Thursday, May 02, 2013
Boost strength instantly by training one limb at a time
While the benefits of using dumbbells are many, there is one that stands out for those looking to get stronger. Research shows that one-limb (unilateral) training allows you to recruit more total muscle fibers, making you approximately 20% stronger on each rep.
For example, if you were able to curl a 50-pound barbell for 10 reps, you could reasonably expect to curl 30-pound dumbbells (or 60 pounds total) for as many reps. As a bonus, if you should fail before that 10th rep, you can use a free hand to spot yourself through a few forced reps.
Unilateral training is also safer, since there is no risk of getting pinned beneath a barbell. Using dumbbells allows you to recruit more total muscle fibers in order to stabilize your body through each rep, which makes for better gains in overall body composition in the long run.