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Beginner template question

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  • Beginner template question


    I just have a question about the beginner template.

    On the spreadsheet you have an option to select exercises. For example barbell bench vs dumbbell bench, and squats vs leg press.

    I know it’s optimal to choose barbell big 3 such as Deadlift, barbell bench and squat. But what happens on dumbell selection in terms of stress / strength / hypertrophy

    I don’t always have access to a barbell (if I use my work gym) so will the dumbell exercises / leg press help with my big 3 if I choose not to do the barbells when I eventually go back to barbells or will this help with just hypertrophy?

    To summarise my question is basically what’s the main difference in doing barbell vs dumbbell? And will the dumbell / leg press help with gains on the barbell big 3?



  • #2

    We wouldn't agree that it's optimal to choose the big 3 barbell lifts necessarily unless you really preferred them or are a powerlifter, which beginners aren't.

    Using dumbbells/machines improve strength in the specific ranges of motion and motor patterns trained, which also occurs in the barbell lifts- though the ranges of motion and motor patterns are different.

    As far as whether or not non big-3 exercises will help with your performance in the big 3, it is highly variable based on the individual and the exercises selected. The more similar the movements are with respect to contraction type, velocity, range of motion, etc. the more carry over you're likely to see.

    That said, for a beginner I'm not sure I'd be worrying about their squat, bench, and deadlift performance specifically at all. These short term results are ultimately inconsequential and my preference would be to focus on things that improve adherence and build work capacity.

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