Last Updated on by Bree
Before I started working out with dumbbells, I used to run every morning or evening.
Though running helped me get out of my comfort zone and shed a few pounds, I wanted muscles.
So I’d google the benefits of strength training and get intimidated by pictures of people I don’t know.
I’d close the page and overthink everything.
But one day I said, eff this! I’m going to start and see how it goes.
This post will discuss why I started dumbbell workouts, the benefits, and challenges.
Why I started working out with dumbbells
Before I started walking, running, or even strength training, I was always tired.
I’d be out of breath after climbing a few steps.
So I knew something wasn’t right somewhere, and I had to do something about it.
Knee and back pain prompted me to start working out with dumbbells
Also, I used to have knee and back pain when I squatted to pick something up.
I’m in my 30s, so why would I feel that pain out of nowhere?
I didn’t want it anymore, and I knew my weight was one of the main reasons.
Because I never had any of that when I was at a healthy weight.
I was overweight is why I started training with dumbbells
At some point, my clothes started getting tighter.
I saw myself wearing a size 12 dress that I had never worn before, even after babies.
A friend gave me some clothes; most were size 12, and some were my regular size 8.
I knew I had had enough when the size 12 dresses fit like a glove.
I said no way.
So I listed and sold the dresses on reselling marketplaces.
And I decided to work towards fitting into the size eight clothes.
I started working out with dumbbells because I wanted to get my sexy back
When I was overweight, I didn’t feel sexy at all.
I’d wear a dress, and my tummy would protrude in front.
I didn’t like it.
Also, I couldn’t wear jeans and a fitted top because that meant I’d have folds showing on my sides.
No, those weren’t my best days.
I Always craved a toned body.
I’ve always loved and admired women with visible lean muscles.
One of the people that inspired me to get my acts together was YouTuber Michelle of My Thoughts Will Probably Offend You.
Her body is toned and gorgeous.
And I wanted that too.
So I went to work.
I wanted to make fitness a lifestyle is why I started dumbbell workouts
The most important reason I started strength training was to develop a fitness lifestyle.
I don’t want to slack anymore.
And it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.
How I started working out with dumbbells at home
I bought some free weights
At first, I bought a couple of 10 and 15lbs dumbbells to work out at home.
So I searched Google and found a few recommendations.
I never knew you could choose dumbells based on the handgrip.
Or how safely they stack for storage. Or even the ones that damage your floor.
So I bought the hexagonal ones and started my strength training session with them.
Then I installed an app.
Then I installed a dumbbell workout app and used it for a while.
But I felt like the bots rushed the workouts.
And after a while, it got dull, so I had to switch things up.
Then I bought a strength training program.
The Athlean-XX program has always been on my mind.
I visited the website several times, read reviews, saw before and after pictures, etc.
And I also checked YouTube for strength training programs.
But after scouring the market, I bought the Athlean XX for Women workout program as they had an at-home training option.
And that was the beginning of my strength training journey.
Then I bought more workout equipment.
The Athlean-XX program uses resistance bands, a physioball, dumbbells, and a step.
And since I had dumbbells and resistance bands before, I only bought the ball and step.
So with a few pieces of equipment, I created a home gym.
Types of equipment in my home gym
Before buying this bench, I used a regular home bench if my workout needed it.
But my husband bought this bench when he was working out from home.
Now he goes to the gym while I still train at home.
I’m planning to join the gym soon.
When I started the Athlean XX for Women workout program, I noticed they used the aerobic step.
And all this time, I used my regular home bench, which is way higher than the step.
So about a couple of weeks into the program, I bought mine.
I use the step for box jumps, tricep dips, and any other workout where it is needed.
Sets of dumbbells
At first, I bought two sets of dumbells, a pair of 10lbs and 15lbs.
Then, my husband bought a pair of 25lbs.
I also have a couple of smaller dumbbells in 5 and 6lbs.
I use lightweight dumbbells for my back workouts.
And the heavier ones for arms, chest, and leg days.
But I always prioritize form and not lift too heavy and risk injury.
The Athlean XX program also recommended the physioball.
I bought mine from Target during their end-of-year sale.
I use the physioball for ab, back, shoulder, and even glutes workouts.
