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  1. #1
    Registered User asrl78's Avatar
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    Dumbell presses, reached failure much earlier than expected

    I was doing my usual workout yesterday evening/night which I have been doing for about a month now. I have worked up to a full body routine 3x/week, primarily compound movements. My goals are to improve overall strength (I have poor strength which is concerning given I am in my 40's) with some muscle gain, which I am hoping will happen if I try to improve each week whilst eating enough.

    My workout yesterday evening was as follows (the other two workouts follow the same principle of hitting all the muscle groups, just with different exercises):

    Squat: 60 kg
    Bench: 37.5 kg
    Machine row: 27.5 kg
    Seated overhead dumbell press: 12 kg
    Lying leg curl: 41 kg
    Machine assisted chin-up: 23kg assistance

    All exercises done with as many decent reps as possible over three sets, stopping if I think I will fail the next rep or form starts to break down, rep goal 25.

    This was the order I did my exercises. When I was doing the dumbell presses I managed 12 reps on the first set, but almost failed on the seventh rep on the second set. I took a longer rest break after this and just barely got 6 reps on the last set. Normally I lose a couple of reps between sets and I rest 2.5 - 3 minutes between sets (longest for the most taxing exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench) so I didn't expect to drop five reps between set 1 and 2. It seemed to be my triceps just gave out at my sticking point which is about halfway up. Is this a sign of something or likely just one of those things that sometimes happens?
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    See a doctor.









    It's may just be your programming, doing everything to failure all the time.
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  3. #3
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Same thing happens to me with dumb bell overhead presses. I could not get 16 reps with X pound dumb bells. So the next workout I just did 12 reps for the week. Following week I did 13, then 14 the next week, then 15, then 16, 17, 18 19 and then 20 reps. Then backed down to 12 reps but did X+5 pound dumb bells and worked my way up to 20 reps. Now X+10 pound dumb bells is my working weight. Shoulders are the smallest major muscle group.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Benchpresser350's Avatar
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    So you guys want to put more weight up on the overhead press.

    You could try this if you want and see if it works.


    Cur your reps from 10's, 12's, 16's down to (3) (3x3) at the same weight your using now.

    Slap an extra (2Lbs) on the bar (or (1lb) on each dumbell) (for 3 work sets) every week and see how much weight you can move until you top out.

    Then work at the top out weight until you can do (3 sets of 5) (note we added 2 reps) with ease and then go back to adding (2lbs) as needed.


    The set of 3 should strengthen you better than the higher rep sets you are doing now.

    I use (colorful) fractional plates for this, and for me and it works very well. Especially on the overhead press.

    If you have a Power cage, and the weight starts getting very heavy, switch to a barbell and try setting the pins at grip height for the overhead press and just lift off of the pins, saving the energy of Power Cleaning all that extra weight.
    Last edited by Benchpresser350; 08-13-2021 at 08:27 AM.
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