Many sites review bikes, shoes, and wetsuits but this series of reviews for some of the not so common accessories that we have found useful when training for a triathlon. Each article in the series aims to find unique ways to break up the monotony of training recovery a triathlon. Check out the others in the unlikely training tools series.
Why Are Adjustable Dumb Bells Useful for Triathlon Training
When trying to train for multi-sport events, keeping the whole body in good form is crucial. At the same time, training across running, biking, and swimming can eat up free time very quickly. Add in a trip to the gym and the simple logistics of getting in a strength training session can be over whelming. However with the right equipment you can knock out a simple session in 15 minutes that will have real benefits. Couple all this with a small mountain of gear (bikes, helmets, shoes, swim kit, trainer, foam roller, etc) and you are likely to have an extra room, garage, or basement that is busting at the seams.
This need for efficiency both in time as well as space is what makes a variable weight set such a crucial training item. Most triathletes are not looking to pack on significant muscle but maintaining strength still requires some resistance training. Lighter weights with targeted movements do a long ways at building strength and even a simple 6-24 pound variable weight set will do the trick for a huge variety of exercises.
Favorite Feature of Adjustable Dumbbells
The obvious best feature of adjustable dumbbells is their versatility in workouts, but I love them most for their easy storage. Other than resistance bands, there are few other pieces of equipment that take up so little space but can be so widely used. The set shown above weigh a total of just 48 pounds, which makes them simple to toss in the car during a short vacation and still maintain the same routine.
If you are looking for what to do with adjustable dumbbells, the best advice is to search google for adjustable dumbbell exercise charts. There are literally hundreds of charts, some available for purchase, that provide exercises for every movement possible.
Most adjustable dumbbells have enough clearance to also function as pushup bars. This is one of the reasons to prefer a square or flat dumbbell design, compared to a round one that will roll. Pushup are one of the greatest compound movements and adding them to a training plan builds core strength that is crucial for maintain good form in the pool, an aero position on the bike, and staying strong on a run. If you want to find out good exercises, again search google for pushup bar exercise charts to get all the detail.
Adjustable Dumb Bells vs. Resistance Bands
Mentioned above is that a small set of dumb bells is only beaten in size by exercise bands. If you are traveling often, especially by plane or other mode where you have limited potential to bring gear, exercise bands may be the better piece of equipment. For the most part you can find viable exercises for resistance bands that work all of the same muscle groups. The downside of resistance bands is that they inherently will not have the same force when un-stretched. This makes doing negative exercises (where you lower the weight or travel in reverse of a normal motion) slowly will not have the same effect.