min workout….keep adding an exercise and adding more reps…but I am puzzled now….I just want to do the curls for pecs and biceps and then this full routine…so what should I ultimately aim to do…do this routine here THREE days a week ?

    Finally I know I keep asking this and everyone says I am asking too much but I really am disappointed with the relative lack of progress over the last few weeks…..I am 6’4″ and my friends estimate I have lost 4-5 stone over the last 8 weeks….but I need to hit 16stone and I want to do that within two months… I am still 19 Stone….

  4. Jason Stone
    November 21, 2012 at 12:56 am

    To answer your question…I am using 7.5kg …I tried the full 15kg and then 10kg they were both too heavy to do the number of reps I wanted. I am not currently amending the weight…..I am just a bit depressed by the plateauing and I have kept adding reps and exercises. There was enormous results in the first 3-4 weeks…..and I really don’t see much progress recently….it IS there but it’s not good enough…:(

  5. MotleyHealth
    November 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

    As at the moment you are only doing curls, then stick to 3 days of the 20 minute workout. However, once you start doing the full dumbbell workout, and you should try to start this if you wish to see the strength gains (pecs and biceps) then you may want to tone down some of the exercises in the 20 minute workout. Really it depends how intensively you train. i.e. if you do a lot of dumbbell squats and you are not used to them, then doing the squats in the 20 min workout the next day may not be the best choice of exercise. Cardio is always good – some jogging etc.

    The thing is, there really is no hard and fast rule. It comes down to your personal drive, preferences and recovery time. Your body may be perfectly suited to doing 3 dumbbell sessions and 3 circuit training session each week without any problem. However, as at the moment you are only doing curls, I would be tempted to add these to the 20 minute workout, keep working on that, with added push ups for the chest development, and see how that goes. It sounds like you are making great progress.

    Of course, the quickest way to lose weight is to create a constant calorie deficit, so daily exercise and low calorie diet is the solution. So maybe do both of these workouts, a total of 6 times a week.

  6. Jason Stone
    November 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Well my focus is on my torso…I focussed on the cardio initially of course and at fist it got great results….I was actually TOO heavy for a standard scales so I don’t know what I weighed…(they only go upto 20st!). However a friend who hadn’t see me for two months (just prior to my starting the “20min” workout AND my “new diet” (I.e (Me to myself) “stop eating outside and don’t do anymore “all you can eats”) estimated I had lost “at least THREE and as much as FIVE stone”…..problem is this…Despite adding MORE exercises and MORE reps (75 Jumping Jacks TWICE a day, 20 Crunches and reverse crunches, plus the situp’s, etc) I am still not seeing the results I hoped for….I am still overweight and though there is VERY SIGNIFICANT improvement in my abs…my biceps and pecs ESPECIALLY remain somewhat disappointing, (the man boobs and double chin may be long gone but I am some way from being BUFF. I have of course only just begun using the dumbells…..(having slightly injured my ankle because I was dumb enough to try the first SIX WEEKS of exercising BAREFOOT on a lino floor)…I was a little wary of injuring my arms….but having got the right weight now I am ready to proceed. I am of course less focused on how much I weigh than how I LOOK….to that extent my progress over the last week has been significant to say the least. However I wanted to try out for the TA and yesterday despite satisfying everything else…they were still not pleased with my BMI ..they want me down to 16 STONE….which is quite something…I need to loose THREE….and ideally FOUR…stone. I just don’t see where it is going to come from…(ONE or TWO yeah but THREE) ? I upped my jumping jacks AGAIN this morning to 100 and will try to do the same later. I am finding the cool weather and grey skies a little bit of a challenge….the urge to comfort eat is not always RESISTABLE (USUALLY don’t get me WRONG…but not always). Eating has always been my great indulgence…even though I have removed everything BAD (no takeaways until the last week or two when by disappointment caused me to lapse) I still like to eat heartilly….just from home cooking now…and no fry up’s) I don’t feel it will work if I deny myself too much….maybe I just need to be what I joked about being when I first messaged you ……A “Health Nazi”….

