What 3 Former Gym Rats Learned Using Dumbbells at Home


Those things that live in the corner of the gym and collect dust.

Oddly enough, even though dumbbells have always been within reach, many of us didn’t learn how to workout with them.

Some of us didn’t care because learning how to do a squat snatch with a barbell was way cooler.

Some of us just never attempted to give them a try because they weren’t being implemented into our group classes.

And honestly...some of us thought they weren’t good enough for the results we were after.

Brad, Jaime, and Kristen are all Street Parking members that have been in the fitness game for several years, and they too, didn’t start working out with dumbbells until years into their fitness journey.

Here’s what happened when they did….

Brad Hudgins

About halfway through my 20 year Army career, I started getting serious about my fitness.

I started out like a lot of people did, becoming a cardio junkie, and then eventually stumbling upon Crossfit.

I got bit by the Crossfit bug and opened my own gym in Korea and operated it for the next 6 years.

The funny thing is...even after owning my own gym for 6 years, I never worked out with dumbbells in a functional fitness workout until 2017 during the Crossfit Open.

At that time I was very proficient at moving a barbell, but dumbbells were a different animal that I wasn’t prepared for and that Open workout kicked my butt!

Fast forward to today, I now workout in my garage, and while I do have a fully equipped gym setup, I workout with dumbbells about 75% of the time.

The exception to that is during the month of April, when Street Parking does Project April, where I do 100% of my workouts for the month with only dumbbells.

All in all, dumbbells give me the freedom to workout anywhere, they require minimal setup time, and because I’ve worked out with them consistently, they’ve actually improved my barbell movements and helped me avoid injury.

A pair of reasonably weighted dumbbells and Street Parking programming is literally all you need.

Jaime Miller

Back in 2012, I was introduced to Crossfit when my husband and I were stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

From 2012-2017 I was a member of the local Crossfit boxes, but when we moved again, the cost of membership was too much to continue justifying.

In 2018 I came across Street Parking and decided to give it a try.

During that same time, I kept seeing Miranda talking about something called Project April where for the entire month, they worked out with just one pair of dumbbells.

I decided to give Project April a go and for the entire month, I did every single Street Parking workout with only my dumbbells.

It was amazing!

I found a new kind of confidence, muscles I didn’t know I had, and my balance improved so much!

There was something very satisfying about being a 40 year old chick in a military gym, doing my workouts with dumbbells, and looking over to see that I was hanging in with (hell sometimes crushing) the guy next to me!

Prior to participating in my first Project April back in 2018, I rarely used dumbbells.

Today, I use them at least 3x per week, and when COVID shut down all the gyms, having dumbbells on hand and being able to continue my workouts at home became even more convenient.

The Street Parking programming and Project April taught me that I don’t need heavy squat days or all the fancy gym equipment to see and maintain results.

A good pair of dumbbells and some consistency is really all you need.

I’ve become stronger, fitter, and faster because of my dumbbells.

I like to say - dumbbells, not diamonds - are a girl’s best friend! Just ask my husband. I’ll take a pair of dumbbells over diamond jewelry any day and I’ve got a set of dumbbells from our 21st anniversary to prove it!!

Kristen Bennett

Growing up and clear through college, I played A LOT of sports. Gymnastics, Soccer, Track, Volleyball. You name it, I probably did it.

As the years went on, the physical activity took a large toll on my knees and resulted in multiple surgeries.

The knee injuries consistently set me back but I continued to get back up and return to fitness because I truly loved it.

In 2013, shortly after graduating college, I joined Crossfit.

From 2013-2018 I trained competitively in Crossfit, but I eventually needed to leave that environment because it wasn’t serving me anymore. My knee injuries over the years continued setting me back, and in that competitive environment I just couldn’t check my ego at the door.

I needed to make a big change in order to prove to myself that I didn’t need “working out” to be my identity anymore. To be lifting heavy to stay in shape. To spend hours at the gym to maintain my fitness.

In 2019 I started my journey with Street Parking as almost a type of experiment.

At that time I hated working out with dumbbells. I actually used to get annoyed when dumbbells were programmed into workouts at my gym for 2 reasons:

  1. I always saw them as an accessory style item that lived in the back corner of the gym and never got utilized, so I could never imagine them taking the place of a barbell
  2. They exposed my weaknesses! They felt so much harder for me than a barbell and my lack of mobility made doing movements properly with a dumbbell really hard!

I took on the Street Parking “experiment” and fast forward to today, here’s what happened:

  • Not only was this the best programming I’d ever followed and was kicking my butt, but my knee felt infinitely better from not having access to a barbell and heavy weights
  • When COVID struck, I started working out in my kitchen and it was more than enough room
  • Working out solely with dumbbells has made me so much stronger. They still very much allow you to maintain strength, even though they are lighter than the barbell you once lifted
  • I learned that working out solely with dumbbells for 30 minutes a day/5x a week is truly all you need to maintain your fitness. I can say this because I recently dropped into a Crossfit gym and worked my way up to a 200lb Power Clean after 2 years of only working out with (2) 35lb dumbbells

It’s now been 2 years since I joined Street Parking and I have done every single Street Parking workout with my dumbbells.

I’m telling you….dumbbells (and some space in your kitchen) is all you need to maintain your fitness.

Dumbbells have a stake in the game and Street Parking members are proving just how proficient they really are.

Curious about Project April and how to join in on the fun?

Starting on April 1st, the Street Parking team and thousands of our members will work out for the entire month with ONLY dumbbells.

So if you want to blow your own mind and experience the truth about the effectiveness of dumbbells, sign up for a Street Parking membership (you must be an active member to join) and let’s do this thing together!