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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.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
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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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    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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    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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    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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  13. #13
    Registered User SWT1972's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    I'm pretty sure you got it dead on.
    Cool, thanks everybody
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    temporary illusion supramax'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?
    40-50 continuous reps and up... you're mostly infusing the muscles with capillaries... great for endurance.
    There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
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    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    And it probably won't induce the most of the particular type of hypertrophy that results in harder lasting tissue for the target muscle specifically, but there will be discernable spatial differentiation of muscle cells becoming more observably distinct from fat cells, at least when considering the two in a vacuum.
    "It appears that rumors of your BMI have been greatly exaggerated."
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