  7. Jason Stone
    November 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    As far as the “20min routine” I am doing it TWICE a day…with extra jumping jacks and extra crunches and reverse crunches. I still can’t quite do the 15 pushups I can do 15 Intermediates but when I finally tried the full one’s I could only manage FIVE but I can add another FIVE intermediates on top) I still find the mountain climbers hard (at least at the end of the routine) and Ihaven’t even tried the squat’s for that reason let alone the burpees which you recommended…..I understand you think I should only do this dumbell routine THREE times a week which makes sense….but I thought I needed to be doing this everyday….? I feel I reaching a bit of a crisis point…not sure how to move forward or at least how to loose that three stone….

  8. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2012 at 1:40 am

    OK, my suggestion: Exercise every day of the week. Alternate the “20 minute workout” and the dumbbell workout, so you do each 3 times in a week. In addition get some cardio in every day. This can be light, brisk walk, jog, exercise bike, cross trainer, swim etc. Just aim for 45 minutes if you can. So long as you work up a good sweat you will be doing OK. Ideally in the morning.

    Diet – you are going to have to be strong, and really cut back. It will not be fun, you will feel hungry. You must remember that every hunger pang is triggering the body to breakdown more energy reserves (OK, it probably does not work exactly like that, but its all about positive thinking!).

    Another suggestion – search you local area for any sort of fitness club, ideally something like CrossFit, Military Boot Camps, or a martial arts school which competes (fighters train for fitness more so than hobbyists). Do this 2-3 times a week. You will probably find that you start to work a lot harder when in a class environment without thinking.

  9. Jason Stone
    November 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks…..But I should carry on doing the 20 minute routine…TWICE a day ?….with extra jumping jacks and crunches ?

  10. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t think so. I think better to do a cardio workout, and then either circuit training (the 20 min) or a weight training (dumbbell) workout later in the day.

  11. Jason Stone
    November 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Why not ? And isn’t much of the 20min routine …cardio ? What’s wrong with trying the 20min everyday and the Dumbell workout in the evening….? Right now I am doing it twice a day…plus basic dumblell curls… You seem to want me to exercise LESS…don’t get me wrong there seems little chance of me overdoing it. BUT I might starve to death…..if I follow your dieting advice!

  12. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    The 20 minute workout is a combination of resistance and cardio. It is effective, but if you also want to work on your chest and biceps (you said “my biceps and pecs ESPECIALLY remain somewhat disappointing”) then the best approach is to do more intensive weight training sessions 3 times a week and give those muscles time to recover, rather than exercising them lightly every day. You may do well to develop your own routine though. It is never easy to balance fat loss goals with muscle building goals.

  13. Jason Stone
    November 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I am disappointed with the pecs especially YES. After the swift demise of the man boobs (just two weeks), I was hoping to be getting some definition there by now….at least after I have been doing the pushups for a month. My priorities are the spare tyre (surely where most of the weight (or fat at least) remains?), pecs and biceps in the order…. I already have substantial definition in the abs now and (so I am told) the backside (I can’t really see it you see can I? :))) The definition in the abs would be more obvious VISUALLY if I could shed the remain pounds….I am looking at my diet again…removing everything that doesn’t help…

    In the longer term don’t bigger muscles burn more calories….? Either I have a lot more fat to loose or the BMI is bollocks (which I have thought for a long time anyhow)….

  14. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Muscle does weigh more and require more energy. BMI is indeed flawed, it is no use for athletic / strong people. TBH, so long as you are doing a lot of exercise and cutting the junk from the diet you should be OK. Some say more cardio, some say metabolic conditioning / variety of exercise, some say lift and eat lean. They will probably all help. My only suggestion is that if you are going to do 2 workouts a day to do something different in each. But then again, I used to know a runner who would run 2 -3 times a day. Just keep working at it and do what you enjoy.

  15. Jason Stone
    November 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    The “Triceps Kickback” ? How many ? It doesn’t say….or am I missing something?

  16. MotleyHealth
    November 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    3 sets of 12. I will add that. Generally, if in doubt, do 3 sets of 12.

