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Old 11-30-2008, 06:04 AM   #1
Sam Ser
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question on db squats

i want to squat to add thickness to my legs. although they're skinny, they're pretty strong. even so, i know they would benefit immensely from some heavy work.

my problem is that i don't have a squat rack at home, which is where i train. so, i improvise by doing squats with dumbbells. i can get 20 kg dumbbells to my shoulders pretty easily, but that isn't enough weight for me to squat. so i also wear a backpack with 20 kg of plates in it. (i weigh about 71-72 kilos.) i know that's still not a huge lift, but 3 sets of 8 leaves me good and sore for a few days. i'll add on a few kilos to the dumbbells and stuff a little more into the backpack, but that's basically as heavy as i'm going to get for the forseeable future.

my question is, is this basically a front squat? i feel it a lot more in the front of the shoulders because of holding the dumbbells steady -- i'm glad not to feel the back of my shoulders pinching from having the bar on my back -- and i know it feels more difficult than when i used to do back squats.

any idea of what kind of results i should be able to expect from this? any concerns i should have?

if it helps to complete the picture, i also do deadlifts with a barbell, and power cleans as well.

(long gone are the days of leg extensions, leg curls and calf raises!)

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
Tim Luby
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Re: question on db squats

You really should get a barbell set going. The weight you have won't be sufficient for strength gains. Perhaps fine for hypertrophy though.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
Jacob Cloud
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Re: question on db squats

This might be a question to ask over at T-nation. Most of the advice here is going to be strength-biased and favor barbell squats.

You could always try weighted pistols, maybe even with a 10x3 Waterbury-esque scheme, w/ short 1 min rests between sets. I dunno how well it would work for size but it might be worth a shot.

Still, nothing builds leg meat like adding 100 or so pounds to your 5RM squat. It'd be worth it to find a decent BB.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:45 AM   #4
Sam Ser
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Re: question on db squats

thanks for the replies, guys.

to clarify:

i want strength AND size.

and, i DO have a barbell. (it's a standard one, not an olympic one, unfortunately, but it's getting the job done for now.) i just don't have a rack, so i can't do back squats.

just wondering if db squats are considered pretty much the same as front squats.

anyway, jacob, i'll look into the waterbury thing.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
Robert Callahan
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Re: question on db squats

Simply put you will not be able to put on a significant amount of size or strength to your legs using dumbells. If you are serious about getting stronger and bigger you need to get a squat rack and do barbell squats. Just the way life goes

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Old 11-30-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
Kristofer Shamloo
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Re: question on db squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ser View Post
thanks for the replies, guys.

to clarify:

i want strength AND size.

and, i DO have a barbell. (it's a standard one, not an olympic one, unfortunately, but it's getting the job done for now.) i just don't have a rack, so i can't do back squats.

just wondering if db squats are considered pretty much the same as front squats.

anyway, jacob, i'll look into the waterbury thing.
Since you have a barbell and no rack you can clean the weight and do higher rep front squats, or if you can jerk heavy enough get the weight overhead and lower it to your back.

You should be able to improvise some sort of rack system with sawhorses or cinderblocks, it only needs to be as high as the bottom position of the squat.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:28 PM   #7
Jacob Cloud
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Re: question on db squats

I guess I missed the part about having a BB. Simple. Make a couple stands and squat. No excuses.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
Sam Ser
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Re: question on db squats

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Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
I guess I missed the part about having a BB. Simple. Make a couple stands and squat. No excuses.


well, maybe if i weren't in a third-story apartment with tile floors it would be simple...

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Old 11-30-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
Sam Ser
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Re: question on db squats

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Originally Posted by Kristofer Shamloo View Post
Since you have a barbell and no rack you can clean the weight and do higher rep front squats, or if you can jerk heavy enough get the weight overhead and lower it to your back.

You should be able to improvise some sort of rack system with sawhorses or cinderblocks, it only needs to be as high as the bottom position of the squat.

kristofer, i can power clean about 62.5 kg. my dumbbells and weighted backpack come to 60 kg. so the load is about the same, but the dumbbells are a whole lot easier to get to my shoulders than a 1RM clean.

i was asking whether the db squats are essentially the same as front squats. because for me, that's basically the purpose they're serving.
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