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Squatting With Dumbbells Is Absurd
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OK, I'll just say it: squatting with dumbbells is absurd. There is simply no way to hold enough weight in your hands. Even with dynamic set training (minimal rest between sets) this is crazy. I get that this is supposed to be a home workout, but some things just cannot be done at home (unless you have a proper squat rack with spotter rods).
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 4:53 AM as a reply to seanm777.
I was thinking about getting this program, and came across your comment on dumbell squats. Coming from a power/bodybuilding background I wasn't sure if this was going to be worth it for me, or if I should stick to the traditional exercises I used in the past.

Overall what do you think of the program so far.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 12:55 PM as a reply to seanm777.
Sean it is harder to hold dumbells for squat compared to having a straight bar on your shoulder that is for sure.

If you are having a hard time holding them you can buy yourself some lifting straps that will help you keep those dumbells in your hands. You could possibly also do some squat with the EZ curl bar too i guess.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 1:08 PM as a reply to bporcelli76.
bporcelli76:
I was thinking about getting this program, and came across your comment on dumbell squats. Coming from a power/bodybuilding background I wasn't sure if this was going to be worth it for me, or if I should stick to the traditional exercises I used in the past.

Overall what do you think of the program so far.


I love this program (put on 12 lbs of lean body mass in 90 days), but I'm not limited on equipment. I have the power rack with spotter rods. Many people just take worksheets to the gym and do this program. I would recommend at least an EZ bar with plates. Aside from Squats and Heavy Deadlift, you can get a great pump from this program with just dumbbells. You should also consider the Tempo DVDs and do the reps at a slow pace.

Happy Lifting,

Robert Broussard
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 2:18 PM as a reply to seanm777.
seanm777:
OK, I'll just say it: squatting with dumbbells is absurd. There is simply no way to hold enough weight in your hands. Even with dynamic set training (minimal rest between sets) this is crazy. I get that this is supposed to be a home workout, but some things just cannot be done at home (unless you have a proper squat rack with spotter rods).
Agreed.

While it's worth noting that Body Beast relies on pure volume and minimal rest to achieve overload and muscle gain, it's a compromise which is of limited value (at best), with loads which are so submaximal as to essentially eliminate any type of meaningful CNS stimulation.

For anyone who has the space and budget for a decent barbell, power rack, and flat bench, barbell versions of the larger multi-joint compound movements (bench press, incline bench, squat, deadlift, and press) would absolutely be optimal. The dumbbell variants of the bench, incline, and press can be extremely effective, although the logistics of getting a sufficiently heavy weight into place represent their own natural limitations, to say nothing of the increased potential for injury arising from the instability of heavier dumbbells.

It isn't too hard to find weaknesses in the structure and programming of Body Beast if you're comparing to what can be done in a properly equipped gym, but it's also important to consider what the program was designed for, and the constraints/limitations that Sagi and company had to work around when designing the program. From that standpoint, Body Beast is about as effective a program as you could develop when limited to a basic bench and dumbbell set. It probably focuses on isolation movements to excess, but that can easily be considered a concession to more advanced lifters for whom a specialized split structure may be warranted - such a program can still benefit novice lifters, albeit less effectively than one which relies entirely on basic fundamental compound movements.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/27/12 9:56 AM as a reply to bporcelli76.
bporcelli76:
I was thinking about getting this program, and came across your comment on dumbell squats. Coming from a power/bodybuilding background I wasn't sure if this was going to be worth it for me, or if I should stick to the traditional exercises I used in the past.

Overall what do you think of the program so far.


In my opinion, Body Beast is not an equivalent substitute for a traditional linear-progression, barbell-based lifting regimen done in a proper gym or at least in a full home gym replete with a proper bench press and squat rack (including spotter rods). I have come to this conclusion after using Body Beast for almost 3 months and after having done a significant amount of online research during these 3 months.