  17. Jason Stone
    November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    So a set should always have a short break of a minute (and no more?) before starting the next?

  18. Jason Stone
    November 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Been doing the basic curls for a while now…would have started the full routine this week but got thrown a curve as they say….it’s interesting to realise that my left arm gets tired a little earlier than my right….

  19. MotleyHealth
    November 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    That’s right. A minute is enough to get the oxygen around the body to replenish the muscles etc. When doing heavy lifting (barbell deadlifts, squats etc) then you will want to rest 2-3 minutes, but until then, 60 seconds is plenty.

  20. Yaseen Taha
    December 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    So i have to do all of them in one day and rest the next day rite?

  21. MotleyHealth
    December 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    That is one way, certainly a good way for beginners.

  22. Yaseen Taha
    December 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    So how long do you think it will take to get a great result?

  23. MotleyHealth
    December 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    That depends on so many things. What your current fitness is, what your goals are etc. If your goals are to lose fat and tone muscles then you should be looking to do some regular (daily) cardio and also improving your diet.

  24. Yaseen Taha
    December 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    For me I just want to have good biceps and chest. Is it ok if I workout the chest, biceps and triceps toghether

  25. MotleyHealth
    December 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Yes, you can work them together.

  26. Jason Stone
    December 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I finally started going through the routine after having done daily curls for some time. I can’t see how I can do this whole routine in one go, I will have to build up to it just as with the “20 Minute at Home” routine. I found the lateral raise hard to do I found it hard to raise my arms that high the first time I tried it-the day before yesterday, I find it somewhat easier NOW, but I can find it hard to do more than 10 reps even with only 7.5kg on each arm.

  27. MotleyHealth
    December 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Probably best to reduce the weight for the lateral raises then. You are working a small muscle and adding a lot of leverage so a lighter weight is generally required.

  28. Jason Stone
    January 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Only problem is that if I want to do all these together it can be a pain if I want to change weights mid session. For example whilst 7kg on each arm is a stretch for the Lateral Raise…I can handle 10kg on a concentration curl and probably the full 15kg. The only alternative seems to be to get another set of weights. Any thoughts or advice ?

  29. MotleyHealth
    January 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Between each exercise you should rest a little, and this is plenty of time to change the weights on adjustable dumbbells. This is no different to if you were using a barbell.

  30. Jason Stone
    January 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I find changing the weights in my 1 min respite a bit tedious (not to mention not much of a “rest”) so I have decided instead to reduce the number of reps to 8-10 (3 sets) I find I can do that without reducing the weight.

    I am currently using 8kg on each arm, however I remain disappointed with the relative lack of progress with the pecs-all my online research suggests the best at home exercise for them is the Dumbbell Floor Press, however even though I have only recently started doing them regularly I am somewhat disappointed. Once again maybe I should not be so hard on myself since I probably had a C cup only three months back…! I am not doing the full dumbbell routine but slowly adding them (so far the curls, the lateral raise and the floor press) as I did with the “20 minute” routine initially.

    I know the ideal is to the whole routine every other day. But in addition to the 20 minute routine I still feel at the moment compelled to do the routine everyday at least for now.

    Please also note that I have adapted the routine I typically do 100 Jumping Jacks now, plus hip bridges, plus 30 Crunches and Reverse Crunches plus 15-20 pushups…I recently abandoned the Step Ups (didn’t seem to be doing anything for my torso which is my focus) and Mountain Climbers because I found them too hard to do for very long. I believe I have lost between four and SIX stone since I began using your routines in September(I was too heavy for my bathroom scales so I don’t know what I weighed!..but this appears to be the consensus). My weight seems fairly steady at 17.5 Stone.

    However I feel I should be doing more and making more effort to convert the routines in a full at home circuit training session. Thoughts?

  31. MotleyHealth
    January 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Jason, this is excellent – 4-6 stone, amazing, and well done.

    Just keep doing what you are doing. As you find you get fitter and stronger, modify the workout, add more weight, do more reps. This is what you are doing. Any workout plan is really just a guide, and while there may be optimum routines, the best way is the way that you are comfortable with.

