Seriously, what exercises does StrongFirst advocate for Dumbbells???

jhpowers

More than 300 posts
Sorry, guys, but I have to confess that I have long thought that SF has an odd bias against the dumbbell. Yes, KB and BB have advantages but so does the DB. It allows for smaller increments of loading than the typical KB (but less fine than the BB) and does not lock the arms into moving together the way that the BB does. For example, the weight increases tend to be 5lb rather than 8lb with a typical kettlebell.

I find the DB superior to the KB for bench while it gives a different range of motion than the BB. Also, due to shoulder problems, I do better with DB bench than BB. Also, in many ways I like them better for rows than the BB or KB. In other words, for the horizontal plane push and pull they can offer some advantages over KB or BB. Again, it is just another tool in the arsenal and I don't fully understand the SF bias against them.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I think it depends on the move we are talking about. For some moves:
Swing : there is a lever more important with the kb than the db due to the kb handle. It really change the move dynamics and physics.
GU : balance of the wrists seem safer with a kb than a db. However, it does not change the move dynamics because the lever is the same.
And so on

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
@Kozushi Many people think bench press is bad for the shoulders, not functional, isolation exercise for the pecs, etc. Until they attend SFL Barbell.
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
@pet' I meant e.g. BP+DL, like in PTTP! BP - if done correctly - works triceps a lot. Dtto lats, abs, and even legs. SFL rocks.
 
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John Grahill

More than 300 posts
Sorry to be late to the party again. In summation, I feel Dumbbells are awesome. I feel kettlebells are awesome too. They are utilized differently. In my case I need to drop about ten pounds per hand to be able to complete the reps. As an example my 10-12 RM with double Dumbbells is at least ten pounds lighter than with kettlebells.

I find them that much more awkward to use. It is not a bad thing at all, it is simply a different challenge.

Dumbbells for ballistics are a different horse also. Using kettlebells for snatches as an example due to their shape and design allows for higher rep sets. When using Dumbbells for ballistics I find it better in my case to use lower rep sets. Singles and doubles are common in the "dumbbell world" for moves like the swing (which traditionally done resembles a a kettlebell snatch).

I highly recommend anyone interested in dumbbell use to look into getting a copy of Brooks Kubik's "Dinosaur Dumbbell Training" to get an idea of what I am talking about.

They both are excellent tools with some carryover. Kind of like comparing a Labrador retriever with a golden retriever, very similar yet also very different and both are great!
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
My big question is, "What ought one to do with dumbbells following Strong First philosophy and methodology?"

I don't think swings are good with dumbbells. Snatches though are easier on the hands and wrists with dumbbells. I might think that doing S&S with dumbbells would be okay if you replace the swings with dumbbell snatches.
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
@Kozushi dumbbells are good tool. You can do many StrongFirst lifts with dumbbells, and use all our principles, but - some drills will be more or less different. E.g swings have different setup and loading, they are done overhead with dumbbells, they are brought back to the rack after each swing, and they are done low -rep, heavy (singles, doubles, triples). Snatches are very similar, minus the straight arm. Cleans are done slightly out, etc. Get-ups, presses, push presses, jerks, single or double dumbbell, bent presses, all good - "same, but different".
 
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Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
My big question is, "What ought one to do with dumbbells following Strong First philosophy and methodology?"
To add to what @Pavel Macek said:

We keep our focus narrow and delve deeply into our few, chosen movements. If you wish to apply SF methods to dumbbells, you are pretty much on your own, save that @Pavel Macek has given you some specific guidance. We like the training methods that have grown up around the kettlebell, with its offset handle, it's big jumps between weights, etc.

SF principles for dumbbells and everything: maximum tension for grinds, maximum explosiveness for ballistics for reps.

-S-
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
The reason why I’m interested in an SF dumbell method is simply based on how many dummbbells are lying about all over the world. In Korea this summer I could have made use of dumbells at a local gym, but since I had no reliable method, I chose to stick with NW instead, which of course turned out excellently anyhow. Still, the world is filled with dumbbells and there would have to be a way of applying SF principles to them in a beneficial way, even if we prefer kettlebells.
 
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