I'm glad you like the hooks! I prefer the straps, honestly, but it sounded like for your purposes the hooks would work better.
I finally had to start going to a gym for most workouts because I got to where I needed heavier weights than I had room for at home. And the expanded equipment is a real benefit. As an added bonus, I also found the worlds best lifting partner, so it was a great thing for me!
Thank you all for the advice. This is the best team ever! Shhhh...don't tell my P90X team I just said that, they are great too. Anyway, I decided to get a barbell set. It was only $89 and came with 100 lbs of weights, a long bar, and two dumbell bars with clamps. I also got those hook gloves. I'll be using those whenever I'm lifting more than 40 lbs total or 20 lbs per hand. My wrists are almost abnormal (not even 2 inches wide and I'm 5'8"). I also have straps (they're a pain to use, I like the hooks way better), and regular weightlifting gloves. I did deadlifts last night and I loved using my new equipment!
I don't ever want to go to the gym, not because I'm antisocial but because I believe it's weird to have to go somewhere to get fit. So far I've found ways to increase muscle by using only dumbells and barbells. Who knows, if I become crazy serious about building muscle I might go someday but I don't have any plans to now.
I have 20 more days until my 90 day fitness goals deadline. I'm seeing results and am now trying to really commit to the nutrition portion. I want to see my six-pack and leg definition. My upper body is awesome already.
As for your hand strength, I have the same problem. I have very weak wrists, and hardly any mobility in them (they don't bend backwards-at all), and it has been a problem in my lifting; I know I can lift more than I am, but I don't want to put so much pressure on my wrists. I am just taking it slow for now, and hoping that the strength will eventually come. I may also invest in a couple of wrist braces, as well, for some extra support.
Prior to switching to p90x, I was reaching the point where I could do more with my legs than I could comfortably hold with dumbbells and I did not want to use a barbell (I work out alone and refuse to put that much weight near my neck).
My solution was to get a weighted vest (came with 40 lbs of weights in 2 lb increments). The couple of times I used it, it worked but the vest was kinda scratchy.
current weight: 202.0
Fitness Minutes: (100,974) Posts: 5,226 10/1/10 8:54 P
I've found that my choices with calves at home are pretty much limited to standing on a step holding the heaviest weight I have (a 30) in one hand, and the door frame with the other while I go up and down. You can read my blog "Calf 21's" for an idea on how to hit all three heads this way.
As far as your grip issue, have you ever seen lifting hooks? I got mine in Walmart.
I agree with all the great advice listed below. As just mentioned do squats, one-legged squats, lunges, walking lunges, using those 20-lbs dumbbells and those legs will feel it. Just doing a set won't necessarily give you what you are after.
Home gyms are great and very convenient, however, there comes a point when you have to access what you are trying to accomplish. Unless you have unlimited funds and space and your goal is to build muscles, you might have to go to a gym where the access to a full range of equipment is needed.
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"Last night I did 6 sets of squats with a 20 lb dumbell in each hand and it was easy. I don't have any soreness in my legs today."
Do you have only one dumbbell? Try supersetting your squats with bench step ups. Or swtich to one-legged squats with that 20lb DB.
"I'd like to increase the weight significantly but my hands give out even with straps. Is there another way?"
Again, you can incorporate super setting and other methods, such as drop sets and negatives to heighten the intensity.
I suggest you not lift with the straps as much as possible. You need to strengthen your grip (forearm).
"Should I invest in a bar, or those big round flat weights you can strap to your back like a backpack?"
I think if you are going to have a home gym you should at least have a variety of different weights in dumbbells, at least one bar, a bench, some resistance bands, and possibly even a fitball and BOSU.
"I did stiff legged deadlifts yesterday with the same weights and that was even easier. Investing in a bar is the only option for that excercise, right?"
Again, it's not the only way. You can lift heavier with the dumbbells, incorporate single leg DLs, or superset, drop set, etc. Where there's a will, there's a way.
"Finally, my last question is for seated calf raises. I put my weights on top of my knees to do the calf raises. It was so easy that it didn't feel like I was doing anything at all. Is this just not an effective move or are you supposed to put like 50 lb weights on each knee? I ended up doing regular standing calf raises which worked. I just wanted to have a bit of variety. Are there any other calf raises to mix it up?"
Single-leg, jump rope, one-leg jump rope, supersets, drop sets, etc., etc., :) A killer calf workout that involves not much weight at all is like I said above, superset standing calf raises (20 to 30 reps) with single-leg jump rope (15-20) reps each leg.
Play with variables! Jumps or explosive moves, combine exercises as in supersets, uni-lateral exercises, negatives, holds, drop sets, fast reps, slow reps, etc. there are so many ways you can intensify your workouts. Play with it and find what works for you. There's nothing in the "rule" book that says you have to do 15 reps. Do a set of 50 reps with your weights if it's too easy, until you are getting burned out. Trust me at this point, you would be surprised at how little amount of weight it would take to fry a specific muscle. :) Once you exhaust it, you could lower reps and add weight. SO many ways to play. HAVE FUN!
I don't know what to suggest for the problem with lagging hand strength, beyond waiting for your grip to get stronger. Once I got to heavier weights, barbells were the only solution I've been able to come up with. And then I found I needed a bench, and then a rack...
It depends on how far you want to go with your training and just what you want to accomplish. For me, I could only go so far with just dumbbells, so it was either buy more equipment or join a gym. Hopefully, someone else may have some suggestions for you.
Get somne lifting gloves. I got mine for about $12.00. Also, are you really exploding to the top of the movement when you do your calf raisies? Calf raisies are one of those exercises you kind of have to concentrate on. Make sure when you go up on your toes, it is really the PEAK. Calf raisies are boring and I don't know any other way to work them. Maybe try them off of a raised step.
Hi, I am trying to build muscle at home and would like to stick with dumbells if possible (or the least amount of equipment as possible). I've been doing P90X and have moved on to weightlifting with my own routine. Last night I did 6 sets of squats with a 20 lb dumbell in each hand and it was easy. I don't have any soreness in my legs today. I'd like to increase the weight significantly but my hands give out even with straps. Is there another way? Should I invest in a bar, or those big round flat weights you can strap to your back like a backpack? I did stiff legged deadlifts yesterday with the same weights and that was even easier. Investing in a bar is the only option for that excercise, right? Finally, my last question is for seated calf raises. I put my weights on top of my knees to do the calf raises. It was so easy that it didn't feel like I was doing anything at all. Is this just not an effective move or are you supposed to put like 50 lb weights on each knee? I ended up doing regular standing calf raises which worked. I just wanted to have a bit of variety. Are there any other calf raises to mix it up?
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