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GARYM1A2 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/29/09 7:44 P

Try pull ups and push ups. These are 2 of the best all around exercises you can do and require no equipment to buy.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,451
12/29/09 7:37 P

Yes, you should increase the weight to ensure you continue to challenge your muscles.

However, 20 to 35 lbs is a pretty significant jump. While 35 lbs is a good goal to have, you may want to get there in smaller increments - eg. moving from 20 to 25, then 25 to 30, and then 30 up to 35.


12/29/09 7:17 P

Awesome, thank you thank you for all the information guys! I really appreciate it. I love this site - good luck to us all!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,587)
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12/29/09 2:20 P


If you have access to two 20 pound dumbbells or higher, you can still do single arms rows, bent over rows and even Romanian stiff legged deadlifts. You just use the two hand weights instead of a barbell to do the action. Do you have a bench ? If you have a bench, you could do the chest press on the bench. Do you have a stability ball ? try a chest press with 2 20 pound dumbbells while on the stability ball. the fitness section has a selection of exercises you can do with hand weights and resistance bands at home.

And resistance bands are a good option too. I have a set of resistance bands at home. they can and do provide a very good strength training workout.

STOCKY! SparkPoints: (0)
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12/29/09 2:15 P

I think you can do those with just a simple resistance band. You can buy one at walmart pretty cheap.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/29/09 2:12 P

AIRSF4, consider yourself corrected.

The "low weight high reps to tone" thing is a total myth.

12/29/09 2:08 P

The thing is, I dont have a gym membership so I can't do the chest presses, bent over rows and single arm rows.

Is there a similar exercise I can do at home without fancy machines?

STOCKY! SparkPoints: (0)
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12/29/09 2:06 P

Just keep in mind that with curls, just a few pounds can be quite a big difference. Going from 20 to 35 is a huge jump in strength.

I'm a guy, fairly strong, and I can curl 50lbs 3 times but do 40-45 for my sets of 10. I'm not saying you are not that strong but I would think for many females that (35lbs) would be a lot of weight to curl.

12/29/09 2:00 P

Thanks you guys. I think I'm going to try the next higher weight and do like 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps. 20 lbs has gotten way too easy for me. I appreciate your advice.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,587)
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12/29/09 1:59 P

If 6 sets of 15 reps with a 20 pound free weight is no longer a challenge, then it's time to increase the weight and decrease the reps.

In general and this can vary (there are lots of opinions), a person should do 2 sets of 8-12 reps. Do the number of reps that brings you to fatigue.

So, try 25 pounds. A bicep curl with a 35 pound dumbbell is an awfully challenging weight.

Now, personally, I don't do bicep curls anymore. I consider them a redundant exercise because I already do push ups, chest press, bent over rows and single arm rows.

If you're doing the above exercises too, you could nix the bicep curls. You may find better results with full body exercises.

AIRSF4 Posts: 2
12/29/09 1:56 P

I believe, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but to tone up it's best to do higher reps with lower weight. For building muscle you perform less reps but pretty much max out on how much you can lift.

Seeing as you're doing 6 sets of 15 reps, maybe try performing any number of reps to the point where you can do 12 sets of "X" repetitions. That will help tone up your arms without adding too much muscle.

Edited by: AIRSF4 at: 12/29/2009 (13:58)
-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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12/29/09 1:55 P

Oh. OK, that is different. Once you can lift 15 reps easily, you should go up to the next weight, aiming to fatigue in 8 to 10 reps when you increase your weight. Don't worry about bulking up. Women's hormones prevent us from getting bulky. The bodybuilder women you see put in many hours lifting and cutting their diet in such a precise way, that it's pretty much unattainable without extreme conditioning. The average person will simply get toned.

I think 6 sets is over-doing it though. 1 to 3 sets is all you need. Anything more than that is wasting time.

STOCKY! SparkPoints: (0)
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12/29/09 1:52 P

after reading your updated post:

You should add weight, try 25 lbs and cut the # of sets. You should be aiming for 8-12 reps where the last rep you do is the last one you are physically able to do, due to fatigue. If you can still do 15 reps after 3 sets you are going to light.

Edited by: STOCKY! at: 12/29/2009 (13:56)
12/29/09 1:51 P

Oops, sorry I meant 6 sets of 15 reps. I lift 20 lbs now easily. The weight is getting easy for me. I'm wondering if the next step is to increase weight or increase reps.

I dont want to bulk up, just tone.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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12/29/09 1:48 P

You should be lifting to fatigue muscles in 10 to 12 reps. You said you fatigue your muscles in 6 reps with 15 lbs. Based on that it sound like you should be lifting 12 lbs for 10 to 12 reps.

12/29/09 1:44 P

I can do 20 lbs easily now (about 6 reps of 15) and I hear you're supposed to increase weights, lower reps. So should I go up to 35 lbs? My goal is to tone up, not get all muscular and buff.

Any suggestions?

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