Sometimes I wouldn’t say I like the physioball – because I’m always falling off – that I want to kick it away.
But it bounces right back at you and knocks stuff down. Lol.
I’ve always had those mini resistance bands and some tubings, but they got weak.
Luckily my workout bench came with a set of tubing.
So I’m covered.
You’d know I love yoga if you’ve read my blogs for a while.
So I had a yoga mat.
And I use it in my workouts when I lie on the floor.
So those are the equipment in my home gym.
Please read 13 Ways Yoga Before Bedtime Has Improved My Life.
What benefits of working out with weights I’m experiencing?
I’ve been working out with dumbbells for over a year now, and here are the benefits I have and am still experiencing:
My clothes fit better
Yeah, I’ve shrunk to fit my size eight clothes.
Also, I can comfortably wear bodycon dresses without worrying about my belly or muffin tops.
And I’m proud to show my toned arms when I wear sleeveless clothes.
If I had my way, I’d wear sleeveless year round, but the weather changes won’t permit it.
I’m more disciplined.
Lifting weights helped me become more disciplined.
The thing is, I started with the Athlean-XX program, so I knew what to do every day.
And if I don’t do it, it will hang over my head like a big question mark.
So on my workout days, I’d wear my gym clothes and shoes and get the workout out of the way.
I’m also more disciplined with my nutrition.
Before, I’d bake cookies and brownies and eat them nonstop.
It’s not like my nutrition was out of wack because I cook good food from scratch.
But I was eating everything too much.
I still eat home-cooked food and bake brownies, cookies, biscuits, etc.
But I eat the sugary and fatty stuff in moderation. And increased my protein intake.
Once in a while, I’d have a burger or pizza.
I enjoy my life, but I try not to eat myself away.
I’m no longer out of breath so quickly.
One of the improvements I noticed is I can run up a whole flight of stairs and not feel like passing out.
My heart can handle a little cardio.
I still go for long brisk walks and hardly feel out of breath.
I love that.
Bye bye back pain
After losing all that excess weight and building muscles, I have less back and knee pain.
The only thing that causes me back pain these days is sitting down for too long typing on this blog. Lol.
Asides from that, I can squat to find things in my lower cabinets and get up without pain.
It feels great.
Let me also add that sometimes I feel back pain when I do my workouts in poor form.
But that’s just that.
I feel more confident.
Another benefit of strength training I’m experiencing is self-confidence.
I feel great and confident in my body.
And I can wear the clothes I love.
I even wear short hair as my face is much slimmer, just as I like it.
I feel more fulfilled.
Every time I finish my workout, I feel like I’ve accomplished something great.
You know that feeling when you struggle through your workout, take longer than you’re supposed to, and finally complete it?
That is the ultimate feeling.
I dislike starting something and giving up on it.
Working out regularly has helped me train myself to start and finish stuff, even if it takes longer than it’s supposed to.
When I first started resistance training, I spent over 50 minutes completing a 30 to 33-minute workout.
Gradually, I progressed to 47 to 49 minutes.
Now I finish some in 45 minutes, and sometimes 40 or even 30 minutes.
And I’m happy about making progress.
Challenges I’m Facing Lifting Weights
You know they say getting and staying fit is a marathon, not a sprint?
That’s very true, but most of us beginners sometimes become impatient.
We want results fast.
The results that took someone else years to accomplish, we expect that in a month.
It has happened to me several times.
But my husband always reminds me, “you know you’re in this for the long haul. And you’re not where you used to be.”
And it’s true.
My body looks different than it did, say, December 2021 or even March 2022.
Strength training is hard.
Sometimes, when I’m training and finding a workout too hard, I feel like giving up the whole thing.
Like why the eff did I get myself into this?
Why does weightlifting have to be so hard?
I’d put everything down and say I’m done with this.
But then I find myself saying, “you gotta finish today’s workout.”
I’ve heard many people say something strength training does to you.
They say it makes you want to give your best in everything you do.
I don’t know how true it is, but it keeps me from throwing in the towel.
Then I’d continue from where I stopped and struggle to the end.
But it’s always worth it.
Conclusion on how I started working out with dumbbells
And that’s how I started working out with dumbbells at home.
It is one of the best things I ever did for myself, and I’m proud of myself.
Thanks for reading.
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