    You may be held back a little by using the same weight. One option would be to invest in a couple more pairs of dumbbells so that you have a range to use. Obviously more expensive than having an adjustable one, but it is not as if dumbbells suffer much wear and tear. They will still work in 100 years time so long as they do not rust away.

  32. Jason Stone
    February 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve got a new set of weights 10kg each arm…so I can alternate now…..I am still mindful that I am not doing the ideal alternating the 20 minute workout (which you may recall I have adapted to ad as many jumping jacks, crunches and reverse crunches and pushups as possible), and try to do TWICE a day if at all possible.) However I have continue to add more of the dumbell routines to my workout….but I still find the idea of doing the full routine every other day INSTEAD of doing a bunch of stuff everday if at all possible. I know you’ve said that is cool and confirmed my feeling that I should do what I feel…but am still focussed in the long term in doing what’s ideal….since I am not going to be in the market for a personal trainer or nutritionist I have to base that on what you and (and others) tell me…:)

  33. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Great to hear back from you Jason. You must have built some muscle if you are increasing the weight. How is the fat loss coming along? If you are happy with your progress then you are doing the right thing!

  34. Jason Stone
    February 27, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Fat loss continues…and yes I have definite biceps now but still fairly early days. But my weight seems to have stabalized at about 17.5 stone presumably because of muscle gain….? I recall when I first started doing abs it seemed that I was getting FATTER but I realised this was the muscle underneath PUSHING outt the fat…the persistant spare tyre continues to shrink but I think the problem may be excess skin rather than fat….

  35. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Probably time to burn off some of the fat, maybe up the cardio a little.

  36. Debra
    February 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Dear Motley Health:

    I am looking over your averages tables and then calculating how many calories I need to consume in order to lose 2 lbs. per week. Since my maintenance weight is 1650, losing 2 lbs. per week would require me to eat no more than 650 calories per day! Now, every other website I’ve read says that females should NEVER go below 1200 calories per day (I am an obese, 51 year old,disable woman who cannot work out at all) and most warn that anything lower than this will actually fool the body into thinking that it is starving and will thus bring weight loss to a screaming halt.
    Could you please address these questions in detail? Your help is greatly appreciated!

  37. MotleyHealth
    February 28, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Hi Debra, that is correct. If you ate only 650 Calories a day you would suffer malnutrition and muscle wastage, which is the last thing you wish to do if you cannot exercise. If you cannot exercise at all, then you should eat a low GI diet with lean proteins, and maintain a small Calorie deficit. 1200 Calories a day would be a good target, you will still lose weight if you are eating no more than that.

    If you do follow a very low calorie diet, i.e. less than 1000 Calories a day, weight loss will not stop – that is impossible. But you will lose muscle and this will result in a reduction in your metabolism, and it will become even harder to maintain a healthy weight. If there is any exercise that you can do, you should try to do it. Even if just exercising one body part, for example.

  38. yahya
    April 20, 2013 at 5:05 am

    hi there,i just started dumble exercise i want to know how many times a day i do dumbel exercise,i am 5.5′ and weight is 65,i do 3 times a day with 3 sets 10 kg of 7 reps,is this ok for me? i want build biseps and triceps more quickly

  39. MotleyHealth
    April 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Hi Yahya, generally you should just do one workout a day. If the exercises are easy use a heavier weight rather then do more wokkouts. Are you doing triceps extensions? Take a look at Triceps Training.

  40. yahya
    April 27, 2013 at 4:10 am

    please help me more,instruction me schedule of every day exercise,i go to gym also but i think trainer does not give correct direction to me and he comes to gym very rare.so plz help for daily gym exercise.
    thank you so much

  41. Avijit
    August 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Hi
    Dude i am just of 15 age and i want to ask you that i am having 4 kg of dumbbells how much time should i give to do exercise with how many sets answer me soon
    Please
    And thanks for the video

  42. MotleyHealth
    August 9, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Avijit

    What are your goals? Generally two sets of 10-12 reps is a good starting point. You will start to find that 4 kg is too light for many exercises.

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