When you made the decision to implement fitness into your lifestyle, you most likely found yourself asking these questions:
- Where am I going to do it? (globo gym, home gym, etc)
- How much is it going to cost me?
- What do I need in order to accomplish it? (Exercise equipment)
- What do I REALLY need in order to get fit?
Let’s put it this way. If you were forced to pick ONE piece of exercise equipment that you had to use for the rest of your life to get and stay fit, our professional advice would be this…grab a pair of dumbbells.
Not only would you accomplish answering the 4 questions listed above, but there are numerous benefits to using dumbbells. Let’s dive right into those….
Dumbbells are SO versatile because there are a large number of movements you can perform with them. ANYTHING that can be done with a barbell can be done with a pair of dumbbells (a lot of movements can even be done with just ONE dumbbell).
You can perform full body workouts by incorporating movements like:
- Dumbbell swing
- Dumbbell snatch
- Dumbbell deadlift
- Devil press
- Dumbbell thrusters
- Dumbbell clean
- Dumbbell squat
You can also perform several isolation type movements such as:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extension
- Weighted sit ups
- Bent over rows
No matter what type of training you are interested in, the tool to get the job done remains the same.
2. Identifying and Correcting Imbalances
Fun fact: The strength and coordination gained by using dumbbells is much more applicable to real like than a barbell. Additionally, with dumbbells you can't hide an imbalance or weakness because there's equal weight distributed in both hands. Dumbbells require more balance and coordination, which lead to better overall function.
3. Building Foundational Strength
While it is true that it’s difficult to build ABSOLUTE (think 1 rep max) type strength with a pair of dumbbells, don't make the mistake of believing that a heavy barbell is the ONLY way to build strength. Because of the neuromuscular demand from a pair of dumbbells and the coordination and balance they require, there are HUGE transfers to strength gains. Also, many powerlifters will tell you that implementing dumbbell movements like the single leg deadlift, lunges, step ups, tricep extensions, overhead press, etc are critical for targeting some of the weaker and smaller muscle groups that often lead to gradual and consistent strength gains.
We ourselves have seen a countless number of our members hit major PR’s in their lifts because they focused on working out with dumbbells for a few months.
4. Scalable to All Fitness Levels
Knowing what dumbbell weights to start with will be highly dependent on your current level of fitness, but below are a few suggestions:
If you are just getting started with your fitness journey you might start with:
Men: 15-35# Dumbbells
Women: 8-20# Dumbbells
If you have beentraining for a while but don't have much experience with dumbbells, consider starting with:
Men: 40-45# Dumbbells
Women: 25-30# Dumbbells
If you’ve been in the fitness game for a while and are familiar with dumbbells, you might consider using:
Men: 50# Dumbbells
Women: 35# Dumbbells
NOTE: Our strongest Street Parking athletes (including prior Games athletes) RARELY use anything heavier than (50# Men/35# Women)
The most important thing is that you choose weights that:
- Challenge you
- Allow you to move safely and efficiently
Pick a starting point and accumulate a few different dumbbell sets over time.
5. Beginner Friendly
If you are someone who is just starting out with your fitness journey, dumbbells are the perfect option for you and our Street Parking team has two main recommendations during this beginning phase:
Prioritize getting comfortable with the dumbbell movements listed below:
- Dumbbell Deadlift
- Dumbbell Goblet Squat
- Dumbbell Swing
- Dumbbell Overhead Press
- Farmer Lunges
- Farmer Step Ups
- Bent Over Rows
Start/get comfortable with the SHIFT workouts first:
Within our Street Parking program we offer SHIFT, which is the simplified version of our daily workout. This option will allow you to:
- Perform a lot of the movements with just ONE dumbbell
- Decrease the weight loads as needed
- Decrease the coordination of certain movements as needed
6. Affordable/Space Saving/Easily Accessible
Affordable: Another awesome perk about dumbbells is that they’re affordable. Depending on what weights you start with, a pair of dumbbells is going to cost you somewhere between $40.00-$110.00.
Bonus: Street Parking members get a special discount to Rep Fitness, our partner who supplies high quality dumbbells.
Space Saving: Not all of us live in a space where we can build the garage gym of our dreams. With dumbbells, you can perform dumbbell workouts with minimal space and they’re easily stored.
Easily Accessible: Most globo, specialty, and hotel gyms have dumbbells, so no matter where you are, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find what you need.
As you can see, we are big fans of dumbbells and so are our 20k members who have busy lifestyles and need their fitness routines to be simple so they can maintain consistency.
An Insider’s View of the Street Parking Program:
6 days a week, our members have access to our daily program, which includes 4 different versions of the workout, depending on your current skill level and access to equipment.
Here’s an example….
Program A: Designed for those who don’t have a lot of equipment, so you’ll notice that we implement dumbbells frequently here.
Program B + C: These versions are great for those who have access to a variety of equipment and/or want to start implementing more complex movements like handstand pushups
SHIFT: This is our simplified version of the daily workout. This program is great for those who are new to this type of training, pregnant/postpartum mamas, those returning from illness/injury, seniors, and kids!
These workouts consist of bodyweight or light-weight movements and guess what kind of equipment you need? That’s right. A pair of dumbbells.
To learn more about the Street Parking program and what’s included in our membership, CLICK HERE.
We will see you on the other side for some dumbbell strength gains!
-The Street Parking Team