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  1. #1
    Registered User gruntingnoises's Avatar
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    Post Newbie Questions: (48) Alternating between strength and endurance dumbbell routines

    I'm pretty new, having just finished my 8th week of a 3-day dumbbell routine. I'm doing everything at home with 5-90lb adjustable dumbbells, and just splurged on an incline bench so I can add some missing lifts. I'm starting at 48 years old, and I'm completely out of shape. (Better late than never.)

    Right now, I do 4 sets of 12 for each type of exercise. I increase the next week's weight if I can complete all 4 sets for a given exercise with good form. But I want to make some long-term plans.

    To avoid stalls down the line, I'm considering alternating between endurance (4x15?) and strength (3x6?) every 6 weeks or so while keeping the same set of exercises in each day's plan. Whether I'm doing strength or endurance, I would follow the same routine of increasing the weight whenever I complete all sets without breaking form.

    Does this approach make sense?

    Any thoughts on whether flipping every 6 weeks would work? Should I make the strength or endurance period longer than the other?

    If it matters, my main goal for the next few years is getting my metabolism back into gear and gradually shedding fat. As I get older I'm more concerned about longevity than bulking up, but the kick of confidence I get whenever I get to increase dumbbell weights is a useful motivator.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't think that is necessary for a novice. All you are really doing is flipping between adapting to one rep range on week then another rep range the next week. This might seem like it provides continuous progress but that's only from neural efficiency which regresses while you aren't training in that range - and then improves during the weeks you do train that rep range... it doesn't mean you are making progress with muscle growth. If you were to try this and monitor the long term performance in each lift, it would probably be worse than a simpler protocol.

    Novices usually benefit from keeping it simple - so called "directed adaptation", focusing on a handful of exercises with a simple approach to weight/rep range. That's why programs like Fierce 5 are written the way they are.
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  3. #3
    Crawling back under rock OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Strength versus endurance or mix of 2, like many questions... depends on your goals

    The only goal you gave was generally getting your body back into shape so what approach you take doesn't matter so much.

    The thing to do is to be as effective and consistent as possible in whichever approach you decided on, which is where Suffolk Punch's reply comes in
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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