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  1. #1
    Registered User SWT1972's Avatar
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    Is this dumbbell routine effective for building bulk?

    I am trying to bulk up my muscle using low weight/high rep exercises to failure (while also losing bodyfat). I am currently doing a low weight/high rep (to failure) split program like this:

    Day 1 (most current workout, a few more reps each time usually)

    Push-Ups to failure (4 sets)

    Chest Press w/2 15lb dumbbells - 40–30–30–30 reps (to failure)

    Shoulder Press w/2 15lb dumbbells - 15–12–10 reps (to failure)

    Alt. Front Shoulder Raises w/2 10lb dumbbells - 24–22–20–18 reps (to failure)

    Planks 2@1:00 each

    30 Minutes moderate cardio

    Day 2 (most current workout, a few more reps each time usually)

    Bent Rows w/2 15lb dumbbells - 32–22–20 reps (to failure)

    Dead Lifts w/2 20lb dumbbells - 45–32–26 reps (to failure)

    Alt Biceps Curls w/2 15lb dumbbells - 35–21–21 reps (to failure)

    Squats w/2 15lb dumbbells - 36–32–30 reps (to failure)

    Planks 2@1:00 each

    30 Minutes moderate cardio

    Five days a week I do these workouts, so one week workout 1 gets 2 days, next week 3 days. Same for workout 2.

    I have been doing this for a few weeks, and feel like I am seeing progress. To save my joints (from past issues) I am opting for low weight/high reps. According to my Body Mass checking scale, my bodyfat% is going down (slowly) and my muscle mass% is slowly increasing.

    In the long run, is this going to be an effective routine split? Should I change the exercises around?

    Can I use the same weight for each set in an exercise as long as I go to failure (which I do go to failure on most sets)? When the reps get ridiculously high, I do sometimes up the weight a bit. But I don’t want to have to go over 2 25lb dumbbells. 50 Lbs total or under.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    You’re gonna wanna add weight at some point
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  3. #3
    Registered User SWT1972's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    You’re gonna wanna add weight at some point
    Gainz, another thing I didn't mention in the post is my cardiologist has me restricted to lifting no more than 50 lbs total. So once I hit that limit, can't I just keep increasing reps to failure and growning over time?
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    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SWT1972 View Post
    Gainz, another thing I didn't mention in the post is my cardiologist has me restricted to lifting no more than 50 lbs total. So once I hit that limit, can't I just keep increasing reps to failure and growning over time?
    Only to a certain point, the muscle needs to be stimulated to grow and doing 100 reps with too light of a weight is going to have minimal hypertrophy effect compared to a heavier weight. Better than nothing by far, but diminishing returns will be a problem.
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  5. #5
    Registered User SWT1972's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gbullock32 View Post
    Only to a certain point, the muscle needs to be stimulated to grow and doing 100 reps with too light of a weight is going to have minimal hypertrophy effect compared to a heavier weight. Better than nothing by far, but diminishing returns will be a problem.
    I was wondering about that. Thank you
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    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Are you not allowed to do calisthenics?
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    Originally Posted by SWT1972 View Post
    Gainz, another thing I didn't mention in the post is my cardiologist has me restricted to lifting no more than 50 lbs total. So once I hit that limit, can't I just keep increasing reps to failure and growning over time?
    A standard push-up involves moving 60%+ of your body weight, so I'm guessing that's going to be more than 50 lbs. Might want to ask the cardiologist about that.
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  8. #8
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SWT1972 View Post
    Gainz, another thing I didn't mention in the post is my cardiologist has me restricted to lifting no more than 50 lbs total. So once I hit that limit, can't I just keep increasing reps to failure and growning over time?
    You need to apply a certain amount of stress to stimulate growth. That stress level can be achieved by a higher weight with fewer reps or a lower weight with more reps. You should ask your cardiologist to be more specific.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SWT1972 View Post
    Gainz, another thing I didn't mention in the post is my cardiologist has me restricted to lifting no more than 50 lbs total. So once I hit that limit, can't I just keep increasing reps to failure and growning over time?
    When you reach 1,000 reps with the 20 lb deadlifts, I recommend increasing to 25 lbs.
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  10. #10
    Health Bringer GabrielDorsi's Avatar
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    As long as you stimulate the muscle enough by applying mechanical tension you'll see muscle growth/hypertrophy. Now If you're reaching "failure", stop when your RIR (reps in reserve)=1 rep after finish one set of the exercise. You could do that easily by increasing more weight
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  11. #11
    Registered User SWT1972's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GabrielDorsi View Post
    As long as you stimulate the muscle enough by applying mechanical tension you'll see muscle growth/hypertrophy. Now If you're reaching "failure", stop when your RIR (reps in reserve)=1 rep after finish one set of the exercise. You could do that easily by increasing more weight
    Thank you, but I'm not sure I understand. Right now, for say curls, I do 3 sets. The first two sets I may have 1 or 2 in reserve. The last set I definitely fail. Every workout I add at least 1-3 reps per set. Is this what you mean?
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  12. #12
    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SWT1972 View Post
    Thank you, but I'm not sure I understand. Right now, for say curls, I do 3 sets. The first two sets I may have 1 or 2 in reserve. The last set I definitely fail. Every workout I add at least 1-3 reps per set. Is this what you mean?
    I'm pretty sure you got it dead on.
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