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Will Lifting Dumbbells Increase Muscle Mass?

For those who lift weights, the customary goal is to increase muscle mass for a more chiseled and cut look.  But do you need a full array of weights to do this?  What if you only have access to dumbbells with relatively light weights?  Can you still increase your muscle mass the same way as if you had access to barbells and other expensive gym equipment?  Happily, the answer to the questions of, “Will lifting dumbbells increase muscle mass?” is, “Yes.”  That is if you’re prepared to use those dumbbells correctly.  In this article, we’ll go over ways to use dumbbells to create a more buff and refined figure.

The Gear

Increasing muscle mass using dumbbells is great for people who don’t have access to a lot of space, gear or money.  You don’t necessarily need to join an expensive gym if you have a bench and a set of dumbbells.  Massive amounts of weight or a fancy weight lifting bench aren’t necessary either.  You can work your muscles with some very simple, easily acquirable equipment. 

Low Weight, High Repetitions

Without access to heavy weights, the way to increase muscle mass and define the musculature of your body is to do exercises using dumbbells with low weights and a large number of repetitions of each drill.  For example, find a weight in which you can do 4 sets of 18 to 24 reps with 30-second breaks between each set and find yourself reaching the point of exhaustion near the end of your last set.  Doing a large number of reps with a low weight has been shown to increase muscle gain much faster than using heavier weights doing fewer repetitions.  Obviously, this is the perfect scenario for someone who only has access to lightweight dumbbells and is looking to increase their muscle mass.

Gaining Momentum

Once you’re able to perform all your sets without reaching the point of technical failure, you can make things harder on yourself in a couple of different ways.  One is to reduce the amount of time you rest between each set.  See if you can lower your resting time to 15 seconds between sets.  Once you can manage all your sets with the reduced resting time, increase the weight on your dumbbells to bring you back to the point of exhaustion near the end of your last set.

Are Barbells Necessary?

In this case, we’ve shown that if you only have access to lightweight dumbbells you can still put together a workout that will increase muscle mass in a meaningful way.  It’s not to say that barbells are completely unnecessary, as access to barbells you will greatly expand your exercise repertoire.  But if all you have is a set of dumbbells, it won’t prevent you from creating a series of drills that will sculpt your body into the shape you’ve been dreaming about.

Now that you know that dumbbells can increase your muscle mass, are you ready to stock up on dumbbells for your home gym? Download this month’s promotions to save.