To be fair, I would say that if you do not have regular access to a proper gym or at least an extensive home gym it could perhaps be argued that Body Beast is the next best thing. However, in my opinion, the "next best thing" is a distant second from the "best thing." If I had known 3 months ago what I now know, I would have substantially supplemented Body Beast with heavy barbell-based key lifts at a proper gym.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 4:40 PM as a reply to seanm777.
I think there is a lot of good discussion here. I'm not a body builder by any means, I just want to pack on maybe 5-7 pounds of muscle. All I have is a bench and dumbbells. Would you guys think Body Beast would be effective? or would should I just stick with X2/Asylum?
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 4:57 PM as a reply to inShayniac.
seanm777:
To be fair, I would say that if you do not have regular access to a proper gym or at least an extensive home gym it could perhaps be argued that Body Beast is the next best thing. However, in my opinion, the "next best thing" is a distant second from the "best thing." If I had known 3 months ago what I now know, I would have substantially supplemented Body Beast with heavy barbell-based key lifts at a proper gym.
Well put.

CoachShayS:
I think there is a lot of good discussion here. I'm not a body builder by any means, I just want to pack on maybe 5-7 pounds of muscle. All I have is a bench and dumbbells. Would you guys think Body Beast would be effective? or would should I just stick with X2/Asylum?
If you're looking to build muscle, then Body Beast is a better option than X2/Asylum, hands down.

But as sean said, none of those options compare to the potential gains associated with a basic barbell-based program centered on compound lifts with linear progression.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/26/12 10:06 PM as a reply to CoachMikeSmith.
The biggest gains I have gotten from this program are in my legs. Especially the quads. I should qualify this by saying I was not lifting heavy weights before starting the program. I had done P90x with average weights. I think this program is perfect for those of us with minimal weight training looking to expand on it. I think it's a great precurser to a proper weightlifting routine at the gym. And for that, I think it's worth it.
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RE: squatting with dumbbells is absurd
12/28/12 9:13 AM as a reply to BottleRocket12.
BottleRocket12:
I think this program is perfect for those of us with minimal weight training looking to expand on it. I think it's a great precursor to a proper weightlifting routine at the gym. And for that, I think it's worth it.


I think any exercise regimen is widely better than none, and if you are a newbie then large gains will likely occur irrespective of the program chosen. However, what has become abundantly clear to me is that Body Beast is not a program that makes much sense for novice weightlifters/bodybuilders. So, unfortunately I don't agree with your assertion. In fact, the exact opposite is true. I have regrettably decided to abandon Body Beast (even at this late stage - I wish I had figured it out sooner, but better late than never). Since I am putting in the work I may as well achieve maximum results for a fixed effort.
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RE: Squatting With Dumbbells Is Absurd
12/28/12 5:04 PM as a reply to seanm777.
seanm777:
OK, I'll just say it: squatting with dumbbells is absurd. There is simply no way to hold enough weight in your hands. Even with dynamic set training (minimal rest between sets) this is crazy. I get that this is supposed to be a home workout, but some things just cannot be done at home (unless you have a proper squat rack with spotter rods).

Yup. It's not the same exercise. I was holding like 70 pounds tops using powerblock 90s while doing body beast. I'm now doing 250 pound back squat sets with a barbell / squat rack.

Single leg stuff, esp Bulgarian squats, one leg deadlifts, etc are a better way to work with dumbbells. Most of the traditional strength training guys (like Rippetoe) scoff at single leg work, but some of the more progressive coaches (like Mike Boyle) are big proponents.

seanm777:
In my opinion, Body Beast is not an equivalent substitute for a traditional linear-progression, barbell-based lifting regimen done in a proper gym or at least in a full home gym replete with a proper bench press and squat rack (including spotter rods). I have come to this conclusion after using Body Beast for almost 3 months and after having done a significant amount of online research during these 3 months.

To be fair, I would say that if you do not have regular access to a proper gym or at least an extensive home gym it could perhaps be argued that Body Beast is the next best thing. However, in my opinion, the "next best thing" is a distant second from the "best thing." If I had known 3 months ago what I now know, I would have substantially supplemented Body Beast with heavy barbell-based key lifts at a proper gym.

Totally agree. Even for people who want to do a "bodybuilding" style of workout regimen, like high rep / short rest / single joint exercises on a split workout schedule, what I've read is that this is basically ineffective if you haven't first built up a big strength base doing core barbell exercises.
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Showing 11 results.