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Display Name Post: Dumbbell Complexes        (Topic#37380)
Arsenio Billingham
Total Posts: 93
09-12-20 11:03 AM - Post#902327    

As I find myself short on time and with no barbell, I was thinking of spending the next few weeks doing Javorek Dumbbell complexes. There usually my go to for hotels/other limited equipment situations, but I've never just focused on them for a dedicated period of time. Was thinking of doing them four days a week, alternating between Complex 1 and 2 every other day for variety. Other than that, I was going to mix in some rucking when I go for walks with my kids, mow the lawn etc. Anyone see any holes in this plan, or anything I'm missing?
Total Posts: 5267
09-12-20 11:43 AM - Post#902329    

I’ve always found it weird that no one seems to treat dumbbells in the same way as kettlebells. Eg just having or or two and doing more work them. They seem to mostly only be used in a gym setting where increments are essential and used for isolation exercises.

I’ve personally done simple circuits with a pair of dumbbells and found it to be a great quick and effective workout.

Almost like complexes but with only usually three lifts.

Eg, with a pair of dumbbells:

5 military press
5 bent row
x 6-10 rounds


5/5 reverse lunge
5 press
5 row
x 6-10 rounds

Only takes about 10 minutes. Could easily be done on the minute

I’m actually on the lookout for a pair of 20-25kg dumbbells to have at home for this exact reason.

Old Miler
Total Posts: 1539
09-12-20 04:35 PM - Post#902339    

I've been conscious of ignoring these for way too long. About 5 years ago I printed out some complexes (Dan's PDF and Javorek's), laminated them and stuck them in the shed. But I never got beyond Dan's A Complex with my barbell. You're absolutely right; this would be the perfect use of a hotel gym which has a rack of dumbells and little else.

Arsenio Billingham
Total Posts: 93
09-13-20 12:35 PM - Post#902360    

Yeah, I've found that hotel gyms rarely have KBs over 16kg, and hardly ever have a barbell. I usually try to sneak in some Javorek Complexes before dinner when I travel for work and always feel good afterwards, but have never done them consistently as a standalone program.

I have two dumbbells that go up to 50lbs each (in 5lb increments) which seems to be plenty for this. Aside from farmers walks (which I can do with my kettlebells) I feel like anything over that I'm better off with a barbell.
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