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Simple Dumbbell Plan for Upper Body Transformation

Ben Patrick, [02/08/2022 23:36]

@Harlie_Dalzell dumbbell work goes a long way. Dumbbell pressing with full range and dumbbell rows. Those 2 alone are basics that Charles Poliquin coached for significant volume. Here are two direct quotes you can find from him:

1. "dumbbell pressing at least half as much yearly volume as barbell"

2. "rows at least half as much yearly volume as pullups"

In fact, rows balance out the posture from pullups. I'm not saying pullups worsen posture but they do actually pull you in that direction compared to rows. So @Harlie_Dalzell those are 2 flat-out basics that should be exhausted for the next few years before you worry about anything Your whole upper body would change just on 2 years of this simple plan:

Dip/Chin is session A

DB Shoulder and DB Row is session B

That alone would accomplish both of those Poliquin basics. And you could mix up the angle of the presses if you wanted to. But I know most people have weak DB Shoulder Press per Poliquin's Structural Balance.

Anyways, that's a crazy simple plan and you can pour on the volume doing 10 set workouts on those and really even out your upper body while still doing dips and chins. For serious imbalances you can still load up heavy one arm cable pulldowns.

@Harlie_Dalzell that's literally my current program (5 x 5) is those 4 upper body exercises each week while I'm short on time. I think it's really hard to mess up when you do those 4 exercises the ATG way:

#1: Presses with grip turned enough to get full range

That's not normal but is a game changer for shoulder health and athleticism

#2: Rows not held at top of each rep

Most people are super weak if they actually have to hold the top of reach rep on a row

#3: Pullups all the way down

#4: Dips shoulders below elbows

Anyone doing those 4 exercises for a few years with enough protein and calories can make a simple transformation. I wish I had lol! But here we are now.

There are wonderful accessories you can add like Pullovers, Trap-3, External Rotation, Powell Raises, Incline Hammer Curls, etc. I'm getting those in 5 x 5 and I only have 10 minute workouts right now Then I'm doing to increase to 20 minutes at 10 sets. Then add in an accessory block. So we're talking 30 minute sessions you can make a pretty complete program. (Which I'll tally up as about 45 minutes of time commitment if you add the general time it takes to get in and out of a workout)

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